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The Joy of Collecting at the International Rare Book & Autograph Fair in Paris, 22-24 April 2016

The International Rare Book & Autograph Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, attracting nearly 200 exhibitors and over 20.000 visitors each year who enjoy the opportunity to browse, buy and admire more than 100.000 historical documents – rare books, manuscripts, autographs, prints and ephemera from all centuries – in the elegant glass-domed hall of the Grand Palais.

And the Paris Fair is much more: organized by the Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) under the auspices of ILAB and under the high patronage of Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic, it opens up the whole universe of bibliophily with a series of exhibitions and events introducing French libraries and collections and giving a close insight into the joy of book collecting.

Guest Library - Fonds Patrimonial Jeunesse Heure Joyeuse

Each year a French library, archive or museum of worldwide renown introduces itself at the Paris Fair by presenting bibliophile treasures from its rich collections of rare and valuable books and historical documents.  For its 28th edition from 22 to 24 April 2016, the International Rare Book and Autograph Fair is honoured to welcome the  Fonds Patrimonial Jeunesse Heure Joyeuse.

Inaugurated in 1924, the Heure Joyeuse was the first library devoted to youth in France. Over the decades, it has accumulated a rich collection of children's books from the 16th century to the present day. The heritage fund has received significant donations, in particular from editors such as Rageot and François Ruy-Vidal as well as researchers and bibliophiles including Jean Glénisson. The Heure Joyeuse heritage fund now comprises more than 80,000 books, original drawings, art books and archives and joined the Françoise Sagan media library when it opened in May 2015. Available for consultation on site, it has a dedicated room and a lending reference fund specialising in literature for children and youths and accessible to all. The Françoise Sagan media library is part of the City of Paris network of libraries comprising 58 lending libraries and 16 specialist and heritage libraries, representing the largest network of libraries in France. The main axes framing the Heure Joyeuse heritage fund will be showcased at the Grand Palais through a selection of primers, cloth books, pop-up books, art books, colouring books and Soviet albums.

The French National Library’s Department of Prints at the International Rare Book & Autograph Fair

The Department of Prints and Photography has the great pleasure of participating in the International Rare Book, Autograph, Print & Drawing Fair for the eleventh time. This major event offers the French National Library the opportunity to present a selection of remarkable works. During the fair, the enthusiastic and enlightened public can thus enjoy access to works which are not often exhibited. It is also the chance for the public to talk to the curators of the collections and to learn more about the department whose reading rooms are open throughout the year to students, artists, researchers and aficionados of graphic arts.

Since it was founded in 1667 by Colbert, the French National Library's Department of Prints and Photography has collected and maintained a collection of some ten thousand prints, posters and images from every school, from their origins to the present day. The collection is now one of the oldest and most extensive in the world. Moreover, it continues to expand thanks to the donations and generosity of major collectors and benefactors and through the legal deposits of engravers and publishers still in effect which enables the works of contemporary artists to rub shoulders with those of the old masters. Focusing on the theme of "childhood" chosen this year by the organisers of the fair, the French National Library's stand will present a selection of prints, drawings and posters ranging from the Renaissance to the modern day.

Fondation Louis Jou

2016 is a key year. It is a time to pay homage to those who have kept the Foundation alive over the past 40 years - volunteers, curators, teachers, typographers and of course patrons. A successful work of transmission commensurate with the magnetism that this Catalan exerted over his contemporaries.  This exhibition at the Grand Palais provides an opportunity to explore the particularities of Louis Jou's works - the search for the greatest possible coherence between the different elements of a book, enjoying complete mastery from the typography through the composition to the engraving. It is also the opportunity to take a look back to his younger days or his artistic and literary friendships, the most significant being that he shared with André Suarès. Books are not the only means of expression adopted by Louis Jou, who also embraced myriad art forms ranging from painting to ceramics, music to architecture.

L’Association culturelle des Bouquinistes de Paris

"Paris without the bouquinistes would no longer be a feast”, as Anna Gavalda wrote in the guest-book at the stand of the Association Culturelle des Bouquinistes des quais de Paris, with a tip of the hat to the great novelist Ernest Hemingway, when she visited the fair in 2014. The feast continues in 2016.

Bringing together 180 of the 235 bouquinistes of the quays of Paris, the association is once again present at the fair to remind us of the lively and dynamic activity of the booksellers on the quays of Paris, undeterred by the economic and cultural crises and the competition arising from new technologies. Standing apart from anything of their kind, the thousand and one boxes that form the huge open-air book store continue to offer the millions of visitors who visit it each year from 1 January to 31 December more than 300,000 works of every genres and every price. A rich hunting ground for numerous important bibliophiles, the quays of Paris remain one of the most fertile lands where even the wildest hopes of discovery are permitted.

For the 2016 fair, the bouquinistes of the quays of Paris are pleased to present an exceptional exhibition on their stand of Islamic calligraphy from the 8th century to the 19th century, taken from the private collection of a great art enthusiast. This selection of some thirty museum-quality works provides a unique vision of the different styles of writing in Islamic countries over the centuries. The approach to Calligraphy in the Islamic World: An Open Perspective is both didactic and artistic. Many of the works presented, either religious or secular, can be compared to modern or contemporary works in western art.

These are only a few of an amazing number of exhibitions, workshops, lectures and other book-related events which will enrich the International Rare Book & Autograph Fair from 22 to 24 April 2016 at the Grand Palais in Paris. So stay tuned. We will keep you informed about more …

International Rare Book & Autograph Fair

22-24 April 2016 - Grand Palais (Paris)

>>> For any detailed information please visit the official website of the Paris International Rare Book & Autograph Fair