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Stockholm 1983 | | Stockholm 1983

Stockholm 1983

Published on 12 April 2011





Dear Colleague,

It does not seem a year since I was writing to you in the last Newsletter - I am not quite sure where the time has gone! The one thing that has struck me quite forcibly recently, is the amount of young booksellers there are in this country. it is encouraging to see another generation coming along (even if we cannot all understand the prices!). When booksellers and policemen are looking young - I must be getting old! Though I am told that growing older is only a bad habit that busy people do not have time to form. If this is the case then I should think that most booksellers are certainly not growing older and in some cases might even become younger! Anyway it is good to see another generation following on in Great Britain - is it the same in hour country?

The highlights of the International League year was the Presidents' Meeting in Stockholm. Karna Wachtmeister and the Swedish association went to a great deal of thought and trouble to give us all a really magnificent time. Everything went extremely smoothly and efficiently with some wonderful outings and meals. The business meetings proved to be very useful, and the time for informal discussion appeared to be a great success, as we ran a full hour over our time, and even then it was difficult to stop some of your Presidents from talking! Let us hope we can repeat the discussion time at the General Assembly in London, when all of you can have your say!

Jörg Schäfer the editor of the Newsletter tells me he is still receiving enough interesting matter from you. Surely a few members in seventeen countries have something worth saying. A welcome addition to this Newsletter is the first in what we hope will be a series of histories of affiliated associations. The first history is that of the oldest member, the ABA, and has been compiled by Martin Hamlyn, the early part based on a previous history by Dudley Massey.

I am delighted to be able to tell you that at long last I have managed to extract a name from most member countries, to be the contact person for the new International Security Chain. Roger Baynton-Williams of the ABA has given this much time and will be talking to us about it at the London Congress. We are all mot grateful to him for his dedication and efforts.

In the last Newsletter I drew attention to Article 4 of the League's Usages and Customs which states: "The supplier must receive the full amount of his invoice; therefore all clearing and bank charges shall be charged wholly to the purchaser." Do not forget there are frequent fluctuations in the exchange rates, so please allow for them. This year I would point to Article 8 "All booksellers should, in a spirit of friendliness and except in special cases, grant their colleagues, members of the ILAB, a discount of at least 10 per cent on the price marked - some booksellers do not always follow this fraternal rule and I would ask you to do so.

Now the London Congress is almost upon us - the first Congress since New York in 1980. I understand that the price for the Congress in dollars is about the same (not bad in four years), but of course, owing to the fall in sterling and other currencies, it is not so good for some countries. However, I do appreciate the effort made by so many people to be present and I am sure we shall all have a great time. How successful it is depends to a large extent on your contribution - so come prepared to take part and above all enjoy yourself! It is a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with your colleagues from all over the world. Try not to keep only the company of your compatriots - some of the best memories and most useful discussions are from informal meetings with booksellers from other countries. In the early days of League Congresses, (with no need of book fairs run in conjunction) there was a great spirit of international cooperation. Let us all work to find that spirit in London and continue it.

I send you my greetings and very best wishes

John Lawson, President





Present: the entire Committee.

Excused: Messrs. F. De Nobele, Fl. Tulkens and E. Gronhold Pedersen


The President opened the meeting at 2:30 pm, with a welcome to those present and took up the agenda:


1. Approbation of the Minutes of the Committee Meetings of January 26, 1983 at Stuttgart and of June 15, 1983 at London. Both were approved unanimously by the Committee.

Dr. Leona Rostenberg remarked that the Committee Meeting in January at Stuttgart

creates problems for the American members: the bad  weather causes travel delays and there are no direct flights to Stuttgart - all flights involve a transfer in Frankfurt. Dr. Leona Rostenberg asked it it is not possible to change the place for the meeting at the beginning of the year.


2. President's Report;

3. Treasurer's Report; and

4. Report of the editor of the Newsletter: The President proposed that the three reports only be read in full at the General Assembly.


5. Directory.

The editor, Mr. Hans Bagger, announced that he expects the New Edition to be published in the next year (1984). The bad health of his co-worker, Hans Pummer who is actively engaged in the compiling of the Directory, has caused a delay in the preparations. Mr. Hans Bagger intends to send out the necessary questionnaires to the national associations in January 1984. Several practical propositions for the composition and improvement of the Directory are in consideration. Hans Bagger announced that his firm will make available their computer for taking the data which will be used for the 1984 and following editions. The Committee approved and agreed to recompense the firm of Rosenkilde og Bagger for the use of their computer. In the name of the Committee, the President thanked Hans Bagger and his son for the work and time they spent of the compiling of the next Directory.


6. Bibliographical Prize.

The President had several conversations with Dr. Kocher-Benzing, the secretary of the Bibliographical Prize. Dr. Kocher-Benzing is looking forward to the future works to be submitted. The next prize, the 8th, will be awarded in 1986. The President will urge the National Associations to publicize as widely as possible the bibliographical prize in their respective countries.

