A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
The highlight of the International League year was undoubtedly the marvellous congress in London, at the invitation of the ABA. It proved to be a splendid time, and we were given an excellent example of organisation and forward planning, as the proceedings went ahead smoothly and the social occasions were magnificent. Referring to the forthcoming Congress in London in the last Newsletter, I said “In the early days of League Congresses (with no need of Book Fairs run in conjunction), there was a great spirit of international co-operation. Let us all work to find that spirit in London and continue it”; well, I believe we found it. There seemed to me to be a warm spirit of friendship and co-operation amongst the delegates - and certainly I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed informality when two hundred of you came to lunch!
You may recall that, in the last Newsletter, the ABA (as the oldest association, 1906) produced the first of what I hope will be a continuing series of association histories. Unfortunately, the French association (the next eldest, 1914) was unable to send their history in time for inclusion in this issue, but I am told it will appear in the next. This will be followed the following year by a history of the Danish Association (1920) and then the Dutch association (1935). Which reminds me to congratulate the Dutch Association on their fifty years, and for their excellent celebrations. Other histories will then follow in turn.
This is the last Newsletter to be edited by Jörg Schäfer, and I, and indeed all of us, are most grateful to him for all his efforts to produce an interesting Newsletter with very little material! I hope you will take the hint and send in items of interest, bits of news, amusing anecdotes - anything to make the new editor’s job easier. Heine once said “men in former days had conviction, we moderns have opinions.” We ought to be prepared at least to make known our opinions, and even better, our convictions.
At London we lost Leona Rostenberg from the Committee, as her term of office finished. It was good to have her in our meetings, and I thank her for her contribution. Elisabeth Woodburn (ABAA) was elected to take Leona’s place, and she has already been put to work to compile an International League Diary for all associations and individuals to consult when planning events. I am sure you will find this helpful - so make use of it, and her!
This September sees a big change in the League Committee, and it is a sad time for me. My term of office finishes. Hans Bagger ceases to be the Treasurer after many years of most excellent service in guiding our finances in the right direction; Maria Conradt leaves after many years, first as League Secretary, then as a most wise and helpful Committee member; François Chamonal also leaves after six years as a dedicated Committee member at the close of his term of office, during which he served also in the Jury of the Bibliographical Prize, and of course, Jörg Schäfer, whom I have already mentioned. Jacques van der Heyde and Elisabeth Woodburn continue on the Committee, and President of Honour Frieder Kocher-Benzing continues as Secretary of the Bibliographical Prize. He has just brought another Prize to its final conclusion and will announce the result at the Presidents’ Meeting in Munich. I would like to thank all these colleagues with whom I have worked, discussed, planned, and whose company I have so enjoyed, for their wonderful support, help and encouragement. I wish those who are going to form the new Committee every success, and hope they will each receive as much pleasure and satisfaction as I have done during my term of office, and I trust you will support them as warmly and encouragingly as you have supported me.
We need this International League of ours. Someone once said “The world gets better every day - then worse again in the evening!” Well, as human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe, as there are problems facing us with custom duties, import and export restrictions and regulations, value added tax, high postage-rates and high bank charges - so now, and in the years to come, international co-operation is vital. The League can and is providing that co-operation, as long as you the members remember (to quote my predecessors Stanley Crowe and Bob de Graaf) that the League exists to serve its members, but can only function efficiently with support and response from its members. Let us take all problems with the thought that there are no such things as problems - only opportunities.
I send you my greetings, my farewells and my best and warmest wishes.
John Lawson, President
MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS AT THE CONGRESS
Committee Meeting, Saturday, September 15, 1984, 2:30 pm
Present: the committee with the exception of Dr Maria Conradt who was ordered to take rest after an operation; and Mr. Fernand de Nobele, president of honour.
The president opened the meeting at 2:30 pm and thanked those present for their attendance. He also wished Dr. Maria Conradt a speedy recovery.
