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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

Oldest Library in Germany excavated

The Art Newspaper reports: "The foundations of a Roman building that is probably the oldest library in Germany have been uncovered in central Cologne in archaeological excavations..."
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Article

ILAB Pop Up Book Market – Haarlem, Netherlands

On 23 April 2016, from 2 pm to 5 pm, the ILAB dealers of Bubb Kuyper Auctions and Antiquariaat A.G. van der Steur will hold an ILAB Pop Up Book Market at Kruisstraat 3 in Haarlem, just beside Kruispoort – the old city gate which was blown up by the Haarlem inhabitants in the year 1573 to protect themselves against the Spanish invasion. Inmidst this beautiful historical location, the Dutch booksellers will offer rare and fine books, maps and prints - some of which you might never have seen before. Jeffrey Bosch of Bubb Kuyper Auctions will be present from 4 to 5 pm to estimate your own bibliophile treasures. And as all the ILAB booksellers on that day across the world, the Dutch colleagues will sell "symbolic books" to fill "empty bookcases" for the school children in South Sudan.
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Article

500 year old Waldseemüller map found at the Munich University Library

"Munich librarians have found a rare 16th century world map that first gave America its name as a continent. The version by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller survived World War II sandwiched between geometry books. The Munich version is smaller than the 500-year-old global map found in a German monastery in 1901 and handed over by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007 to the US Library of Congress. Only four smaller versions were previously known to have survived" (dw).
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Article

Collecting - “He was America”: Carl Sandburg

Admitting this is probably one of those phenomenally bad ideas I continuously have despite how much older I get, but I am one of those wicked people who pretended to know, well … something about this American literary star for many years. People would mention his name and I would be all, "Oh yes, Carl Sandburg, wow … it went for how much? Woah!" While casually hoping the conversation would change because as far as I knew I could not remember reading anything by this author and continually neglected to read up on him when I got to a quiet corner away from prying eyes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I know it is a shocker but I am not omniscient (though I'm sure it seems that way most of the time. Eh-hem). So now, just in case any of you out there are like me and think you can continue fooling people into thinking you know about this magnificent man … think again!
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Article

Collecting Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)

The prominence of printed material relating to Van Diemen's Land – that is, Tasmania before 1855 – amongst desirable Australiana is not at all surprising given that it was the second of the Australian colonies to be established (some three decades before Port Phillip/Victoria or South Australia).
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