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INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS

MINUTES

ORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

Vienna, Austria

Friday 9th October 2009, 10 am

 

1. President’s Welcome

 

The meeting is open at 10:40.

President Adrian Harrington officially welcomes the new presidents of the newly accepted national associations, and adds:

 

Presidents, Past Presidents, Presidents of Honour and Members of Honour, welcome to the beautiful City of Vienna. I would also like to welcome the representatives from Russia and China. Mr Yu Hua Gang, is the President of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of the People’s Republic of China. He is accompanied by Mr Peng Zhen Yao, Ms Zhao Lin, Ms Liu Yan Zhi. The Association of Sellers and Collectors of Antiquarian Books in Russia was formed in 2009. They are represented in Vienna by Mr Alexey Lukashin, their President and Mr Sergey Vengerov, their secretary, who unfortunately had to travel back to Russia yesterday. They are all here as observers and I would like to thank them for attending our meeting.

Some of you will have been to Presidents’ meetings in the past and know how things work. For those of you who have never attended I would say a special welcome and we look forward to hearing from you. It is worth remembering in all of the proceedings that the ILAB committee exists to serve the National Associations, represented by you their presidents, so please: don’t be shy! Over these few days, we will all get to know each other better and understand more fully the function of the League. I hope we will also discover how we can cooperate better to improve International business.

Finally I would like to thank our very generous hosts, the Austrian Association and their unbelievably hard working President, Norbert Donhofer. This is the third time in recent years that we have been welcomed to this beautiful Country and I would like pay tribute to our Austrian friends for their splendid hospitality.

 

2. Presence, apologies, announcement of proxies and establishment of quorum, appointment of scrutineers

 

Presence

 

a) Committee & other

 

Adrian Harrington, President

Arnoud Gerits, Vice President

Poul Jan Poulsen, Treasurer

Paul Feain, General Secretary

Tom Congalton

Norbert Donhofer

Tsukasa Maeda

Nevine Marchiset, Executive Secretary

Michael Steinbach, Past President

Alain Nicolas, President of Honour

Bob Fleck, President of Honour

Mitsuo Nitta, Member of Honour

Barbara Werner, Website editor

Mariko Yoshida-Karlhuber, Japanese translator

 

Observers

 

Chinese Delegation

Mr . Yu Hua Gang

Mr. Peng Zhen Yao

Ms. Zhao Lin

Ms. Liu Yan Zhi

 

Russian Delegation 

Mr. Alexey Lukashin

 

b) National Associations

- ANZAAB, Peter Tinslay (1 vote)

- VAO, Norbert Donhofer (1 vote)

- CLAM, Eric Speeckaert (1 vote)

- ABAC, Eric Waschke (1 vote)

- ABF, Maria Girsel (1 vote)

- VDA, Eberhard Kostler (2 votes)

- ALAI, Umberto Pregliasco (1 vote)

- ABAJ, M. Sakai (1 vote)

- NVvA, Ton Kok (1 vote)

- AILA, Fernando Gonzalo Pontes (1 vote)

- ABAA, Stuart Bennettt (2 votes)

- NABF, Vidar Wangsmo (1 vote)

 

Sub total : 14 votes

 

Absence

 

Ulrich Hobbeling, Committee member, excused

Kay Craddock, President of Honour, excused

Anton Gerits, President of Honour, excused

Keith Fletcher, Member of Honour, excused

Ana Maria Bocayuva de Miranda Jordao (ABLA), excused

Tamas Madera (SACR), excused

Timo Surojegin (SAY), excused

Frédéric Castaing (SLAM), excused

Alan Shelley (ABA), excused

Sun-Kyun Kim (ABAK)

Sigbjorn Ryo (SVAF), excused

Alain Moirandat (VEBUKU), excused

 

Proxies

 

Frédéric Castaing (SLAM) has given his proxy to Alain Nicolas (2 votes)

Alain Moirandat (VEBUKU) has given his proxy to Marcus Benz (1 vote)

Alan Shelley (ABA) has given his proxy to   Eric Waschke (2 votes)

Timo Surojegin (SAY) has given his proxy to  Vidar Wangsmo (1 vote)

Sigbjorn Ryo (SVAF) has given his proxy to  Vidar Wangsmo (1 vote)

 

Sub total of proxies: 7 votes

 

Total number of votes: 14 + 7 =  21  votes. The quorum is reached.

 

A proposal will be adopted if it reaches  11 votes.

 

Michael Steinbach and Bob Fleck are appointed as scrutineers.

 

Adrian Harrington reads a message sent by Alan Shelley:

 

Dear Mr. President,

I have already told you that sadly I am unable to attend the Ptresidents Meeting in Vienna. .  It is 70 years since my parents left Vienna for England and it would have given me great pleasure to revisit this beautiful city as President of the ABA.  I know Vienna a little and can tell from Norbert's programme that all of the Presidents and the ILAB committee will have a wonderful time.

 

This note is really to send my best wishes to you all for a very successful meeting, which I look forward to hearing about in due course.

Alan

 

Adrian then reminds that China and Russia cannot vote this year as the meeting concerns the year starting 1st July 2008 and ending 30th June 2009. But they will be able to vote at next year’s meeting.

He also reminds that the vote is done by show of hands, and requests those who hold proxies or who are allowed two votes to put two hands in the air. He explains to the observers that the associations who have more than 150 members are allowed two votes.