At London, the President proposed to the Committee to elect Dr. Kocher-Benzing  as President of Honour. This proposition, unanimously accepted by the Committee, shall be presented to the Presidents’ Meeting on the 22nd of September 1983. If accepted, Dr. Kocher-Benzing will be informed immediately by the President.


7. Security.

The President intends to ask each national president to explain the functioning of their security systems. It will also be interesting to learn about their problems with thefts and relations with the national police, etc.

After the discussion of the first 9 points on the agenda of the presidents’ meeting, the President proposed to discuss point 10 (a, b and c) informally.

The President closed the meeting at 4:30 pm.





Present: The entire Committee, and the following national presidents or representatives:

Austria            Werner Taueber

Belgium            Albert van Loock

Canada            Mrs Helen Kahn

Denmark            Peter Grosell

Finland            T. Olsoni-Nilsson

France            Mrs Jeanne Laffitte

Germany            Mrs Susanne Koppel

Great Britain            Keith Fletcher

Japan            Mitsuo Nitta

Netherlands            E. Franco

Norway            B. Ringström

Sweden            Mrs Karna Wachtmeister

Switzerland            Walter Alicke

USA                        Mrs Elisabeth Woodburn Robertson

Apologies: the presidents of honor, Messrs. F. de Nobele, Fl. Tulkens and E. Gronhold Pedersen; the presidents A. Rizzi (Italy), A. Gerits (Netherlands), Townsend (Canada), K. Hince (Australia & New Zealand) and Fr. Zisska (Germany).

The President opened the meeting at 9:30 am with a welcome to the presidents and the delegates.

1. Scrutineers: Messrs. Taueber and Ringström were nominated. - Proxies: Mr. K. Fletcher received voting rights from Australia, Mr. John Lawson from Italy.

2. The Minutes of the 1982 Presidents' Meeting at Amsterdam and those of the Committee Meeting at Stuttgart on the 26th of January, 1983 were approved.

3. President's Report. The president extended warm thanks to Mrs Karna Wachtmeister for the reception and generous hospitality given by the Swedish association to the committee members and to the presidents.

The president read to the Assembly the letter of apology which he sent to the president of the Australian Association, saying that he completely understands the reasons for which he had difficulty sending a delegate to Kyoto in 1981.

The president expressed his thanks to the French Association for the good organization of the 7th Bibliographical Prize award. He regretted not being able to attend the ceremony because of ill health.

Mr F. De Nobele let the president know that he regrets the coincidence of the dates of the meeting in Stockholm with those of the congress of the International Bibliophiles. Great Britain in 1984 and Germany in 1985 kept track of the Bibliophiles' activities to set the dates of the congress and assemblies organized by them.

In the name of the League, the presidents congratulated Dr L Rostenberg and Mrs M Stern for the award which they have received from the American Association for the History of Printing.

The President thanked the committee members for the work they have accomplished since his election. He wishes to receive more information from the national associations.

The president thanked the committee members for the work they have accomplished since his election. He wishes to receive more information from the national associations.


4. & 5. Treasurer's Report and Annual Subscription.

Mr Hans Bagger, our excellent Treasurer, read his report on the state of the League's finances. The report was unanimously approved. Because of the additional costs of travel and the future costs of the new Directory, Mr Bagger proposed to raise the associations' subscription by 10%. The assembly of presidents accepted his proposition.


6. Directory.

Mr Hans Bagger, editor of the Directory, announced the publication of its new edition during 1984. The previous edition is already three years old. The new edition will be completed by Mr Hans Pummer, co-worker of Mr H Bagger, using for this the computer facilities of Rosenkilde og Bagger. The secretaries of the national associations will receive questionnaires to be filled out by each member in January 1984. The edition will be 3000 copies. The president thanked Mr Hans Bagger and his son, as well as Mr Hans Pummer for the accomplished and future work for the next edition.


7. Newsletter

The editor, Jörg Schäfer, thanked the associations which sent information to be published in the Newsletter n°35, but he regretted that generally he receives too little information (changes in the national committees, new membership lists, etc.). J. Schäfter proposed that the Newsletter keeps its current form; being, together with the directory, the foremost representatives of the ILAB. This proposition was accepted.


8. Bibliographical Prize.

The president asked that the absence of the Prize's secretary be excused. Dr Kocher Benzing would like each national association tell him the name of a delegate who will care to publicize the Bibliographical Prize in his country.

The committee's proposition to elect Dr Kocher-Benzing as president of honour was put before the presidents' assembly and it was unanimously accepted. Our president will be happy to give the news to Dr Kocher Benzing. The title will officially be conferred at the next Congress in London in September 1984.


9. Security.

The president urged the Assembly to read carefully the communication concerning security published by the English association (and printed in the newsletter n°35).

Mrs E Woodburn, president of the ABAA, told us that she attended a conference in the USA about book stealing in public libraries. The thefts becoming a real problem; it is necessary that the responsible librarians become more and more vigilant and especially that they notify as soon as possible the discovered loss of books. This is the only way to apprehend thieves and avoid ensuing troubles. Each association should sensitize the librarians to the problems caused by theft. It is also very important that the associations work closely with the police.

