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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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1 - 8 / 25

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Women Writers: Julia Peterkin, Ellen Glasgow, Margaret Ayer Barnes, Alice Walker

"Everyone knows Alice Walker's 1982 novel The Color Purple, but not everyone knows that the first issue jacket has only one address for the publisher on the rear flap – later issues have two." - "Peterkin's Pulitzer-winning novel Scarlet Sister Mary (1928) turns up occasionally, but there we have seen two variants of the jacket and haven't yet been able to determine whether one precedes or not." - "Spoken pompously, and with an air of experience: "Yes, my dear fellow, its the only copy we've ever seen (sotte voce: this week)." What is worth collecting or not among the works of Julia Peterkin, Alice Walker, Margaret Ayer Barnes and Ellen Glasgow.
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Article

Rudimentum Novitiorum Sells For $1,150,000 At California International Antiquarian Book Fair

A scarce copy of Rudimentum Novitiorum, the first printed history of the world, published in 1475, and the first printed book to feature maps, sold for $1,150,000 at the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair this past weekend in Pasadena, CA, as did "The World's Worst Copy of Gatsby," a first edition, first printing train wreck with a significant remnant of the $175,000 dust jacket pasted within, for $500. Some thought it was worth twice that, a true silk purse stitched from a sow's ear.
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Article

BBC News: The booming trade in second-hand books

As 2018 came to an end, the BBC featured a rising trend in collecting antiquarian material and how the internet has changed the trade. "The rise of online has helped revive the second-hand book market, but what impact has it had on traditional, second-hand book shops?"
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Article

Confessions of a Vintage Shoe Fetishist

"Keep your Manola Blaniks, Giuseppi Zanottis, your Dolce & Gabbanas. When I need to snuggle up and spoon I go for vintage, old-fashioned ladies' shoes. It's like collecting rare books: Modern Lit. or Antiquarian? I prefer a shoe that's been around the block, is experienced and has character. They don't make 'em like they used to. As far as I'm concerned, they stopped making shoes when Chronos hit the twentieth century." Go shopping with Stephen J. Gertz and Booktryst!
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Article

A New Edition of A Gentle Madness - Catching up with Nick Basbanes

Ask any book collector about his favorite classic of collecting, and Nick Basbanes' Gentle Madness, first published in 1995, is undoubtedly at the top of the list. Now an updated edition of this book about the "Eternal Passion for Books" has been published. Rebecca Rego Barry asked Nick Basbanes about the book, how it affected his career, and what he's currently working on. Some snippets:
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