 

3. In Memoriam

 

The following list is read:

 

VAO (Austria)

Hans-Dieter Paulusch (1941-2008), Vice-President of the Verband der Antiquare Österreichs from 1985 to 2000, President of the Verband from 2000 to 2003, passed away after short illness

 

ABA (UK)

Claire Bloodworth, young bookseller, wife and mother; daughter of ABA Member Christopher Arden, Bookseller

Paul Breman, London bookseller and ABA Member from 1968 to 1988

Martin Dyke, senior staff member of Henry Sotheran Ltd.

Monica Lawson, wife of John Lawson, ILAB President of Honour

Lord Parmoor, former Chairman of Bernard Quaritch Ltd.

Alan Rankin, Edinburgh Bookseller and former ABA Member

 

ABAA (USA)

Irving Zucker of New York

James Lorson of California.

 

VEBUKU (Switzerland)

Louis Vuille of Yverdon

 

SLAM (France)

Léonce Laget, died on 18 August 2009, at the age of 88

 

ABAJ (Japan)

Kenichiro Nakao, president of Nakao Shousendo Shoten, passed away in July aged 86 years. Mr. Kenichiro Nakao was one of the founders of ABAJ and had been a long-standing chartered member.

 

AILA (Italy)

Cesare Birocco of Libreria Bourlot.

 

A standing minute of silence is observed.

 

4. Approval of Madrid Minutes, September 2008

 

Stuart Bennettt proposes the approval of the minutes of the Ordinary General Meeting held in September 2008 in Madrid, he is seconded by Umberto Pregliasco.

 

In favour: 21

Against: 0

Abstention: 0

 

The proposal is carried unanimously.

 

5. President’s Report

 

Adrian Harrington reads his report:

 

It seems only yesterday that I became President of the League and yet so much has happened in the past year, much of it concerning the internet. In Madrid our webmaster, Jelle Samhuijzen, handed in his resignation and I felt that I had inherited a poisoned chalice! We decided to see this setback as an opportunity to re evaluate just what we wanted from our website. Elsewhere you will see Tom Congalton’s excellent internet report. I would add little to it other than to say that we have really grasped the nettle and feel that the new website will help to drive the traffic between customer and dealer, without third party intervention. The content and usefulness of the site will be much enhanced thanks to the sterling efforts of Barbara Werner. The technology of the website will be ‘state of the art’ thanks to the work of Marc Simon and his firm, Neteor. The cost of all of this is free to our affiliates!

After launch on 1st December we will continue to develop the ideas that the past year of discussion and debate have generated. I know that there are those who feel that we should have asked Jelle to stay on or that we should have sought out a new database provider. We were approached by several people but all involved costs to our dealers and to the League with no real guarantees. What we have now is the chance for the website to truly represent the League. We should achieve over a thousand dealers being searched against our current five hundred and fifty, meaning the site will be far more representative of the League. For those who are on sites that won’t, at present,  be searched by the ILAB metasearch, we have suggested three possible providers including Rockingstone, who has been given permission to continue to operate his database and to use the name ilabdatabse.com.  This was partly in response to requests from our affiliates. For those who want a cheaper alternative they should look at the other two offers. In the past there was confusion over who should be paying for the promotion of the site. Rockingstone were earning the money but our dealers were blaming ILAB for any poor performance. We generally arrived at amicable solutions with Rockingstone over funding for publicity but it was never really structured. We can now say that the responsibility lies firmly with the League. We have clear and defined dividing lines and responsibilities and have a superb platform from which to move forward.

The rest of the work of the committee also continued through the year. We generally each handle, on average, some ten or twenty emails a day regarding ILAB. All of the committee work hard and pay attention to all of the work that is being done and that needs doing. I’m sure they won’t mind if I high light what some of them have been doing since Madrid. Our Security Secretary, Paul Feain, whose report you will see elsewhere, has been busy on more than one front. Along with Mitsuo Nitta, he has been very active with the Hong Kong Book Fair and in dealing with China applying to join the League. Ulrich Hobbeling arranged our committee meeting in Barcelona in March of this year. It was at this meeting that we refined most of our thinking and planning on the way forward for the website. Poul Poulsen, our ever diligent treasurer, continued to keep a firm hand on our finances and our special thanks go to him with regards to the Bresslauer donation to the Bibliographical Prize. At a time when the financial world was in meltdown, Poul managed to invest the funds at an astonishing 7%! I can think of a number of Countries who would like to have Poul in charge of their finances instead of their present incumbents! Well done Poul. Norbert Donhofer has organised this wonderful Presidents’ meeting as well as the Bibliophile’s meeting in Vienna. Such overwhelming amounts of work and organisation are difficult to imagine. It is the first time that the Bibliophiles and the Presidents have joined together in this way and we have Norbert to thank for it. In addition he accompanied the Canadian President, Eric Waschke, and me to Moscow. Eric has worked hard on helping to realise a Russian Association and is now setting his sights on South America! Since I’ve written this report, I’ve had a meeting with Paul Mills of South Africa. As a result, there is a possibility of moving forward with our first African association. Tom Congalton heads up our IT subcommittee and it’s true to say we have much to thank him and his ever diligent colleague, Dan Gregory, for. Working with them has been Jim Hinck of Via Libri. Jim is building our metasearch engine and is doing it for free! To see such altruism in this cut throat world is an inspiration. In the spring we appointed Barbara Werner as our web editor. She set to with energy and commitment and you will all see the results of her hard work when the site is launched. Our Bibliography Prize Secretary, Arnoud Gerits, has done great work with his jury and this at a time when he was moving his business! The jury have finished their deliberations and we will be hearing the results from Arnoud. Tsukasa Maeda is our Japanese committee member and his input is always valued. He even managed to attend an IT subcommittee meeting in London where his comments and opinions were well received. In all of this he was ably assisted by the translation skills of Ms Kumiko Toda. Last but by no means least; I come to our one woman phenomenon, Nevine Marchiset. Previous presidents have paid tribute to Nevine’s relentless hard work and diligence and I know why. Without Nevine’s steady and intelligent attention to detail as well as her comprehension of the big picture the League would be a different organisation and a poorer one. I would like to say a big thank you to all of my talented and hard working committee.

