“I felt strong enough to lift a mountain” declared Alexandre Dumas after a visit to Georgia in 1858.
Presidents of ILAB’s member associations certainly felt equally inspired after a week of meetings in the capital, Tbilisi.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. Well, it felt like a story at the time, and not without a whisper of magic. Celtic magic. Book collectors, after all, are irrepressible raconteurs. For every book in their collection, there is a backstory to spin. Here is one of mine:
The UK Guardian has picked up on one of the most significant archival discoveries of recent times; a first folio with hundreds of annotations by John Milton, possibly one of the most important literary discoveries of modern times.
The endowment of the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography has recently been funded with a further generous donation of $25,000 from the B.H. Breslauer Foundation of New York — Submissions are currently being accepted for the 2022 prizes.
“2009 is proving to be a truly historic one for ILAB. In Vienna we elected, by unanimous vote, to admit China and Russia into the League. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome these two great nations into the ILAB family. We all look forward to future shared cultural and business ties within our newly expanded rare book selling community and to meetings in Beijing and Moscow.”
"It is very pleasant on the first day to look around to see who has come from the other national associations; one looks for friends one met in Paris, in London, in Copenhagen." This is the charm of every ILAB Congress. What we call a global network today, has been ILAB's nature from the beginning. You meet old friends and colleagues from all over the world and have the opportunity to establish new friendships and good business relations. It was true for the 5th ILAB Congress in Brussels in 1951, and it will be the same in Switzerland in 2012.
We are pleased to inform you that the 3rd edition of the Antiquarian Book Fair "Libri Antichi e di Pregio a Milano", promoted by ALAI with the usual support of the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, will be held in Milan from March 27th to 29th, 2015.
The next landmark in Oak Knoll Press's history was in 1992 when we finally got the rights to John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors. This book had been substantially revised by Nicolas Barker, who had managed to keep Carter's humour while revising and adding new terms. It had grown considerably from its 1952 first edition. If you only have one book about books in your library, this is the one I continue to recommend.
Best story of the week was Ed Bayntun-Coward's recollection of his encounter with a glamorous woman at a party. She asked what he did for a living. Ed replied smoothly that he was an antiquarian bookseller – "What a contraceptive", she responded, immediately turning on heel and walking away.