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A New International Antiquarian Book Fair in Milan, Supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

A New International Antiquarian Book Fair in Milan, Supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

International Antiquarian Book Fair

15th to 17th March, 2013

Palazzo Giureconsulti, Milan

Dear Colleagues,

I'm very pleased to announce that ALAI will organize an antiquarian book fair in Milan as early as March 2013, open to ILAB members only. We managed to get a truly exceptional venue, the seventeenth-century Palazzo Giureconsulti, which has its entrance in Piazza dei Mercanti and an entire side overlooking Piazza Duomo (see the attached picture and, for more details, please visit The event dates are March 15-17, with opening on Friday morning and closing on Sunday in the early afternoon.

Through the intercession of the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, which has decided to support financially and morally our initiative, since the general secretary believes that it is essential for the city of Milan to continue to have an international antiquarian book fair, we will have the entire building at our disposal, which consists of 4 floors: the basement, ground floor and first floor will be used to host our booths, while the second floor will be reserved for conferences (in particular, Umberto Eco, ALAI's patron of honour, will hold a speech and will write an article about the event to be published in one of the most important Italian newspapers) and an exhibition of books on economis with the agreement of the Chamber of Commerce.

Obtainable are booths of various sizes. The main booth will measure 3x2,50 m. and will be equipped with table, chairs, book shelves and a showcase. A larger booth, conceived to be shared between two exhibitors, will measure 5x2, 5 m. and will be equipped with a showcase as well.

After the termination of the fair organized by Biblioteca di Via Senato and given the difficult economic situation we all are going through, ALAI's committee, almost unanimously, has decided that the best response to the crisis and the defamatory articles that we read almost every day in the press against the book trade, is to organize a great international event in Italy's richest town that would bring prestige to our profession and attract the media's attention on the healthy part of the book trade.

With this in mind, we have also decided to continue the experience of the Bologna book fair which, although weak from an economic point of view, remains an exceptional opportunity to promote ILAB's and ALAI's brand, as well as an indispensable opportunity to meet Italian Institutions. The members who came to Bologna this year, could verify the success of the two conferences we organized, attended by new Commander of the Carabinieri's Historical Heritage Unit (gen. M. Mossa) and the new Director for Archives and Libraries of the Italian Ministery of Culture (Dr. R. Rummo), as well as Regional Superintendents, collectors such as Umberto Eco, Guido Rossi, Franco Maria Ricci, etc. and many scholars.

You will shortly receive more practical information and the registration form from Noema, that will support us in the organization of both events. But I can already anticipate that a standard booth will cost 2,800 euro plus VAT (showcase and wireless connection included), whereas a shared booth will cost 1,800 euro plus VAT (with one showcase to be shared). If you apply to Milan, you will receive for free a similar booth (with the same equipment, except the showcase) at the Bologna book fair which will be held from the 20th to 22th of September.

The fairs will be promoted through a press office and the creation of a new section in our website (, dedicated exclusively to ALAI's book fairs and events. Each exhibitor will have a personalized page, where the descriptions and pictures of his books will be loaded. The site should essentially substitute a paper catalog, with the great advantage that it will reach a much larger number of people (both through our mailing list, which contains over 6,000 addresses - including 2,000 selected journalists addresses - and the social networks, which have now become a phenomenal tool for promotion) and to create an instantly available record of our activities.

This double initiative aims at the retention of our cultural independence and at the continuation of a high standard of commercial transparency, as well as a serious involvement in the conservation of the international book heritage.

In these very testing times for the book trade in Italy, we hopefully look forward to receive your full support and many applications.

Best regards,

Fabrizio Govi
(ALAI President)

Published since 20 Nov 2012