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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • ILAB’s youngest fan

    ILAB’s youngest fan

    ... lives in Germany. Eight year old Gloria drew this picture while her father was browsing the ILAB site. It lies in the family: Her father is ILAB bookseller Götz Kocher-Benzing, her grandfather was former ILAB President and long-time Secretary of the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing. Gloria, we hope to meet you at one of the future ILAB Congresses and Book Fairs!

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  • A World Much Changed - Laurence Worms in Conversation with Jim Hinck and Anne Marie Wall

    A World Much Changed - Laurence Worms in Conversation with Jim Hinck and Anne Marie Wall

    Time now to go and have tea with some booksellers. Anne Marie Wall and Jim Hinck (Hinck & Wall) are booksellers specialising in garden history and landscape architecture, early horticulture, and architecture and town-planning in general. Americans both, they have settled in Cambridge after a spell in Paris (where they retain a pied-à-terre). It’s an absorbing story. They realised, much earlier than most of us, that with the advent of the internet, the book-trade’s traditional staples – the good, solid and essential books on any subject that everyone needs – were about to become a rapidly diminishing asset. As Jim puts it in a thoughtful recent post on his viaLibrian blog (required reading), “the pool of findable books exploded”. Their customers, often in American institutional libraries, were no longer going to want books they could find anywhere at the click of a mouse. The correct deduction was made that they would continue to want the rare and the unique, and that American holdings would generally be weakest in early non-English language material. To Europe they came to find just that material.

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  • Beyond the Printed Page: Robert Sabuda is the superstar of the modern pop-up book

    “Robert Sabuda is a man of many dimensions. In the author and illustrator’s hands, children’s stories unfold — and also tumble, pop, fly, rise up, spin and leap from the page. Sabuda is the modern master of a technique used to bring text to life since the 13th century. In the realm of pop-up books, Robert Sabuda stands out.”

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  • Beautiful Bookbindings: A Thousand Years of the Bookbinder's Art, by P.J.M. Marks

    Beautiful Bookbindings: A Thousand Years of the Bookbinder's Art, by P.J.M. Marks

    From exquisite medieval bookbindings made of precious metals and jewels to the unique and highly imaginative creations of contemporary bookbinders, in his new publication P.J.M. Marks celebrates over hundred of the most beautiful bookbindings of the last thousand years

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  • The True Story of Migraine and Book Buying

    The True Story of Migraine and Book Buying

    Several years ago I had a customer who occasionally bought an expensive book. He was not a regular, but sometimes came by to buy something, I think to reward himself for business deals that had gone well. He drove a flashy car, a Porsche that he was very proud of. He usually sprang out of it, wearing an Armani suit, an open white shirt and a gold chain around his fleshy, tanned neck. One day he arrived unannounced - looking distraught.

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  • Bibliographies - Eastern Europe

    Online: Bibliotheca transsilvanica

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  • Auto Shred: Ray Bradbury

    Auto Shred: Ray Bradbury

    When I was 8 years old, my mother took me to the public library in Van Buren, Arkansas to get me my first library card. I will never forget how the card had a little silver plate embedded in the paper. It was probably the first thing I had ever been given, other than birthday cakes, that had my name printed on it. Mom had checked books out for me in the past, but this time I got to pick out my own. She instructed me on the basics: pick out just one I really thought I would like, then I could read it, return it, and get another one. I had read some juvenile science fiction, but felt I was now ready for some grown-up stuff. The book I checked out was Ray Bradbury’s S is for Space. Definitely my first memory of a dust jacket that utterly reeled me in, and what an author photo! He looked every bit as eerie and unfathomable as the stuff of his stories.

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  • The Joy of Publishing (An Unbridled Adventure)

    The Joy of Publishing (An Unbridled Adventure)

    I have a confession to make. At one time I wanted to become a professional writer. After all, I know that I can write. Write well in fact. And most importantly I realize that I have the ability to write better. However, I'm not ready to cash in my chips on the "who you know, not what you know game" (at least not for the moment even though I do indeed know a fair number of authors, publishers, editors and agents). Yet, this very same desire to write along with the revelation below is the key to my beginnings as a publisher.

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  • Collecting Early French Voyages to Australia

    Collecting Early French Voyages to Australia

    Although the importance of French voyages to Australian and Pacific waters has always been well understood, recent years have seen a real reappraisal of their importance and their published voyage accounts have become keenly sought by collectors. The French voyage accounts are particularly prized as rich sources of natural history, whether it is the ethnographic portraits from the Baudin voyage of 1800-1804, or the beautifully detailed folio atlases of Freycinet, Duperrey, or DumontDurville ...

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  • Open The Pod Bay Doors, Hal!

    Open The Pod Bay Doors, Hal!

    If there’s one thing you can guarantee it’s that the minute you think you’re being smart is the minute before you meet someone much smarter. One of the reasons I love my job so very, very much is that my minutes of being smart never last long enough to knock my self image out of whack. If I’m not meeting a customer whose breadth of knowledge and devotion has the least admirable parts of me reaching for a pitchfork and a torch then it’s one of my colleagues who is making me wish I could eat their head and consume their wisdom entire.

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  • PRESS RELEASE - ILAB Joins The Protest Against Amazon’s Bid to Control Top-Level Domain Names

    PRESS RELEASE - ILAB Joins The Protest Against Amazon’s Bid to Control Top-Level Domain Names

    Today, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has joined the numerous other organizations, such as the Authors Guild or the American Association of Publishers, objecting to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN’s) plan to sell top-level domains to private companies.  Online retail giant Amazon has bid to be the exclusive custodian of .book, .author and .read domains.

    ILAB President Tom Congalton believes that placing such generic names in private hands is a threat to equal access to free markets and a threat to the nearly 2,000 small businesses that are affiliated to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

    « We have to play by the same rules », Tom Congalton said. « There is no reason why Amazon should get the exclusive rights to suffixes such as book, author or read, which are generic names any bookseller throughout the world should be allowed to use. »

    The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers is a federation of 22 national associations of antiquarian booksellers representing nearly 2,000 booksellers in 34 countries on all continents. It was founded in 1947 and its main object is the co-ordination of all efforts and projects relating to the development and growth of the trade of antiquarian bookselling, thereby creating friendly relations between antiquarian booksellers throughout the world.  It also strives to uphold and improve professional standards in the trade, to promote honourable conduct in business, and to contribute in various ways to a broader appreciation of the history and art of the book.

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  • "Proof" Prints

    "Proof" Prints

    What exactly does it mean when one says a print is a "proof"? While the connotation of this term is clearly positive, it is not always clear what specifically it means. In the world of fine art prints the expression has a quite clear meaning.

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