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Paris 2014 - Book Fair

Published on 22 Aug. 2016




Under the high patronage of Mr François HOLLANDE, Président of the French Republic
Most elegant! The Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Grand Palais, in this year's edition the 25th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair, offered its ever increasing number of visitors a panorama of the highlights of our written heritage together with a vast selection of engravings and drawings, presented by nearly 200 leading professionals from around the world. Manuscripts and autographs, incunabula, rare and fine books, exceptional bindings, early maps and photographs, old and contemporary prints and drawings provide a fascinating potpourri for collectors and newcomers.

As every year various exhibitions, guided tours, concerts and events were scheduled during the book fair week. Guest library 2014 were the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One of many highlights was the official award of the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography at the Grand Palais on Saturday, 12th April. A special exhibition was dedicated to the history of the Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne. SLAM, the second oldest association of antiquarian booksellers worldwide, celebrates its centenary with a documentation of its history. And it was on the occasion of its centenary that SLAM invited antiquarian booksellers from all over the world to the 41st ILAB Congress which will take place immediately after the Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair program:


Guest Library 2014 - Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs   

In 1680, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Charles Colbert de Croissy took the initiative of having his correspondence with foreign countries bound together with that of his predecessors. Through this very material act, he created a tool which is essential to the continuity of public action, thereby ensuring the preservation and transmission of a corpus of documents which would become the initial core of an exceptional heritage collection. As the heir to the service born of this initiative and entirely independent of the National Archives, the Archives Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to play its dual role of serving the original administration by providing diplomats with the documents necessary to the exercise of their profession and contributing to historical research by promoting and communicating these archives to researchers.

The diplomatic archives have been enhanced with regular contributions from the different departments, the recovery of state records, purchases and donations from private individuals. They include the precious collection of agreements and treaties signed by the French state (more than 25,000 files ranging from the 15th century to the present day), collections incorporated such as the Richelieu papers, the Chavigny collection (including 26 love letters from King Henry IV to Marie de' Medici!), the Saint-Simon manuscripts, the Bonaparte papers and the files of ministers and ambassadors who made their names in the fields of both politics and literature (there are numerous examples from Beaumarchais to Claudel and Saint-John-Perse and including Stendhal and Chateaubriand). This incredible wealth of content is combined with a wide range of forms and media: as an annex to the dispatches, it is not uncommon to find engravings and, since the 1850s, photographs which bear witness to or document diplomatic action. A collection of historic and contemporary maps and an extensive library boasting 450,000 volumes complete this collection.

And the winner is … James Bond! Official Presentation of the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography

The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, given every fourth year to the most outstanding scholarly book about books and worth 10.000 $, is one of the most prestigious prizes in the field of bibliography. The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) is proud to officially present the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography to Jon Gilbert, author of:


Preface by Fergus Fleming. Foreword by Michael L. Vanblaricum. Edited by Brad Frank. London, Queen Anne Press, 2012.

Jon Gilbert’s impressive work covers every aspect of Fleming’s writings, manuscripts, proofs, corrected or uncorrected, first and all later impressions, paperback editions and all subsequent printings and editions. In short, Jon Gilbert provides his readers with all that possibly is to know, all one can possibly know about Ian Fleming and his writings. 

The 2014 prize will be awarded during the fair at noon on Saturday, 12th April, in the orchestra area, south aisle.


Exhibition – SLAM Centenary

Founded on 23rd June 1914 on the initiative of 29 booksellers, the Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) celebrates its centenary. The exhibition during the Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair commemorates this event and pays tribute to the cultural role of booksellers throughout history. A selection of documents presents the great figures of the rare book trade, the history of SLAM, the presidents, its code of conduct, and the reality of the profession down the centuries. The scholarly works of the SLAM booksellers and bibliographers are listed in a catalogue, and a collection of curious documents highlights the antiquarian book business as one of the most fascinating professions. 

