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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Bookselling Online

Over 550 booksellers in 26 countries working together, achieving remarkable result in unprecedented campaign

Published on 08 Nov. 2018
“Amor Librorum Nos Unit” is the motto of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB, the international trade body for the rare book trade uniting booksellers across 36 countries. The motto has been quoted many times over the last few days and particularly the last few hours following an agreement with AbeBooks to reverse its decision to withdraw from a number of international markets.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


1956 - London

Translated by Mr. Martin Hamlyn from the official News Sheet of the Austrian Antiquarian Association
This Year the English Association (ABA for short) issued an invitation to London. The Association was holding its fifty year Jubilee, which coincided with the ten year jubilee of the ILAB. There was a record attendance at the Conference with over 160 foreign visitors so that (with a great number of ABA members and their wives and friends), all official functions were well attended, and at the Farewell Dinner there were over 350 present!Dear old London presented herself as of old. With here lovely parks, where, unexpectedly for us, deck chairs for everyone stood ready on the lawns, with her streets, mirabile dictu, full of considerate drivers, a refreshing lack of monster cars (though with plenty of imposing Rolls-Royces), everywhere friendly and modest, helpful people, staff not always greedy for tips, countless typically English businesses, looking back on a long tradition, with handsome galleries and libraries, and in them a profusion of the finest things, shown in a modern and practical fashion.As for the book trade with their inconceivably rich stocks, one has only to stroll through one of the big houses, Maggs, Quaritch, Edwards, Joseph and the rest, to understand what the English book trade means. To which it must be added that there are few pleasanter places in which to do business than the English book trade. If the antiquarian book trade as a whole complains of a lack of wares, the English trade even today is in the pleasant position of being able to count on quick replacement, since London is the place where the greatest supply is to be found. So every foreign visitor found a richly laid table ready, and, as we heard, some astonishingly large reductions were made on the occasion of the Conference. Further proof of the importance of these yearly Conferences for all concerned.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - William Bartram's Trials and Travels

Everybody has to find their niche in the world and for William Bartram it wasn't life as a merchant. He was decidedly unsuited for business of any kind. He was a nature lover, and eventually established himself as a botanist. Lucky for us. The man who gave us one of the best accounts of Florida during the British Period might not ever have gotten to Florida had it not been for his failure as a merchant.
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The Alec Guiness Archive at the British Library

The British Library has acquired the personal archive of Sir Alec Guinness. The archive includes more than 900 of his letters to family and friends and over 100 volumes of diaries from the late 1930s to his death in the year 2000. The letters and diaries of the award winning British actor enrich the British Library's collection of archives of great 20th century artists along with those of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
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FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS! - Melbourne Rare Book Week, July 17 to 27, 2014

The 2014 Melbourne Rare Book Week program is now available. From July 17 to 27, Melburnians, Victorians and interstate visitors will be drawn to our city to enjoy an eclectic program of talks, panel discussions, exhibitions, The University of Melbourne's Cultural Treasures Festival, and the 42nd Australian Antiquarian Book Fair, held at the University's historic Wilson Hall.
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ILAB History

Menno Hertzberger

Menno Hertzberger telles us the origin of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and Its First Few Years
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The business of prints - British Museum Landmark Publication & Exhibition

The British Museum has one of the greatest collections of prints in the world, and holds the UK’s national collection. The majority of this collection, which totals more than two million prints, was made in the years before the invention of photography. Due to the sheer volume of the collection it can become difficult to grasp its contents, and many of the prints are today very unfamiliar and puzzling. For the past century, prints have usually been discussed either as finished works of art or as illustrations of a particular subject. This exhibition reverses the perspective in a way that has not been attempted before, and endeavours to show prints as an object of trade.
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