Lausanne, February lst 1971
Mrs. F. OLSCHKI-WITT
MM. STANLEY CROWE,
F. DE NOBELE,
G. A. DENY,
The President thanked his colleagues for their loyal attendance at this meeting, especially as he had suggested that, in order to economise on the funds of the League, the Committee refrain from asking for the reimbursement of the travelling expenses to which they are normally entitled.
I. New elections in London.
Conversations took place, points of view exchanged and suggestions made. No official report will be made so as to avoid any indiscretions. However, it was specified that:
The President is at the end of his first term of office (therefore eligible for re-election).
The Vice-president is as the end of his second term of office (cannot be re-elected to the same post).
The Counsellors Mrs. Olschki-Witt and Mr. Stanley Crowe are at the end of their first term of office (therefore eligible for re-election). Unofficial conversations took place; it was nevertheless specified that Mrs. Olschki-Witt, Mr. Crowe and Mr. De Nobele agree to renew their terms of office as counsellors and as President. It appeared however from these exchanges of opinion that the majority of the Committee agreed that the new member of the Committee should belong to the German Association.
II - Proposition of the organising Committee of the International Bookfair in London (1971), to be held under the auspices of the League, to create a Committee for censorship.
Recognising the usefulness of being able to appeal to a committee for censorship in cases of abuse in descriptions or attributions made by exhibitors, the Committee agreed to the creation of this Commission on condition that it only intervened in obvious cases or if a dispute were to arise. Mr. Stanley Crowe was asked to give the Committee's agreement to this proposition to the organising Committee.
Mr. Nebehay did not agree with the creating of this commission.
Mr. Crowe asked if dealers in prints, maps, engravings, old and new drawings may take part in the exhibition-fair in London in September 1971.
He was given a positive answer, as several national associations not only accept but also protect such activities. (Switzerland, for example).
III. Financial situation.
A preliminary report drawn up by the treasurer is attached herewith. The President estimated that the total loss for 1970 would be about $ 2,400.
Mr. Nebehay is due to meet Maitre Hotz shortly and will have talks with him on the following subjects:
1° Refund of excess payments for 1969.
2° The benefit of having a Swiss accountant (?).
Finally, it resulted from the various exchanges of opinion that it is essential to have an American accountant to cover the treasurer's responsibility, and that it would be sufficient to merely give the accounts to a Swiss accountant for checking before handing in the tax return.
Mr. Nebehay was to make a report of his meeting with Maitre Hotz.
Mr. Elte pointed out that he was the holder of 4.800 florins in the Coop. Raiffeisenbank Valkenburg Z.H. with an interest of 6 %; plus a balance of fl. .215,9.2 on behalf of the League.
IV. Presidents' Meeting.
Mr. Nebehay thought that this meeting, as he already suggested at the meeting in Paris, could be held in Vienna. However, he could not as yet confirm this.
V. Training Courses for Young Booksellers.
The President noted that this question was at a standstill, and that the suggestion he made in Paris to create a system of correspondence courses had still not been examined.
Mr. Hertzberger stated that he was waiting for the President to go into this question and added that he still wanted to contribute to the creation of these courses which he still considered could be held in the way he originally suggested, that is in the form of a summer school with board and lodging for students, teachers, etc. Mr. De Nobe1e replied that this suggestion which was made a long time ago had never been able to be put into practice and he was surprised that Mr. Hertzberger should want to reconsider these courses in this form of organisation. This matter was discussed at length at the last Presidents' meeting in Paris and the discussion appeared in the minutes of this meeting published in Newsletter N° 21. Mr. De Nobele read these minutes in full (at least the part concerning the courses) and asked the Committee to approve them. These minutes were adopted, and Mr. De Nobele informed Mr. Hertzberger that he would make a point of submitting the new plan put forward by Mr. Hertzberger to those responsible for this investigation, but that he could not see the use of coming back to the initial plans because of the insurmountable difficulties they presented. Once again, he was sorry to notice that the inventor of these courses should appear so negative towards any suggestion presenting a possibility of a positive realization of these courses.
To conclude, contact would be made with the representatives of the Dutch Association to have their opinion and to find out if it was possible to rely on Mr. Hertzberger's collaboration or not.
VI. - Exhibition-Sale in Lausanne.
After only one and a half days' of the exhibition, it was difficult to form an opinion on the results of this event. Everyone agreed that on the one hand the organisers must be congratulated for the premises and the arrangements and on the other hand that they were entirely satisfied with the quality of the books exhibited in the room reserved for the I.L.A.B. It is quite certain that this exhibition is an excellent advertisement for old books; it shows rare and precious books and in this way proves that these rare and precious books are not all prisoners of Government stocks but still available to collectors, and bibliophiles in accordance with their tastes and their means. This, moreover was the theme of the official statement made to the press.
Mr. Hertzberger would like this kind of exhibition to be presented with a specific theme : in subjects or in periods. Of course this presentation would eliminate the possibility of placing the booksellers' names on the stands, and these could only appear on the descriptive slip.
The meeting was adjourned at 11 h. 45.
Statement of Cash on Hand
December 1st, 1970
1. Crocker Citizens National Bank Larchmont Branch,
Los Angeles, California, Checking Account. $ 278,56
2. Western Federal Savings and Loan, Larchmont
Branch Term account 6 %. 5,260.02
Regular Account 5 % 3,715.03
3. Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank,
New York City, N. Y. Regular Account 5 % 8,654.07
Coop. Raiffenbank, Valkenburg, Netherlands
4943 guilders, or approximately 1,362.27
Minus amount due Secretariat 500.00
Income and Expenditure Account:
Balance December 31, 1969. $ 20,306.87
Minus: Operating loss for 1970 1,536.92
Subscriptions and dues 3,143.00
Directory sales 370.50
Interest income on savings accounts 998.49
Dictionary sales 200.92
Total income $ 4,941.72
Transfer to Secretariat 3,303.70
Travel Expenses (Committee) 301.45
Triennial Prize 750.00
Triennial Prize (Travels) 859.69
Legal fees 162.00
Swiss taxes 525.00
Accounting fees 25.00
Due to secretariat 500.00
Total expenses $ 6,478.64
Operating loss for 1970 $ 1,536.92
CONGRESS IN LONDON
Monday, September 20th.
