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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

Fine presses and the bookseller

The recent CODEX Foundation book arts festival and symposium The Fate of the Art: The Hand Printed Book in the 21st Century, or Kochfest as I like to call it, was by all accounts a highpoint for the fine press community. It provided a well-deserved spark to all who attended and participated, being the most significant event for the trade in many many years.
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Article

Bibliographies - Dust Jackets

Online: Great War Dust Jackets - NYPL Digital Gallery - Classic Crime Fiction - Hogarth Press Illustrated Dust Jackets - Modern Library Dust Jackets and Bindings: 1917-1939 - The ModernLib ML Database - Books for Girls - Vietnam War Literature Dust Jackets - The Robert Weinberg Collection
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Booksellers

Challenges Facing the Antiquarian Book Trade

Nigel Beale met Adrian Harrington in October 2010 at the Toronto Antiquarian Bookfair to talk about the challenges that face the antiquarian book trade. A brilliant audio interview with ILAB Immediate Past President Adrian Harrington, published by Nota Bene Books.
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Article

Book Review - The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English

For the bibliophile, Timbuktu is synonymous with the legendary city in the African desert and its legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts.The West African city of Timbuktu, in Mali, was established in the 12th century by the Tuareg and gained prominence as a cultural and intellectual centre in the 15th century.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Irritable Tribe of Poets

Only three issues of Theo were published, but it still took me a couple of years to track down a complete set. I'd been fascinated by the magazine ever since I first ran across a copy of number 2, which has a rather unique design; the covers are stapled off center, so that the fore edge is layered; the front wrap ends before the first leaf, so that the name of each contributor is visible, and the rear wrap extends past the text block.
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