The president asked that the associations submit the name of a security delegate who will be in contact with Mr Baynton Williams, who centralizes all security information for the English association.


10. Future Congresses and Presidents' Meetings

1984: 27th congress of the ILAB, from the 15th to the 18th September, followed by the 10th Internaitonal Book Fair (at the Park Lane Hotel) from the 19th to the 21st (or 22nd) September.

1985: Presidents' Meeting in Germany in the second half of September.

1986: 28th Congress of the ILAB, in Italy.

The president proposed to discuss the Points 10 a, b and c of the agenda informally in the afternoon and the meeting was adjourned for lunch.

The following propositions, received by the committee, were the subject of discussion and reflection during the afternoon: Letters from Mr A. Gerits and Mr van Gendt.

The proposition of the Belgian association arrived too late to be put on the agenda. This concerned the taxation of books and was brought to the attention of the presidents during the meeting. In view of the importance of the subject it was proposed to submit a copy of the text to the governments of the respective countries of all associations affiliated in the ILAB. The president asked each association to let him know as soon as possible the name of the Prime Minister or the person responsible of their governments to take into consideration the Belgian proposition.

The Presidents' Meeting was closed at 5:00 pm.



Paris, 6 March 1984


Present: John Lawson (President), Hans Bagger, François Chamonal, Dr. Maria Conradt, Jörg Schäfer, Jacques Van der Heyde, and the Presidents of Honour, F. De Nobele and Fl. Tulkens.

Apologies: received from Dr. Leona Rostenberg and G. Deny.

The President opened the meeting at 9 am and welcomed those present. He thanked François Chamonal for the invitation and organization of this Committee Meeting in Paris.


1. The Minutes of the Committee Meeting at Stockholm on the 21st September 1983 were adopted.


2. President’s Report. Dr. Leona Rostenberg had expressed her surprise to the President of not being informed at the Stockholm meeting of the choice of Paris for the next Committee Meeting. The President told Dr. Leona Rostenberg that there had been a complete language misunderstanding, as he thought that the secretary had informed her after she had left the meeting.

At the Stockholm meeting the Belgian association submitted a proposition concerning the taxation of books. This proposition held the attention of the assembled presidents. The president had written to all the national associations asking for the name of their Prime Minister or of the officer the best suited to receive the Belgian proposition. All associations, except two, have answered. The President will write to the heads of those States represented by the associations of the ILAB and submit a petition based on that forwarded by the Belgian association.

The Dutch association informed the president about the death of two of their members: Mr. Max Elte and Mr. Van der Peet.

The President wrote to Mr. Anton Gerits to thank him for the proposition which he had submitted to the League.

The Japanese Association celebrated its 25th anniversary and the President sent his congratulations in the name of the League.

The President had advised Dr. Kocher-Benzing that the Presidents’ meeting is to confer on him the title of President of Honour of the ILAB.


3. & 5. Treasurer’s Report and Report on the Directory. Hans Bagger, our devoted treasurer, presented the state of the League’s finances from September 1 to December 31, 1983. All subscriptions of the national associations have been paid. The travel expenses heavily strain the finances of the League. The treasurer hopes that the sale of the new 1984 directory will bring an appreciable income. Hans Bagger expects the new Directory to appear in September or October 1984.

The costs for the printing of the Newsletter are also very high. The editor proposes to raise the advertisement fees by 15%.

The President thanks Heinz Pummer, Hans Bagger and his son for their time and care spent on editing the new Directory.

4. Newsletter, Report of the Editor. Jörg Schäfer complained about the lack of contributions and information coming from the National Associations. Dr. Leona Rostenberg had suggested to publish the Newsletter twice a year. The editor thinks that this is not possible because the official texts to be published are too few to fill two issues. The Committee agreed that the Newsletter continues to be published once a year. The President thanks J. Schäfer for his work on editing the Newsletter.


6. Bibliographical Prize. Dr. Kocher Benzing had received 21 bibliographical works competing for the prize. The list of those works will be published in the next Newsletter.


7. Security. The President had written to the national associations asking for the names of the delegates of security. He has passed them on to Mr. Bayntun-Williams who collects all information concerning security problems.

François Chamonal suggested discussing security at the next congress in London.


8. ILAB Congress in London. The Meeting of the Presidents (preceding the General Assembly) has been set for Sunday, September 16 at 9 am.


9. Any Other Business. Jörg Schäfer points out that several antiquarian booksellers insert a notice in their stock catalogues, announcing that their prices are “net to the trade” for either a fortnight or a month. The President will point out this practice which is against the “Usages and Customs” of the League, in his report for the London Congress.

The League’s Dictionary is now out of print and the Committee would like to see it republished and, if possible, revised. Mr. De Nobele suggests a list of abbreviations to be added. Hans Bagger reasons that it would probably be too heavy for the League’s finances to bear the costs for the production of the new Directory and those occasioned by reprinting the Dictionary at the same time. The problem shall be discussed at the coming Congress in London.

The President closed the Meeting at 11:45 am.

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