For some time the League has developed closer working relations with CINOA (Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d'Art) In November 2008, Nevine and I had a meeting with CINOA President, Bo Knutsson, and Erika Bochereau, CINOA’s secretary. At that meeting it was agreed that a more formal relationship between the two Associations would be mutually beneficial. In June of this year, at their annual meeting CINOA agreed to the League joining as an associate member. We will be voting on that at this Presidents’ meeting. At their meeting they also elected a new President, Mr. DeMaere. There is much that the two Associations have in common and in a world of increasing bureaucracy, we will find combined strength of the new alliance invaluable

And so we move on to what looks like a bright future, despite the fact that we live in a world that will soon be using digital books as the norm, satnavs instead of Atlases and where financial uncertainty makes business more difficult than ever. The groundwork has been laid and the League is looking fit to take on the challenges. It is an honour to be the president of such an organisation.

 

Peter Tinslay moves to approve the President’s report, he is seconded by Eric Waschke.

 

In favour: 21

Against: 0

Abstention: 0

 

The report is approved unanimously.

 

6. General Secretary’s Report

 

Paul Feain makes the following statement:

 

The work of the General Secretary is very arduous. It consists of often giving thanks and praise to our Executive Secretary Nevine. Thank you Nevine.

 

7. Security Chairman’s Report and stolen books database

 

a. Report

b. Update on the ABA proposal concerning the appointment of the sub-committee, recommendations of the sub-committee

 

Paul Feain reads the security report:

 

This year has seen the usual number of reports of stolen books being reported. I have sent out emails to the security chain at least every week and often a few times a week.

Most members do not add the book to the stolen book data base although I usually write to the bookseller and tell them of this service, I think that the reason is “Bookseller Apathy.”

The stolen book database now contains 1492 books which is an increase of 52 in the last 6 months.

We have had a series of sporadic emails with Tim Bryars concerning the stolen book database.

The ABA has presented a paper – copy attached.

I agree with it mostly.

I quote

“The intention is to make the ILAB site the most comprehensive site for stolen books and related material and the first port of call for anyone with a legitimate interest.”

The suggestion is that we make the ILAB stolen book site searchable using the meta search principal and we also search the PBFA site, the Antiquarian Map Dealers Association site, the individual sites of ILAB members ( the Italian Association has a stolen  book database of some thousands of titles going back for many years). IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations)  has a record of many stolen books and over the years I have had discussions with them concerning mutual co-operation. I am sure that there are other organizations with whom we could work.

The ABAA has recently joined a committee involving the American Library Association and some law enforcement agencies to discuss ways and means of combating the problem. Basically they are looking at using the WorldCat  bibliographical database as a platform. I await news from this committee.

CINOA may also have an interest and be able to contribute.

ILAB has to make a decision concerning the running of the stolen book database. Do we keep it with Rockingstone or have it somewhere else. Whichever way it works we need someone to be the webmaster for the database. The ILAB committee person (such as myself) can be the moderator.

The ABA proposes that the database be self building which it almost is now. The individual member enters the details of the stolen book into the ILAB stolen book database and the moderator approves the entry.

 Problems can arise when non booksellers – such as law enforcement agencies – wish to enter detail. We need to make the data entry professional and precise. Entries submitted by police and laymen tend to be almost useless. For example they have submitted descriptions such as “a nineteenth century book of Shakespeare’s writings was stolen from a house in….”

The ABA also recommends that photographs be uploaded and this is essential now. The technology is simple and we must start doing this.

I think that it is necessary for the moderator to be able to remove recovered items at the request of the party involved.

I am of the opinion that we must advertise the existence of the stolen book database widely and that we must invite librarians, collectors, antique dealers, Insurance companies, non ILAB Booksellers, law enforcement agencies, auction houses and other interested parties to use it.

I recommend that ILAB continue with the sub committee and appoint myself (or whoever is the Security Chair), Tim Bryars (ABA), Ken Sanders (ABAA) and two other representatives to follow this through.

 

Before moving forward, Adrian Harrington reminds the new members of the dual languages of the League. He makes sure that Alain Nicolas and Eric Speeckaert have been provided with French translations of the reports.

 

Adrian Harrington then explains the importance of the stolen books database. Paul asks whether there are any representatives present who would like to volunteer for the sub-committee. Adrian Harrington adds that we are looking for a person who feels willing to work on this. We don’t have to decide today, but if someone has someone in mind or has a security chair already, willing to work with Paul… Paul will chase the matter up and find representatives.

 

c. Proposal put forward by the Committee:

 

That the viewing of the stolen books database be accessible to the public.

 

The committee is in favour of allowing the public to access the stolen books information. The stolen books database would therefore no longer be restricted to the book dealers’ only section of the website. However, feeding the information would be limited to the ILAB affiliates and other selected reputable organisations, after having been approved by the Security Chair.

 

Umberto Pregliasco seconds the proposal.

