WHEN? April 23, 2015

WHERE? All over the World!

BOOKS CHANGE LIVES! The UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated all over the world with amazing events promoting the essence of reading and the culture of the book. On April 23, 2015, this day will also be a special day for ILAB. Starting the day in Australia, the ILAB Pop Up Fairs will open one after another from Australia to Asia to South Africa to Europe to the United States. For 24 hours these worldwide events will be followed up with pictures and reports in the media and on the ILAB website.

JOIN US! Fill the bookshelves and fight illiteracy!


The new edition of the ILAB Directory has recently been published. The Directory gives easy access to information on the almost 2.000 ILAB booksellers around the world that are experts in their chosen fields and stand behind the ethical standards of ILAB. In this new electronic world you will find this expertise and adherence to standards an essential part in making your buying experience a pleasant one. The ILAB Directory, in a wonderful new design, will be handed out at all major ILAB Book Fairs from California to Paris, New York, London, Boston, Amsterdam, Milan, Stuttgart and Melbourne.

All who want to have a look at it, before they hold the printed version in their hands, are able to download the PDF right here on the ILAB website!


Have you ever wondered what ILAB is all about - other than a logo that appears against some dealers' trading names?  ILAB President Norbert Donhofer sets out the main benefits of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers!

Learn more about ILAB, the ILAB Committee, the ILAB Internship Program, the ILAB Newsletter, ILAB Congresses and Book Fairs!


The 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, worth 10.000 $, will be awarded in 2018 to one or more books published in any language and in any part of the world between April 2013 and April 2017. Any work submitted to the Prize must be a published book available on the market. The prize jury will admit all publications relating to bibliography in a very broad sense. The books can be submitted to the prize at any time but latest by the end of April in 2017 by sending a single copy to the Prize Secretary Fabrizio Govi.


Recent news on the Girolamini thefts: Marino Massimo de Caro had given an interview to an Italian newspaper in which he accused antiquarian booksellers and auctioneers to manipulate valuable books – scratching out stamps, removing old ownership labels and/or gluing those to others. ILAB and ALAI refused to file a law-suit against both the reporter and Mr De Caro for giving such a scandalous interview, but the President of ALAI, Fabrizio Govi, and the former Director of the Italian National Libraries, Dr Daniele Danesi, have responded to it in a serious and widely read newspaper in Italy. Read the articles!

ALAI has also placed a note of protest on its website, and has opened a section where intellectuals, librarians, and, of course, booksellers, can sign this protest – and so far quite a few have signed it.


Since spring 2012 the issue of the massive thefts in the Girolamini Library and other Italian libraries had kept busy both the Italian Justice and ILAB. The latest developments in this case – the arrest of the Danish dealer Christian Westergaard and the confiscation of eleven books out of his stock – gives ILAB no other choice as to announce an official note of protest. This note will be sent to officials in both the Ministry of Culture of Italy and the Ministry of Justice of Italy, and it will be spread out to librarians, journalists, and the public worldwide. Read it here and spread the news!


Following our strategy to bringing as much light as possible in the Girolamini thefts, the Committee had asked the Munich based auction house Zisska & Lacher (formerly Zisska & Schauer) to provide us with a list of the books which had been confiscated or withdrawn from their auction No 59 in May of 2012 (the books from the Girolamini library). The list can be searched here!

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Rare Book Gallery

  • Serie "Innocent things" Porträtserie mit Objekten.

    Kuznetsova, Nadya,

    Bookseller: J.J. Heckenhauer e.K .

    Serie "Innocent things" Porträtserie mit Objekten.
    St. Petersburg, 2007. Auflage 5 +1 . 70 x 50 cm, Silbergelatine-Abzug, Handabzug, Preis pro Motiv. Gut, Handabzug auf Barytpapier, manchmal wie bei... More

    Buy from:

    Price: 1580.00 EUR

  • La deuxi

    Le Corbusier [Charles-Édouard Jeanneret]

    Bookseller: Patrik Andersson Antikvariat

    La deuxi
    [Basel], 1959. 25x40

    Buy from:

    Price: 40000.00 SEK

  • La tr

    (ALLEMAGNE, H.R. d')

    Bookseller: L'intersigne Livres anciens

    La tr
    Joujouville, chez Repin, et se trouve

    Buy from:

    Price: 750.00 EUR

  • Le

    CHARCOT (Dr. J.M.)

    Bookseller: L'intersigne Livres anciens

    P., Progr

    Buy from:

    Price: 1500.00 EUR

All ArticlesRare Books - Articles

  • Etwas vom Autographensammeln

    Etwas vom Autographensammeln

    In the 30s Karl Geigy-Hagenbach possessed the most important private autograph collection comprising handwritten letters and documents by Savonarola, Richard III., Galilei, Descartes, Daniel Defoe, Dostojevskij, Händel, Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer. Today two thirds of the collection are archived in the University of Basle. The rest had been auctioned by J. A. Stargardt (Marburg, now Berlin) and Erasmushaus (Basel) on June 30th and 31st, 1961.

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  • Is It More Than “Old Book Smell”?

    Is It More Than “Old Book Smell”?

    We all know that aroma. Perhaps it evokes trips to the library as a child, or the cozy ambience of a grandfather’s study. It’s the distinctive scent of old books. Scientists say that “old book smell” is more than just mustiness; it contains hints of grass and vanilla.  That’s because all the compounds used to make the book release distinctive odors as they break down. For example, lignin, which is present in all wood-based paper, is closely related to vanillin. As it breaks down, the lignin grants old books that faint vanilla scent.

    [+] More

  • Three Volumes Stolen from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

    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 (  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.

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  • Children’s Books 1945 to 1960 - A Catalogue by Winfried Geisenheyner, Reviewed by Friedrich C. Heller

    Children’s Books 1945 to 1960 - A Catalogue by Winfried Geisenheyner, Reviewed by Friedrich C. Heller

    Children’s books are not only for children. They enable us to look at a period in history from a children’s point of view. Children’s books printed in Germany from 1945 to 1960, for example, show how the world was in post war Germany, which was separated in East and West, and where also the children had to learn to live under the new conditions determined by the history of the half of the 20th century, and especially by World War II and its consequences. Friedrich C. Heller, who won the Second ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography in 2010 for his outstanding work „Die bunte Welt. Handbuch zum künstlerisch illustrierten Kinderbuch in Wien 1890-1938”, reviews a brand new catalogue published by the German antiquarian bookseller Winfried Geisenheyner: Kinder- und Bilderbücher von 1945 bis 1960 - Children’s Books 1945 to 1960.  This and other catalogues by ILAB dealers can be downloaded from the ILAB website.


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  • Recent Book Thefts in the Library of the Abbey of Montecassino

    Recent Book Thefts in the Library of the Abbey of Montecassino

    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.

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Devo and the Punks of Letterpress

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Devo and the Punks of Letterpress

    We finally were able to track down a complete set of this collection of broadsides issued for the Kent State Creative Arts Festival. I'd been searching for it for several years. We'd wanted to include it in our Art Terrorism in Ohio exhibition, but weren't able to find a copy in time, which is a shame. Not only does the portfolio link the underground poetry scene in Ohio to the Bay Area poetry scene via the Zephyrus Image, it also connects it to the New Wave and avant punk scene, featuring perhaps the earliest printed work by a band that was still a few years away from taking over the world.

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