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Paris 1988

Published on 26 April 2011

NEWSLETTER 41/42 - May 1989

A message from the President


First things first: let me repeat the thanks of all of us to Hans Bagger, who steps down as President after 16 years on the League's committee, 11 of them as Treasurer. I am aware that many distinguished men have held the Presidency in the course of the League's history, but I wonder if any of them has been at the same time so widely respected and so universally held in affection as has Hans.

The committee also says farewell to Jörg Schäfer and to Jacques van der Heyde, both of whom leave us after long years of service. We acknowledge our lasting debt to them.

Thanks are very much in order too to Jeannc Laffitte and the committee and members of SLAM for their splendid and generous hospitality at the Paris Congress, a Congress well worthy of the celebrated tradition of the French association.

As I said at the General Assembly in September, I am proud to belong to the League. During my term of office I want to see the League raise its profile so that the badge of the ILAB (and all that it stands for) become as well known throughout the world as the individual badges of our 17 national associations already are in their own countries. With more frequent updated editions of our Directory, with the projected new International Dictionary of Bookselling Terms, through our Bibliographical Prize, now much increased in value, and through our sponsorship of the best international Book Fairs, we are on our way to achieving this. With your co-operation the newly elected committee will set about getting us the greater recognition and publicity needed to finish the job.

Anthony Rota


Meeting of the committee of the ILAB on Sunday, September 11,1988,

9.30-11.30 a.m. at the Grand Hotel, Paris


Present : All members of the Committee, except Jörg Schafcr. The Presidents of Honour: Bob de Graaf and Dr. Kocher-Benzing. Apologies were received from Fl. Tulkcns and G.A. Deny. There were no proxies.

1. Nomination of Scrutineers

Bob de Graaf and Dr. Kocher-Benzing were nominated scrutineers.


2. Approval of the Minutes of the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna 1987

They were approved as printed in the Newsletter no 40.

3. President’s Report

See the minutes of the General Assembly Meeting.


4. Treasurer's Report

See the minutes of the Presidents' Meeting.

The Committee followed the opinion of the treasurer to ask the presidents for a 10% rise of subscription.


5. Newsletter. Editor's Report

See the minutes of the Presidents' Meeting.


6. Bibliographiral Prize

Dr. Kocher-Benzing reported about the “Ninth Triennial Bibliographical Prize of the ILAB”. There were 20 books in competition and the first prize was given to Manfred von Arnim for the “Katalog der Bibliothek Otto Schäfer, Schweinfurt, Teil I”.

The books by P.J. Atkins “The Directories of London, 1677-1987” and by Mireille Pastoureau 'Les Atlas Français XVIe-XVIIe siècles” had received special commendation.

As had been discussed in Vienna, the present prize of $ 1,000,- was regarded as most inadequate. When the competition was initiated the value of the prize was four times as high as today. Therefore the Committee intended to ask the General Assembly for an increase to $ 2500,-.

The points 7 - 12 will be dealt with later on in the Presidents' Meeting, respectively in the meeting of the General Assembly.


13.  Any other business

The next meeting of the Committee would take place on February 28, 1989, in Amsterdam at the Hotel Pulitzer.


Minutes of the presidents' meeting on Sunday, September 11,1988,

14.00 p.m.-16.30 p.m. at the Grand Hotel, Paris


Present: All members of the Committee except Jörg Schäfer. The Presidents of Honour: Bob de Graaf and Dr. Kocher-Benzing, as well as John Lawson, Past President.

Apologies were received from Fl. Tulkens, and G.A. Deny, Presidents of Honour. The Presidents of the following National Associations:

Australia, Kay Craddock; Austria, Norbert Donhofer (fro Dr. Krug);  Belgium, Jacques van der Heyde; Canada, William Mathews; Denmark, Poul Jan Poulsen; Finland, Cecil Hagelstam; France, Jeanne Laffitte; German, Michael G. Reiss; Great Britain, Robert Vaughan; Italy, Francesco Chellini; Japan, Kimio Koketsu; Netherlands, John A. Vloemans; Norway, Paul Bottn; Sweden, Karna Wachtmeister; Switzerland, Walter Alicke; USA, Michael Ginsberg;

Brazil was not represented.