Mrs. F. OLSCHKI-WITT,
Messrs. STANLEY CROWE, GEORGES DENY, F. DE NOBELE, G. DAWSON, M. ELTE, D. MASSEY, E. GRONHOLT·PEDERSEN, FL. TULKENS, R. WORMSER.
1. The minutes of the Committee Meeting in Lausanne were adopted unanimously, and in accordance with the decision taken at the extraordinary meeting the previous day, the additional minute concerning the discussion which took place after the meeting in Lausanne was closed, would not be included. This was agreed unanimously, with the support of the Past Presidents, and the Presidents of Honour. Mr. De Nobele and Mr. Elte abstained from voting.
2. The President expressed regret that because of ill-health, he had been unable to attend the funeral of our lamented friend and former committee member, Alfred Frauendorfer. He had sent a letter of sympathy to his widow and family on behalf of the Committee and himself.
3. The President informed the Committee that it had been suggested that the League's gold medal should be awarded to Mrs. Reymond in recognition of the outstanding service she had rendered as President of the S.L.A.C.E.S., in organising the exhibition of rare books which was held in Lausanne in February, 1971, in conjunction with the 2nd Salon du Livre d'Art et de Bibliophilie, and in which, thanks to her, the participation of the I.L.A.B. achieved a notable success in prestige and publicity for rare books and the Trade. This was agreed unanimously, and it was further proposed and agreed, that a gold medal should be awarded to Mr. Howard Nixon in appreciation of his valuable collaboration for nine years, with the Jury of the Triennial Prize for Bibliography.
4. The President read a letter from Mr. Mitsuo Nitta, on behalf of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan, inviting the League to hold its next Congress in Japan. This would be considered in the General Assembly. Mr. Dawson would seek further information from the Japanese delegation beforehand.
5. Consideration of the Agenda.
(a) The President read the usual report which he intended to present to the General Assembly.
(b) The Treasurer submitted his report and accounts.
Various comments were made on both, which would be brought up for consideration during the General Assembly.
Tuesday 21st September.
9. Publicity in the Newsletters.
In view of the difficulties confronting associations to obtain advertisements from their members, the President put forward the idea of asking each association to appoint a delegate to undertake this. The same delegate could also be responsible for collecting information for the directory as well as the advertisements for it.
Mr. Deny considered that it would be better to seek for advertisers outside the booktrade, i. e. hotels, travel agencies, publishers, etc. rather than booksellers for whom he said it is more profitable to advertise in their national bulletin.
To this Mr. De Nobele replied that it is always interesting to be able to contact 1800 booksellers from all over the world, and that we do not have a publicity agent to collect advertisements from people outside the booktrade. Such an agent would in any case absorb any profit which we can hope to make from this publicity by the commissions we would have to pay him.
10. Propositions from Associations.
France I. Mr. Dawson had written to Mr. De Nobele saying that, as Treasurer, he did not consider that the League held an excess of financial reserves. The President was also of this opinion.
Mr. Deny considered that people who attend congresses always go to those towns in which they can find booksellers with whom they can do business and that one must not forget that the League pays for part of the expenses of a Congress: hiring of rooms, translator, secretariat, etc. He added that the cost - perhaps high - of taking part in a congress discouraged young booksellers from attending congresses. In reply Mr. Elte said that they could always obtain a grant from their national association.
France II a). Unification of the customs formalities. Mr. Elte considered that this was a dangerous proposal. Mr. Wormser thought that it was an infringement of article 4 of the Rules. Mr. Crowe considered that this was merely a wish. The President replied that the unification of formalities had nothing to do with a discussion on taxes; that an economic policy for the book trade is quite different from politics themselves; that like Mr. Crowe he considered that this proposal was only a wish and that he would agree to discuss this matter if this unification would lead to a simplification.
France II b). Information on taxes, customs regulations etc. in each country. This information is being collected and several associations have already replied. However, as the Common Market countries are still in a period of adjustment, the information which we obtain from them must only be considered as provisional.
Great Britain's proposal is also considered as a wish.
Regarding the second French proposal the Committee would be willing to co-operate in the collection of information.
Wednesday 22nd September.
11. Training Courses for young booksellers.
Mr. De Nobele had tried unsuccessfully to arrange a meeting with Mr. De Graaf in July; he had therefore written to him in an effort to determine the exact division of responsibilities in this matter.
This would be the last time that these courses would be discussed unless someone proposed to collaborate in creating correspondence courses, as courses in the form of a seminar could not be carried out.
In the case of correspondence courses, about 20 sessions should be collected before beginning.
Mr. Deny would be asked to preside over the General Assembly for this operation.
13. Next Presidents' Meeting.
Mr. Krieg confirmed the invitation of the Austrian association.
14. Next Congress in 1973·
Messrs. Elte and Dawson gave information on the possibility of group transport and on the programme outlined for the next congress.
15· Congress in 1975·
A long time ago the Committee had received an invitation from the Dutch association who, on the occasion of their 40th anniversary, would like to organise a congress in 1975. This invitation was accepted.
Monday September 20th.
The Committee welcomed the Presidents of associations but regretted that the Presidents of the Brasilian and Finnish associations were unable to be present.
According to custom, the Presidents were asked to meet before the General Assembly in order to discuss various problems which sometimes continue interminably at the full meeting.
The President asked if there were any comments made on the minutes of the Presidents' meeting held in Paris in September 1970 which were published in Newsletter n° 21. There were no comments.