 

Adrian Harrington explains that this request used to be controversial. Some thought that it would give thieves inside information. Our prime purpose is to stop book theft around the world. If the thieves know that within a short time of an item being stolen, it is likely to be reported, they might go steal elsewhere, or, hopefully, not at all!

Ton Kok thinks it is a very bad idea and dangerous, because thieves can follow up on everything.

Umberto Pregliasco is in favour. The Italian website has a very simple list, and it would be too complicated to add it to the ILAB, but it has always been open to the public. It is important to show the police that we are open, and thanks to this openness, the AILA has even been able to access the Carabinieri. It has allowed the police to trust them more than before.  Adrian Harrington adds that there are 200 members in the ABA and over 700 in the PBFA. Additionally there are legitimate booksellers who are not members of any association. eBAy and such things as car boot sales are often called a thieves delight! If only the affiliates of the League know that a theft has been perpetrated, it is not necessarily helpful in recovering stolen goods. The intention of this proposal is to give the thieves nowhere to sell the books they steal. Ton Kok agrees on that point, but says that there is a difference between the public and the dealers who are in other organisations. In Holland, the police are not interested in helping the dealers. Adrian Harrington replies that police apathy is a universal problem. However, going public ensures that we can publicize that all booksellers implement due diligence. Most of the book thieves are opportunists, not organised.

Alain Nicolas says he thinks the committee is right to want the viewing of the stolen books database open to all, he does not understand the reasons behind Ton Kok’s opposition. He then asks who  the recognised authorities allowed to enter books in the stolen books database?

Paul Feain replies that selected organisations are libraries or institutions or other associations approved by the national association of the country.

Stuart Bennettt says that there is an issue regarding the rigour with which the reports are viewed before they are publicised. If a book is reported as stolen because of spite or a family dispute, there is a risk of a blow back. In the US it could end up in a law suit. We will need to implement due diligence in vetting stolen reports from outside organisations.

Paul replies that this is  true. Perhaps we can have the national association approve reports before they are loaded on the ILAB website. Stuart Bennettt repeats that his concern is when reports arrive from collectors and such. A possibility would be to state that each theft is reported by X or Y, so a moral responsibility is put on X or Y.

Peter Tinslay says that if a private person approached him, he would ask them first whether the theft had been reported with the police, and in the report we would add the report number. We could say that we would agree to add a private report of a theft only if it had been reported to the police.

Gonzalo Pontes mentions the Art Loss Register, and suggests that it would be interesting for ILAB to make contacts with them, to see what possibilities of collaboration there might be.

Adrian Harrington says that he has had dealings with them a few years ago, they are very efficient. However, they hit a problem with them: if you have a painting by Titian it is unique. If you have a first edition of Winnie the Pooh, they crop up at auction every week. How can we apply strong filters to what is reported to the Art Loss Register? Possibly if they are truly unique or very scarce items, for example signed or inscribed.

It is decided, for reasons of legal clarity, in the future stolen books database, to switch “contact” to “reported by” for each entry.

Ton Kok wishes to answer Alain Nicolas. He says that in cases he knows of, the retrieval of stolen books was possible because the theft had not been advertised. Adrian Harrington replies that a national association, when it is advised of a theft, can decide not to go public with the information if it is in the interest of the case, and if the police’s advice is to do so. Perhaps we can consider some pages with a restricted access. Perhaps the new website can have public and non public pages.

Bob Fleck says he would be very interested in the opinions of the Insurance companies: would they lower their rates if they knew about this database being public?

Adrian Harrington replies that Richard Thompson insurers can be advised that we are showing due diligence. He adds that publicising the stolen books database will show the authorities that ILAB is acting with due diligence about stolen books and is excellent PR. He gives the example of South Africa where the government wants to control all the buying and selling of books done by dealers.

 

As there are no further comments, the president calls for the vote.

 

In favour: 20

Against: 1 (Ton Kok)

Abstention: 0

 

The proposal is carried.

 

8. Treasurer’s Report

 

Poul Poulsen reads this report:

 

I hope you all have received the 2008/2009 Statement of Profit and Loss Accounts, which I mailed to all ILAB presidents in August. I have a few spare copies here if you need one.

First let me underline that the accounts are in Danish Kroner, see page 11 to 14. The figures in EUR – page 1-4, and in US$ - page 5 to 8 – are converted in rounded figures, you can see the rate of exchange at the top of each column.

The figures in the first column are from this financial year, the second column figures are from last year’s statement and in the third column you will find the figures from the budget, which was adopted in Madrid 2008.

Last year the statement showed a surplus of 20.000 € and I am of course pleased to report that also this year’s result shows a surplus, this time on a little over 17.000 € (a little over 24.000 US$). So I can only say that is that I am satisfied with the result of this financial year and I will also claim that the League’s financial situation is good and sound.

I will now make some remarks to some of the figures. If we begin by looking at our income then you can see that the Subscription have brought a little over 47.000 € a little more than estimated in the budget, but one of the reasons is, that the value of the US$ was about 10% higher in this financial year. The 2009 subscription is based on 33 US$ per affiliated member. Broken down by country, you will find the figures on page 9. Here I would like to remind our members that according to our rules the ‘Annual subscriptions from the League’s Members must be paid within 60 days of invoice’. Far too many of our members seem to have forgotten this.

The levy from the various Book Fairs around the world has contributed with nearly 50.000 €. Broken down by country, see on page 10. Here I would like to repeat what I have said every year during my now 18 years in office – Dear Presidents please remind your Book Fair committees to send the Book Fair levy, as soon as possible after the fair is closed and again according to our rule it ‘must be paid within 120 days after the Fair is closed’. Thank you for your kind cooperation in this matter.