There were no proxies.

1. Nomination of Scrutineers

Bob de Graaf and Dr. Kocher-Benzing were nominated scrutineers.

The President asked the assembly to rise in memory of Mrs. Vera Traylen and Mr. Wemer Taeuber, who had died during the past year.

2. Approval of the Minutes of the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna 1987

The Minutes as published in the Newsletter n°.40 were approved by the assembly and signed by the President.

3. President's Report

See the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly.


4. Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer pointed out that the sale of the directory had dwindled to a disappointing level and that therefore the League would receive less money than had been expected. So the regular income failed to meet the regular expenditures. This year the League had a short fall of £ 800,- and even an increase in subscription of 10%, for which the Committee intended to ask the presidents of the national associations, would not balance it.

The nominated successor of the treasurer, Mr. Louis Weinstein, was of the opinion, that the ratio between the various nations had to be looked at again.

Mr. Ginsberg inquired, in which way each association was responsible and how it was judged.

The treasurer explained that the system had been set up by Glen Dawson in 1972 and had been revised several times since then. Initially the calculation was based on numerical coding, but included also many variations. Mr. Rota, like his proposed successor, was of the opinion, that the whole system had to be completely revised.

Mr. Reiss proposed a rise of 15 %, instead of the suggested 10%, to balance the deficit, the new level being maintained until the revision was finished.

Mr. Weinstein drew attention to the fact that for a few associations the increase would mean a considerable extra expenditure. Therefore he proposed to leave it at 10% in order not to overcharge those associations. He thought that within a year's time, the revision would be finished and the calculation code would be adapted to the actual number of members.

The President followed this opinion and put the 10% rise of subscription to the vote of the assembled presidents. All presidents agreed.

5. Newsletter. Editor's Report

At the beginning of this report, Mr. A. Gerits expressed his special thanks to the associations of Australia, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and USA for informing him of their changes of address. With the aid of the Newsletter, the directory would gain actuality and thus the Newsletter would become a supplement to this important directory.

Mr. Gerits also asked the presidents of the other countries to give him information about the new members or other alterations regularly. Once again he pointed out the importance of taking advertisements, which were an essential support in meeting the costs of the Newsletter and increasing the income of the League.

As a further contribution to the Newsletter, the history of the Danish association would be published.


6. Bibliographical Prize

The President explained the reasons why the Committee intended to ask for the prize to be raised to $ 2500,--.

John Lawson reported about the highly difficult choice between the books offered and he again underlined the great value of the books by P.J. Atkins and Mireille Pastoureau, which had won special commendation.


7. The Dictionary

As announced in the President's Report of the Committee Meeting in Stuttgart 1988, Mr. John Lawson had contacted Mr. E. Franco and Mr. B. Rosenthal. John Lawson reported about the great difficulties which arose when working on the old text of the dictionary and that many mistakes and omissions had been discovered, He proposed that each association should nominate one of their members to check the old dictionary for mistakes.

A list of abbreviations in each language would be added to the next edition of the dictionary.

John Lawson was confident that the work would go on without interruption and that the manuscript could soon be finished and put on the computer.

Hans Bagger thanked John Lawson for his report and asked him to express his thanks and his best wishes also to Edgar Franco, whose failing eyesight was a great trouble to him.


8. The Directory

 Mr. Reiss reported on Mr. Brumme's activities. He had presented a time-schedule to the presidents of the national associations and also a first questionnaire. He asked the presidents for their help in getting the edition out on time, which should be September 1989.

Mr. Brumme asked the presidents to name one member of each association who would be responsible for receiving all information needed to prepare a special questionnaire for each country, In cooperation with this member, the questionnaire would be sent out at the beginning of January I989, The completed forms would have to be returned by March 1st, 1989. At the end of May 1989, the presidents would receive the proofs which would have to be returned by June 30th, 1989.

