The Presidents’ Meeting took place on Sunday in San Giorgio in Poggiale, and on Monday at the impressive Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio (Stabat Mater Room). The General Assembly finally followed on Monday afternoon. The Archiginnasio was opened in 1563 as the seat of the University of Bologna. The fascinating place evokes all the charm and prestige of the home town of the oldest university of the world. (1088 is the year in which teaching began in Bologna). The famous anatomical theatre dates back to 1637. It is built in pine wood with a coffered ceiling and decorated with statues. After housing the university for approximately two and a half centuries, the Archiginnasio became the home of the municipal library and as such is now considered one of the most important in Italy.
Sunday, 19th September: At the Extraordinary General Meeting the ILAB was proud to present a new member: the Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (Magyar Antikvariusok Egyesülete, MAE). Adrian Harrington, Arnoud Gerits and the presidents of the member associations gave MAE President Ádám Bősze a warm welcome. In his first speech Ádám Bősze said that the Hungarian rare book dealers wish to play “an active role” in the League: “ILAB is not only a worldwide federation. The ideas promoted by the League are essential for the trade of the 21st century. We are happy to be a part of it.”
Monday, 20th September: An unanimous vote, and standing ovations: At the Ordinary General Meeting the presidents elected Arnoud Gerits as the new President of the League. He succeeds Adrian Harrington who was ILAB President from 2008 to 2010. Arnoud Gerits honoured Adrian Harrington “as a hard working and responsible President who guided the ILAB into the 21st century”. Adrian Harrington replied:
“I know that under Arnoud’s firm hands the good ship ILAB has the perfect new skipper.”
The Presidents voted for Tom Congalton as ILAB Vice-President. New members of the ILAB Committee are Brigitta Laube (Switzerland) and Alain Marchiset (France).
Celebrations: A Welcome cocktail at the Hotel Baglioni assembled all the delegates who were already in Bologna. A huge crowd was waiting outside the hotel to cheer the ILAB stars. A dinner for the Committee and Presidents was held at the Marilena Ferrari Foundation where ILAB Member of Honour Mitsuo Nitta celebrated his 70th birthday - with cake, champagne and a wonderful speech.
By the way: Dan Gregory's lecture on "Catalogues in the Digital Age" held during the General Assembly was marvellous. It will be available on the ILAB website soon.