Holographic Windows - Innovative Technology in the Service of Rare Books

The Laboratory of Digital Humanities at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has developed holographic windows which will be presented for the first time in France during the International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Grand Palais. The books presented in each window are highlighted with the projection of texts and images thanks to a wealth of computerized and interactive documentation. The mechanism allows images to be juxtaposed around a real document and to isolate or enlarge certain sections. The images seem to float in the air like a hologram. When the visitor approaches, a grid appears as if projected onto the manuscript to guide the eyes, emphasizing minuscule details such as annotations, comments or calligraphic signs, while new pieces of information appear to rise from the page, standing out from the text to give it an extra dimension.


Exhibition - Les Amis de la Reliure Originale

The Société de la Reliure Originale was founded in 1945 on the initiative of Julien Cain, the then administrator of the Bibliothèque nationale de Paris, and the bookbinder Paul Bonet. Only five other binders were deemed worthy of membership: Rose Adler, Robert Bonfïls, Georges Cretté, Henri Creuzevault and Jacques Anthoine-Legrain. Sixteen bibliophiles answered the call of the founders together with three booksellers: Pierre Berès, Georges Blaizot and Georges Heilbrun. For 25 years the Société organized exhibitions at the Bibliothèque nationale de Paris and participated in events in New York, Copenhagen, Stockholm, London and Zurich. In 1979, the name was changed to Les Amis de la Reliure Originale (ARO). Since then, ARO has organized numerous events, for example at the Grolier Club in New York (1987), at the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (1990), at the Maison de la Poésie (1991) and at the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris.

In 2014, SLAM has the honour of presenting another superb ARO exhibition in the Grand Palais. It brings together 120 works from 29 leading contemporary French artists, among them: Sandra Aftalion, Brigitte Benoist, Nathalie Berjon, Christine Giard, and Hélène Segal, along with decorative bindings created by Belgian and Swiss artists.

Discovering Rare Books

Everything you always wanted to know about antiquarian books but never dared to ask: Newcomers and young collectors will be welcomed to the world of bibliophily at a special book fair stand presenting a fine selection of rare and beautiful books for affordable prices. SLAM booksellers will answer questions new collectors might have while accompanying them in their first purchase and sharing their expertise and passion.

Guided Tours

Guided tours will take place several times a day, exploring the richness and diversity of the items presented at the fair.


Concerts every day of the fair performed by the talented students of the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Strings and piano. Romantic and classical repertoire.


Association Culturelle des Bouquiniste de Paris

They are to Paris what the gondoliers are to Venice... Their boxes are as green as the Parisian park benches, but that is where the resemblance ends. Many people feel their elongated form is reminiscent of a coffin, with their sloping lids paying reverence on the pavement side when closed and towards the river Seine when open, revealing their treasures to the passers-by. Sitting in groups of four or five on top of the curved stone parapet along the quays at the very heart of Paris, these are the boxes of the Bouquinistes.

Established on both banks of the river, from the Louvre to the Pont Marie on the right bank and from the Rue du Bac to the Institut du Monde Arabe on the left bank, the thousand boxes of these booksellers constitute a huge open-air book store containing more than 300,000 works. Often generalists and sometimes erudite specialists in the most diverse fields, around 240 bouquinistes are there all year in almost any weather. For the second time the Association Culturelle des Bouquinistes de Paris will attend the International Antiquarian Book Fair in the Grand Palais. As the missing, or complementary, link between sellers of new books and sellers of rare books, they will enthusiastically induct collectors into the magnificent world of their profession. 

Salon International du Livre Ancien & 25th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair

April 11-13, 2014, Grand Palais (Paris)

Vernissage (by invitation): Thursday, 10th April, 5 – 9 pm

Opening hours: Friday and Saturday 11 am – 8 pm, Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

Organised by: Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM), under the auspices of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)

For more information please visit the official website

(Pictures: courtesy of SLAM)

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