As in the past, the new directory would include a geographical listing, a classification by specialities, an alphabetical list of names as well as of specialities and sub-specialities.

In the main part, the members would be listed as follows: Name and address of the firm, name(s) of the member(s), telephone number, telefax, telex, telegraphic address and business hours. Banking and giro accounts would be deleted as the information took too much space to little purpose Furthermore every member would be able to list up to five specialities.

If anybody needed further information, he could contact Mr. Brumme at the following address:

Edmund Brumme Braubachstrasse 34, D-6000 Frankfurt/Main 1, Phone: (004969) 28 72 63

The President thanked Mr. Reiss for his report.

Point 9-12 will be dealt with in the meeting of the General Assembly.


13. No other business.



Minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly on Monday, September 12, 1988

9.15-11.00 a.m. in the building of the UNESCO, Paris


1. Nomination of Scrutineers; Apologies; Voting rights of countries present; proxies

The President asked Bob de Graaf and Dr. Kocher-Benzing to act as scrutineers. Apologies were received from the Presidents of Honour Fl. Tulkens and George Deny, whose letter was read by the President. In his letter George Deny informed the assembly that he had closed his bookshop, but that he would be very much interested in maintaining personal contacts with all colleagues by receiving their catalogues and other important news. His new address is:

Georges A. Deny rue Ernest Allard 29, B-1000 Bruxelles Phone: (02) 5117145

There were no proxies. 16 national associations were represented - only one country, Brazil, was absent. Mr. Vaughan of Great Britain had fallen ill. Mr. David J.Brass, Vice-President of Great Britain, took his place. In all there were 20 votes represented.


2. Minutes of the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna 1987

The members were advised that these minutes, published in the Newsletter no. 40, had been approved by the presidents. The General Assembly also approved them.


3. President' Report

The President opened the meeting and thanked the SLAM for their invitation to Paris.

He began with a memorial address on Mrs. Vera Traylen and Mr. Werner Taeuber, Vienna. Werner Taeuber had been president of the Austrian association for many years and the President remembered the services Mr. Taeuber had rendered to his association and also to the League.

The President recalled the meeting in Vienna, which was attended by 12 countries out of 17 possible. He felt that there were fruitful meetings and interesting discussions and that the Austrian association had managed to arrange a presidents' meeting on an ideal level. The committee would continually urge every host association to arrange congresses in a way that would make it possible for many colleagues, especially the younger ones, to participate, thus making the League as broad a forum as possible for the benefit of the trade.

The President recalled the discussions in committee and the presidents' meeting which had again dealt with the new dictionary and the international directory. They would be dealt with separately. The problem of the V A T had received new actuality and would be discussed again in regard to 1992, when the open market is formed within EEC. It would be expected that at that time EEC would harmonize the V A T rates on antiquarian books. Therefore it would be quite natural that countries like Great Britain, now zero-rated, would be afraid of getting tax on books, while countries like Austria, Denmark and Sweden, who had rates from 18- 23%, would hope for a reduced rate. These problems had been discussed in the committee. Even though the League was an international organization including countries outside EEC, the League should support the European Committee against taxing books. The League felt that everyone in every country would have an interest in fighting tax on books. Therefore the League had written to the European Committee and informed them accordingly. The European Committee against taxing books is under the leadership of Umberto Ecco.

The question of participating in German book fairs had been discussed again at the Committee Meeting in Stuttgart 1988. The result and its approval was published in the minutes of the Committee Meeting and printed in the Newsletter no. 40.

As the result of a letter from Bob de Graaf, which was read in Vienna, Mr. Louis Weinstein had promised to draft a revision of articles 3- 5 of the 'Compendium of Usages and Customs' concerning purchases made by one bookseller from another bookseller. This point would also be dealt with in the new constitutions set up by the Australian and New Zealand Association. This association had a new president, Mrs. Kay Craddock, who was very interested in closer contacts with colleagues in other parts in the world. In Sydney, Australia, they arranged book fairs which would be open to colleagues from abroad. If anybody was interested, copies of the Australian constitution would be available on request.

