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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


1965 - Amsterdam

By W. R. Fletcher
“Dear Colleagues, We have the honour to give you herewith full details about the First International Antiquarian Bookfair. We cordially invite all members of national associations affiliated with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers to take part in this manifestation.“ With these words Nico Israel and Bob de Graaf, Chairman and Secretary of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (NVvA) announced the first ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair. At the Ravenna Congress 1964 the Dutch proposal to organize a fair under the auspices of the League was unanimously carried. A year later, from October 5 to 9, 1965, ILAB dealers met at the Arti et Amicitiae in the centre of Amsterdam for their first joint fair in the history of the League. W. R. Fletcher was among the exhibitors.
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'The Most Agreeable Servants of Civilization', Booksellers and Librarians in a Changing World – A Conference Report

Three categories of people attended the recent joint conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) and the National Library of Australia, held in Canberra on 19 and 20 May 2014 – librarians, booksellers and collectors. Its title was 'The Most Agreeable Servants of Civilization', Booksellers and Librarians in a Changing World. You can see the program at
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The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade

Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert's presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers' job along the 20th century.
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Recent Book Thefts in the Library of the Abbey of Montecassino

The Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association has published a list of books stolen from the Library of the Abbey of Montecassino. The library's director, Dott. Francesco Rosa, has kindly given permission to inform all ILAB booksellers about this recent theft in detail.
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