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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

How to Read a Graveyard - The Guardian presents “The 10 best ... famous graves”

William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Bette Davis, John Keats, Sylvia Plath and, of course, Oscar Wilde whose grave in Paris is always covered with red lipstick kisses. The memorial - a naked birdman - was unveiled in 1914, but it had to be covered up because of complaints about the figure's exposed genitals. Oscar Wilde's grave on the Père Lachaise is a tourist attraction, as well as Jim Morrison's grave nearby.
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Article

Rebecca Romney's "Printer's Error" just published

ABAA bookseller and ILAB member Rebecca Romney of Honey & Wax Books, well known for her TV appearances in the History Channel's "Pawn Stars" has just published her first book "Printer's Error - Irreverent Stories from Book History". This book should be a delight to any collector, dealer or bibliophile in general. A wonderful idea to put together a collection of "absurd" moments in the lives of authors and printers throughout book history.
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Article

The ABAA and You

Susan Benne about the world's largest Antiquarian Booksellers' Association: the ABAA. "We are a trade association of over 450 members located throughout the United States. Our members specialize in fine and rare books, maps, documents, autographs, illuminated manuscripts, ephemera and prints which span the economic spectrum. We are united in a passion for books and related material and have bound ourselves to a Code of Ethics which guides us in our dealings with each other and our clients..."
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Article

Laurence Worms - New President of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA)

At the Annual General Meeting of the ABA on April 20, 2011, Laurence Worms of Ash Rare Books was elected President. Worms has owned and run Ash Rare Books since 1971, and is known as one of the leading dealers in first editions and other antiquarian, rare and fine books, maps and prints. He represented the antiquarian book trade on the (British) National Book Committee from 1993 to 2002 and has been five times an elected member of the ABA Council. Worms writes and lectures on various aspects of the history of the book and map trades. His long-awaited " British Map Engravers : A Dictionary of Engravers, Lithographers and their Principal Employers to 1850", co-written with Ashley Baynton-Williams, will be launched at the London Map Fair at the Royal Geographical Society in June 2011.
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