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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

CABS – or seeing the book trade with clarity

A week at the Colorado Rare Book Seminar is a week like no other I know. It is a highly practical week, it is an inspiring week and it is one of those weeks when, at least metaphorically, you feel you can see for miles. I felt as though I was standing, together with everyone else who attended, on a hill above the plain of bookselling. This hill on which we stood together had a view so good that the trade was fully revealed and clarified. The strengths and weaknesses of the trade were shown with coherence something that is very difficult, if not impossible to achieve in the day to day, month to month rush of the ordinary bookselling business.
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Article

Promote the ILAB Metasearch – with a new WordPress plugin!

Do you have a blog or website built with WordPress? If so, ILAB has a plugin created especially for you. Enable it on your website and the ILAB search engine will be available to everyone who comes to your site. Sitting unobtrusively in your sidebar, it will beckon all bibliophiles to explore the offerings of the world's greatest booksellers without having to leave your domain. iscovering this powerful search tool on your blog may even encourage some new visitors to bookmark your site and return to your home page the next time they want to look for books.
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Article

Selling and Collecting Books – Nigel Beale in Conversation with Antiquarian Book Dealer William Reese

"Perhaps America's most important booksellers. He won't say it, but I will", Michael Ginsberg says about William Reese. With a catalogued inventory of over 40.000 items, and a general inventory of over 65.000 William Reese Company is among the leading specialists in the fields of Americana and world travel, and maintains a large and eclectic inventory of literary first editions and antiquarian books of the 18th through 21st centuries. The firm was established in 1975 by William Reese who issues frequent catalogues in his fields of interest, publishes works related to Americana bibliography and is author of many articles on book collecting and the rare book trade. Moreover he has been active with the Yale University Library for many years, funding a number of fellowships in the Beinecke Library, and being a member of the committee to raise funds for the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library. William Reese gave Yale major collections of 20th century writers such as Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Listen to Nigel Beale's audio interview with William Reese about book selling, book collecting, and cutting old pies in new ways.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books - and Ephemera: Dandruff Piles

Books sit squarely on shelves. They are discrete, replicable units. They have titles, authors, and places and dates of publication. They organize nicely into classes – "fiction" and "non-fiction," for example. There is agreed-upon language to describe condition, and there are bibliographical references that talk about the history and physical makeup of a book.
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Article

Under the Auspices of ILAB – International Antiquarian Book Fairs Across the World

Over the year and on all continents, there is an exquisite selection of antiquarian book fairs, where book collectors and the world's leading experts share their passion for the printed book and our written heritage. Under the auspices of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and organized by ILAB's member associations amazing book fairs are held in Europe and America, Asia and Australia, from London and Paris to New York and California, Tokyo and Melbourne. The exhibitors are ILAB affiliates who guarantee high professional standards, high quality offers, the authenticity of the books, prints, autographs and ephemera for sale which are exactly described and accurately priced. On all these fairs, officially supported by ILAB, there is more than just the fascination of rare books: Here you can buy with confidence and trust in the expertise of the exhibitors.
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