The minutes of the committee meeting at Stockholm in 1983 were approved and then the committee considered the agenda in preparation for the presidents' meeting and the general assembly.
Mr Hans Bagger pointed out that for financial reasons it is impossible to simultaneously reprint the League's dictionary and the International directory.
The president proposed that the editor of the dictionary should call upon the linguistic skills, and competence of Mr Franco, Barnie and Albi Rosenthal. It would be useful, as had rightly been suggested by Mr F de Nobele at the committee meeting in Paris, to include in the dictionary a list of abbreviations which are commonly used in the various languages.
The president has received from Mr M. Nitta a proposal calling for the organization of a conference on the conservation of books. Said proposition will be submitted to the next international congress.
The committee decided to propose to the forthcoming presidents' meeting the nomination of Bob de Graaf as President of honour.
The president thanked Mrs Leona Rostenberg, whose mandate in the committee now expires, for her services to the League.
The president would like to confer on behalf of the League a decoration of the former presidents.
Presidents’ Meeting, Sunday, September 16, 1984
Present: the Committee, with the exception of Dr Maria Conradt, Mr. Fernand de Nobele, president of honor; Dr Frieder Kocher-Benzing, Secretary to the Bibliographical Prize.
The presidents of the following national associations:
Austria Mr Werner Taeuber
Belgium Mr Jacques Van der Heyde
Canada Mr John Townsend
Denmark Mr Peter Grosell
France Mrs Jeanne Laffitte
Germany Mr Friedrich Zisska
Great Britain Mrs Claire Perkins
Italy Mr Victor Soave
Japan Mr Kenichiro Nakao (and Mr Keijiro Kilazawa, assistant)
Netherlands Mrs Corinne Van der Peet (Vice President)
Sweden Mrs Karna Wachtmeister
Switzerland Mr Walter Alicke
USA Mr Louis Weinstein
The following national associations were represented by one of their members of by proxies:
Australia and New Zealand Mr Peter Arnold
Brazil proxy held by the ABA
Finland Mr Hans Bagger
Norway Mr Paul Botten
Excused: Mrs Tova Olsani-Nilsson (Finland); Mr Tim McCormick (Australia and New Zealand), Mr Anton Gerits (Netherlands), Mr Bjorn Ringstrom (Norway), and Mr. Fl. Tulkens, president of honour.
The president opened the meeting at 9 am and thanked the presidents and deputies for their attendance.
1. Mrs Karna Wachtmeister and Mr Werner Taeuber were appointed scrutineers.
2. The minutes of the presidents' meeting at Stockholm in 1983 were approved an then duly signed by the presidents.
3. President's Report
The president brought to mind the previous meeting of the national presidents held in Stockholm, making appreciative references to the work done at the various sessions and also thanking the Swedish hosts for their most cordial and generous hospitality. The opportunity for free discussions was something most participants highly appreciated. The president expressed the wish that the afternoon debate may be just as successful.
One of the main motions put forward in Stockholm provided that a letter be written by the League to the governments of the respective member countries with a view to instituting a moratorium on the taxation of books and to fixing the VAT on books at zero percent. That motion would undoubtedly come up to the commitments of most countries vis-à-vis the Unesco. The president reported that Great Britain intends to impose VAT on books.
The presidents expressed his satisfaction at the ABA's contribution towards the preparation of the last Newsletter. In view of the chronology of the foundation of the national associations it is now France's turn to draw up a historical survey for publication in a future issue of the Newsletter.
The president congratulated the Japanese association which was celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The president regretted having to announce the death of three members of the League, Mr Max Elte, Mr Ernst Hauswedell and Shiro Muroguchi. On behalf of the League he offered his condolences to the Associations to which our three lamented fellow-members belonged.
The president congratulated Mr Werner Taeuber, president of the Austrian association, who retires from this function after 9 years of meritorious and loyal service.