The Treasurer stated that the financial report (situation and balance sheet) had been drawn up by a chartered accountant.
The Committee did not propose to ask for an increase in subscriptions : however any increase would be welcome.
However, owing to international monetary difficulties, it is hoped that those countries whose currency has been re-valued will continue to pay a subscription equivalent in value to that which pertained before revaluation, in order to cover any possible loss which the League might sustain.
Mr. Dawson asked the presidents to pay their subscriptions as soon as possible.
Mr. De Nobele asked if the presidents were in agreement with the above principle: In reply:
Japan will pay $ 20,00 more. Holland will, pay $ 180,00 (instead of 161,00). Germany, having already raised its subscription ill 1970, will pay the same sum in dollars ($ 500). The United States likewise ($ 600). The other countries will pay the same amount in their own currency as they paid in 1970. Brasil and Finland were absent.
Bibliographical Prize. - See minutes of the General Assembly.
The Directory :
It was agreed that since the last edition of the Directory is now five years old, it was time to consider the preparation of a new edition. It is necessary to determine the best means of obtaining the required information, and getting it printed, with the least delay possible. For this, it is essential that the National Associations provide their collaboration and goodwill. Past experience has shown the innumerable difficulties which have to be surmounted.
Tuesday September 21st.
IX. Publicity in the Newsletters.
The President enumerated the difficulties in obtaining advertisements from booksellers, and suggested that this was a responsibility which the Associations should individually undertake.
According to the Rules, we have to publish the reports of Committee Meetings, Presidents' Meetings and General Assemblies.
Originally, these reports were published in full, later for economical reasons, they were printed in the form of Minutes in the Newsletters. Advertisements were sought to reduce the cost of these publications.
Could a delegate appointed by each association take on this voluntary job of collecting publicity from booksellers and also from people outside the profession?
(Ref. minutes of the Committee meeting of Sept. 21st).
Mr. Salloch asked what was the tariff of these advertisements which the Belgian delegation considered were too high. (one page $ 100, half a page $ 50,00 with a 25 % discount for booksellers belonging to the League).
X. Proposals from Associations.
1. France: To allocate a subsidy for associations organising a congress. The Treasurer, together with the Committee, considered that the League, did not have an excess of financial reserves.
Mr. Petitot explained that this was more a wish expressed to help the smaller associations to organise a congress; the President had always considered that the associations should ask for a large share in expenses to enable these associations to face up to the cost of a congress.
Mr. Rota (G.-B.) considered that one must distinguish between the cost of the work sessions and those directly concerned with the entertainment of those attending the congress and suggested that a sum of $ 500 be allocated by the League. Mr. Dawson pointed out that he must .know where to find the money, for at the present time we spend more than we receive.
Mr. Petitor requested that the presidents be informed of the Customs Formalities in each country so as to bear on their own Governments. A questionnaire on this subject was sent out by the Committee last July; the replies received have shown that the rates of taxes are very different from one country to another, even in the Common Market countries.
2. A proposal from Great Britain: this was considered as a wish shared by everyone.
Mr. Rota stated that this proposition had been made following the success achieved by the British Association who secured by their intervention, the rejection of a parliamentary bill intended to restrict the free distribution of books. This had shown that protest could be worth while.
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Monday, September 20th, 1971.
The first session of the General Assembly of the 21st congress of the I.L.A.B. was declared open; the President welcomed the delegates and hoped that the congress would be successful and thanked the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association for the programme which they had prepared for the delegates, a programme which could only confirm this success.
The Assembly observed a minute's silence in memory of those who had lately passed away and in particular of the late Alfred Frauendorfer, Manager of ART ANCIEN, in Zurich, who was a member of the Committee for a long time, a member of the jury for the Bibliographica1 Prize and who took part in the publication of one of our directories.
The President then read a telegram sent by Mr. Schroers, past president of the German Association and Mr. E. Hauswedell former Vice-President of the League, sending their best wishes for the Congress, and also a letter from Mr. Christian Nebehay, Committee member, expressing regret that he was unable to attend because of medical treatment which he had to undergo in Vienna.
1. Appointed as scrutineers :
Mr. Laurence Gomme, My. Louis Moorthamers.
It was announced that Mr. Rota held the powers of attorney for Brazil and Mr. Elte for Finland so that the absolute majo- rity would be made up by 20 votes.
2. As no comments were made concerning the minutes of the Presidents' meeting held in Paris in September 1970 (published in Newsletter, N° 21) they were adopted unanimously.
3. Report of the Committee :
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, it is 41 months and 20 days since I took up my duties as President of the League; about 77 months since Mr. Elte has been acting as Vice-President, five years since Mr. Nebehay has been assisting us, 41 months and 20 days since Mrs. Olschki- Witt and Mr. Stanley Crowe have been sharing in our work and our youngest member is Mr. Glen Dawson who is also our Minister of Finance. I thank them all very warmly for their collaboration which is always vigilant, friendly and efficient and regret nevertheless that an incident which had been solved as far as the League is concerned, should have smouldered again between three members of the Committee. It is like forest fires : you think they have gone out, the fire smoulders and suddenly the flames burst out again.
In short, I hope that this quarrel which, in my Opinion, is only concerned with human pride (and I willingly recognise my part of responsibility) will not in any way influence the fidelity of any associations, or at least of one association in particular, towards the League.
You have been informed of the activities of the League by the Committee's report presented at the Presidents' meeting held in Paris at the end of September 1970, which was also published in Newsletter N° 21 and which also included a report of the brief ceremony held in connection with the Third Bibliographical Prize awarded by the League.
Nothing of much importance has happened since, except the celebration of the professional jubilee of the father of the League, Menno Hertzberger : 50 years of activity as a bookseller. I only regret that I was unable to attend this ceremony and I beg my friend Menno to forgive me for not having included this event in the latest news bulletin.
