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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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Look What I Found at BTC: The Sign of the Cross

I like film souvenir books well enough, but with a few exceptions it's a little hard to get truly excited about them. De Mille's 1932 film, based on the play by Wilson Barrett, has a backstory about Charles Laughton as the Emperor Nero. Nero blames the Christians for burning Rome, and decides to put them all to death, as one is occasionally wont to do. There's also a love story between Frederic March as Rome's highest-ranking military officer, Marcus Superbus (really? Superbus? Why not "Marcus Gas Guzzling SUV"?) and Elissa Landi as Mercia, a cute Christian chick. You can see where complications might ensue.
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Article

VIDEO: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” - Talking Cartographic Data Visualization

Map collectors, dealers and experts are meeting this week in the Philippines at the 36th International IMCoS Symposium, held at the Manila Ayala Museum.
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Congress

2010 - Bologna Diary

More than 2000 antiquarian booksellers – in 34 countries – organized in 22 national associations – ILAB is the true global network uniting the leading experts of the rare book trade worldwide. Three days of meetings preceded the official opening of ILAB's 39th Congress: The ILAB Committee met on Saturday 18th September in the wonderful rooms of the San Giorgio in Poggiale Library. The Church was built at the end of the 16th century and kept by The Servite Order, then by the Jesuit Fathers; its library holds a rich heritage of manuscripts, incunabula, 16th century books, edicts, public notices and inscriptions.
In the evening the Committee members climbed high to the top of the Prendiparte Tower (59 m) - which once was a prison, and enjoyed a spectacular view of the old city from the terrace. The buffet, and the singing of the part time prisoners was legendary.
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Article

Le manuscrit médiéval - The Medieval Manuscript

This blog by Jean-Luc Deuffic and Kate Maxwell is exclusively dedicated to medieval manuscripts, up to and including their relationships with early printing.
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Article

41st ILAB Congress & 25th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair - Official Welcome by ILAB President Norbert Donhofer

Paris for the 41st ILAB Congress, preceded by the 25th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair and coinciding with the centenary of the Syndicat Français de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM). In his welcome speech ILAB President Norbert Donhofer traced the lines of SLAM's history, which is the second oldest antiquarian booksellers' association worldwide and one of the biggest and most influential organizations of the rare book trade.
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Article

Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de médecine (BIUM) - Guest of Honour at the Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair 2010

In March 2010 the Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Médicine (BIUM) will have the pleasure of presenting a selection of its most beautiful pieces, illustrating the history of Western medicine at the XXI. Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair. The heritage collections of the library are among the three richest in the world, alongside the National Library of Medicine (USA) and the Wellcome Institute in London. Anne-Marie Coulon has interviewed BIUM director Guy Cobolet.
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