22 National Associations are Members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers
The Antiquarian Booksellers Committee of the Books and Periodicals Distribution Association of China was founded in July 21th, 1991, it changed its English name into the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of the People’s Republic of China (ABAPRC) when joining the ILAB in October 2009.
Back to November 1991: The President of ABAPRC at that time visited the ABAJ and many of its member bookshops in Japan. In April 1993, Cathay Bookshop, the leading member of ABAPRC, welcomed a delegation of the League and ABAJ, and visited many Japan bookshops again in the November of the same year. Chinese antiquarian booksellers built up good business relationships with overseas booksellers during international activities and participated at the Korea Antiquarian Book Fair in 1994.
Yu Hua Gang, current president of the ABAPRC, talked about the hope of applying to ILAB with Mitsuo Nitta, former president of ABAJ, during his visit to Japan in November 2005. Mitsuo Nitta showed great support to this issue. After that, some Chinese antiquarian booksellers participated in the 1st Hong Kong Antiquarian Book Fair in November 2007, where further details of applying to the International League with Mitsuo Nitta and ILAB Committee Paul Feain from Australia were discussed. Both ABAJ and ANZAAB agreed to be our sponsors. During the 2nd Hong Kong Book Fair in January 2009, Yu had a meeting with Adrian Harrington, Paul Feain and Mitsuo Nitta. They submitted ABAPRC’s formal application to join ILAB. In March, Mitsuo Nitta and Paul Feain came to China to review the antiquarian trade status, and Yu went to Australia for business study in May 2009. On October 9th, 2009, ABAPRC finally became a member of ILAB at the Vienna Presidents’ Meeting.
ABAPRC is authorized and established by the China Civil Administration Department, with 12 registered members, representing the leading booksellers of the Chinese antiquarian book trade, such as Cathay Bookshop, Shanghai Book Company or Tianjin Antiquarian Bookshop. The association has been in the process of reregister its members lately, and at the same time, it begins to foster new members. They must meet our demands to be formal member, reach a certain business standard and adhere to the regulations and rules of ABAPRC. There are about 2.000 antiquarian booksellers in China now, who mainly buy and sell Chinese or occidental antiquarian books, periodicals, newspapers. All the booksellers are independent in their business, ABAPRC provides them with professional advice and services, and helps that they can attend international book fairs in the future. A booksellers’ directory is in preparation, and the news of ABAPRC will published on the website of Cathay Bookshop.
(Written by Yu Hua Gang, President of the ABAPCR)
Yu Hua Gang
Liu Yan Zhi
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Yu Hua Gang about Cathay Bookshop and his career as a rare book dealer in China - An interview on ILAB.org (coming soon)
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Iris Miao, Cathay Bookshop Celebrates Fiftieth Anniversary, published in Bejing Today.