I am happy to welcome here today Mr. Laurence Gomme, who was the first President of the Antiquarian Bookseller's Association of America and Committee member of the League, who, aged 89, has by his presence among us confirmed the interest he continues to take in the League. (Applause).
I would also like to mention the 50th anniversary of the Danish association, celebrated with much merriment last November.
We have received an invitation to attend the opening of an exhibition (perhaps the first) organised by the former Circolo dei Librai Antiquari in Florence, under the direction of their active President, Mr. Pregliasco, and also to visit the recent exhibition in Copenhagen.
We have heard from the Newsletter published by the Folger Library that five rare books of English interest have been bought following a brief visit to the International Bookfair which was held in New York in April 1971. This enables us to mention this event and to thank the A.B.A.A. for the international and cooperative attitude they show at every book fair organised by them.
And while talking about fairs, we must not forget the one held in Lausanne in February, in conjunction with the 2nd Salon du Livre d'Art et de Bibliophilie. The participation of rare books took place under the auspices of the I.L.A.B. and was a great success.
Here is, moreover, the letter which I received from the organisers of this exhibition :
“We would like to take this opportunity of expressing our very deep gratitude for the immense effort you made in bringing to the 2nid SILAB what can honestly be considered as its most valuable section.
In this respect, we cannot do better than repeat the enthusiastic comments of visitors to the Salon in the room occupied by the League, on the extraordinary value of the works exhibited, and on the perfect courtesy of all the exhibitors in this section who gave information with infinite patience and kindness to visitors who were not always specialists in rare books.
Our strongest desire is, of course, to welcome you again in Lausanne at a similar event.
Thanking you again very much for your support...”
We will discuss later the new plans of the organisers but I would like to emphasize one point, and that is that the thanks which I have received were wrongly directed, for, with the help of our colleague, Maurice Bridel, it is especially Mrs. Reymond who is responsible for this success; responsible for the idea of our participation, responsible for persuading the organisers to welcome us, in short for having done a useful job of work for books and for the League.
That is why your Committee has decided to award her the gold medal of the League for the exceptional services she has rendered, as I have just said, to books and to the League.
(Mrs. Reymond was presented with the gold medal, amidst enthusiastic applause).
So much for the chapter of our activities. We have recently sent out a questionnaire to collect information on taxes, dues, regulations, formalities, etc., concerning the import and export of books. The replies will be published in the next newsletter and I beg all Presidents to take the trouble to answer this questionnaire.
With regard to the request for a refund of the excess of income tax from the Swiss authorities, we have decided not to present it as in the end the cost of employing a chartered accountant would have been higher than the sum represented.
This report of our activities seems to be very sparse and confirms that the statement which I made after my election as President still holds good : your Committee can only work if you give it work to do in making realistic positive proposals, by making similar suggestions and by informing us of your problems. We ask you to take part in the activities of the League; and yet we hardly ever receive any important correspondence from the associations.
As this report seems rather short, we could cheat a little if you don't mind by including the tremendous work which goes into the preparation of a congress (it seems that our island friends have done every thing they can so that we spend a marvellous week) and also into a Bookfair which the ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS' ASSOCIATION, who always say they are « international », have organised under the auspices of the League, i. e. a truly international book fair open to all the book- sellers of the world linked by the motto AMOR LIBRORUM NOS UNIT.
This is a great step forward, another example after others, and although we will have the opportunity later on of thanking those responsible, we can already express our satisfaction and our gratitude.
I would also like to thank Mr. Franco for having agreed to come and be our interpreter, a role which he always fulfils, as you know, so brilliantly.
Personally, I have had to suffer, apart from illness and a surgical operation, from secretarial difficulties which are much more serious. I have managed to recuperate Mrs. Lotthe who has left Paris and who is willing to help me out a few days (three or four) a month, which is not much, but I will try and make it do, and I would also like to thank her, as I thank you all for your attention.”
4/5 The Treasurer, Mr. Dawson, presented the financial report:
A. Balance Sheet (Unaudited).
June 30th, 1971.
Cash. Savings Accounts . $ 18,241.35
Checking Accounts . 1,178.03
Balance, December 31, 1970 $ 19,269,95
Add excess of receipts over disbursements
for the six months ending June 30th 1971 149.43
B. Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements.
For the six months ended June 30, 1971. (Unaudited).
Cash Balance, December 31, 1970 19,269.95
Subscriptions and dues 3,048.00**
Interest on savings accounts 467.96
Dictionary and directory sales 58.62
Transfers to secretariat 3,180.00**
Lausanne exhibition expenses 300.00
Triennial prize - printing 59.40
Legal fees 156.00
Swiss federal taxes 32.00
Cash Balance, June 30, 1971 19,419.38
** Including $ 500.00 applicable to 1970.
The wishes of the treasurer and the decisions taken during the Presidents' meeting were transmitted to the Assembly (for details refer to the minutes of the presidents' meeting above, page 22).
The President recalled that the proposal made in Copenhagen to appoint an assistant treasurer had been declined. The question comes up again today because Mr. Elte who is in charge of part of the funds of the League will no longer be a member of the Committee when he leaves this meeting. For these reasons, the Committee had discussed at length the terms of article 28 of the Rules and considered that, since it had the responsibility of managing the affairs of the League, it had the right to instruct Mr. Elte to continue to look after the funds which are in his hands following the publication of the last directory. The Committee considered that in this way the responsibility of the treasurer would be lightened and that, in view of the present monetary crisis, it would perhaps be preferable to keep these funds in Holland, at least for the present time.
The President asked if the delegates had any objection to this interpretation of article 28.
Mr. Weinreb (G.B.) proposed that Mr. Elte be appointed assistant treasurer to simplify matters.
Mr. Dawson asked the assembly to have confidence in the treasurer and said that the funds at present in Holland would remain there with Mr. Elte as intermediary between him and the banks.
