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Libraries, Booksellers and Collectors discuss Provenance, Restitution and the Conservation of our Written Heritage

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB, is pleased to invite antiquarian booksellers, librarians, collectors and art market professionals to a one-day symposium in Paris at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), part of the Bibliothèque National de France, on the now vitally important issue of provenance and security.

This symposium follows those organised around similar themes in New York (Grolier Club) in 2019 and in Oxford (Bodleian Library) in 2022. It will once again bring together an international panel of experts to address these crucial issues & highlight some of the realities of the rare book trade. The idea is to encourage cooperation between all the players in the market, ahead of the Salon du Livre Rare Paris 2024 at the Carreau du Temple.
The Paris book fair opens the following day.

The event, organised by ILAB and supported by the French antiquarian booksellers association, Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM), will be followed by a reception at the INHA.

Participation is free but booking is compulsory.
The event will be held in French and English - simultaneous translation is available for all guests in both languages.

Please contact the ILAB Secretariat to make your reservation:

In conjunction with the symposium, a guided tour of the BNF's newly renovated reading rooms will be organised for a limited number of people on Thursday 13 June.
Reservations are also required.


Libraries, Booksellers and Collectors discuss Provenance, Restitution and the Conservation of our Written Heritage
A Symposium presented by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Wednesday, 12 June 2024
1.30pm - 6pm

INHA Auditorium
Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art - La Bibliothèque nationale de France



Introduction by Mario Giupponi, President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and Jean-Marc Dechaud, President of the Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM)

Welcome by Nicolas Malais (Moderator of the Symposium)

SESSION 1: Due Diligence vs. the Realities of the Rare Book Trade

Provenance research, which aims to trace the history of a book and its owners, has always been an essential task for rare booksellers. But the tasks are evolving: New requirements - legal, institutional and public - are increasingly demanding of booksellers. What are the challenges booksellers and libraries are facing today? Are the new demands on provenance always justified and proportionate? How can we find a balance that meets everyone's needs?


Cultural property protection and provenance research: The particular responsibility of German antiquarian booksellers and librarians
Markus Brandis, Managing Director at Bassenge Book Auctions, Berlin & President of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, Verband Deutscher Antiquare

Sold in Italy. Examples of Italian Institutional Deaccesioning Revealed by the Rare Book Trade
Ariane Adeline, Proprietor of Livres anciens Ariane Adeline, Paris

The identification of provenance in libraries, between a heritage and a scientific challenge
Jean-Marc Chatelain, Director of Special Collections & Rare Books, Bibliothèque nationale de France

Followed by a Round Table, inviting further guests:

Pierre-Jean Riamond, Head of the Heritage Office, Department of Books and Reading, Ministry of Culture and
Yann Sordet, Director Mazarine Library and Library of the Institut de France

Coffee Break: 3.30pm – 3.45pm

SESSION 2: Safeguarding our written heritage

Rare books and manuscripts are invaluable repositories of our knowledge and history, and they display unique qualities of artistry and craftsmanship that illustrate the evolution of printing, binding, art and literature over time. They deserve to be appreciated, but also protected.
This session will bring together high-level experts to discuss the issues of theft, fraud and forgery and the rare book trade’s strong stance against such behaviour, and will open a forum for debate on security and the protection of our written heritage.


“The Book Forger: The true story of a literary crime that fooled the world”
Joseph Hone, author and book historian, Newcastle, United Kingdom

Theft and spoliation of written heritage during the Second World War: The search for provenance and its current issues
Isabelle Rouge-Ducos, Head Curator, Researcher at the Mission for the Research and Restitution of Cultural Property Looted between 1933 and 1945, French Ministry of Culture

UNESCO’s Tools for Protecting Cultural Heritage and Combatting Illicit Trade
Louise Malecot, UNESCO - Associate Programme specialist at the Movable Heritage and Museums Unit

Art&Droit Institute: Presentation of the working group on provenance in the art market
Prof. Françoise Labarthe, Institut Art & Droit and Professor at the Université Paris-Saclay

