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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


The Big Day Stay

It has always been my intention, since I began writing this column for Rare Book Review, to alternate chatty and anecdotal essays on bookish topics, with magisterial, carefully researched articles replete with detailed and incisive commentary on topics of immediate and vital interest to the rare book world. Thus after my self-indulgent and rambling article on poetry in the last issue, I was scheduled to reveal several exciting discoveries that would significantly forward the art and science of bibliography. And with that intention did I gather my copious research materials, as Heidi and I left for the weekend to our tiny cottage retreat by the shore in Cape May Point.
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Young Dealers / Old Books - Book Fairs, Hurricanes, Puppies, Oh My!

"On Tuesday, August 23rd I woke up late. I had set my alarm for 7 a.m., so that I could take a much needed shower and after hitting snooze for over an hour I abruptly woke up at 8:20, tied my hair up, threw on a dress and ran out the door. From that moment on it seemed as though all of Philadelphia was involved in a plot to keep me from my goal of an 8-hour work day. First the contretemps with my alarm, then loads of tourists crossing the street and finally the dreaded tour buses that haunt 5th and Market all summer long. I had just about given up when I finally reached the other side of the bridge. Five minutes to nine I get a phone call from Tom saying that Matt had gotten sick and did I want to go to Baltimore for the book fair?" Do you remember your first book fair? Ashley Wilde is the young cataloguing talent at Between the Covers. Her first book fair took place in - Baltimore.
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2018 - Los Angeles

43rd ILAB Congress
See you in L.A. from  3 - 11 February 2018!
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REUTERS.COM - 1,800 Rare Booksellers Worldwide Strike a Blow for Literacy

"What do Skype, a film star, literacy problems in South Sudan, and two women dealing in rare books and manuscripts have in common? They are the driving force behind a chain of worldwide events to create a more literate world. This April the booksellers of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) will again celebrate UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day with a chain of events one after another around the world. Organising a chain of worldwide events is not easy as Australian Sally Burdon and German Barbara van Benthem, both members of ILAB, have found, particularly as they live 16,285 kilometres apart and all the organisation was done by Skype and email. Not easy, but it can be done!"
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The Origin of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and Its First Few Years

Vividly I do remember the origin of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, in 1947, although certain details become somewhat vague. From 1939-1945 war reigned in Europe. Five long years had put up extra barriers between several nations. There was no communication. This fact enforced extra chauvinism and worse, hatred. Was there a possibility to do something about interhuman relationship, to bring nations more together? This was my dream; but how could this be realised. Only on common ground, on mutual interests, and therefore, for an antiquarian bookseller, by his love, the Book.
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