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Stuttgart 1965

Published on 21 April 2011




Brussels, 15th March, 1966

Dear Friends,

In 1964, when I considered that after 3 years in office a president was tired and ripe for retirement, I was given to understand that, for various reasons, the moment for departure was ill-chosen, and that it would be preferable that I should agree to stay for a further term.

You will recall that I accepted this point of view at the time, but on condition that I be replaced as soon as the situation permitted ensuring at the same time that the structural organisation of the League remain unimpaired.

The time has come, and I have the honour to propose that the helm be now taken over by your Vice-President, a proposition made not with the satisfaction of duty accomplished, since no work is ever perfectly finished, but at least with the impression that I leave the bridge of a ship in perfect running order, sailing under favourable winds on a calm sea.

During five years I have tried to adapt, often imperfectly, to situations which developed. A number of solutions were reached in haste, depen-ding on immediate necessity. But I should like you all to know how much I have appreciated your patience and your good-fellowship.

As for the members of the Committee, always close to me and ready to carry out the most tedious tasks, the Honorary Presidents and the Father of the League, who have helped me with their experience and their wise counsel, I can find no words with which to express to them my gratitude and the pleasure it has given me to be able to work with them.

To have been able to take part in the development of the I.L.A.B. has been for me a great honour. The greater its power and its importance in the world, the more important its achievements will be. Let us then all work together, according to our abilities, to the building up of a stronger, more united, more universal League, and one day we shall realise that we have been working for ourselves.

G. A. DENY, President





At 9.30 on Friday 14 May 1965 the Committee of the League, together with the Member and Presidents of Honour, held its customary preliminary meeting. This conference, called together to put the last touches to the agenda, closed at 12.30 precisely.

At 14.30 President G. A. DENY welcomed the assembly and declared open the proceedings of this international Presidents' meeting, held in lieu of a congress, and having the powers of a General Assembly.

Present: the Committee of the League in full : Messrs. G.A. DENY, President; Dudley Massey, Vice-president; Geoffrey Steele, Treasurer; Max Elte, A. Frauendorfer and Ant. Grandmaison, committee members; Menno Hertzberger, Member of Honour and Father of the League; F. De Nobele, F. Tulkens and R. Wormser , Honorary Presidents. Messrs. A. Poursin and P. Muir, Honorary Presidents, have asked to be excused, being unable to attend.

National Presidents or accredited representatives: Mesdames Susan Bach (Brazil) and Olschki-Witt (Italy). Messrs. I. Nebehay (Austria) F. Tulkens (Belgium), A. Grandmaison and Roux-De-Villas (France),. Fr. Kocher-Benzing (Germany ), Ed. Harris (Great Britain), K.P. Jongbloed (Netherlands), Cl. Nyegaard (Norway), A. Laube (Switzerland), Du Rietz (Sweden, also representing the Danish and Finnish Associations), D. Magee (U.S.A.).

The President recalls briefly the reasons which have brought about the replacement of the statutory annual Congress in 1965 by a General Assembly of Presidents. He outlines briefly the activities of the league since the last General Assembly and 17th Congress in September 1964, and closes with thanks to President Kocher-Benzing (Germany) for the invitation kindly extended by his Association to hold this General Assembly in Germany. He congratulates himself on being able to preside at this assembly in this country, where the organisation of such meetings had, for a number of years, not been possible.

On finding that no scrutineers (as called for by statute) have been appointed he proposes that Messrs. De Nobele and Wromser, Honorary Presidents, be chosen. This choice is approved by the Assembly, item 1 on the agenda is proceeded with, voted on, and accepted unanimously.



Vice President Dudley Massey, past Treasurer, makes the financial report. This being drawn up in order to facilitate accounts, and Mr. Massey having given up the post in September 1964, he has kindly agreed to continue to fill the office until the end of the financial year. The balance sheet, showing a large credit, is adopted unanimously, the decision being supported by applause. (See detailed balance-sheet).



In order to simplify accounting it is proposed that the amounts of subscriptions, now converted from Sterling into U.S. dollars should be adjusted to the nearest U.S. dollar above. This proposal is immediately adopted unanimously, and, after the roll of nations has been called and the subscriptions have been ratified, item 3 is adopted.