The president extended his thanks to Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing, Secretary to the Bibliographical Prize, for the time and effort expended on the preparatory work incidental to this prize. The members of the jury have convened for a first time in order to discuss the qualities and importance of the works handed in to the secretariat.
The president advised the members, in cases of dispute between members of two national associations, to first refer their problems to their respective national presidents, who may then if they deem necessary, submit the matter to the President of the League.
The President also thanked our Treasurer, Hans Bagger, for having kept the League's account so well. He then extended his thanks to the members of the committee and the national presidents who have undertaken the journey to London. And he more particularly tendered his most cordial thanks to our host, the British Association.
4 - 5 Treasurer's report and annual subscription
Our Treasurer, Hans Bagger, presented and commented on his report covering the period from 1.1.84 till 31.8.84. This report was approved by a unanimous vote. In view of the present economic situation Hans Bagger proposes a 5% increase on the 1985 contributions of the national associations to the League. The proposal was adopted at the Presidents' Meeting.
Mr. L. Weinstein proposed that the associations' contributions be tied to an index. The American president also pointed out that his association grants subsidies towards the travelling expenses of ABA's delegates attending the League's meetings.
The British Association proposed to fix the association's contributions proportionately to the number of associated members. Hans Bagger pointed out that this proposal has already been under discussion but that it may be re-discussed in the committee meeting.
Hans Bagger regretted the delay which has been suffered in the publication of the directory. He hopes it will be issued by the end of January 1985. The associations will receive the last galley proofs at the end of December 1984. Hans Bagger insisted on the good quality of the corrections and he hopes that they will be sent back without delay. The recommended price for the directory amounts to $16 - $ 20 ($24 inclusive of postage).
Jörg Schäfer was pleased with the contribution the ABA made towards the editing of the Newsletter nr 36. The ABA has sent him a long and exceedingly interesting article on the history of their association (covering the period 1906 - 1984). Jörg Schäfer cherished the hope that the British contribution will encourage the remaining national associations to follow suit.
Any changes in the composition of the national committees must be communicated to the editor of the newsletter and to the committee's secretary.
8. Bibliographical Prize
The secretary to the Bibliographical Prize, Dr Kocher Benzing, was pleased to announce that he has already received 21 works submitted for the next prize award. Among those, ten works have been selected in the course of the first jury meeting.
Mrs Jeanne Laffitte suggested that the League should undertake to publish the prize-winning contributions and that the associations should buy a certain number of copies.
Mrs K Wachtmeister proposed not to accept any works in manuscript.
Dr. L. Rostenberg is convinced that the publication of the work would be an additional reward for the author.
Dr Kocher Benzing intends to write a letter to the UNESCO asking for a grant which could help the ILAB in publishing the prize-winning works.
Mr R Baynton-Williams will deal with security problems in the course of the General Assembly. [note in the Newsletter concerning that discussion at the General Assembly: In the afternoon the General Assembly met again in order to participate at the debates, conducted by R. Baynton-Williams, regarding the security problems and at an account concerning the international means of payment avoiding banking expenses].
The American Association moved that Mrs Elisabeth Woodburn be appointed to the League Committee in order to fill the place of Dr Leona Rostenberg whose mandate now expires. The American proposition will be put forward in the course of the General Meeting.
The president announced that there will soon be three vacancies available within the committee which is now composed of seven members.
11. Proposals for Discussion
a. The committee urged each association to send two years in advance a time-table of exhibitions and fairs they intend to organize so as to avoid dates clashing
Mr F de Nobele voiced the opinion that the announcements ought to be confined to those events which are organized under the patronage of the national association.
b. The committee moved that Mr Bob de Graaf be appointed as a president of honour for the great many services he has rendered to the League. This title will be conferred upon him in the course of the President's meeting which will be held in Germany in 1985.
c. The British Association informed the meeting that banking charges for the payment of invoices are becoming increasingly more important. Solutions to this problem, if any, will be discussed in the course of the General Assembly.
d. Next year the Dutch association will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its foundation. Mrs Van der Peet, on behalf of her fellow-members, wished to invite the presidents to the dinner party organized by the Dutch association in order to celebrate this event. This dinner party will be held either before or after the 1985 presidents' meeting in Germany.