As the vote of confidence was requested, the Assembly agreed unanimously.
6. Bibliographical Prize.
Mr. Deny, permanent secretary, stated that we were at present launching the 4th Bibliographical Prize, which meant that we were beginning the 10th year of organising this prize. The previous prizes were very successful, thanks to the cooperation of the national presidents who greatly publicised its existence. Thanks to hard work by the jury, prizes were awarded to exceptional pieces of work, which was excellent for the reputation of the League.
“For nine years we have had the collaboration of Mr. H. Nixon of the British Museum. Mr. Nixon, considering that nine years of hard work were sufficiently long to permit retirement, had asked us for permission to retire suggesting that he be replaced by Mr. Roberts, also attached to the British Museum (secretary of the Bibliographical Society), who was willing to accept. He will therefore take part in the work of the jury of the triennial bibliographical prize together with Mr. de la Fontaine Vervey, Dr. Kurt Koster, your President and Mr. Christian Nebehay.”
The Fourth Prize was therefore announced and “to my great surprise - said Mr. Deny - I already received the first works in May. The quality of these works seems to be very high.
It remains therefore to continue to publicise the existence of this 4th prize.”
Mr. De Nobele asked if a collective piece of work non-subsidized could take part in this prize and the reply was positive.
Mr. Elte reminded us that the last edition is already 5 years old and that it was time to think of making a new one.
All those who have been responsible for former editions know how difficult it is to collect the necessary material for preparing the copy to have a directory printed. Various methods had been envisaged and had brought no satisfactory results. Among these was the Card Index System. Mr. Elte had sometimes waited up to six months to have cards, which were often illegible, to be returned.
Various suggestions had been made during the Presidents' meeting; Mr. de Graaf (N.L.) said that it is definitely the associations who are responsible for transmitting information concerning their members, which everyone realises, but experience has shown that the associations are not very industrious and Mr. Elte considers that it takes more than a year to collect the material, to prepare it, to correct the proofs, and collect advertisements before a new directory can be distributed.
Mr. Weinreb (G.B.) proposed that a sum of $ 2.000 be allocated to the Committee to employ someone specialised, failing a secretary of the League, to do this job.
The President replied that this was not the problem, for the League disposed of sufficient funds to advance this sum, but that the most important problem was to obtain the necessary information to publish this directory as quickly as possible; the fact that this job be given to the secretary of the League or to a specialised person would not solve the problem.
Should this edition be given to an outside agency, this would moreover remove all the financial profit which we hope to make and it is through the Directory that the League manages to balance its funds.
The Committee will endeavour to find a solution.
8. Confidential List.
The President requested that he be informed immediately of any information concerning stolen books, dud cheques, bad payers, etc. This information would be transmitted to the associations without delay in order to avoid the worse if possible.
The meeting was closed at 5 o'clock.
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Tuesday September 1st 1971.
9. Publicity in the Newsletters.
The President recapitulated briefly what had been said about this at the Presidents' Meeting.
Mrs. Olschki-Witt supported the suggestion that each Association should appoint a person who would be responsible for collecting advertisements for the Newsletters.
Mr. Grant (G.B.) asked what would be the position of a bookseller who had been expelled from his Association seeking to advertise in the Newsletter. Reply : if the secretariat of the League had been informed of the expulsion, the publicity would be refused; in the case of booksellers who are not members of the League, the association of the country in which they work can be questioned, unless they are booksellers selling new books.
Mr. Rota (G.B.) agreed on the principle of finding advertisements, but did not think that his association could do this, and considered that it would be better for a member of the Committee to be appointed to do this job and collect payments.
Reply : the Presidents of associations are responsible for collecting publicity for the newsletters (Congress in Copenhagen, Letter N° 20). Mr. Dawson (U.S.A.) proposed that anyone interested in taking an advertisement should give him a cheque forthwith and that the Meeting pass on to the next item on the Agenda.
A reminder would be sent to the associations.
10. Proposals by Associations.
France. I. Subsidies for Congresses.
Mr. Petitot (France) was invited to put forward his proposals. The President thanked him for enlivening the meeting a little, for he seemed to be the only person to speak and replied that Mr. Dawson had sent him a letter dated July 31st in which he stated that he did not consider that the League had any excess of financial reserves whatsoever. As the Committee was of the same opinion, the French proposal could not be accepted, neither that of Mr. Rota to allocate a sum of $ 500.
Mr. Thomas Crowe pointed out that the fees for participating in the congress only covered about 50 % of its expenses and that the difference had been paid by the members of the A.B.A., for which the President thanked him.
On the other hand, as the League exists from subscriptions from the associations, it would not be right that the subscriptions paid by all their members should pay for the entertainment of the relatively small number of delegates who attend the congresses.
France. II, a/b. Uniformity of Customs Regulations in respect of books.
In order to obtain uniformity and a simplification of Customs Regulations, it is first necessary to know the regulations in force in each country. From a questionnaire sent out at the end of July we learn that:
Belgium pays an Added Value Tax of 6% on second hand books, on their total value, while in France the tax is 7.5% but only on the profit margin. Belgium also applies a tax on exports above the value of Frs 500, (0.50 % of which is non-recoverable). Germany pays 8% & France 7.5% on the import of books less than 100 years old. Books over 100 years old and for resale are free of duty. The United States only tax new books printed in the English language, but for any book imported worth more than $ 250.00 they have to go through a customs agent which involves unnecessary expenses and a waste of time.
Denmark pays a 15% tax on imports, etc.
Those presidents who had not yet replied to this questionnaire were asked to send in the information concerning their country. The variation in the rates of exchange of currencies had created more complications; some countries have two different rates of exchange : one for commercial transactions and another one for financial operations. What pressure can we bring to bear on our Governments? It is up to everyone to take the necessary steps with the competent authorities.