Due to its very small membership Brazil gets special conditions, these being also accepted unanimously.



In congratulating the several associations for their very effective co-operation in publicising the Second Triennial Prize in Bibliography the President wants to thank most specially Mr. Grandmaison, who has achieved spectacular results in France both through the Press and by personal contact. He then outlines the difficulties encountered in the internal organisation of this 1967 prize. On the one hand, one member of the League Committee sitting on the jury for the prize has completed his term of office and must thus be replaced by another member. On the other, Monsieur Pierre Lelievre, who had done sterling work on the jury for the first prize, has asked to be replaced as he has just been appointed rector of the University of Dakar.

It is proposed to ask Dr. Gustav Hofmann, Keeper of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, to fill the vacancy, and Mr. Grandmaison agrees to replace the departing Committee member. The President intends to contact Dr. Hofmann immediately.

From the publicity point of view this is most successful, and we have already had numerous inquiries for information; there can be no doubt that the second edition of the Triennial prize in Bibliography will be a great success. At the present time, 4 months before deadline for entries, 3 works have been properly entered.



Mr. Max Elte gives a brief report on the Directory, of which the first copies had been promised for distribution during this meeting. Unfortunately, a telegram from the printer cancels this arrangement and promises the copies for the end of next week. Notwithstanding this slight disappointment everyone is well satisfied with the knowledge that the 1965 Directory is at last ready and warm applause thanks Mr. Elte for his good work.

It is decided not to set a retail price for the 1965 Directory, but is agreed to sell ordinary copies at not less than $ 5.00 and this paper copies at not less than $ 6.00



As usual this point is answered briefly by M. De Nobele. His account makes it possible to appreciate once again the extraordinary practical and psychological efficiency of this special precaution. A temporary list of addenda and corrections is in course of preparation while waiting for a definitive revision, on cards.


This new Association, consisting at present of 10 members, hopes to reach a membership of about one hundred antiquarian booksellers of international standing within 10 years.

At the present moment it has as President Mr. Shiro Muraguchi, and its dynamic secretary, Mr. Mitsuo Nitta, has come to visit the President personally before making an official application on behalf of his Association.

After the Statutes and Rules of the AB.AJ., translated into English and French, have been read to the Assembly, and formal proposal has been made by the League Committee, immediately supported by Great Britain, the U.S.A., 'and France, the Japanese Association is elected to unanimous applause.

The I.L.A.B., therefore, now has 15 members.



At the request of President K. P. Jongbloed this item of the agenda was put back to the end of the meeting. As time on the first day was drawing to a close this request was agreed unanimously and it was the next morning that the President of the organising association outlined in detail the plans for the task he had undertaken.

Replying to numerous questions from the national Presidents, he had no trouble in convincing the delegates that a tremendous amount of work had been done and that no trouble was being spared in order to make this first international fair at Amsterdam a success. Every association having had full details we need dwell on this point no longer.

President Deny thanks President Jongbloed warmly, supported in this by the plaudits of the assembly.


9. Committee Member Alfred Frauendorfer having completed his second term of office and being this not eligible for re-election the President, speaking for all the associations, thanks him for these six years devoted to serving the cause of the antiquarian book trade. He recalls with some emotion days, difficult and happy, spent together and the difficulties overcome thanks to general goodwill. He emphasizes the efficient work carried out by Mr. Frauendorfer on the Jury for the Triennial Prize in Bibliography, work often tedious but which he attacked with his usual tenacity. Warm applause from the Assembly follows this address.



Proposed by the Committee, Mr. Claes Nyegaard, President of the Norsk Antikvarbokhandlerforening (Norway), is elected a Member of the Committee of the league, replacing Mr. Frauendorfer.



Mr I. Nebehay, President of the Austrian Association, extends, to all Associations affiliated to the League, a formal invitation to attend the 18th international Congress of the Antiquarian book trade, to be held in Vienna, 8th to 13th May, 1966.

This invitation is warmly received by all delegates. Mr. David Magee (U.SA) announces that, on behalf of the A.B.A.A., an invitation is extended for the 19the Congress in 1967. This would be held in San Francisco. (U.SA).