12. Future congresses and presidents' meetings
1985: The presidents' meeting will be held in Munich from September 6 to 8
The president extended his thanks to Mr Friedrich Zisska and the German association.
1986: Congress in Italy. Mr Soave invited the members of the League on behalf of the Italian association. The congress will be held in Venice during the second week of September. The congress will have its sittings at the Cini Foundation. It will be followed b an International Book Fair in the halls of the Palazzo Grassi. The president extended thanks to Mr. V. Soave and the Italian association.
1987: The president has not yet received an invitation
13. Any other business [at the General Assembly]
The committee has decided to confer on the past presidents of the League a decoration in memory of their loyal and meritorious services to the ILAB. The president was pleased to decorate Messrs. F. de Nobele, G. Deny (absent), B. de Graaf, Fr. Kocher-Benzing and Fl. Tulkens with a Past President's badge.
For financial reasons the new edition of the dictionary of the League can only be published in 12 to 18 months' time. It will be completed with a list of abbreviations commonly used in the languages the Dictionary includes.
Various associations would like to update the "Usages and Customs" of the League.
The president closed the meeting at 0.15 pm.
General Meeting, Tuesday, September 18, 1984
The President opened the meeting at 9:30 am, spoke a word of welcome and thanked the English Association for their generous invitation to this Congress.
2. The Meeting approved the minutes of the meeting held at Stockholm in 1983
3. After the President’s Report, the President was pleased to announce that the Committee and the Presidents’ Meeting have unanimously decided to appoint Dr. Kocher-Benzing as a President of Honour of the League. Dr. Kocher-Benzing extended his thanks to the meeting and rejoices in the fact that this appointment coincides with the 25th anniversary of his bookshop.
4 - 5. (see Minutes of Presidents’ Meeting)
6. Hans Bagger regretted the delay which has been suffered in the publication of the Directory. He hopes it will be issued by the end of January 1985. The Associations will receive the last galley proofs at the end of December 1984. Hans Bagger insisted on the good quality of the corrections and he hopes that they will be sent back without delay. The recommended price charged for the Directory amounts to $16 - $20 ($24 inclusive of postage).
7. Jörg Schäfer was pleased with the contribution the British Association made towards the editing of the Newlsetter n°36. The ABA has sent him a long and exceedingly interesting article on the history of their Association (covering the period 1906 - 1984). Jörg Schäfer cherished the hope that the British contribution will encourage the remaining national associations to follow suit.
Any changes in the composition of the national Committees must be communicated to the ditor of the Newsletter and to the Committee’s Secretary.
8. Bibliographical Prize (see Minutes of Presidents’ Meeting)
9. The security problems will be discussed after Mr. R. Baynton-William’s exposition in the course of the afternoon session.
10. The Meeting gave its approval to the proposition of the American Association and the President will write a letter to Mrs Elisabeth Woodburn informing her of her election to the Committee.
11. (see Minutes of Presidents’ Meeting)
12. Forthcoming Congresses and Presidents’ Meetings
1985: The Presidents’ Meeting will be held in Munich from September 6 to 8
1986: Mr. V. Soave invited the members of the League on behalf of the Italian Association. The Congress will be held in Venice during the second week of September. The Congress will have its sittings at the Cini Foundation. It will be followed by an International Book Fair in the halls of the Palazzo Grassi. The President extended thanks to Mr. V. Soave and the Italian Association.
13. Any other business
The Committee has decided to confer on the Past Presidents of the League a decoration in memory of their loyal and meritorious services to the ILAB. The President was pleased to decorate Messrs. F. De Nobele, G. Deny (absent), B. de Graaf, Fr. Kocher-Benzing and Fl. Tulkens with a Past President’s badge.
