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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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ILAB History

Anthony Rota

Published on 08 March 2011
It happened that in 1971 I was the president of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association when it was Great Britain's turn to act as host to the biennial congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the umbrella organisation for national associations of antiquarian booksellers across the world.
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ILAB History

Anton Gerits

Published on 01 March 2011
In 1985 I was elected to the committee of the ILAB, the international umbrella organization then uniting the national associations of eighteen countries, now twenty-one. The problems a small national association like the NVvA has to cope with do not differ fundamentally from those faced by the ILAB.
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ILAB History

Bob Fleck

Published on 01 Feb. 2011
I first met Bob Fleck in 1998 in Vienna during an ILAB Congress. My husband was then a member of ILAB’s internet sub-committee chaired by Bob. He gave me the impression of a jovial man, yet with a head for serious matters, always keeping in mind long term goals and finding ways to achieve them.
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ABA History

ABA History 1906-1984

Published on 02 Jan. 2010
This short survey of the British ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS' ASSOCIATION consists of the account of its first half-century prepared by Dudley Massey for the fiftieth anniversary in 1956 (slightly revised) with a continuation to the present year by Martin Hamlyn. It was published in the ILAB Newsletter 36.
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ABA History

ABA History 1906-1984, Part 2

Published on 01 Jan. 2010
At this point - except for a tributory bow towards all those, named or not, who had set and kept the ABA in motion, and a passage on the then imminent fiftieth anniversary and tenth Congress - Dudley Massey's account concludes. To the far from dauntless continuator its coverage seems considerable and its evidence of determined burrowing in files and minutes impressive.
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ALAI History

ALAI History 1947-2011

Published on 01 Dec. 2010
On an autumn day in 1947, a small group of book dealers met in Milan to give life to the Circolo dei Librai Antiquari. They were not many, but they were set on granting a cultural dignity to the trade of antiquarian bookselling, on fostering friendship and understanding with foreign colleagues, on cooperating with libraries and institutions for the conservation of cultural property, and on providing collectors with a code of ethics that guaranteed a fair and professional relationship between rare book dealers and their customers. In 1971, the members of the association had increased to a few dozen when the Circle became the Associazione Librai Antiquari d'Italia. The history of the ALAI, the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, by:
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ILAB History

Further Reading

Published on 01 Oct. 2010
The quotations are taken from memoirs and articles about the League: Barbara Kaye, Second Impression. Rural Life with a Rare Bookman. Oak Knoll Press 1995Menno Hertzberger, The Origin of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and Its First Few Years (in: Aus dem Antiquariat 9, 1977) Menno Hertzberger, Boeken, veel boeken - en mensen. Herinneringen aan Internationaal Antiquariaat Menno Hertzberger 1920-1970, Vantilt 2008 Percy H. Muir, Half a League Onward (in: Aus dem Antiquariat 9, 1977) Georges A. Deny, Le Prix Triennal de Bibliographie fondé par La Ligue Internationale de la Librairie Ancienne (in: Aus dem Antiquariat 9, 1977) Anton Gerits, Books, Friends and Bibliophilia. Reminiscences of an Antiquarian Bookseller. Oak Knoll Press 2004Out of Print and into Profit. A History of the Rare and Secondhand Book Trade in Britain in the Twentieth Century. Edited by Giles Mandelbrote. The British Library and Oak Knoll Press 2006Sheila Markham, A Book of Booksellers. Conversations with the Antiquarian Book Trade 1991-2003. Sheila Markham Rare Books and Oak Knoll Press 2007 Chapters and excerpts are published (with the permission of Bob Fleck and the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels) on this website.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

La Fondation de l'Association des Libraires d'Ancien d'Australie et de Nouvelle-Zélande

Ce court mémoire fut présenté sous forme de livret aux présidents participant à la réunion de la LILA des Présidents des Associations Nationales, qui a eu lieu pour la première fois en Australie, en octobre 1997.
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Article

Searching for New Sources in Western History

All historians must be concerned with their sources. In many instances these are easily accessible, far more so today than in the past, in the relative convenience of professionally run university libraries, historical societies or museums. Since World War II academic institutions in the United States have enjoyed an extraordinary growth in their collections of the raw materials of American history, coupled with technological advances which have made it vastly easier to catalogue, locate and reach the original documents within the protective web of institutional control. It has never been easier to reach the books and manuscripts that are the bases of historical research.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Melbourne, New South Wales, before 1850

From 23th to 26 November, 2010, the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers invites dealers and collectors to Melbourne to enjoy the 37th ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair. 36 of Australia's leading booksellers will showcase fine, rare and collectable books – a brilliant chance to explore new fields of collecting. A special tip by Peter Arnold: "Melbourne in 1850, on the eve of the gold discoveries of the following years, was already a thriving port with a settler population of more than 20,000. There is a considerable contemporary literature on the subject; but, for the collector, it seems much smaller in total because all of the local publications are rare."
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Article

Man created absurd world in plot to sell stolen Shakespeare folio, court hears

"Raymond Scott, who lived with his elderly mother in a County Durham cul-de-sac, created an "absurd" fake world involving an imaginary playboy lifestyle and a lost book hoard in Cuba, a jury at Newcastle crown court was told."
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Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair – 5th to 7th March 2015. Subscribe now!

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) is pleased to announce the Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair 2015. As a celebration of its 50th anniversary, the ABAJ will be holding the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Tokyo from 5th to 7th March, 2015. ABAJ was founded in 1964, the same year of the Tokyo Olympics. Currently, with the hope and excitement towards the 2020 Olympics, the Japanese economy is in an upswing. The venue for the book fair will be the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo, which was also the site of the past two ILAB Book Fairs, one of them organized exactly ten years ago on the occasion of ABAJ's 40th anniversary.
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Article

Recently published - The Oxford Companion to the Book

"This magnificent reference work is a tribute to - and celebration of - a revolutionary invention ... An extraordinary tour de force, a cornucopia of bookish information ... These volumes, then, are a paradise for book-lovers " (Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph).
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