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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 21 July 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

ILAB History

1961-1970

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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Article

Massive Thefts at the Girolamini Library in Naples

Shortly after the reopening of the Girolamini Library in Naples in April of 2012 the Director, Marino Massimo de Caro, announced that 1500 books were missing (April 17). On April 20 the Library was closed by the Naples Public Prosecutor. Marino Massimo de Caro has been suspended and was investigated for embezzlement. On May 18, 1000 books, 240 of which have ownership stamps from the Girolamini Library were found in storage in Massimo Marino de Caro's home city of Verona, and on May 24 Mr. de Caro was arrested on the charge of embezzlement along with four others; a search warrant is out for a fifth. In the meantime Massimo Marino de Caro has confessed to the theft of thousands of books from the library and is cooperating with police in tracing them. A number of stolen items from the library have been confiscated by the authorities in Munich (16 items), London (28 items), New York and Tokyo (uncertain numbers). According to what is currently known and what Massimo Marino de Caro has confessed so far, it is very likely that the number of stolen books from the Girolamini Library is higher than 1500 but no definitive list of missing items has been published by Italian authorities so far. It appears also to be clear that the stolen books were spread out via the trade in several countries, in both Europe and elsewhere.
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Article

Searching For Books In The Digital Age

Disruption came to the world of book searching and the result, for the consumers at least, was a dramatic change for the better. What was once impossible became possible. What was once difficult became simple. What was once costly became cheap. And the vast availability of books online, coupled with new and powerful tools to search for them, enabled serious bibliophiles to pursue their interests in ways that were unimaginable two decades before.
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Article

The Remarkable Martin Stone: Remembering the Celebrated Rare Book Dealer and Blues Guitarist (Limited edition)

Rare book blog Booktryst has just announced the publication of its newest book and first fine press edition, The Remarkable Martin Stone: Remembering the Celebrated Rare Book Dealer and Blues Guitarist.
The book honours and remembers the life of Martin Stone with contributions from colleagues in the book trade, writers, actors, friends and book collectors.
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Article

Coming to Terms with Manuscripts

Manuscripts are unique items, though many of them are similar and share general characteristics. A hard and fast set of regulations, which few will follow and others will not understand, has, therefore, less relevance for manuscripts than printed books and allows me to present my remarks more as an essay than a formulary. Much of what really matters is, in truth, predetermined by the honesty, integrity and sense of self-mortification in the cataloguer and the degree with which he seeks personally to attain perfection in terms of accuracy and straightforwardness. But such considerations have not always faced down earnest legislators in the past.
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Article

Under the Auspices of ILAB – International Antiquarian Book Fairs Across the World

Over the year and on all continents, there is an exquisite selection of antiquarian book fairs, where book collectors and the world's leading experts share their passion for the printed book and our written heritage. Under the auspices of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and organized by ILAB's member associations amazing book fairs are held in Europe and America, Asia and Australia, from London and Paris to New York and California, Tokyo and Melbourne. The exhibitors are ILAB affiliates who guarantee high professional standards, high quality offers, the authenticity of the books, prints, autographs and ephemera for sale which are exactly described and accurately priced. On all these fairs, officially supported by ILAB, there is more than just the fascination of rare books: Here you can buy with confidence and trust in the expertise of the exhibitors.
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