Mr. Du Rietz (Sweden) announces the intention of the Scandinavian Associations to organise jointly a Congress of the League, to be held in 1968 or 1969. All these proposals are heartily applauded.



Some questions on points of detail are answered by the President, then, on a proposal made by the Father of the League, Mr. Menno Hertzberger, and seconded by France and Great Britain, it is agreed unanimously and to the cheers of the Assembly to confer the title of Honorary President on Mr. Einar Gronhold Pedersen (Denmark), who, one of the League founders, has held the posts of Committee Member (two terms) and later Treasurer, thus contributing 9 years of his work to the League, and who still works relentlessly on the forwarding of international ideas in the antiquarian book trade.

The President is entrusted with the task of notifying the recipient officially of his nomination.

The Agenda being completed, the President closes the proceedings, thanking the delegates as well as our bookseller-interpreter Mr. Franco, whose feats of memory and interpreting elicit the admiration of all those taking part in the conferences or congresses of our League.



STOCKHOLM, 8th and 9th February 1966.


In order to prepare the forthcoming congress in Vienna and to deal with current affairs the Committee of the I.L.AB. has met on the 8th and 9th of February 1966. Present : Messrs. G.A. DENY (President), D. MASSEY (Vice-President), M. ELTE, A GRANDMAISON, Cl. NYEGAARD (Committee Members) ; Messrs. F. DE NOBELE, E. GRONHOLT PEDERSEN, F. TULKENS and R. WORMSER, Honorary Presidents, graced this meeting with their presence.

Had asked to be excused: Messrs G. STEELE (Treasurer), M. HERTZBERGER (Father of the league) and A. POURSIN (Honorary President).


PRESIDENT'S REPORT: After a brief report by the President on general activities during the last few months, the balance-sheet for the financial year 1965 is read.


TREASURER'S REPORT. In the absence of the Treasurer this balance-sheet, showing a substantial credit, is adopted unanimously. The President is asked to congratulate and thank Treasurer G. STEELE for his excellent work. Honorary President F. TULKENS, himself a past Treasurer, points out how, 16 years ago, the league exchequer showed a deficit of $ 600, whereas at the present, thanks to a most admirable combined effort, our credit balance is more than $ 20,000.


TRIENNIAL PRIZE. President DENY reads a report of the meeting of the Jury for the Second Triennial Prize in Bibliography, held in Brussels on 24th January 1966, at the Bibliothèque Albertine, thanks to the gracious hospitality of the Director, Mr. Herman Liebaers.

This meeting was attended by the following Jury members: Messrs. A GRANDMAISON (league Committee Member), Prof. Dr. Kurt KOSTER (President of the «Deutschen Bibliographischen Kurotorlums » and Keeper of the Frankfurt Library), Mr. Howard NIXON (Keeper of the British Museum). Prof. de la FONTAINE-VERWEY had asked to be excused.

Following the report the list of the 13 works properly submitted  was read. The next Jury meeting will be held in March or April 1967.


DIRECTORY. Mr. Max Elte gives details of the sale of the 1965 Directory. The edition on thin paper (Bible paper) is out of print, according to latest figures 466 copies of the ordinary paper edition are still in stock.


LEAGUE CARD INDEX. The President hands the first specimen index cards for the League index. These cards, meant to simplify the compilation of future editions of the Directory will be distributed to all Associations.

On election, details of any new member of an Association will have to be properly entered up on one of these cards showing name, forenames, position, address, telephone number, specialities, and this card is to be sent as soon as possible to Mr. Max Elte, at The Hague, (Netherlands).

We should like to impress upon all Associations the fact that this small task must be carried out accurately. Again, we ask all Associations to send regularly lists of changes in membership due to decease or resignation to Mr. Max Elte.


CONFIDENTIAL LISTS. Mr. De Nobele, although an Honorary President, is carrying on with the list of commercial information and gives certain details.

He draws attention specially to the following important two points, which it will be necessary to bear in mind:

1. The non-validity of cheques not bearing the exact date at which they are drawn.

2. Banks in certain countries refuse to accept cheques issued abroad and non convertible. They only take into consideration cheques issued directly by banks, bankers' drafts, Cashiers' cheques, travellers' cheques.


