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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Congresses and Meetings

2017 - Copenhagen

Published on 16 Aug. 2017
Every year, the presidents of all 22 national antiquarian bookseller’s associations that form the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), meet at the President’s Meeting or an ILAB Congress. For 2017, the Danish Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association ABF has invited the international rare book trade to Copenhagen. This will be a week of formal meetings with reports and updates from each country, but it is also a week of exchanging ideas with colleagues, networking and a programme to visit some of Copenhagen’s cultural and bibliophile treasures!
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


New Venue Proves a Huge Success with Buyers and Sellers at 55th London International Antiquarian Book Fair

ABA Press Release: In its 55th year, the London International Antiquarian Book Fair achieved excellent sales figures – up by 22% to £3.85 million, which given the current economic climate, has surpassed expectations. For the first time, the Fair took place in the National Exhibition Hall of Olympia, West London, from Thursday, May 24 and ran until Saturday, May 26, 2012. Just under 500 visitors – many who had queued to come in - came through the doors in the first 40 minutes of the Fair which comprised of 185 exhibitors* from 17 countries.
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Thanks, Bruce McKinney!

Every once in a while we encounter events that we know will be benchmarks in our careers as antiquarian book dealers. The first shop, with its smell of fresh cut pine shelving, the first big buy, the first book fair, the biggest book fair, the biggest buy, the luckiest find, the first whale (dealer slang for a big buyer) … all these things will be chapter titles in the book of our days in the trade, written out as memoirs, or only recollected as memories. To their number must be added appraisals (for those of us who engage in such shenanigans) – the first one, the biggest one, the one that was challenged by heirs or IRS. The best one. I spent last week on a new chapter in my book of memories. It will filed in my memory bank as "Appraisals, Best."
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"In Good Order But Poor Condition" - ILAB Patron of Honour Dr. Michael Knoche in F.A.Z.

The former director of the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar and ILAB Patron of Honour recently wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper about digitisation, book restoration and the state of Germany's libraries.
"In Good Order But Poor Condition" is an interesting read about the importance of digitisation, but also about the need for research material not only to be available in digitised format.
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How To Shop at a Used or Rare Book Store Without Being Murdered

"One of the questionable compensations which used booksellers [the rare books, not the sellers] receive in return for devoting themselves to a precarious vocation is a constant exposure to all the varieties and extremes of human behaviour at its most eccentric." So begins The Protocols of Used Bookstores, a serio-comic tract written and recently published by Toronto fine and rare bookseller (the rare books and the seller) David Mason. Within, Mason lists forty-four Rules to be heeded by the used and rare book buyer when patronizing a brick and mortar shop if they wish the proprietor to give them the time of day and a piece of their expertise as opposed to a time of death and a piece of their mind. Mason has put forth these rules "to help make your quest for a book simpler."
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ILAB History

ALAI History 1947-2011

On an autumn day in 1947, a small group of book dealers met in Milan to give life to the Circolo dei Librai Antiquari. They were not many, but they were set on granting a cultural dignity to the trade of antiquarian bookselling, on fostering friendship and understanding with foreign colleagues, on cooperating with libraries and institutions for the conservation of cultural property, and on providing collectors with a code of ethics that guaranteed a fair and professional relationship between rare book dealers and their customers. In 1971, the members of the association had increased to a few dozen when the Circle became the Associazione Librai Antiquari d'Italia.
The history of the ALAI, the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, by:
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31st Amsterdam Antiquarian Book, Map & Print Fair, October 29-30, 2010

This year's Amsterdam Antiquarian Book, Map & Print Fair will be held on Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30 at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. For the first time both Dutch antiquarian associations, the NVvA (Nederlandsche Vereniging van Antiquaaren) and the BOB (Bond van Handelaren in Oude Boeken), have agreed to cooperate, resulting in up to 65 Dutch and foreign exhibitors. Publishers and bibliophile societies will also present themselves during the book fair.
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