For financial reasons the new edition of the Dictionary of the League can only be published in 12 to 18 months’ time. It will be completed with a list of abbreviations commonly used in the languages the Dictionary includes.
Various associations would like to update the “Usages and Customs” of the League.
The President closed the meeting at 0.15 pm.
In the afternoon the General Assembly met again in order to participate at the debates, conducted by R. Baynton-Williams, regarding the security problems and at an account concerning the international means of payment avoiding banking expenses.
MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE MEETING
AMSTERDAM, 7 MARCH 1985
Present: the entire Committee; and the President of Honour, Bob de Graaf and Dr. Fr. Kocher-Benzing.
The President opened the meeting at 2:30 pm and especially welcomed Mrs Elizabeth Woodburn, who assisted for the first time to a Committee Meeting, and Mr. Bob de Graaf.
1. The Minutes of the Committee meeting at London on the 15th of September, 1984, were approved.
2. The President mentioned that the ILAB sign often occurs on announcements for Book Fairs. Several committee members held the opinion that the presence of our sign does not imply the patronage of the League, but rather that the organizing association is a member of the League. The Committee decided that it is not opportune to bar the League’s sign from the use, side by side with the national sign, by the organizers of book fairs on the relevant printed matters.
3. Treasurer’s Report. Hans Bagger pointed out the weight of the costs for printing the Newsletter without publicity pages. This measure shall allow the publication of historical sketches of the different national associations without increasing the usual number of pages in a newsletter. Some committee members suggested that the League should ask for financial contributions from the associations for the publication of their articles. The editor, J. Schäfer, proposed to charge only for the costs of type-setting and layout. To compensate, the League would make the offset-film available to the associations for a possible separate printing. The British Association agreed to this proposition.
Hans Bagger reported that the finances of the League shall be in improved shape in April, after the income of the expected revenues: the interest from the money invested in banking accounts and the annual subscriptions from the associations.
The President, once more, expressed thanks to Hans Bagger for the excellent work.
4. Newsletter. The editor, J. Schäfer, would prefer to publish the Newsletter without publicity but instead with further histories of our affiliated associations or with any other articles of interest to the members of the League.
Mrs Elizabeth Woodburn proposed to seek voluntary contributions to the printing costs of the Newsletter and to publish the list of those “benefactors” in the respective issues.
The President thanked J. Schäfer for the work on the Newsletter.
5. Directory. Hans Bagger regretted to announce a further delay of the printing of the Directory. The state of Mr. Pummer’s health has retarded the work. In addition, the production of the Directory for the first time with a computer is another delaying factor.
6. Bibliographical Prize. The preparations for the next Bibliographical Prize are on the way. The competing works circulate among the members of the Jury. The decision for the award will be taken in June at Stuttgart and the prize will be presented at the forthcoming Presidents’ Meeting at Munich.
7. Security. The problems of security remain an actuality and will be on the Agenda for the forthcoming Presidents’ Meeting.
8. Presidents’ Meeting. The next Presidents’ Meeting takes place at Munich from Friday, September 6, to Sunday, September 8, 1985. The President of the German Association, Mr. F. Zisska, will send out information to the national presidents. The President of the League proposed that the afternoon of Sunday September 8, should be reserved for informal discussions.
9. Nomminations and elections. Several committee members are coming to the end of their terms: the President John Lawson, Dr. Maria Conradt, François Chamonal and Jörg Schäfer. According to art. 22 of the Statutes, the committee is to be composed of 7 members. The President proposed to reduce this number to 6. This proposition shall be discussed at the Munich Meeting.
10. Any other business. Mrs. E. Woodburn suggested that the booksellers should issue their bills in the same currency as their respective offers. This suggestion shall be discussed at Munich.
The President closed the meeting at 5.15 pm.