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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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1 - 8 / 25

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

A New Edition of A Gentle Madness - Catching up with Nick Basbanes

Ask any book collector about his favorite classic of collecting, and Nick Basbanes' Gentle Madness, first published in 1995, is undoubtedly at the top of the list. Now an updated edition of this book about the "Eternal Passion for Books" has been published. Rebecca Rego Barry asked Nick Basbanes about the book, how it affected his career, and what he's currently working on. Some snippets:
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Article

Michael Trenkle, Fachbegriffe im Antiquariat

From „A" for „Abklatsch" to „Z" for „Zinkdruck". Michael Trenkle has compiled a glossary of terms commonly used in the antiquarian book business.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Thomas Paine

January 29 is the birthday of early American political activist Thomas Paine (1737), whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776) credited with inspiring American colonists to embrace the idea of independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution had already started but the work served to spur volunteers for the Continental Army. It was widely distributed throughout the colonies, read aloud in taverns, and unabashedly pirated. Some scholars say it was the first American bestseller.
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Article

Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries: Essays on Americanists and the Rare Book Market by the late William Reese

The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
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Article

Visiting fine books - Bologna belies those who predict the demise of the book

At Bologna's city centre, Piazza de Nettuno, we are queuing up early one September morning for the coach that is to take us to Ravenna for a day trip. Just then someone from behind sends a relay mail up the queue for me. It is an A4 size sheet of paper folded in the middle and stapled at the top. I unfold the sheet. A review of Geoffrey Nunberg's The Future of the Book downloaded from the net opens out. "The death of the book has been duly announced," says the review, "and with it the end of brick-and-mortar libraries…" I turn back to see if I can spot the bookseller who sent up the review. There is a smiling face deep down the line with a pair of eyes peering at me rather mischievously. The irony of the situation is not lost on me. Here is a California University futurist announcing the death of the book just when this large group of antiquarian booksellers is setting out on a tour of antiquarian libraries in heartland Renaissance.
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Article

Collecting Books about Book Collecting

The book arts and the history of printing, publishing and bookselling fall within this genre, as do books that recount the trials, tribulations and triumphs of individual book collectors. Indeed, some book lovers only collect books about book collecting. Books which systematically record the physical and textual components of other books according to a set criterion are known as 'bibliographies'.
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