Neither a stigma nor a secret - Why thefts and missing books need reporting
Presentation of the international ILAB Missing Books Register

Angus O’Neill, Omega Bookshop, London, ILAB Vice President and Security Chair

The Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) establishes its own bookseller training seminar at the Ecole des Chartes
Anne Lamort, Proprietor of Anne Lamort Livres anciens, SLAM President of Honour and Executive Director of the new SLAM Training Institute

Followed by a Round Table, inviting further guests:

Representatives of the Office Central de Lutte Contre le Trafic des Biens Culturels

Followed by a reception from 6pm - 7.30pm at INHA

45th ILAB Congress - Amsterdam 2024

Join us at the next ILAB Congress, which will take place in Amsterdam from 14 to 18 October 2024, followed by the Amsterdam Antiquarian Book Fair.

The Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, the Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren (NVvA), welcomes colleagues and fellow bibliophiles to their capital city.
Following our successful congress in Oxford in September 2022, Amsterdam offers a perfect location to meet and explore cultural highlights beyond the picturesque canals and historic architecture. For centuries, Amsterdam has been a centre for literature, art and book culture. The city still has many independent bookshops, both modern and antiquarian, and has fostered a creative atmosphere that continues to attract writers, artists and intellectuals from all over the world.

A congress was planned in Amsterdam in September 2020, but the unfolding COVID pandemic made this impossible and the congress was eventually cancelled. But this is now a distant memory and a new date has been found.

ILAB congresses are wonderful opportunities to meet and network with colleagues from all over the world, to exchange ideas and experiences, and to explore the bibliophilic highlights of the host country, where we have often been immensely impressed. As is tradition, the Congress will be followed by the Book Fair.

After Paris (2014), Budapest (2016), Los Angeles (2018) and Oxford (2022), join us in Amsterdam in October 2024, followed by the Amsterdam Book Fair! Please register HERE.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact the ILAB Secretariat.

Amor Librorum Nos Unit: See you in Amsterdam!

Join us in Amsterdam at the 45th ILAB Congress! Registration is now open!

ILAB Congresses - International flagship events for the rare book trade

Since 1948, the League and its member associations have organised congresses which now take place every two years in a different location around the world, providing a wonderful opportunity for ILAB member booksellers to network, but also to get to know the literary and cultural heritage of the host country.

Budapest, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Vienna, Tokyo, Munich, New York, Madrid, Los Angeles, Montréal, Melbourne, Paris, Bologna... booksellers have travelled the world and been welcomed into libraries, private collections, national treasures, given access to scholars and experts, and established long-term business relationships and lasting friendships.

All ILAB Congresses and meetings since ILAB's inception are listed HERE.

Congresses and Fairs are open to all booksellers affiliated to the League and are announced through the League at least one year before the Congress.

The next ILAB Congress is scheduled for 14-18 October 2024 in Amsterdam.

ILAB Presidents' Meetings (General Annual Meeting)

The presidents of the 22 national associations affiliated to the League meet once a year at the General Annual Meeting or "Presidents' Meeting", which is held in a different country each year. When ILAB organises a Congress (See "Amsterdam" above), the Presidents' Meeting takes place the day before the start of the ILAB Congress.
The Presidents' Meeting is the supreme governing body of the League.

The international ILAB Committee meets once a year in person and regularly via video conference. Its task is to manage the affairs of the League and to implement the decisions taken at the Presidents' Meeting.
After the ILAB Presidents' Meeting, the presidents of the national associations report to their members.

Due to the COVID pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 meetings were held as virtual meetings. The 2022 ILAB Presidents' Meeting was held in Oxford and the 2023 ILAB Presidents' Meeting was held in Stockholm.

Next ILAB Presidents' Meetings

Amsterdam: 14 October 2024, followed by the 45th ILAB Congress, hosted by Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren (NVvA)

Melbourne: 19-23 July 2025, hosted by The Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB)

State Library Victoria, Melbourne