In his last report as President and as member of the Committee Ham Bagger recalled Menno Hertzberger, Richard Wormser, Mejer Elte, Hauswedell, Gronholt Peterscn, and Stanley Crowe and underlined their invaluable work for the League.

He spoke about his experiences in running an international organization such as the League, having to cope with language problems, limited funds and the fact that the committee members were spread over half the world, which made communication troublesome.

Most of the firms were one-man operated which often left them too little time to work for the community. But nevertheless, the League had every reason to be satisfied; in spite of these problems, the work was going on and results were recognizable.


4. Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer commented on the 'Statement of cash receipts and disbursements'. The relatively high amount shown as the cost of the committee meetings did not stand for increased expenses of the committee members; it resulted from unexpected costs, e.g. £ 900,- for two translators during the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna.

As had already been mentioned in the minutes of the Presidents' Meeting, at the moment the League was confronted with a deficit caused by the poor sales of the directory, Therefore Mr. Rota placed his hopes in the early completion of the new directory, which was to be edited by Mr. Brumme.

Mr. Rota asked all members to place advertisements in the Newsletter, and he also drew the attention to the League's plaque (made of glass), which could be obtained through Mr. Rota in London. The price is £ 7,50 plus postage.

The treasurer informed the assembly of the 10% increase of subscription to which the national presidents had agreed at their meeting; even this rise would barely balance the League's deficit. Therefore Mr. Rota looked forward to the new basis for calculating subscriptions which would be prepared by his proposed successor, Mr. Louis Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein would present his plan at the next Presidents' Meeting in Yverdon, Switzerland in September 1989.

As in past years, he again asked those present to use the giro system to make payments for the account of the League; or to charge the remitter with the costs when payment was made by bank transfer. This would save the League about £ 100,- a year.

Hans Bagger thanked Anthony Rota.


5. Newsletter. Editor's Report

See the minutes of the Presidents' Meeting.


6. Bibliographical Prize

The President informed the assembly of the 'Ninth Triennial Bibliographical Prize of the ILAB'. The prize was given to Manfred von Arnim and the Committee had honoured the books by P.J. Atkins and Mireillc Pastoureau with special commendation.

The President thanked Dr. Kocher-Benzing for his work as president of the Bibliographical Committee during the last 12 years and he also expressed his thanks to the members of this committee.

The President asked the General Assembly for their vote to raise the bibliographical prize to $ 2.500,-. This had been supported by the Committee and the Presidents' Meeting. This increase was accepted by an overwhelming majority.

The President once again thanked Dr. Kocher-Benzing and his committee and underlined the importance of the prize, which added to the prestige of the League.


7. The Dictionary

See the minutes of the Presidents' Meeting.


8. The Directory

As Mr. Brumme was not able to be present, Mr. Reiss explained the activities in connection with the new directory and once again he presented the time-schedule, which would come to a close in September 1989. It was planned to present the new directory at the Presidents' Meeting in Yverdon.

Mr. Reiss drew the attention to those countries which had no organization of their own and whose members were represented by other associations. In connection with the new directory it was necessary to know which association was responsible for which country, E.g., ABA is responsible for Argentine, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Portugal, and South Africa.

There were difficulties in connection with Spain, Spanish members were registered variously with ABA, ALAI and SLAM. Mr. Lawson reported on the endeavours of the Spanish colleagues to organize an association of their own.

In the matter of the new directory the ABA declared itself responsible for Spain.

As usual, Liechtenstein was represented by Switzerland and Mexico by SLAM. Regarding Mexico M. Loeb-Laroque remarked that their only member had passed away.

Mr. Lawson made the proposal that all changes of addresses be sent to Mr. Gerits as well as to Mr. Brumme.

Ham Bagger thanked Mr. Reiss for his report.


9. Security

No further news.


