Skip to main content
About ILAB |
| What is ILAB

Quality, not Quantity

Published on 01 May 2014

ILAB logo22 national associations and 2000 rare booksellers in 37 countries under one roof: This is ILAB. Members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers are the national associations, their members are affiliated to the League, and known as ILAB booksellers or ILAB affiliates. Their expertise assures buyers of  the highest standards of integrity and professionalism – from Canada to South America, from Scandinavia to South Africa, from Russia or Japan to Australia. 37 countries and 22 antiquarian booksellers’ associations? Not all countries have their own booksellers’ organizations. ILAB affiliates in Argentina, Israel or Ireland, for example, are organized in the British, Spanish or German associations: ABA, AILA or VDA.

There are thousands of antiquarian booksellers on the internet

Fewer than 2000 are of a high enough standard to be ILAB dealers. Knowledge, expertise, many years of experience, and a high quality stock of rare books are essential to become an ILAB bookseller. The League upholds, and its member associations subscribe to, a Code of Usages and Customs.

The Code means that ILAB affiliates assure:

the authenticity of all material offered for sale
the expert and proper description of all such material
the disclosure of all significant defects or restorations
the accurate and professional pricing of all material
the clear marking of all prices
the utmost care in the conduct of appraisals or valuations

Throughout the world book collectors can be sure that wherever they see the ILAB logo, the offer is of high quality, the prices are accurate and the descriptions made according to the terms and customs internationally agreed upon. Buy books with confidence – from an ILAB bookseller.


ILAB booksellers are experts, the knowledge of 500 years of book printing stands behind their every day work. Encouraging scholarship and academic research in the history of printing is one of the main aims of the League.

The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography of $10,000 is generously sponsored by the Breslauer Foundation. The prize is awarded every fourth year to the author(s) of the most original and outstanding published work in the broad field of bibliography. Three scholars or librarians and three antiquarian booksellers form the panel of judges. With the ILAB Breslauer Prize of Bibliography the League draws attention to the best academic work, to reward and honour it in appropriate terms, and to publicize its support for the original scholarship on which the book trade so much depends.

See a gallery of images from the Awards Ceremony of the 2018 Breslauer Prize For Bibliography here. 

Breslauer Prize


  • share