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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

Graphic Novels and The Private Library

Rare books, modern first editions - graphic novel? "Book collectors, like any other group of human beings, have their faults. One of the most common is that we too often dismiss out-of-hand any sort of book collecting that does not appeal to us personally." Author and librarian L. D. Mitchell about the joy of collecting the extraordinary.
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Article

“Gelos” – Rare Book Auctions in Russia

Gelos was established in Moscow in 1988 and is renowned for being the leading Fine Art and Antiquities auctioneers throughout Russia, with offices throughout Europe in Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Prague, Riga, Warsaw and, recently opened, in London (Knightsbridge). It is the largest auction house in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The company carries out appraisals and makes expert examinations, holds auction sales, sells antiquities from its galleries and salons, forms private and corporate collections. Selling at auctions is generally practised and widely spread in the West. On the Russian market Gelos' activities are innovative. A report by Alena Lavrenova.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Truman Capote

The books of the tiny terror of New York drawing rooms continue to be eagerly sought after. A young phenom, his books were mostly published in relatively large (for the time and genre) first printings. Thus when collecting Capote it is even more important then usual to look for particularly fine copies, as mediocre copies of most of his books abound.
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Article

Reminder Customs - Plant Samples entering Australia

Message from the ILAB President:The recent destruction by Australian authorities of plant samples entering Australia (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/08/australian-biosecurity-officials-destroy-plant-samples-from-19th-century-france) leads us to remind all affiliates of the need to check the laws pertaining to any shipment before sending to another country.
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Article

BUDAPEST 2016 - ILAB CONGRESS & INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

Have you already registered for the ILAB Congress and / or for the succeeding ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair? Have a look at the promising programme and do not hesitate to subscribe. In a series of articles we will introduce you to the most exciting places of Budapest – libraries, museums, archives, music halls and other famous sites. Joins us on our virtual tour through the Hungarian capital. Today we will invite you to a virtual tour through the: Treasures of the National Library Széchenyi.
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Article

Matching the Right Wine to the Right Rare Book

"Of the debacle at the ILAB Congress in Madrid, where I denounced all Riojas as swill not suitable to even gargle with and to be accompanied only with cheap reprints of Lorca on a bad day, and of the subsequent riot outside the U.S. embassy and then nationwide strike, I shall say no more." A BOOKTRYST wine tasting in several lessons ...
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