10. Election of President of Honour. John Lawson, England, nominated at the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna to be made President of Honour

Hans Bagger recalled the time when John Lawson acted as President and recalled also the unforgettable reception during the 1984 London Congress in his home, especially the wonderful placing of about 200 antiquarian booksellers during the lunch in his garden.

Ham Bagger also mentioned the merits John Lawson had gained during his 6 years of work with the committee and he also mentioned the numerous years he had been a member of the jury of the bibliographical prize committee.

Hans Bagger also appreciated his readiness to assume responsibility for the new and thoroughly revised edition of the dictionary.

Hans Bagger was very happy to be able to welcome John Lawson as President of Honour and the assembly responded with continuous applause.

Hans Bagger said goodbye to the General Assembly with the following words: “This was my last official act as president and member of the committee of the League. I have every reason to thank you all, and especially the many wonderful persons with whom I have worked during the years. Without their wonderful support and friendship I would never have been able or willing to stay so many years.”

The assembly thanked the parting President with sincere applause for his speech and his activities during the last 3 years.


11. Election

The President thanked those members who retired from their work in the committee, namely Jacques van der Heyde and Jörg Schafer, who unfortunately did not attend the meeting. He especially reminded the assembly of Jörg Schäfrr's activities as editor of the Newsletter and as vice-president of the League.

The President asked the assembly to vote for the new Committee by acclamation:

President: Anthony Rota, London

Vice President: Anton Gerits, Hilversum

Treasurer: Louis Weinstein, Los Angeles

General Secretary: Konrad Meuschel, Bad Honnef

Editor of the Newsletter: Anton Gerits, Hilversum

Co-operative members:

Louis Loeb-Laroquc, Paris

Misuo Nitta, Tokyo

Dr. Vittorio Soavc, Turin

Thanking Hans Bagger for his work on the League's behalf, not only as President, but previously as Treasurer and a member of the committee, the new President Anthony Rota said what a delight and a privilege his colleagues had always found it to work with Mr. Bagger. Personally he would continue to rely on Hans Bagger's great experience and sound advice.

Anthony Rota went on to emphasize the importance and significance of the League and said that during his term of office he hoped to stress that theme so that not only members, but all those in the world of books were more aware of it. He added that those who dismissed the League as no more than 'a social club' and its Congresses as merely social events were wide of the mark. He listed past and present achievements as well as future plans. He pointed out that membership of the League was the best possible card of introduction, not just to other booksellers, but to librarians and private collectors also. Congresses provided opportunities to make friends out of colleagues, and what, he asked, could be better than doing business with friends rather than strangers?


12. Future Congresses and Presidents' Meetings

The Swiss President, WaIter Alicke, invited all presidents to the next meeting in Yverdon from September 14-16, 1989, which would coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Swiss association. Thus, the presidents would have the opportunity to meet the members of the Swiss association. He emphasized that this date did not overlap with two other events in September 1989: the Cologne bookfair from September 21- 24, 1989, and the Congress of the International Association of Bibliophiles from September 25, 1989.

Printed letters of invitation, with the program, would follow soon. The President thanked Walter Alicke for his report and looked forward to meeting the Swiss colleagues in Yverdon. The Japanese President, Mr. Kimio Kohketsu, invited members to Japan in 1990 for the next congress. Support and cooperation from members from abroad were very much appreciated. He hoped to be able to present the schedule for the Japanese Congress at the next presidents' meeting.

The future schedule was now:

1989 - Switzerland, Presidents' Meeting

1990 - Japan, Congress

1991 - Denmark, Presidents' Meeting

1992 - Germany, Congress

1993 - Canada, Presidents' Meeting

1994 - Netherlands, Congress


13. Any other business

In her final address to the assembly, Mme. Laffitte hoped that all she had promised in Vienna about the organization and the congress's procedure would come true. In any case, never had a congress had as many applications as that of Paris and she wished all participants an enjoyable time.

The President thanked Mme. Laffitte and the French association and closed the session.

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