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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade
Published since 15 Apr 2013
Travis McDade is Curator of Law Rare Books at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of the upcoming Thieves of Book Row: New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It. The book will published by Oxford University Press in May 2013. In this article Travis McDade, who also teaches a class called “Rare Books, Crime & Punishment”, writes about how stolen books can be identified and what book thieves do to prevent this.
Published since 18 Mar 2013
Napoli Today reports that Marino Massimo De Caro was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and lifetime exclusion from public office following an expedited trial for the embezzlement of hundreds of volumes from the Girolamini Library. The other defendants received shorter sentences.
Published since 08 Jan 2013
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.
[+] More The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter
Published since 14 Nov 2012
“Any American book collector who recently bought an Italian book from the 15th to the 17th centuries should take another look at the purchase. If it bears a red library stamp with a Madonna in the center, the collector may get a visit from U.S. Customs agents assigned to recover stolen artworks.” The Washington Times summarizes the recent news concerning the thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples, which the newspaper calls “the biggest book thefts in history”.
Published since 16 Jul 2012
On Thursday, June 7, 2012, staff at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) discovered that a 16th century printed book was missing from the work carrel of one of its catalogers. HMML staff conducted a thorough search of both HMML and Alcuin Library to ensure that the item had not been misplaced. The staff immediately reviewed a list of rare materials that had been used that week in presentations during a workshop being held at the library. It was discovered that two manuscript items from the Arca Artium collection were also missing, one of which had been used on Wednesday afternoon (June 6). It is believed that all three volumes were stolen. The manuscripts had already been photographed digitally and can be viewed in Vivarium, the online image service from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (www.hmml.org/vivarium). Officers from Life Safety Services at Saint John’s University and from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office began an investigative process that involved interviewing staff and library visitors. New security precautions have since been put into place.
Published since 05 Jul 2012
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.
Published since 28 Jun 2012
“He was entrusted to guard Sweden’s cultural heritage, but instead this senior librarian spent years surreptitiously stealing and selling scores of its rare and precious books. When the thief, Anders Burius, was finally caught in 2004, the media called him the “Royal Library Man,” and his sensational crime and subsequent suicide became the subjects of a government inquiry, a radio documentary and, last year, a television mini-series. Now, for the first time, one of the missing books — the earliest printed atlas of the Americas — has been recovered by Sweden’s Royal Library after a librarian there noticed that it was being offered for sale …”
Published since 13 Jun 2012In April 2012 it was announced that 1500 books were missing from one of the richest and oldest libraries in Italy: the Girolamini Library in Naples. Shortly afterwards the library’s director Marino Massimo de Caro was suspended, then arrested and accused of embezzlement along with four accomplices from Argentina and Ukraine. A number of stolen items from the library were confiscated in Munich, London, New York and Tokyo, but most of the books are still missing. It is not even known right now how many books were actually stolen. ILAB President Arnoud Gerits advises all booksellers to check their purchases of Italian books from the 15th to the 17th centuries if these volumes were purchased in the time period between January to May of 2012. Nearly every day, more and more news and background information become public. The book theft in the Girolamini Library turns out to be one of the most spectacular ever. Snippets from some of the most interesting press articles and YouTube clips.
Published since 08 Jun 2012Shortly after the reopening of the Girolamini Library in Naples in April of 2012 the Director, Marino Massimo de Caro, announced that 1500 books were missing (April 17). On April 20 the Library was closed by the Naples Public Prosecutor. Marino Massimo de Caro has been suspended and was investigated for embezzlement. On May 18, 1000 books, 240 of which have ownership stamps from the Girolamini Library were found in storage in Massimo Marino de Caro’s home city of Verona, and on May 24 Mr. de Caro was arrested on the charge of embezzlement along with four others; a search warrant is out for a fifth. In the meantime Massimo Marino de Caro has confessed to the theft of thousands of books from the library and is cooperating with police in tracing them. A number of stolen items from the library have been confiscated by the authorities in Munich (16 items), London (28 items), New York and Tokyo (uncertain numbers). According to what is currently known and what Massimo Marino de Caro has confessed so far, it is very likely that the number of stolen books from the Girolamini Library is higher than 1500 but no definitive list of missing items has been published by Italian authorities so far. It appears also to be clear that the stolen books were spread out via the trade in several countries, in both Europe and elsewhere.
Published since 16 Mar 2012
Raymond Scott was sentenced to eight years in prison, because he had stolen a first folio edition of William Shakespeare’s works from Durham University in 1998. On Wednesday he was found dead in his cell in Northumberland prison.