ILAB COMMITTEE MEETING – 26th MARCH 1949 – GENEVA
(Bulletin n°1 – printed in ABA Newsletter n°13)
A meeting of the Executive Committee was held in Geneva on Sunday, March 26th.
It was decided to issue bulletins of information from time to time of which this is the first for publication in the trade journals of the countries affiliated to the League.
Mr. Gronholt Pdersen suggested that a short film on the cultural importance of the antiquarian book trade might be prepared. The President promised to approach experts in the film trade on this point.
On the vexed questions of booksellers who are members of the trade association in another country, while remaining unacceptable to their national associations, it was agreed that the Presidents should be approached once more with a view to regularising the position.
It was agreed that the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America be invited to appoint a representative to attend Committee Meetings whenever possible, as an observer, without power to vote, Mr. Hertzberger having pointed out that the election of Committee members is in the hands of the General Assembly. It was agreed also to add to the Agenda of the next Conference a proposal to elect a representative of the USA to membership of the Executive Committee.
The corrected proofs of the Minutes of the London Conference were passed for press. Difficulties of payment were discussed and it was agreed that invoices should be rendered and payments accepted in the country where the Minutes are printed, in this case France. The price per copy was calculated at French francs 140, which would just cover the cost of production.
The rules were passed for printing in English and French. It was decided to print 1,300 copies and to keep the type standing.
Difficulties and expenses in reporting the proceedings of the General Assembly were discussed and it was decided to investigate the hire or loan of a recording machine, which would obviate the necessity of stenographers being present, would ensure accuracy of record and permit editorial work at leisure.
It was agreed that while waiting for the American addresses for the Directory, an opportunity should be given to the other Associations to add the names and addresses of new members and to delete any that have become obsolete since the questionnaire was issued. Presidents are requested to note this for their own information and necessary action.
The subject of advertisements by booksellers in the Directory was again discussed. Associations that have not already replied to the questionnaire circulated by the President are asked to do so immediately. How many pages of advertisements may we expect to receive from your country? (a) from booksellers, (b) from others. The price for a full page will be approximately French francs 7,500 (say £7 10s. 0d.).
Associations were also asked: how many copies of the Directory they could take. (a) For members, (b) For non-members. The price will be approximately £1 for members and £2 for non-members. Bookseller-members will be entitled to one copy each at the reduced rate (net) and to a discount of 25 per cent on copies sold to non-members.
Immediate action on these points is desirable on the part of all Presidents. In the absence of complete information from the Associations it was decided that the responsibility must be assumed by the Committee and therefore 2,000 copies of the Directory have been ordered.
The report of a theft of a book from Christie’s was circulated to all Presidents on the same day as it was received from the ABA, but this report (through no fault of the ABA) was dated twelve days after the date of the theft. Earlier information on such points is important.
No progress had been made with the Black List because no single Association has forwarded any names for insertion on it. It was reported that the ABA had appointed a Committee to compile a Black List from information supplied by its members and that this was being done on a card-index system devised by the ABA expressly for the purpose. The results would be forwarded to the League. Associations are reminded that the International Black List can consist only of the total lists provided by all the Associations and without these nothing can be done.
Various complaints of non-payment by individual members were discussed and suitable action is being taken.
The ABA reported the organisation of a national competition of its own for a design for a League Emblem. It will award a prize for the best design submitted and forward the results to the League through M. de Nobele.
A new project by Unesco intended to facilitate the circulation of books among libraries and learned bodies was discussed, but no conclusion was reached. It was felt by some members of the Committee that the project was dangerous to the trade and should be discouraged rather than encouraged.
The publication of a series of lectures on antiquarian books given under the auspices of the ABA by Messrs. Carter, Kyrle Fletcher, Muir, Weil and others was announced and it was agreed to investigate the possibility of publishing translations of them in other languages for the benefit of the League.
It was agreed to apply for corporate membership of the National Book League for the ILAB and to co-operate closely with that body, especially in relation to its exhibitions, some of which are also shown in other countries by the British Council. It was thought that it might be especially useful to Presidents to know that these exhibitions were available in their own countries through the British Council. The N.B.L. is also responsible for book exhibitions in connection with the Festival of Britain in 1951, details of which will be circulated to Presidents as they come to hand.