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Venice 1986 | | Venice 1986

Venice 1986

Published on 15 April 2011



Meeting of the Committee of the ILAB

On Sunday, September 14, 1986, 3 pm to 5 pm

Hotel Danieli, Venice


Present: The whole Committee, except Mr. Jacques van der Heyde, who was excused;  John Lawson, Past President.

Apologies: President of Honour, Mr. Georges A. Deny.

A telegram was sent to Mr. Jacques van der Heyde and Mrs. Corinne van der Peet.

The Committee considered the agenda in preparation for the Presidents’ Meeting and the General Assembly.

The first copies of the new International Directory were distributed to the Committee and the editors Mr. Hans Bagger and Mr. Heinz Pummer, as well as Mr. Jens Ris Bagger, were thanked for their enormous work to publish this very important book.




On Monday, September 15, 1986, 9 am to 10:30 am

at Fondazione Cini, Ile de San Giorgio


Present: The whole committee, except Mr. Jacques van der Heyde, who was excused; Presidents of honour: Bob de Graaf, Dr Frieder Kocher-Benzing; John Lawson, Past Presidents.


The Presidents of the following National Associations:

Austria                        Dr Krug

Canada                       Mrs Kahn

Denmark                     Mr Grosell

France                         Mrs Laffitte

Germany                     Mr Reiss

Great Britain                Mrs Grant

Italy                            Dr Soave

Japan                          Mr Kenichiro Nakao

Switzerland                  Mr Alicke

USA                            Mr Glaser


The following national associations were represented by one of their members:

Belgium                 Mr van Loock

Netherlands            Mr Gerits

Norway                  Mr Cappelen


Proxies: Finland and Sweden. The votes were held by Mr Hans Bagger


Two national associations were not represented: Australia and New Zealand as well as Brazil.

In all 19 votes were represented.


Designation of Scrutineers

Bob de Graaf and Dr Kocher Benzing were nominated scrutineers.


The President opened the meeting and thanked the ALAI for the invitation to hold a congress in Venice.

The president had also received a letter from Mr Nitta informing the assembly that he would be late.


2. Minutes of the Munich Meeting

They were approved by the Assembly and signed by the President.


3. President's Report

The President's Report would be read at the General Assembly in the afternoon.


4. & 5 Treasurer's Report and Annual Subscription

The Treasurer presented the "Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements" from April 1st 1986 to August 31st 1986. The finances of the League were in good condition. He had handed out copies of the amounts for the period to give everyone a chance to look at them.

In connection with the point "Subscription" he asked the Assembly for more money for the League. Due to the rate of inflation the running costs of the League's work were not covered by the present level of 10%. He thought it very important, because if membership of the League Committee is truly to be open to all, if all firms are to have the opportunity of putting members forward for election, the proper expenses, which can be very considerable, should be covered.

The next big task of the League will be the publication of the new edition of the Dictionary. It would be reported on later. The publication of this book would also require a large amount of money. Therefore it is important, that the League has a certain fund available.

The printing costs of the new edition of the Directory had now to be paid. The Treasurer mentioned that the League had a 60 days' credit arrangement with the printer and he asked the presidents to pay within that period, that meant, by the end of October 1986. This would avoid the League having to borrow further from the bank.

The Presidents of the national associations were asked for their agreement to a 10% rise in the subscription. All approved.


6. Directory - Editor's Report

A copy of the new directory was passed around; it was the first Directory that was made with the help of a computer program. Orders had been received from all countries, except Australia; they were being sent 12 copies because last time they had also ordered 12 copies.

Austria ordered 40 copies, Belgium 35, Brazil 5, Canada 50, Denmark 40, Finland 10, France 60, Germany 205, Great Britain 200, Italy 80, Japan 200, Netherlands 100, Norway 20, Sweden 16, Switzerland 80 and USA 200. That gave a total of 1505 copies.

This was about 450 sold copies less than last time. It had been hoped that 2000 copies could be sold at the beginning; 2400 copies had been printed. The President asked the national presidents very strongly to try to sell more and he asked all the members of the League to advertise the Directory in their catalogues. The retail price is $35.

With the new computer technique the League will be able to produce a new edition of the Directory in about 3 years. Though it will be necessary then to send out questionnaires, the national presidents were asked already to inform the editor of the directory immediately if there were any changes of addresses or new members.  This made it possible to keep the files of addresses up to date, which is very important.

Due to the computer it was now possible to have all the addresses of the League on labels, which may be sent to the associations, as had been done in connection with the congress of Venice. There might possibly be a small charge for this.

Mr. Loeb-Laroque again pointed out the great importance of the directory, being the most important thing the League did, keeping all members together.

In connection with the planned new edition of the Dictionary, the President had contacted Mr E Franco, Amsterdam, and Mr B Rosenthal, San Francisco. Both were willing to cooperate, but were also of the opinion that the text needed to be revised entirely. There were e.g. descriptions in English which were not used in USA and vice versa, there were American descriptions which were unknown in Great Britain. The new edition must also include the Japanese text. Mr E Franco had already collected a lot of notes for the Dictionary, which would make the work easier and quicken it.

But there was no doubt, apart from the Directory, the Dictionary was the most important publication of the League and the work on the new edition should start as soon as possible.

Mr Jörg Schäfer, vice president, proposed to send copies of the directory to periodicals, dealing with bibliography and bibliophily for a review. He had put up a list of those periodicals, but asked the National Presidents for further addresses if they knew any.


7. Newsletter - Editor's Report

Mr. Gerits reported on the just issued Newsletter n°38, which would be dispatched shortly. Most important was the first part of the "History of the SLAM" by René Cluzel. The second part would be published in the next Newsletter.

The editor of the Newsletter wanted to see the Newsletter - especially concerning the addresses - as a supplement to the directory and therefore asked the National Presidents to inform him of all changes in addresses and of new members, which he was going to publish in future newsletters.

To make the newsletter really interesting he asked the members for their advertisements and above all for their own contributions. He asked the national presidents very urgently to ensure the distribution of the Newsletter to all members, which was not always done in the past.


8. Bibliographical Prize

Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing informed the Presidents about the Prize. The condition forms had been sent off in January 1986 to the presidents of the national associations and until now he had received only 6 interesting entries. He hoped there would be more proposals until the end of the year and asked the assembly to give as much publicity to the competition as possible.

Professor Köster, a member of the jury, had died. A new member would be elected soon.

The presidents thanked Dr. Kocher-Benzing for his work.


9. Security

Even though there was nothing of pressing importance on this subject, Mr Bob de Graaf insisted on its remaining on the Agenda. This gave the national presidents a chance to comment on it.

The English and Canadian Presidents reported on activities of a Canadian Antiquarian Bookseller. He was not a member of the League and several colleagues and associations had had problems with him. More details may be obtained from Mrs Kahn, Montreal.

There was also a letter from Ingo Nebehay, who also warned against this Canadian bookseller and he recommended every member of the League to send a proforma-invoice first, if he is uncertain about the customer.

The president was asked to urge all of the national associations to contact Mr Roger Baynton-Williams if problems arose. He has considerable experience in dealing with those matters.

Dr Soave, the Italian president, reported on thefts of books in Italian libraries. Unfortunately, those libraries published only very incomplete descriptions - if they did it at all - and so it was very difficult to identify the stolen books.

It was pointed out, that the members should use the telephone chains and that the National associations should inform each other of those problems.

Mr Loeb Laroque proposed to send around a list with the exact dates of stolen books. He thought it useless to treat on lists of libraries with incomplete descriptions and being out-dated.


10. Elections

There were no vacancies this time.

Next year, the term of Mrs Woodburn, USA, runs out and it has to be considered by the American Association whether she can be re-elected or if they wish to nominate some other person.


11. Proposals for Discussion

The discussion of the Committee concerning a VAT sub-committee proved to be rather pessimistic. The difficulties between the different countries seemed to be insuperable.

At the meeting of the General Assembly in the afternoon, this subject was to be discussed again. Suggestions were asked for.

The French president, Mrs Laffitte, had cordially invited the League to hold its Congress in Paris in 1988. In spite of the present bad monetary situation of the French Association, she hoped to be able to organize a Congress as successful as the one in Venice.


12. Future Congresses and Presidents' Meetings

1987 - Austria/Vienna - Presidents' Meeting

1988 - France/Paris - Congress

1989 - Switzerland - Presidents' Meeting

1990 - Japan - Congress

1991 - Denmark - Presidents' Meeting

1992 - Germany (only intended) - Congress


13. Any Other Business

The Vademecum had to be revised and would then be published in the Newsletter, because in this way it was easier to keep it updated. Moreover the print was less expensive.

Photostats had been sent to the individual countries for correction. From 8 countries an answer had been received: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great-Britain, Japan and Norway.

No answer had been received from Brazil, France and Italy, as well as Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. Mrs Laffitte reported that she had not received that photostat. Another would be sent and she would answer soon.

The presidents thanked all the members for their work.


Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements

1 April 1986 - 31 August 1986


Cash in Bank

Midland Bank, London,

Account n°31127489                        GB £    0,000.00                                  

Transfer Da. Kr. 41,008.41

  ex Faellesbanken Ltd 2 April   3,256.00                                                                                           

Transfer Da. Kr. 9,000.00

   ex Faellesbanken Ltd 1 July                                                                                                      734.01



Subscriptions                          986.00

Newsletter Reimbursement       350.00

Dictionary                                 27.20

-----------------                                                                                                                1,363.20

                      -----------------                                                                                           5,353.81



Directory                                     2,264.76

Travel expenses                             386.29

Committee Meeting expenses           344.84

Postage                                           91.59

Secretary’s Expenses                      116.00

Stationery                                        39.30

Bank Charges                                  26.00    

------------   3,268.78


Cash in Bank

Midland Bank, London

            Account n°31127489       1,585.03

            Account n°73066223          500.00

            31 August 1986                            GB £ 2,085.03


I hereby certify that these accounts have been checked by me and found to be correct.

[signed: A. E. Smith, Certified Accountant]


The Bibliographical Prize Foundation

1 Febr. 1986 to 31 Aug 1986


Account N° 067007556535773 (Faellesbanken)

Danish Bonds, nominal amount: Da. Kr. 127.000,--

Value as per bookkeeping (1 Feb. 1986)                                                            Da. Kr.                        85,617.86

(Market value: Da Kr. 133,985.--)

Debt to the League per 1 Feb 1986      10,776.42


Drawn Danish Bonds                        3,000.00

Bought (106,500)                             3,220.00                                         



Banking expenses                                45.00

Banking fee re: loan                         1,600.00

-----------------                                                                                            12,641.42

Interest per 1 July 1986                     7,620.00


Debt to the League per 31 Aug. 1986  5,021.42                        


Value of the Foundation per 31 Aug. 1986                                                Da. Kr.                         80,596.44

(approx. 10,400 US $)


I hereby certify that this account has been checked by me and found to be correct

[signed Preben Thuesen, Bachelor of Commerce]



on Monday September 15 1986, 2:30 pm - 4 pm

at Fondazione Cini, Ile de San Giorgio


Professore Vittore Branca welcomed the General Assembly in the rooms of the Fondazione Cini and gave an interesting report on the foundation of the Fondazione Cini and its aims.

On behalf of the Antiquarian Booksellers Bernard Rosenthal thanked Professor Branca for the friendly welcome. The Italian President, Dr Vittorio Soave, welcomed all participants of the Congress in the name of the Italian Association and recalled that this 28th Congress was the second to be held in Italy. The book-fair, following the Congress, would be the first national and international one organized by the ALAI.

The President Hans Bagger expressed his thanks for the kindly words of welcome and opened the meeting of the General Assembly.

The President had received apologies from the President of Honour George A Deny, the committee member Jacques van deer Heyde, who is ill, and from the Dutch president Corinne van deer Peet. It was decided at the Presidents' Meeting in the morning that a telegram should be sent to Jacques van deer Heyde and Corinne van deer Peet.


1. Nomination of Scrutineers, Apologies, Voting Rights of countries present, and Proxies

see the minutes of the Presidents' Meeting


2. Minutes of the Munich Meeting

The members were advised that these minutes, published in the Newsletter n°38, had been approved by the Presidents. The General Assembly also approved.


3. President's Report

The President thanked the German Association for their invitation to Munich, where the Bibliographical Prize was given to Professor Gerhard Dünhaupt for his work "Bibliographisches Handbuch deer Barock-Literatur."

In his report in Munich, Mr John Lawson had stressed the importance of the League in the years to come with increasing problems with customs, taxes, import and export restrictions. This had caused a discussion and the president of the American association had suggested that the League should collect rules concerning import and export from the member countries. At the same time it was promised that Mr. Weinstein would supply further information about his ideas, but nothing further had been heard from him.

At the Committee Meeting in Amsterdam in March 1986 it was decided that in consequence the Vademecum, published by the League in 1979, should be updated and the informations published in the next Newsletter. The president had therefore written to the national associations asking them to up-date the information concerning their own country. Only 8 countries had answered so far; no answer had been received from: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. The President asked the representatives of those countries to be sure to send an early answer, addressed to Mr Gerits, Amsterdam.

The American President had suggested that the League ought to have a permanent secretariat. This was discussed at the committee meeting, but all committee members found that it was not possible at the moment for financial reasons.

Another important subject was the harmonization of VAT and the setting up of a sub-committee. To this point, the president expected a discussion and proposals under point 11 of the Agenda.

