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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

10,000 $ for the Best Book about Books

More than twenty bibliographies, biographies, library catalogues, catalogues of special collections, studies on bookbinding, fore-edge-paintings, map-engravers and on the history of the antiquarian book trade have already been submitted to the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography. It is still possible to submit more bibliographies or books about books simply by sending a copy to the Prize Secretary Arnoud Gerits (Diemen, Netherlands). They may be written in any language of the world and must be published between 2009 and 2012. Have a look a the books which have already been submitted.
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Article

53rd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair

The New York Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 53rd Anniversary. Presented by the prestigious Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the 53rd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair is without a doubt, the foremost book fair of its kind.
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Article

A Bibliography of Unauthorised American Editions of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 1904-1980

John Turner's new bibliography is an essential guide for any devotee of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit and of illustrators of children's books during this period. Illustrated with eight pages of color photographs, it contains over 300 entries published between 1904 and 1980.
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Booksellers

Talking Shop in Silent Street - Tony Cox of Claude Cox Old & Rare Books

My first scent of the world of antiquarian books had also come when I was still at school. Saturday afternoons would be spent in the many-storeyed dusty rooms of Thornton’s in Oxford -not looking for anything in particular, but taking great pleasure in handling an eighteenth century book, as a physical object as much as anything else.
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Article

In the Press - The Secret Libraries of History

"Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14,000 books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.It's been called Syria's secret library, and many view it as a vital resource."
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