Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2005 Issue

ILAB Launches New Website


ILAB sports cleaner, easier to read new home page.

By Michael Stillman

ILAB recently completed a major overhaul of its website, which gives us an opportunity to look at this book dealers' organization and its bookselling website. ILAB stands for the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, and it is the largest such group in existence today. Formed in 1947, it includes members of twenty different national associations. The largest is America's ABAA, The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. However, even the ABAA comprises only about one-quarter of the membership of ILAB. This is truly an international organization, and its booksellers naturally offer books from all over the world.

Among the services offered is a book listing search of members' inventory. These include the listings which can be searched through the ABAA website along with material posted by members of the 19 other worldwide organizations. This covers approximately 4 million books from 2,000 vendors. In another era, this would have been astonishing. However, with Abebooks now boasting of 70 million books for sale, it sounds small. ILAB cannot compete in number of books available. What, then, can they offer the collector?

For starters, ILAB member organizations are composed of serious booksellers. This is not to say that nonmembers aren't also serious. There are many worthy booksellers who are members of other organizations, or operate independently of such groups. However, anyone who has searched through the mega-listing sites will be aware that many of those who list are rank amateurs, people with little true knowledge of books who post what they find in attics or garage sales. Their descriptions of what they offer, particularly when it comes to condition, can be wanting. Others simply deal in used books. There is nothing wrong with this. I buy used books this way as it is a much easier method of buying a recently out of print title than trying to track down a new copy. However, if you are searching for an antiquarian or rare title, it may be hard to find among the swarms of recent reprints posted on these sites.

Finally, there are the complete frauds; people who post books they don't even own, but look to fill their sales from other booksellers' inventories, after tacking on a healthy up-charge for providing absolutely no value. And then, or course, there are the "books-on-demand" reprints. This is a useful service for people seeking a reading copy of a hard-to-find book, but these listings are a nuisance for those seeking the original itself. ILAB filters out such extraneous material.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
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  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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