I note with satisfaction that, in this financial year, our shares and bonds show a profit of nearly 7.800 € on their value, and moreover we had earned interest to the amount of 4.367 €.

And now to the Disbursements:

The ILAB/LILA.org expenses amount to nearly 18.000 € (or a little over 25.000 $) that include: The yearly maintenance of: the membership database, the Stolen Book Database and Website maintenance.

We have spent nearly 10.000 € (14.000 US$) to cover the Committee members’ travel expenses to their various meeting places.

On the Administration we have in all spent 11.200 €. (15.800 US$) and that covers among others the rent of our meeting rooms, expenses for the interpreters, our Swiss solicitor, the fee for our accountant, the printing of the new stationary and the statement or correctly, the Profit and Loss Accounts, committee lunches and dinners, postage and handling of the ILAB/LILA directory, and other minor expenses.

On advertising and PR we have spent 8.300 € (11,700 US$) and that covers among others ILAB/LILA note pads and pencils, posters, the Madrid Congress, and  our participation the CINOA meeting.

The yearly allowance to the ILAB/LILA President, our General Secretary and the Treasurer plus the meeting allowance to the Committee members, the Immediate Past President and the Executive Secretary – in all ten persons - covering the meetings in Madrid and the spring meeting in Barcelona. amount to 12.675 € (nearly 18.000 US$)

Our Executive Secretary has, in this financial year, only cost us a little over 21.000 €, a modest sum for a lot of work.

The ILAB/LILA Newsletter in this financial year cost us nearly 6.000 €.

And finally we have spent money on bank charges, postage, phone, and on ILAB/LILA ID cards.

 

THE ILAB - BRESLAUER PRIZE FOR BIBLIOGRAPHY FUND

 

Also the ILAB/LILA – Breslauer Prize for Bibliography Fund shows a profit, here it is on 80.000 €

The reason for this nice result is of course that in this financial year the Prize Fund has received the great donation from the Breslauer Foundation, which I already mentioned in my report last year on 108.000 US$ – and in addition to that we have also received an anonymous donation and other donations from Japan.

We have earned interest to the amount of a little over 4.000 €.

On the disbursement side the Fund has spent 174 € on different bank charges.

Therefore we are well equipped at our Congress in Bologna 2010 to pay a 10.000 US$ tribute to the winner or winners of the ILAB/LILA – Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, the first under its new name.

 

He is thanked for his report.

Maria Girsel moves to approve the Treasurer’s report, Eric Waschke seconds.

Umberto Pregliasco remarks that the amount shown for the fair levy coming from Italy seems to have a bizarre exchange rate between euro and dollar. Adrian explains that the money received is automatically converted in Kroners by the bank, and Poul will check again the conversion rates on the statement.

Bob Fleck comments that the ILAB.com expense is low because it is a matter of timing as, the Treasurer explains, any money received or sent out after 1st July is reported on the following year.

No more questions are asked.

The president thanks him again and says that he has done a very difficult job in difficult times.

 

The assembly proceeds to vote on approving the Treasurer’s Report.

 

In favour: 21

Against: 0

Abstention: 0

 

The report is approved.

 

9. ILAB-Breslauer Prize for Bibliography Report

 

Mitsuo Nitta, Chair of the Prize, thanks the Jury of the Prize, Jean Marc Chatelain, David Adams, Felix de Marez Oyens, Arnoud Gerits (Prize Secretary), Poul Poulsen, and himself. They examinated 52 books. He repeats that this Prize should be one of the more important activities of ILAB, and that we have a responsibility to keep it going and publicize it as much as we can. Our support should be very important. He thanks Bob Fleck who initiated talks with the Breslauer Foundation, and Michael Steinbach who continued them. He urges the national associations to warn their publishers and authors to send books for this Prize.

 

Arnoud Gerits, Secretary of the Prize, thanks Mitsuo Nitta and reads the following report:

 

Dear Committee, Dear Presidents,

 

It gives me great pleasure to start my report by telling you that the Jury of the Prize met last week on Thursday and Friday in the city of Amsterdam. The jury was formed by Mr. Felix de Marez Oyens, consultant and collector of bibliography, Professor David Adams, Manchester University and author of, among others, the 2-volume Diderot bibliography, Mr. Jean-Marc Chatelain, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Mr. Mitsuo Nitta, Mr. Poul Jan Poulsen, and myself. My first task here today before the Presidents is to thank the members of the jury very, very much for their excellent work, their considerable time, devotion, intellectual input, honesty and above all, very hard and conscientious work. The two days we devoted to the submitted books were exhausting but very rewarding.

I can at this point tell you the following: the number of books submitted for the prize numbers 52 and the jury is of the opinion that the quality of the submitted books was of an outstanding quality. There was a great variety of subjects: bibliographies on individuals, on typefaces, on genres of books, on authors, on printing presses and printing houses, on wood engravers and illustrators, on maps, charts, geographic areas, on libraries, on bookbinding, on religion, on book- and printing history, and there were excellent and very interesting studies on publishing histories, and many of these books were wonderfully produced and finely illustrated. We were very much pleased and very honoured to be able to see, study and discuss books submitted for the Prize from China, Japan and Russia, as far as we know a novelty. The Russian bibliographies were even submitted as CD-ROMs and for the first time a jury studied books on a laptop ! The jury can not stress enough what a great pleasure it was to be surrounded for 2 days with so many works executed with great quality, intellectually  challenging and bibliographically very interesting. We have been amidst a group of books produced by people who have very often worked or collected for many, many years (and in some case worked AND collected for many, many years), who have mastered their subject to the fullest extent and who devoted time, money, intellectual curiosity and a great love to their books and subject. It was an honour and a great pleasure to devote two full working days to discuss all these books and to experience how all of these books, due to their quality, were individually perfectly capable of presenting and defending their claim for the Prize !

