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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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ILAB History

1981-1990

Published on 17 July 2013
By the 1980s the biennial congresses were attracting several hundred delegates. A certain amount of business gets transacted (the subjects cropping up most frequently being standards of collation, the training of new entrants to the trade, and relationships with the auction houses). Its harsher critics say that the League is only a talking-shop – and it is true that the social side of congress life is very pleasant, the national association sponsoring each congress taking great care to mount an interesting programme.
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ILAB History

1991-2000

Published on 17 July 2013
Expanding to the Global Market : During the 30th ILAB Congress and the 13th International Book Fair in Tokyo 1990 the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Korea (ABAK) were elected as the 18th ILAB member. Two years later Czech booksellers formed the Svaz Antikváru CR (SACR which joined the League during the 32nd ILAB Congress in Amsterdam in 1994. The Spanish Asociación Ibéria de Librerias Anticuarias (AILA), founded in 1990, also joined ILAB.
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ILAB History

2001-2010

Published on 17 July 2013
The beginning of the 21st century saw the first woman at the head of the League: Australian bookseller Kay Craddock was elected ILAB President during the Congress and the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Edinburgh 2000. Craddock, meanwhile ILAB President of Honour, was succeeded by Bob Fleck from 2002 to 2006, and Michael Steinbach 2006 from to 2008.
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ILAB History

Perspectives

Published on 17 July 2013
In 2008, the ILAB Prize for Bibliography changed its name into ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography to honour a very generous gift granted by the Breslauer Foundation. The Foundation was set up by Dr. Bernard H. Breslauer (1918-2004), an ILAB dealer who had a life-long passion for bibliography. Years of work by the ILAB Committee, and especially by Bob Fleck, resulted into the best of all solutions. The contact with Felix de Marez Oyens, consultant and President of the Breslauer Foundation, provided the final key to the funding problem: a gift of $108,000 allows this special prize for Bibliography to exist in perpetuity.
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ILAB History

Percy H. Muir

Published on 08 March 2011
As I sat, or stood, on the platform in Amsterdam in 1947, presiding over the first ever international meeting of antiquarian booksellers, I often wondered just how far the enthusiasm displayed by those present was shared by members of their respective associations.
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ILAB History

Barbara Kaye Muir

Published on 08 March 2011
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers - ILAB to English-speaking members, LILA to the French-speaking - came into being the following day. Its constitution, drawn up by the ten presidents, was approved by the general assembly, its officers and executive committee duly elected. Its birth had not been easy, the labor had been protracted, and it would suffer growing pains for years to come; but it was a wanted child, and the Danes saw to it that its christening was suitably celebrated.
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ILAB History

Einar Grønholt-Pedersen

Published on 08 March 2011
The history of ILAB is full of personal memories. Since its beginnings the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has been a highly effective business organization, a network for the professional book trade, and it has been more: The League is an international family.
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ILAB History

Georges A. Deny

Published on 08 March 2011
Dans le monde du livre ancien et de la recherche bibliographique, deux personnages sont, jours après jours, confrontes à des problèmes de recherche, d'identification et d'évaluation d'oeuvres anciennes, précieuses ou non: Le Conservateur de bibliothèque et le libraire antiquaire.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Closing of the American Bookstore

It has been said that today's individual bookseller websites are the modern version of open shops of yesteryear. Certainly our own website was greatly influenced by Serendipity and the original Borders, as I detail in a separate essay. Is this the end of the American bookstore? Nothing like. Just the coincidental closing of two great individual, independent stores through entirely different circumstances. They live on, vigorously, in the memory of all who appreciated them. Owning and operating a bookstore has NEVER been an easy way to make a living. But booksellers are an obstinate and romantic lot. From their corps arise, from time to time, people with enough business sense to actually support their Quixotic dreams. Serendipity and Borders have closed, but independent bookstores like them will always be around.
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Article

ILAB Internships – Out of the Classroom, into the World: Madrid, Spain 2013

My internship in Spain is over – six weeks, spent in this beautiful country, has ended up and I am back to Russia to my family. These two weeks in Madrid were full of impressions and events. Gonzalo Fernandes Pontes, president of AILA, and his wife Lourdes made everything to enrich my knowledge in antiquarian books and its market, to help me with my research, not to talk about their hospitality and readiness to give me a hand anytime.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Norman Mailer

Mailer has enjoyed great public esteem, exceeded perhaps only his own opinion of himself, ever since his first book The Naked and The Dead was published in (1948). The book is notorious for the cheapness of the materials employed in its construction, and don't be surprised when you have to pay a chilling premium for a truly fine copy. However, just because a dealer says its a truly fine copy, don't accept it at face value. Among its usual flaws are extensive rubbing to the bottoms of the boards (which seems to have a thinner skin than George W. Bush at a Mensa meeting), and tanning to the white lettering on the spine.
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Article

Collecting Literature on Socialism - The Libraries of Anton Menger, Theodor Mauthner, Wilhelm Pappenheim und Bruno Schönfeld

In the early years of the 20th century scholars and collectors like Anton Menger, Theodor Mauthner, Wilhelm Pappenheim und Bruno Schönfeld established huge collections of books, manuscripts and pamphlets on the history of socialism. Their famous libraries comprised thousands of books, and they were all situated in Vienna. Within the following decades all these libraries were destroyed or brought out of the country under different circumstances. Gerhard Oberkofler's profound study tracks the history of these famous libraries.
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Article

Books and Hope for South Sudan … Help fill the empty bookshelves on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day

"Peace is not something that exists on a piece of paper. True peace is created in the hearts, minds, and actions of women and men. True peace will exist when all citizens of South Sudan sincerely accept each other, respect each other, and can start honest and open dialogues with one another to resolve their differences amicably. True peace will only exist when the 10,000 children and youths who participated in this conflict are given the education they deserve and helped to re-integrate into society ..." Forest Whitaker
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