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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

Have you recently become a bookseller?

Would it help if you could get regular advice from an experienced ILAB antiquarian bookseller?Over the past few months, ILAB has developed the ILAB International Mentor Programme which was launched in January. The ILAB International Mentor Programme harnesses the enormous good will of our associates/members worldwide to offer a truly extraordinary range of expertise in, as this is written, no less than 9 languages, to support less experienced booksellers where ever they may be. We can now envisage such situations as a Dutch mentor supporting a young American bookseller, an American mentor helping a young Russian bookseller or an Australian mentor chatting regularly with their mentee in Malaysia. It is also just as likely that the mentor and mentee might be within the same country or city – there are far fewer limitations than there have ever been.
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Article

Brussels 2017

SALON DU MONT DES ARTS - LIVRE ANCIEN ET ESTAMPE
BRUSSELS RARE BOOK & PRINT FAIR    22 - 24 June 2017 
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Booksellers

Roger Gaskell

“I can think of more sensible occupations, but I can’t think of any more pleasurable.”

(Charles Cox)
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Article

Canada: The Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair, 8 -10 November, 2013

By most accounts, the change of venue for the 2013 Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair (TIABF) to the Frank Gehry designed Art Gallery of Ontario (known locally as the AGO) was a resounding success (I say most and not all, only because I didn't speak to every exhibitor).
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Article

Extremely Rare Turkey Mill Ream Wrapper Surfaces

Beginning as a cloth fuller, by the early eighteenth century the Turkey Mill had wholly converted to making paper. In 1740 James Whatman assumed tenancy of the mill, enlarged it, and, assisted by famed British printer, John Baskerville, developed a new form of fine quality paper suitable for a greatly expanded range of printing and art work; the paper became the sought-after choice of artists such as J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Gainsborough.
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Article

500 year old Waldseemüller map found at the Munich University Library

"Munich librarians have found a rare 16th century world map that first gave America its name as a continent. The version by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller survived World War II sandwiched between geometry books. The Munich version is smaller than the 500-year-old global map found in a German monastery in 1901 and handed over by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007 to the US Library of Congress. Only four smaller versions were previously known to have survived" (dw).
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