You will have to forgive me that at this point we can not disclose the outcome of our deliberations: we have just finished our meeting (last Friday), I have not had the time to write the jury-report, I have not had the time to inform the winners, I have not had the time  to thank all authors for having submitted their books, I have not had the time to thank the members of the jury for all of their excellent and hard work (and hard work it was, the contributions to the discussions were excellent, and especially the contributions of the three “academics” if you allow me to use the phrase, were outstanding) and I have not had the time to prepare any PR around this Prize. As soon as all of this has been planned, and an appropriate moment has been identified, we will disclose the winner and further details.

Concerning this Prize I have the following remarks to make: I will ship the books at a certain point in time to Italy and they will all be exhibited at our Congress next year in Italy (sorry Umberto, for adding something more to your already considerable workload); we will seek as much publicity around the announcement of the winner as we possibly can, also outside the world of our trade and trade magazines. Thanks to the generous donation of the Breslauer Foundation the Prize is not only very well funded, but it even allows us to consider second Prizes, and paid advertising to publicize the Prize and the winner as much as we can.

The winner of the Prize will be invited to our Congress next year in Italy where the Prize will be handed out and the winner will be invited to give a lecture: after all, if ever there will be an interested audience, it must surely be at the time when many booksellers, the day-to-day users of so many of the books we discussed in the last week, are assembled in one place !

As soon as our new website is up and running I will put a list of submitted titles into the section “Bibliographical Prize”, I will also publish a list of previous winners of the prize, and we will of course announce that the competition for the 16th Prize is open as of now. Once the winners of the 15th Prize have been informed and other formalities have been take care off we will of course add their names to the website as well with, I imagine, the Jury report.

I would like to finish with the following remarks: if you allow me I will, with great pleasure, serve again as the secretary for the next Prize. I have enjoyed the meetings and the books, I have learned from the other members of the jury, bibliography is one of the most vital aspects of our profession, and the pleasure of discussing these books is a temptation difficult to resist.

But without my colleagues in our profession, without their support, without their promotion of this Prize, without them encouraging authors (or encouraging those who think about producing a bibliographical study), without them encouraging collectors and publishers to submit books for the Prize, there will be no Prize. This Prize, ultimately, does not depend on some volunteers willing to sit on a jury, on a Foundation willing to support the Prize with a generous donation: it depends on us and our capability to encourage people to produce bibliographies and to encourage them to submit books for the Prize. Whatever I say about the books and the members of the jury, without books all of this is pointless. And this is what I ask of you, Presidents, and what I ask you to do in your association: promote this Prize, encourage your membership to promote the Prize, help us in getting as much publicity as we can. Not by telling me what I can do: I have enough work as it is. Promote the Prize among your members. Do you know an interested journalist: get him to email me or another member of the jury. Do you know an author ? Encourage him. Does a publisher think there is no interest in bibliography ? Tell him about a prize of 10,000 US$. Money, ladies and gentlemen, talks !

 

The President thanks Arnoud Gerits for a very full report. He urges the presidents to remember Arnoud’s words.

Umberto Pregliasco asks what he has to do next year with the books. Arnoud Gerits tells him that we would like to exhibit all the books at the Bologna Congress Book Fair, we will identify the winning book, and we wish to invite the winners (2 this year) to give a conference and attend the Gala dinner. Umberto wants to know whether ILAB or the Foundation could pay for the exhibition stand? Poul replies that ILAB can and will  pay for a booth.

Bob Fleck points out the importance of presidents’ meetings. Many years ago, Eric Speeckaert told him to look for a big sponsor rather than dealers for individual donations.

Arnoud explains that the exhibition of the books which were submitted for the Prize, as well as asking the winners to make a conference has one purpose: to create more publicity. Furthermore, we shall be able to take orders for the books which will be exhibited.

Adrian Harrington reminds that donations can still be made and that they would be for a good cause. He thanks both Mitsuo Nitta and Arnoud Gerits.

 

10. Newsletter Report

 

Tom Congalton reads his report:

 

ILAB Newsletter Issue Number 61 was prepared largely by the new co-editor Nevine Marchiset. That issue was 32 pages in full color, and was printed and distributed in April/May 2009. Cost for printing was $3765; Cost for distribution was $1806.14; total cost was $5571.14. An appropriate number of  Newsletters was sent to each member association, to either their national office or to someone else, usually an officer of that association, whom they designated to receive it.

We continue to have problems in getting some national associations to distribute the Newsletter, and I think it is safe to say that a considerable percentage of our member affiliates do not receive the Newsletter.

Because of these distribution problems I was prepared I came into this meeting prepared to recommend that in future the Newsletter be produced only as an electronic pdf file. However, the overwhelming sentiment of the

Committee was to continue to produce at least one printed issue per year.

We feel that we can reduce the printing costs of the Newsletter considerably, and address the distribution problems by mailing directly to the member affiliates. Additionally, as we have done in the past, we can provide the Newsletter as a pdf file to national associations who would like to translate it into languages other than English of French.

Issue Number 62 will be prepared shortly after this meeting has concluded.

