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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

Art and the World's First Novel

What is generally acknowledged as the world's first novel was written by a Japanese woman a thousand years ago. The Tale of Genji, by Murakasi Shikibu (known as Lady Murakasi in the West), is regarded to be an accurate description of life in the imperial court in the Heian era (794 - 1185 CE). The daughter of a scholar and an officer of the court, she was given a male's education. Being a lady-in-waiting herself, she was privy to life at court.
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Article

Fictional Characters

In 1963 William Freeman, an Englishman, created the first Dictionary of Fictional Characters. It made 458 pages and was published by J.M. Dent Ltd. in London. The author was 83 years old when he finished this 2-year research project.
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Article

Collecting Science Fiction - Karel Čapek and the Origin of the Word Robot

Karel Čapek's Czech play RUR, (Rossum's Universal Robots) is notable for numerous reasons. Written in 1920, the play's commentary on the politics of its day earned its author a spot on the Nazi most-wanted list. RUR details a robot revolution that would overthrow the dominant class, humans, and lead to their extinction. Above all, the play is most well known for introducing the world to the word, "robot." In fact, before Čapek's play, what we think of as robots were mainly called "androids" or "automatons," with "automaton" meaning a self-operating machine. In Czech, "robota" translates to "forced labor." It's associated with the type of work done by serfs during the feudal ages.
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Article

Norbert Donhofer - President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)

At the Ordinary General Meeting on 13th April 2014 in Paris the presidents of ILAB's 22 national member associations voted for Norbert Donhofer (Austria) as new ILAB President. He succeeds Tom Congalton (United States) who served as President from 2012 to 2014; and he will be supported by ILAB Vice-President Gonzalo Fernandéz Pontes (Spain).
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Article

A Bookseller’s Adventure in Europe: Part 1

"One of the joys of being a bookseller is the chance to take occasional trips overseas as part of my business. My latest adventure was a two week, three country trip by plane, train, car, and boat to England, the Netherlands, and Hungary (with an airport layover in Poland). I saw lots of old friends and made some new ones, bought books, finalized a publishing deal, and ate many great meals. The main purpose of the trip was to participate in the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller's (ILAB) Committee meeting in Budapest." Part 1 of Bob Fleck's adventures in Europe.
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Article

Shakespeare's First Folio Lends Drama to the Sydney ILAB Pop Up Bookfair on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day

24 hours of ILAB Pop Up Fairs across the world on April 23, 2015! This is how the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) will celebrate this year's UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. This important celebration of literacy, books and reading is held annually on April 23: Shakespeare's birthday. On this day ILAB antiquarian booksellers will be leaving their shops behind and gathering together with a small selection of their best stock to show what beautiful items they deal in. The first in a series of over twenty Pop Up Fairs from Australia to Asia, Africa, Europe and America will start in Sydney. And what location could be more appropriate for the Sydney launch than the State Library of New South Wales?
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