The proposal from Great Britain is associated with that of France; the President considered that it was even more utopian since it foresees not only the abolition of taxes but also the free flow of books and manuscripts across national frontiers.
If the League can help the associations in their negotiations with their administration, it will be willing to do so. Write to us.
The meeting closed at 16 hours.
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Wednesday, September 22nd, 1971.
Before proceeding with the agenda, the President wanted to clear up the following point; it appeared that his decision to cancel the Presidents' Meeting this morning had been misinterpreted. This had been done to help to increase discussion between the members of the Assembly and the Committee, for during the previous sessions of the Assembly, he had been about the only person to speak. He hoped that the discussion would be more lively and he was therefore always prepared to let anyone take the floor and would consent to the session being interrupted if anyone delegation should request it.
11. Training Courses for young booksellers,
The President expressed his opinion that this was the last time that these courses would be mentioned. The responsibility for the failure must be shared between Mr. Hertzberger, the inventor, the Committee specially created for this purpose, the Dutch association and the Committee of the League.
It was impossible to hold these courses in the form of a seminar. There remained the proposal to organise correspondence courses. The idea was to prepare about twenty sessions to start with, in French and in English, and to put them at the disposal of the associations who would be free to translate them into their own language at their expense.
The assembly was asked to state their views and to put forward collaborators.
Mr. De Graaf (N.L.). The Dutch Association did not consider that it was affected by the fact that the inventor belonged to this association. It is moreover not big enough to take on the responsibility of these courses which should fall upon the League. It remained willing to collaborate but considered that it would be more realistic either to abandon the project or to limit it to correspondence courses.
Mr. Pressler said that the German association had organised a two day seminar, an attempt which would be repeated. This experience had proved that bilingual courses give rise to great difficulties and he considered that correspondence courses would be a very mediocre way of replacing a seminar.
Mr. Vellekoop (G.B.) thought that the best way of training a young bookseller was to seek instruction from someone older, as he had done in listening to his teacher, Mr. Goldschmidt, and that correspondence courses would be useless. He added that today everyone is obsessed by the necessity to have a degree; whereas apprenticeship has always existed in our profession.
The President declared that he had done everything possible to respect this idea of the Father of the League, but that he agreed with this opinion. He asked the Assembly to vote for or against these courses. The Assembly agreed unanimously to abandon the courses.
Mr. Deny, President of Honour, presided over the meeting for the voting. Mr. J. Schiller was appointed as scrutineer to replace Mr. Gomme.
To comply with the desire expressed to enliven the meeting, Mr. Krieg wished to make a few comments:
“The Austrian Association considered that the Vice-President should be someone who had already been a member of the Committee. Would it not be possible to vote for Mr. Kocher-Benzing as a member of the Committee and then for Mr. Christian Nebehay as vice-president.”
Mrs. Reymond asked for a few explanations as to the voting process and Mr. Salloch proposed that the elections be carried out in the planned order.
Mr. Deny declared that he would not change the order of voting, according to the agenda, and that candidates should be put forward 60 days before the General Assembly, etc. (Article 30 of the Rules).
He reminded those present that members of the Committee do not represent their country, but through their election to the Committee, become neutral servants of the League, working only on an international basis (applause) and he requested that the discussions should be cut short and that we proceed with the voting.
The following were reelected :
Mrs. Olschki-Witt, member (18 votes and 2 blank votes); Mr. Stanley Crowe, member (20 votes); Mr. F. De Nobele, President (17 votes and 3 blank votes).
The following were elected :
Mr. Kocher-Benzing, vice-president (17 votes, 1 blank vote against, 2 votes for Mr. Nebehay);
Mr. Dudley Massey, President of Honour (16 votes and 4 blank votes).
Mr. Massey thanked the assembly for giving him this honour which coincided with his fifty years of activity in the profession in which he started out with his father.
Mr. De Nobele took up his place again on the platform and thanked the members for the confidence they had renewed in him. He was happy to note that there had been three blank votes against him, for he liked opposition on condition that it was effective. He asked those who did not agree with him to put forward their own ideas in order to make the Committee work in the way they wished.
Any pertinent comments, any suggestions, any problems would be examined with the utmost attention.
He added that it was with a certain regret that he saw Mr. Elte leave the Committee and he welcomed Mr. Kocher-Benzing in his place.
13. Next Presidents' Meeting.
Mr. Krieg confirmed his letter of May l0th and officially invited the League to hold the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna in 1972. He said he would leave the choice of date to those invited (this would be fixed at a later date, but it would probably be at the beginning of September).
Mr. Krieg was thanked for this invitation.
14. Congress in 1973.
Mr. Matsumura agreed with great pleasure to organise the next congress in Tokyo and he was thanked for this. Mr. Nitta added that everyone thinks that Japan is very far away, but the delegates would find many facilities and young Japanese booksellers all spoke various European languages. The A.B.A.J. thought of holding this congress in the spring time which is the blossom season, but said that the end of September would also suit them. He thought that he could arrange for a tariff of £ 400 for the return journey and for 15 days' stay in Japan.
Mr. Nitta would confirm the practical details in good time, and the month of September seemed to be the time of year preferred by most delegates.
15. Congress in 1975·
Mr. De Graaf confirmed the invitation sent last March to the Committee proposing to organise a congress in Holland on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Dutch Association (applause).
16. Comments on the Usages and Customs.
The President informed the Assembly that he received or heard regularly complaints about booksellers, members of associations affiliated to the League, who would not give 10% discount on the marked prices to colleagues, according to the Usages and Customs. This was nothing new, but as the League did not have a police force to enforce these rules, and as the national associations cannot manage to do this either, we can only express our wishes, and the only coercive means is to advise people to refuse the 10 % to those colleagues who will not grant this discount.
Mr. Deny suggested that 10 % discount be only granted if the invoices were paid in a given time.