The Austrian President, Dr. Krug, had officially invited the League to hold a Presidents' Meeting in Vienna in September 1987. In order no to clash with the International Bibliophiles' Congress in Copenhagen, the Meeting in Copenhagen, the meeting in Vienna will take place from 7th to 8th September 1987. The President thanked Austria and the Austrian President sincerely for this invitation.

The Japanese President had written a friendly letter pointing out that the invitation to Japan in 1990 was not on the Agenda.

The Japanese president was asked to excuse this mistake.

It was also mentioned that Germany intends to hold the Congress in 1992 and that Denmark is willing to hold the Presidents' Meeting in 1991.

The President was asked to remind the members that, in the case of sales overseas, all are under the obligation to deduct VAT when included in the price.

The president mentioned two prominent members of the League who had died during 1986: Mr Grönhold Pedersen, Copenhage, President of Honour; and the Dutch dealer Dolf van Gendt, Amsterdam.

Mr Pedersen was especially active in the League's early years. He had taken part in the first conference in Amsterdam 1947 and had arranged the founding Congress in Copenhagen 1948. He had been a member of the committee for 10 years.

Mr van Gendt had also taken part in the preliminary meeting in Amsterdam and in the first Congress in Copenhagen. Although he had never been a member of the committee, he was always interested in League matters, and was very active in the arrangement of the memorable Congress in Amsterdam in 1975. At the Dutch anniversary last year he had given a lecture.

Letters of condolence from the League were sent to both families.

The meeting observed a minute's silence in memory of these two members.

The President thanked all members for their work and cooperation. He once again thanked the Italian Association very cordially for their generous invitation to hold the Congress in Venice. He specially thanked the Italian president, Dr Vittorio Soave, and the members of the committee who had organized the Congress and the Book Fair in spite of great difficulties.


4. & 5.

See the minutes of the Presidents' meeting.

The Presidents informed the General Assembly that at the Presidents' Meeting in the morning the National presidents had agreed to an increase in the annual subscriptions paid by the National Associations at the level of 10%.

The Treasurer hoped the members would not give their presidents too difficult a time about that. On the present level of subscription the running costs of the League's work were not being covered. If the League wanted to undertake such important tasks as the publication of the new edition of the Directory, or of the new edition of the international dictionary, it was important to have working capital on hand.


6. Directory (see minutes of PM)

7. Newsletter (see minutes of PM)

8. Bibliographical Prize

The Secretary of the Prize, Dr Frieder Kocher-Benzing, reported that so far only 6 submissions had been received but he hoped to get further proposals until the end of the year. He asked the assembly to give as much publicity to the competition as possible. Professor Köster, a member of the jury, had died. A new member will be elected soon.


9. Security

It was stressed by President of Honour Bob de Graaf, that this point must always be on the Agenda, because it gives the members a chance to comment on it.

The President was asked to urge all of the National Associations to contact Mr Roger Baynton-Williams if problems of this kind arise. He is an expert in dealing with these matters.


10. Election

There were no elections this year; but next year the term of the American member of the Committee, Mrs Woodburn, runs out and it has to be considered by the American association whether she can be re-elected or if they wish to nominate some other person.


11. Proposals for discussion

A proposal was received from the ABA. It was proposed that in view of the declared intention of the EEC to harmonize the VAT-rate throughout the EEC by 1992, the League should press for a zero rate on books.

This point aroused several controversial voices in the General Assembly.

It was mentioned that an agreement was very difficult, since not only the rates but the regulations differ very much from country to country. It was feared that in consequence of harmonization, the rate as such will be higher. In the Netherlands, e.g. the rate is 6%, in Germany 7%, in Denmark 23%, and in Italy 27%.

The President therefore thought it very difficult - if not impossible - to reach an agreement.

He explained again the attitude of the Committee, yet, if the General Assembly wanted the Committee to go on with this discussion it was certainly prepared to do so.

The majority of the speakers insisted on going into a campaign against VAT and proposed to build an alliance with the booksellers and the publishers. To reach this, a sub-committee ought to be built and eventually provided with a fund to support the work.

Mr. John Lawson, the former President, declared himself ready to cooperate in such a sub-committee.

As a result of the following voting, the General Assembly wished to go on discussing the subject and the committee will take up again the question of setting-up a sub-committee. New proposals will be presented at the next president's meeting.

Votes: 36 agreed - 15 were against it.


12. Future Congresses and Presidents' Meetings

see minutes of PM


There was no other business.


The President expressed his thanks to all the members for their work and closed the meeting.


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