 

Adrian Harrington thanks him and  explains the reason why the committee reached the decision to print one paper Newsletter instead of going electronic. It is that as guardians of the printed word we should not be keen to abandon it.

Peter Tinslay says that the Newsletter was distributed in Australia and raised favourable comments.

Eric Waschke says the newsletter is important, and must be continued in paper format.

Adrian Harrington reminds that we also need the presidents’ and affiliates’ input for articles.

Umberto Pregliasco says that he could provide articles, but they are in Italian! Nevine Marchiset says that automatic translators can be used, and she can then arrange the final text into proper English and/or French.

Adrian Harrington urges the Presidents to send articles in whatever language.

 

11. CINOA (Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d'Art)

 

Proposal put forward by the Committee:

 

That ILAB becomes an associate member of CINOA

 

ILAB and CINOA are two organisations which are very similar, and who share identical problems, particularly import and export regulations, droit de suite, dealings with lobbies and administrations, etc. Cinoa's interest is to represent, when lobbying, the largest possible number of dealers. Some of ILAB's affiliates are already affiliates of Cinoa. The Committee feels that it would be beneficial to join our forces. The members of CINOA are associations such as our national associations. Each of their members pays an entry fee of 2,000 euros, an annual fee of 500 euros, as well as 16 euros per affiliate. If such a scenario were to be applied to ILAB, it would cost us a little over 30,000 euros a year ! This is why CINOA has suggested and agreed that we become an « associate member ». Such a status would be specific to federations such as ours, it includes a voting right at their annual meeting. However, this status would only concern ILAB as an organisation, meaning that no affiliate or no member association would be a CINOA member as a result of this agreement. The annual membership fee for ILAB is 2,600 Euros. To which should be added the cost of participation at their annual congress/meeting for ILAB’s representative, which would normally by the ILAB President or a committee member.

 

Ton Kok seconds the proposal.

 

Nevine Marchiset reads the letter sent by CINOA :

 

To: ILAB President, Adrian Harrington

ILAB Committee members

      ILAB Assembly delegates

October 7, 2009

 

 

Please accept our apologies for not being able to express our position in person.

CINOA, established in 1935, is the principal international umbrella organization of leading art and antique dealer associations representing 5,000 affiliated dealers from 32 associations and 22 countries. Dealers cover a wide array of specialties from antiquities to contemporary art. Membership of CINOA is based on associations which bind their dealer members to adhere to reputable standards of quality and expertise.

CINOA will create a new category, called Associate Members, for associations, federations or institutions in related activities that share common legislative or business goals with CINOA. This membership category will only be for principal organizations that are working internationally, like ILAB.  This formal relationship will help us all to benefit from having a larger power base and representation when lobbying for trade conditions. 

CINOA and ILAB have very similar structures and objectives. CINOA’s members and affiliated dealers, like ILABs’, are often confronted with the same national and international trade issues such as import/export, Unidroit, Droit de Suite, administrative rules affecting small businesses and emerging legislation that makes doing business more difficult. 

The CINOA governance and members discussed ILAB joining CINOA at our AGM in June 2009. We are very supportive of ILAB becoming an Associate Member and we believe that it will be a benefit for both ILAB and CINOA.

CINOA will amend its articles of association to include an Associate Membership category at the CINOA General Assembly in June 2010.  We hope that you will be in favor of joining CINOA.

Sincerely,

Erika Bochereau

Secretary General

 

Adrian Harrington repeats that the Committee supports joining CINOA. Furthermore, as work in progress, they have a search engine on their website, with a button called « books ». Hardly any books are to be found there. It seems obvious that our new metasearch would have a second home on their website. This is another persuasive argument for joining !

 

Vidar Wangsmo asks whether this could be made part of the deal. Adrian Harrington says that it is not necessary, that they have already said in conversations that subject to no technical or other difficulties, they felt it could be done. We are meeting again with them this coming 9th December, we’ll be able to show them how our new website works, including the metasearch, and we’ll be able to talk again. Their own website is also under reconstruction.

 

There are no further questions or comments. The presidents proceed with the vote.

 

In favour: 21

Against: 0

Abstention: 0

 

The proposal is carried unanimously.

 

The meeting breaks for lunch at 12:30 and resumes at 13:20

 

12. Congresses and Presidents’ Meetings

 

a. Proposal put forward by the Committee

 

That ILAB contributes to the financial costs of Presidents’ Meetings.

 

Every two years, a Presidents’ Meeting is organized without the financial help of Congress fees. The ILAB Committee feels that this is becoming a very heavy burden on the host association (in fact, smaller associations can no longer afford such costs, estimated to be between 10,000 and 20,000 euros). Presidents’ Meetings are valuable to all affiliates and as such, the Committee feels that it should encourage associatons to host such meetings by sharing some of the costs. To do so, it would need to budget approximately 3,000 euros a year, meaning a bi-annual contribution of 6,000 euros given to the organising association.

 

Adrian Harrington explains that discussions during the Committee meeting have led to this proposal being tabled for the time being.

 

b. Proposal put forward by the Committee 

 

That each national association, if its finances allow,  sponsors the congress fees of a dealer who has never previously attended such an event.

 

Congresses are an essential part of ILAB. It is important to encourage the younger dealers who feel that the internet and  computers, where the likes of Facebook and Twitter dominate, have made  personal contacts amost unnecessary.

 

Ton Kok seconds the proposal.