The President replied : yes, but if because of a strike or postal delay the parcel did not reach the addressee in the normal time, he is not necessarily responsible! For example : a parcel posted in Los Angeles only reached the addressee in Paris 3 months and 10 days later, and luckily it was not held up at the customs, otherwise it would have been 15 days later. It is therefore difficult to fix a given time.
There was little time to talk about the terms of shipment : the League has recommended the system of despatch at sender's risk, even if he has to increase his invoice by the cost of insurance. Some associations still use the old system of “despatch at the receiver's risk”. Even if it is impossible to convince these backward people, it is however desirable that the instructions appearing in their catalogues be changed (sales according to the conditions drawn up by the Association and the International League...) and the Rules of certain associations should not contradict the Usages and Customs of the I.L.A.B. which they claim to respect !
17. Sundry Matters.
a) Reprints and the antiquarian Booktrade.
Because it was already late this point on the agenda was left out (see below, page 60).
b) Fairs and Exhibitions.
It was the opinion of the Committee that there are too many fairs and exhibitions for the League to be able to sponsor them all. On the other hand, the national associations must be left to take the initiative of organising and inviting, in the hope that a calendar be drawn up so as to avoid having two events at the same time.
The organisers of the exhibition in Lausanne have again asked the League to participate; Mrs. Reymond was informed only recently of this and noticed that the date chosen coincided with the Fair in Stuttgart. In any case, the Committee has not yet been contacted by the S.L.A.C.E.S.
Mr. Rosenthal (U.S.A.) gave notice that a fair would be held in San Francisco from September 21-23rd 1972, organised by the A.B.A.A. from whom all further information may be obtained. All booksellers belonging to the League are invited to take part, for which the American association was thanked.
Mr. Wormser (U.S.A.) expressed his feelings of gratitude to Mr. Rota, President of the English association, for the warm welcome they had given to everyone in London. The President and all the delegates joined him in expressing their thanks.
Mr. Rota replied and afterwards the meeting closed at 5.3o.p.m.
Friday September 24th 1971.
The President welcomed Mr. Kocher-Benzing on the Committee. Mr. Kocher-Benzing said he was grateful for the confidence bestowed on him and he hoped that it would be possible to work together in an agreeable way.
The President said that he would like to go over the agenda of the General Assembly to see what should be done in the near or distant future.
Mrs. Lotthe would prepare the Minutes of the General Assembly. A draft would be submitted to the French members, and an English translation to the English members of the Committee for their approval.
The Minutes would be published in the next Newsletter, No. 22.
2° Triennial Prize for Bibliography.
The date of the next meeting of the jury of the triennial prize for bibliography must be fixed, as the competition is open until the end of 1971.
This is a matter of considerable importance. It is necessary primarily to prepare the copy, and to consult printers. The President stressed that it would be necessary for him to receive final copy at the earliest date possible. He would consult printers in different countries with a view to avoiding A.V.T. (Added Value Tax).
Mr. Dawson suggested that details about the directory should be left to the President and the publisher he should chose to do this work.
Mr. Massey asked what would be the date of publication?
The President replied that the only date he had in mind was to send out a letter to the Presidents on January 1st 1972. After that, it would all depend on the goodwill of the associations and the printer.
Mrs. Olschki-Witt suggested that a deadline should be fixed for the replies to be sent in to the secretariat, and that this date should be published in the local bulletins.
The President asked if 3 months were sufficient. The reply was positive even for the U.S.A. where Mr. and Mrs. Salloch would be responsible for collecting the material for the Directory. The President would write to the Presidents about this and at the same time would ask them for advertisements for the next newsletter to help to cover the cost of printing.
4° The training courses for young booksellers were now buried and forgotten.
5° The Elections. The President said that he was glad that Dudley Massey had been elected President of Honour.
6° Next Presidents' Meeting.
An invitation had been received from the Austrian Association to go to Vienna in mid-September, 1972. The President suggested that the Association who were hosts should be permitted to ask for a contribution towards the costs for Presidents' Meetings.
Mrs. Olschki-Witt stated that as the meetings were held primarily for work, they should be organised in a straightforward way.
The President considered that each President might be asked to take a share in the costs.
Mr. Dawson held the view that the League's share should be limited to paying for the hiring of rooms, and to the expenses of a secretary and a translator.
The President reminded the Committee that Mr. Christian Nebehay will complete his second term of office in 1972 and will have to be replaced. He invited suggestions. Mr. Crowe proposed that the Associations who are not represented on the Committee be asked to put forward candidates.
The President stated that this was, in any case, compulsory.
Mr. Dawson expressed a preference for someone other than Belgian, Dutch or Austrian, as these countries are or have been recently well represented.
The President suggested that a candidate from one of the Scandinavian countries would be appropriate.
Mr. Dawson proposed that the President should invite the Presidents of the Scandinavian countries to confer and put forward a candidate for the Committee, and that this matter be discussed at the next Committee Meeting. He also stated that his own term of office would come to an end next year and that be would not wish to be re-elected without the approval of the A.B.A.A.
The President asked him if he would stand for re-election if his Association agreed, and if there were no candidates from other countries. Mr. Dawson expressed his willingness.
7° Next Committee Meeting.
The President proposed that it be held on the day before the Book Fair in Stuttgart, February 3rd to 6th. It was agreed to meet on February and, in Stuttgart.
8° Congress in Tokyo.
Nothing to report at present. It would first be necessary to know the date, travels costs, etc. It was noted that some Travel Agencies granted one year's credit.
9° Usages and Customs.
It was noted in respect of Article 9 that certain booksellers forward books at the risk of the purchaser, whereas it is specifically stated in the Usages and Customs, that this is the responsibility of the sender, who may cover this by insurance, the cost of which is payable by the recipient.
10° Other Matters. Multiplicity of Book Fairs.
