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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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The ABA and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Published on 27 March 2018
The ABA and ILAB look back at a long history. The ABA is relaunching its flagship fair in London this year, the oldest antiquarian book fair in the world, under the auspices of ILAB. This text by the late Anthony Rota, ABA bookseller and ILAB President of Honour, was published in 2008 in the ABA Directory.
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ILAB History

ILAB History

Published on 17 July 2013
Today the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers unites 22 national associations under one roof. Some of them had already been established when the League was founded in 1947/1948. Five of them were the driving forces: the antiquarian booksellers of Great Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands.
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ILAB History

Preliminary Conference

Published on 17 July 2013
In 1947 representatives from Great Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands met in Amsterdam for a Preliminary Conference. They discussed Hertzberger’s idea of forming an organization that counteracted the animosity and suspicion engendered by the Second World War. The new International League of Antiquarian Booksellers should foster friendship and understanding between the nations as the mutual basis for a fair and professional trade in the future.
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ILAB History

Copenhague 1948

Published on 17 July 2013
The ILAB was formally incorporated in Copenhagen in September 1948, with ten participating countries. Representatives from Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, and Italy joined their colleagues from Great Britain, France, Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands at the conference table. Denmark was holding a proxy for Norway
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ILAB History

1951-1960

Published on 17 July 2013
“Considering the dubiety with which our activities were treated it is pleasant to record that the Congresses in London in 1949 and in Paris in 1950 were very successful both socially and professionally, while the standard of hospitality in both cities was impeccable." (Muir)
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ILAB History

1961-1970

Published on 17 July 2013
The admission of Japan, the ILAB Bibliography Prize (now ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography) and the first ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair were the milestones of the 60s.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Highlights of the 56th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair

The 56th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair will soon open its doors (27-29th January) and presents 72 exhibitors from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Netherlands showing rare and valuable medieval manuscripts, books, autographs, and modern prints. The fair is affiliated to ILAB, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and organised by the German association, Verband der Antiquare. The fair organisers have just released some bibliophile treasures and true highlights that will be available for sale at the fair.
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Article

Nigel Beale and Tim Bowling in Conversation on Book Collecting, and Bowling’s new Book “In the Suicide’s Library”

Twice shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Poetry, Tim Bowling has won the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Poetry and two Alberta Book Awards. Nigel Beale met the author in Ottawa to talk about his new book In the Suicide's Library. Topics covered include book collecting, coincidence, suicide, the spirit, passion and harmony of books, the use of hands, the line between bibliophiles and maniacs and the importance of physical books to the culture.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Happy Birthday, Gun Maker Samuel Colt

July 19th is the birthday of inventor Samuel Colt (1814), who is remembered for the revolver that bears his name. Colt didn't invent the revolver but his designs greatly improved it and his assembly line manufacturing system made mass production of the sidearms practical.
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Article

Timbuktu Update - Timbuktu Manuscripts Project, Huma (Institute for Humanities in Africa) University of Cape Town

Timbuktu has often been invoked as a symbol of the most distant place on Earth, as a mysterious and exotic, but unreachable, attraction. Yet, it has a rich and diverse heritage and a fascinating past. The city and its desert environs are an archive of handwritten texts in Arabic and in African languages in the Arabic script, produced between the 13th and the 20th centuries. When the rebels occupied Timbuktu months ago researchers, librarians and archivists had to flee and to leave the city. The library with all the manuscripts was in danger to be burnt down. Until today nobody can definitely say what really happened, how many manuscripts were saved and how many were destroyed. The following report by the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project from the end of January 2013 describes the difficult and unsecure situation at that time.
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Article

Collecting - Postwar Germany in the Works of W.G. Sebald

Whose role is it to write postwar German fiction? Since World War II ended, numerous writers of great acclaim have come out of West Germany and the GDR, and later from reunified Germany. For instance, you might be familiar with the works of the West German novelists Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass, or with the GDR literature of Christa Wolf. While many writers of the immediate postwar period returned to the rise of Nazi Germany and its aftermath in their works, W.G. Sebald is a bit of an interesting case.
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