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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

Rare Books - A Square Inch of Art

This blog post is illustrated with some examples of engraved head- and tail-pieces I have encountered in my old books (all titles present in the Short-Title Catalogue, Netherlands). Although they have never been a special subject on my blog, I will refer to two previous illustrated posts to make as much room as possible for new illustrations here. By the way, about my photo fingers, they are just there to give you an impression of their size (I mean the head- and tail-pieces, not my fingers!).
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Article

Collecting William Faulkner

Faulkner provides opportunities for the beginning collector, and challenges for the veteran collector. After his literary reassessment in the late 1940s Faulkner's works were printed in larger numbers and collectible copies of most of his later works are readily available. Prior to this, however, Faulkner was neither widely read nor appreciated. Fine copies of his early works are particularly difficult to obtain.
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Article

DE CARO AND THE GIROLAMINI THEFTS – More from Italy

Recent news on the Girolamini thefts: Marino Massimo de Caro had given an interview to an Italian newspaper in which he accused antiquarian booksellers and auctioneers to manipulate valuable books – scratching out stamps, removing old ownership labels and/or gluing those to others. ILAB and ALAI refused to file a law-suit against both the reporter and Mr De Caro for giving such a scandalous interview, but the President of ALAI, Fabrizio Govi, and the former Director of the Italian National Libraries, Dr Daniele Danesi, have responded to it in a serious and widely read newspaper in Italy. Read the following letter to the Presidents of ILAB's member associations, by ILAB President Norbert Donhofer:
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Who is Anne Marie?

As personal papers and archival collections are increasingly sought after by librarians and collectors, we have accordingly been conducting a fair bit of original cataloguing of various special collections materials in order to keep up with the demand. I've thus become better at identifying and describing the papers and ephemera of obscure authors and artists, and even a few famous punk rockers unknown only to me; but every now and then I am confronted with anonymous or original materials of considerable interest which I cannot identify, despite my best efforts. Here for example is a hand-painted illustration from the 1930s signed "AM". Can anyone identify this Unknown Woman?
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Article

Rare Books and Suicide Bombers

"Walking into the New York Antiquarian Book Fair in Manhattan's Armory, you get a sense of what suicide bombers must feel when they enter paradise and start in on those 72 virgins. For a bibliopsycho, like me, this was paradise at its most varied and delectable."
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Article

Preserving the photographic heritage of the Middle East

"When Bank of America Merrill Lynch launched its $1m conservation grant programme in May 2010, the Arab Image Foundation (AIF), a Beirut-based non-profit organisation, applied and hoped for the best. When the recipients were announced, the young foundation was among distinguished institutions such as the Courtauld in London, the Hermitage in St Petersburg and Madrid's Reína Sofia to have conservation projects selected. Now that the project is under way, the foundation's director Zeina Arida admits she was surprised to be selected." Snippets from an article by Emily Sharpe in The Art Newspaper.
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