The President considered:
a) That there are too many Fairs and Exhibitions.
b) That it is a matter for the SLACES to decide whether they wish to invite the League to take part in the next Book Fair in Lausanne.
c) That we cannot favour one country more than another by patronising a Book Fair.
Mr. Dawson held the view that the League should only consider taking part in a Book Fair after being invited to do so by the country organising the event.
The Committee agreed that the League should not take part in the next Book Fair in Lausanne.
Mr. Dawson proposed that the 1975 Congress should appear on the Agenda for the next Committee Meeting in order to consider and reply to the Dutch Association's invitation.
Mr. Dawson sought direction on his draft budget for 1971-1972, and suggested that it should be regarded as provisional until it had been considered at the next Meeting. The Japanese Association had asked what sum of money would be granted, and in Mr. Dawson's opinion they should have the same amount as for the Congress in London. It will however be necessary to employ a secretary and a translator as it will not be possible to take either Mrs. Lotthe or Mr. Franco to Japan.
The Meeting closed at mid-day.
To complete this report of the work carried out by the delegates, we must add a few words of thanks to the British Association and to its President Mr. Rota, for the organization of entertainment for those who attended the Congress and for the one of the Fair.
Many, many thanks to everybody!
FOURTH INTERNA TIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR
London, September 27-29, 1971.
Without delving into book trade history to find obscure early examples, we may say that Antiquarian Book Fairs as we know them began thirteen years ago in London. They are now a regular feature of the bookselling scene in many countries. Only a few, however, have been international fairs under the auspices of the ILAB. The recent fair at the Europa Hotel was the fourth of these, and the first to be held in London. It was arranged to follow immediately after the 21st Congress of the ILAB, and at the same hotel. The British ABA, who thus had the honour to be hosts, realised that this would be an elaborate operation, and plans were put in hand over two years ago; even then, it was not easy to find a suitable hall, in a central position, willing to accept such a fair. The Europa seems however to have proved a happy choice - central, convenient, and with a pleasant, airy, and (apart from a few strange blind spots) well-lit exhibition hall: and if the service in the hotel bars was frequently less than adequate, it was at least an advantage to have such facilities, both in the hotel and at other places nearby.
The first plan was for 100 stands; this would have been crowded, and it is probably as well that less than 100 exhibitors were forthcoming; there were finally 87, occupying 76 stands (a few were shared). 57 were from Britain, 13 from the United States, 7 from the Netherlands, 3 from France, 3 from Italy, 2 from Switzerland, 1 from Sweden and 1 (representing several of their members) from Japan. It was something of a disappointment that in the event no exhibitors from Germany or Austria were able to take part.
With perhaps a million pounds' worth of books on show, it was decided to hire security guards, to allow no cases or bags to be brought in, have all outgoing parcels recognisably sealed, and ask all visitors to wear name tags. A few - in fact a very few -people objected to these restrictions, but in general arrangements went smoothly. A useful by-product of the name tag procedure would have been the obtaining of a really accurate attendance figure - except that this surpassed expectations; 3000 labels were exhausted by the middle of the second day, and an unknown number of improvised labels hastily issued until further supplies arrived. The first day, as usual, was the busiest; but it is certain that 4000 and possibly that 5000 visitors attended the fair over the three days. Even at the busiest times, the hall was comfortably full but not overcrowded, circulation was easy, and the atmosphere not oppressive.
The organisers also felt fortunate in their choice of contractor who erected the stands. Though these were smaller than in some other fairs (notably in America), the general arrangement and appearance of the completed hall was pleasing; and it was gratifying to be able to provide occasional chairs and tables at suitable places for weary visitors - or the more comfortable discussion of business.
A professional publicity firm (Heather McConnell Public Relations) was engaged, and there seems general agreement that their campaign was most successful, with very effective Press coverage.
Total sales, to judge by the forms which exhibitors were asked to fill in (anonymously) approached a quarter of a million pounds. This gives an average of nearly £ 3,000 per exhibitor. Of course, some sold far more (some returns were in double figures in thousands), and others far less (a few returns were of a few hundred pounds only). But in general exhibitors both from Britain and from other countries (not least perhaps from the Netherlands) seemed very satisfied; and several spoke of further business which resulted later from the fair. No details of individual items sold were asked for and practically none have been supplied; although Widespread publicity was given to “sensational” material such as the remarkable T. E. Lawrence documents sold on the first day for £ 10,000.
It is perhaps agreeable to be able to report the relief of the organising committee that their at times feverish calculations seem to have been mercifully accurate, and that the fair - which was run as a self-contained operation - will prove, when accounts are complete, to have balanced its books neatly.
It is not perhaps suitable for the organisers to pronounce judgment on the success of the fair. But the following sentences from a full American report: “in the opinion of a number of exhibitors and visitors who had been to the other ILAB Fairs this was in many respects the best ever; and later : almost everyone agreed that this was surely the best set-up and best-organised fair in their experience - these and many other kind and generous comments suggest that if, as some bold spirits dare to suggest, there are now almost too many fairs, the Fourth International Fair was not among the superfluous ones.
BOOK FAIR IN SAN FRANCISCO
The Eighth California Antiquarian Book Fair will be held in San Francisco at the St. Francis Hotel, from Thursday September 21st through Saturday September 23rd, 1972.
Organised by the A.B.A.A., it is open to booksellers from all countries on condition that they are members of a national association which is affiliated to the International League.
Participation fee : US$ 300.00.
Booths, which can be shared by several exhibitors : 3 m. x 3 m.; exhibition cases, shelves, table and chairs will be provided.
Admission fee : one dollar. Limitation to approximately 65 dealers. Two informal dinners are planned under the responsibility of Joseph Rubinstein, a distinguished bookseller and gastronome. Applications and enquiries to be sent to the Chairman of the Committee for the Fair :
Everett V. CUNNINGHAM,
9, Ramon Court, DANVILLE, CA 94526