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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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ILAB

The Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne, a hundred years young

The Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) was founded in 1914. Its long history shows that the field of bookselling was quick to adopt a collective vision of its role in transmitting written heritage. Promoting and even defending antiquarian books and the reading thereof requires the combined efforts of the numerous players in the field of bookselling, each specializing in a given field but all contributing to achieving the same objective.
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ILAB

Murray G. Hall - VAO and ILAB Patron of Honour

The Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VAO) is delighted to announce that Murray G. Hall has been awarded the ILAB Patron of Honour for his outstanding contributions within the world of bibliophily and for his numerous studies in the history of the book and its provenances.
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ILAB

Pictures from Italy - ILAB President's Meeting in Siena, September 2013

"Siena is like a bit of Venice, without the water", Charles Dickens wrote in his "Pictures from Italy" (1846). Indeed, there are not enough words to describe the beauty of Siena in Tuscany, whose medieval centre has rightly been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Siena is famous for its art and culture, libraries and museums, the medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year on the Piazza del Campo, and most of all: for its magnificent atmosphere. The four days in Siena from 26th to 29th September, 2013, brought together 18 presidents of the League's 22 member associations. They came along together with their spouses from the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Hungary, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. Fabrizio Govi, president of the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ALAI), was the perfect host and organizer. He did not spare any effort to make the stay of the ILAB delegates as comfortable as possible and went to great lengths to prepare a very enticing programme. It provided the ideal background for a President's Meeting that gave interesting insights into recent developments of the rare book business along with fruitful and controversial discussions about the future of the trade.
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ILAB

Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography – R. J. Howgego’s Encyclopedia of Exploration

When the Prize Jury meets in fall 2013, its members - Felix de Marez Oyens (B.H. Breslauer Foundation), David Adams (Manchester University), Jean-Marc Chatelain (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), Poul Jan Poulsen (Aldus Antikvariat), Umberto Pregliasco (Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco), and Arnoud Gerits (A. Gerits & Son) - will look over more than 70 bio-biographical studies on a wide range of subjects. One of them is Raymond John Howgego's Encyclopedia of Exploration.
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ILAB

Wanted! Internships for Three Students from Russia and Scotland

A global "ILAB School" without borders: The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers offers internships to students and beginners in the rare book trade who wish to widen their knowledge through practical learning and to plug into the worldwide network of antiquarian bookselling. ILAB booksellers are very welcome to join the ILAB Internship Program and to provide young students an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience in the international rare book business at any time and in any place in the world. Applicants are carefully chosen after they have contacted ILAB Vice-President Norbert Donhofer, who has initiated the Internship Program in 2009 together with Eric Waschke (Canada) and Professor Dr. Olga Tarakanowa (Moscow State University of the Printing Arts). Former interns spent six to eight weeks in Austria, Netherlands, Germany and Hungary (Alena Lavrenova and Anastasya Zhikhareva), Australia (Pavel Chepyzhov), the United Kingdom (Julia Kulyamzina) and the United States (Julia Kulyamzina). Right now ILAB is looking for the following internships:
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ILAB

Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography - Michael Suarez & H. R. Woudhuysen: Oxford Companion to the Book

In short: it is THE book about books. The Oxford Companion is a unique work of reference about all aspects of the book including traditional subjects such as bibliography, palaeography, the history of printing, editorial theory and practice, textual criticism, collecting, and libraries as well as new aspects and developments that have come up in recent decades with electronic publishing. The Oxford Companion does not only cover every imaginable book-related subject, it does not only trace those subjects in the history of the book from ancient times to the present day. No: This impressive two-volume work also pays particular attention to how different societies shape books and how books shape societies - throughout the world, from Europe and North America to the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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ILAB

Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography - Ernst Fischer: Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile

The seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933 was a decisive event also in the world of book collecting and antiquarian bookselling. Hundreds of rare book dealers, booksellers, publishers and auctioneers – among them the most famous of the trade – were murdered by the Nazis. Those who survived were forced to close their companies or they were forced to hand their antiquarian bookshops, publishing houses and auction houses over to the Nazis. Only if they left behind their whole existence was it possible for them to leave Nazi Germany and to escape to other countries all over the world. Some emigrants were fortunate enough to build up a new business in their new home country; a few of them became very successful, whereas other antiquarian booksellers or publishers never found their feet again.
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ILAB

THE WORLD’S BEST BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS – 16TH ILAB BRESLAUER PRIZE FOR BIBLIOGRAPHY SUBMISSIONS

During the 41st ILAB Congress, preceded by ILAB's International Antiquarian Book Fair, both in Paris in April 2014, and both coinciding with celebrations around the 100th anniversary of the Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM), the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded. This prestigious international Prize of US $ 10,000 for a scholarly work in the field of bibliography is awarded every 4 years.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Warburg Institute Library, London, is once again in danger, 80 years after being saved from the Nazis

The Warburg Institute Library holds about 350,000 books. It was originally founded in Hamburg by Aby Warburg (1866-1929), one of the most brilliant intellectuals of the 20th century. Warburg's enormous collection – which documents the history of the Renaissance and the influence of antiquity on modern culture in an interdisciplinary approach - was transformed into a scholarly institution called Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg. The library was located in Hamburg (Germany) until the year 1933. Four years after Aby Warburg's death his collection had to be brought out of the country because it was in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis. The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg was relocated in London, 1944 it became associated with the University of London, and in 1994 it became a founding institute of the University of London's School of Advanced Study.
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Article

Collecting Literary Treasures - The Wall Street Journal about Book Collecting in Modern Times

"Collecting books is about passion, not words. "There is nothing at all like the frisson one gets opening a book catalog and paging through, looking for treasures," says Annette Campbell-White, a prominent book collector and venture capitalist from New Zealand." Snippets from an excellent article by Goran Mijuk in The Wall Street Journal, mentioning the ILAB site as one of the best places for book collecting in modern times.
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Article

The Art of American Book Covers - Ball Covers Identified by Lee Thayer

In 1970 Charles Gullans and John Espey conducted two interviews with Emma Redington Lee Thayer (1874–1973), co-founder (with Henry Thayer) of Decorative Designers, the New York firm that created thousands of book cover designs. The firm was started about 1895 by Henry, Emma joined him the following year, they married in 1909, were divorced in 1932 and DD closed. In 1919 Lee Thayer, as she then called herself, published her first mystery novel, which was followed by another 60, the last issued in 1966.
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Article

Madame Guillotine

During the Reign of Terror, large-scale public executions were conducted, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, executed in 1793. Thousands were sentenced to the guillotine by the Revolutionary Tribunal, often on little or no grounds - mere suspicion of "crimes against liberty" was reason enough. Death estimates range from 16,000 to 40,000 during this time. The executions were popular entertainment and attracted huge numbers of spectators. A group of female citizens, the tricoteuses ("knitters"), became regulars, functioning as macabre cheerleaders as they watched while knitting. The man most associated with the Terror was Maximilien Robespierre, and as the appetite for executions waned, he was arrested and executed in the manner of those he condemned - by Madame Guillotine.
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