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Submitted by admin on 06 Oct. 2010

Largest Prize in the Bibliographical World is Awarded in Helsinki to Anna Perälä

The 13th ILAB Bibliographical Prize of $10,000 has been awarded to Anna Perälä, for her atlas of Finnish typography, 1642-1827, a monumental two volume work, published in three languages, Finnish, Swedish and German (Suomen typografinen atlas, Finsk typografisk atlas, Typographischer Atlas Finnlands, 1622-1827). The award was presented to the author in person at a dinner in Helsinki, Finland, by the President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), Kay Craddock, during the recent Congress of the ILAB held in four countries in Scandinavia.

The ILAB, founded in 1947, is an organization that encompasses 2000 booksellers from 20 national associations around the world. The professionalism and expertise of these booksellers is dependent, in large measure, on their ability to research and verify their statements about the books and printed material that they offer. Bibliographies and studies of book history are the tools of trade that these professional booksellers rely upon. Forty years ago, the ILAB Bibliographical Prize was founded with the aim of honouring authors in this field. Every four years it awards $US10,000.00 to the author of the best work produced in that period, either published or unpublished, of learned bibliography, or of significant new research into the history of the book and its related trades.

63 Submitted Books

Twenty years ago, in 1982, 18 titles were submitted for the 7th ILAB Bibliographical Prize. In 2002 a total of 63 entries were received for the 13th ILAB Bibliographical Prize. These entries covered subjects as diverse as bees and honey, coffee, and early American Law. They included learned works on the history of literature from the 15th to the 20th centuries, and studies and bibliographies of authors as diverse as Francesco Colonna, John Locke, and Pierre du Moulin. They covered social history through prose fiction, and circumpolar life studies by women. Technical and practical aspects of book production, including colour plate books, typography, and bookbinding were represented, as were the makers of books, publishing houses, and book trade memoirs.

The distinguished panel of judges is made up of eminent librarians and ILAB booksellers, and for the past eight years the jury has benefited from the guidance of the Prize Secretary, Konrad Meuschel. The extremely high standard of entry is evidenced by 23 of the 63 entries being shortlisted for final judging. Three honourable mentions were recommended.

Honourable Mentions
- Martin Bircher, J. D. Fleeman, David W. Forbes

These special commendations have been bestowed on the two volume exhibition catalogue for Mirror of the World. Handwriting and books from three millenia, edited by Martin Bircher, Elizabeth Macheret van Daele and Hans Albrecht Cook. (Spiegel der Welt). The late Dr. J. D. Fleeman’s A bibliography of the Works of Samuel Johnson, in two volumes, and David W. Forbes for his four volume Hawaiian National Bibliography 1780-1900. Each of these works makes a major contribution to scholarship and research and all have become major bibliographical tools that are used extensively by the antiquarian book trade and collectors alike.

ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography