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.
On Saturday 17th March, the 2018 edition of the annual Stockholm Antiquarian Book Fair will open its doors! We spoke to Mats Peterson, owner of Stockholm's Centralantikvariatet in Stockholm and President of the Swedish association SVAF.
A week at the Colorado Rare Book Seminar is a week like no other I know. It is a highly practical week, it is an inspiring week and it is one of those weeks when, at least metaphorically, you feel you can see for miles. I felt as though I was standing, together with everyone else who attended, on a hill above the plain of bookselling. This hill on which we stood together had a view so good that the trade was fully revealed and clarified. The strengths and weaknesses of the trade were shown with coherence something that is very difficult, if not impossible to achieve in the day to day, month to month rush of the ordinary bookselling business.
A year ago the spectacular theft of the Codex Calixtinus was reported in the press. Almost 12 months later, this famous Codex, which is considered one of the most valuable books worldwide, has been found by the National Police in a garage in Santiago de Compostela. On Wednesday, 4th July, the police arrested the alleged thief, Manuel Fernández Castañeiras, who had been working as an electrician at the Cathedral for several years. It is said that he claimed 400,000 € compensation from the Cathedral for his unfair dismissal.
"For Balazs Mikusi, a young Hungarian musicologist, it was the find of a lifetime. Leafing through folders of unidentified manuscripts at the National Szechenyi Library in Budapest recently, he came across four pages of what looked to him like Mozart's handwriting. As he read through the music, he told Agence France-Presse, he realized that he had stumbled onto Mozart's own score of the Piano Sonata in A, K.331 – one of the best-known Mozart sonatas because of its "Rondo alla Turca" finale. To verify his impression Mr. Mikusi showed a copy of the score to Ulrich Leisinger, the director of the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, and Neal Zaslaw, the editor of the new Köchel catalog of Mozart's works. Both agreed that the writing was Mozart's …" Most spectacular finds of rare books and manuscripts nowadays happen by chance. A Hungarian scholar had such a lucky moment, when he worked in the National Szechenyi Library in Budapest and discovered - a Mozart manuscript.
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers¾ILAB to English-speaking members, LILA to the French-speaking¾came into being the following day. Its constitution, drawn up by the ten presidents, was approved by the general assembly, its officers and executive committee duly elected. Its birth had not been easy, the labor had been protracted, and it would suffer growing pains for years to come; but it was a wanted child, and the Danes saw to it that its christening was suitably celebrated.
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.