PROPOSALS. The several proposals submitted are studied at length. They will appear officially on the agenda for the Congress of Vienna.

A number of these proposals are incomplete or obscure, the Associations submitting them are asked to complete or modify them. (See agenda for the Congress of Vienna).


EXHIBITIONS - BOOK FAIRS. This subject, very much in the public eye since the splendidly successful Amsterdam fair, will come up in official proposals. These will be studies at the Congress in Vienna . However, Honorary President De Nobele wants to thank specially the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America who, every year, extend an invitation to all members of our Associations to take part in their book fairs and sale exhibitions. He reminds us that one of the aims of the League is the promotion of international co-operation.

President recalls the different types of organisation :

National fairs, reserved for national members of an association.

International fairs reserved for members of a national associations, but to which are invited national members and foreign members, or foreign correspondents.

International fairs or world exhibitions, open to all booksellers members of Associations affiliated to the League, and which can be organised under the auspices of the ILAB.

After long discussion, it is decided that the Committee will place on the agenda the forthcoming Congress not as a proposal but as a wish, the following: “It is hoped that, whenever an Association member of the League shall organise a Book Fair or  Book Exhibition, it shall hold this manifestation under the auspices of the ILAB and also that it will allow any booksellers of fellow-associations to take part as exhibitors.


ELECTION . The League Committee has the honour to propose the following candidates:

President. Mr. DUDLEY MASSEY (Great Britain). Present Vice-President.

Vice-President. Mr. MAX ELTE (Netherlands). Present committee member.

Election of one committee member:

Candidates: Mrs.            FiammettaOlschki-Witt (Italy) and Mr. Christian Nebehay (Austria).


Agenda for the General Assembly


1. Appointment of Scrutineers.

2. President's report on the league's activities 1965-1966.

3. Treasurer's report.

4. Subscriptions for 1967.

5. Triennial prize for Bibliography. President's report.

6. Forthcoming editions of the “Directory”

7. Confidential list.

8. Proposals.


That future Congresses should be held in the Autumn, preferably in September, as in the past, and that this should take effect at the Congress which is planed for San Francisco, In 1967.

B. U.S.A.

The 19th Congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers to be held in San Francisco, September 15 tot 20, 1967, concluding with a banquet in Los Angeles September 20. The Second International Antiquarian Bookfair, under patronage of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, immediately following the Congress, in Los Angeles. September 21 to 23, 1967.


Publication by the League of a monthly news bulletin.


1) Addition to the Code of “USAGES AND CUSTOMS”: That booksellers who issue catalogues should send these out to the trade and to private customers at the same time.

2) The “USAGES AND CUSTOMS” contained in the Code not being always kept to, the French Association asks all national associations to remind their members that these usages have been adopted by the League and that in consequence of this they be complied with. Further, the French association expresses the wish that Associations should require all NEW members to sign a formal undertaking to comply strictly with the articles of the Code of “USAGES AND CUSTOMS”, particularly as concerns the usual trade discount of 10%, the sending of catalogues, payments on receipt of goods and these payments to include all bank charges, etc. etc.



1) The Dutch Association expresses its willingness to organize an INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOKFAIR under the Auspices of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, which would be held - If the proposal is accepted - at Amsterdam at some date in the autumn of 1968.

2) The Dutch Association proposes, that the Committee of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers should consider the possibilities of organizing a yearly course for the further training of young antiquarian booksellers. Such courses should - in principle - be conducted by qualified antiquarian booksellers or - in certain cases - by others, such as librarians and prominent collectors.

These courses should, next to general introductions concentrate on the practical aspects of the trade.

If possible and desirable such courses could partly hook in with other already existing courses, such as for instance those for the training of librarians.

The students. should pay an amount to cover part of the expenses of the course etc.



That congresses shall be held every two years; a meeting of Committee and Presidents shall be held in the intervening years.

It is hoped that, whenever an Association member of the League shall organise a Book Fair or Book Exhibition, it shall hold this manifestation under the auspices of the I.L.A.B. and also that it will allow any booksellers of fellow-associations to take part as exhibitors.

9. Next Congress.

10. End of term of President.

11. Election of President. Election of Vice-President. Election of one Committee Member.

12. Other business.


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