Adrian Harrington explains that this idea has cropped up again and again during the past years and has often being discussed. How can we move forward ? We are an ageing population, the collectors are an ageing population, one doesn’t need to be a genius to see where that leads. We must encourage younger dealers.

Arnoud Gerits reminds us that this idea was started in 1992 for the Köln congress. Money was left from this scheme after the congress, it was moved to the congress in Amsterdam, then to Los Angeles. Sometime in the nineties, the idea got lost and stopped. It was called the Friendship Programme.

Peter Tinslay asks if we have a specific age in mind when saying « young ». Adrian replies that it means dealers who cannot afford congress fees. We mean in fact young in the business, not necessarily young in age. Maria Girsel says that paying the congress fees leaves the dealer having to pay hotel and air fares. Adrian Harrington replies that hopefully with low cost flights, air fare at least can become very cheap. If this is voted on, the news will be published in the Newsletter, and it may give this idea more publicity.

Vidar Wangsmo says it is a very good thought, as long as it is an advice rather than an obligation, which is what the phrasing suggests when it says « if it finances allow it ».

Ton Kok says that the Dutch association has already sent dealers in the past. They stopped it because there were no more young dealers to send.

Stuart Bennettt shares some of Maria’s concerns about this. As the proposal is written, it becomes mandatory if the finances allow it. He suggests that either the committee in its creativity amends the language or that we table it for further discussion.

Marcus suggests that this idea can be extended to non-ILAB dealers in order to encourage them to join the national association of their country.

Tom Congalton suggests a change of language :

 

That each national association be encouraged to sponsor the congress fees of a dealer who has never previously attended such an event.

 

Maria Grisel seconds the new wording.

 

In favour: 21

Against: 0

Abstention: 0

 

The proposal with the new wording is adopted unanimously.

 

c. Update on next Congress

 

Umberto Pregliasco takes the floor to explain how matters stand for the September 2010 Bologna Congress:

 

He is working hard to organise it. He thinks it is a very important opportunity for ILAB because in the last years the congress participation has been lower. He remembers that when he was a boy, it was an opportunity to travel and see new places. Now we travel every week and this aspect of things is no longer an argument in favour of congresses. 2004 was in Australia, and it was very far from everywhere. 2006 saw the cancellation of  the Philadelphia Congress. 2008 was in Madrid, and Gonzalo Pontes did his best. 2010 will be Italy and he is hoping to attract, for the first time in many years, more than 100 delegates. He wants to organise something new and unique. The fair and the congress will be imbricated. Social activities will be organised during the fair for delegates who are not exhibiting and for the exhibitors’ partners. The gala dinner will not be on Wednesday or Thursday but on Saturday; it is a way to keep people there for one week. The Sunday 26th is the beginning of the Bibliophiles Congress in Brussels, there is a direct flight from Bologna to Brussels, and therefore Bibliophiles will be able to visit the Fair and go to their congress right afterwards. He needs the support that the presidents can give with their own members.  One idea he has had was to have a stand where the dealers’ catalogues would be exhibited, not for the purpose of showing off,  but to show what our job is and how it is done. Nevine Marchiset suggests that he could charge 100 euros per dealer’s catalogue to pay for this stand. Another idea would be to show the briefcases of all previous congresses, which have been collected by Dieter Tausch, and this  can show young booksellers continuity in our traditions.

He has found sponsors, and is still looking for more. He is organising a collateral and cultural exhibition of books on the subject the sponsors deal in : coffee, optics, glasses… some of them already have libraries. To do that, he would  ask each exhibitor to bring one book on that specific subject.

He then mentions the letter which was sent by email to all affiliates through Nevine. It seems that not many people read it. We have a problem informing people.

One of the social attractions will be the organisation of  a Murder dinner party: during dinner, a game is organised, the plot will revolve around the world of books, it has never been done at previous congresses and may amuse most of us. Not all delegates will have to act, there will be actors but some dealers will be requested to help. He is also organising a football match, Italy against the rest of the world.

Bologna has been chosen because it is a very beautiful town, everybody has more or less been to the other great Italian cities and the tourism in those cities is too developed. Bologna gives us the opportunity of seeing small towns many of which are fantastic. Those who wish to stay longer will be able to do so. It is 55mn by train to Milan. 35 mn to Florence. 1hour and 40 minutes to Venice. 2hours and a half to Rome. There are lovely cities near Bologna. We can visit Ravenna. Ferrara is 40 mn away. Modena is 30 mn away. Mantova is beautiful. Parma is 1 hour 20 away. In this small area, we can visit one new city every day. During the fair, the delegates can visit Bologna, on Friday Barilla will give lessons on Italian gastronomy, and show us their collection of books on the same subject.

He will be able to keep prices low if we are a great number of delegates registering. For the fair, he shall offer a simple standard booth, about 1800 euros, and then it can be upgraded with windows etc. He is still working on the fees for the congress, he is hoping to keep them within a maximum of 1500 euros and 1100 euros for the partners.

Adrian says that his presentation has been very inspiring and thanks him.

Bob Fleck asks whether he could get the interest of an Italian travel agency, to present a deal to the Grolier members or the AIB members? Umberto says yes, absolutely. He was also thinking of a charter plane! Bologna is a small town but has an important airport. It is not an expensive city, hotels are half the price of Rome or Milan. Especially if we are a certain number, the best hotel could cost only 180 euros a night. Eric Waschke adds that it has not yet been discovered by tourists.

Adrian asks whether the congress could be open to non dealers, by invitation to librarians etc. Umberto thinks it is a good idea. Tom Congalton asks whether anyone would object. Nobody does.

Bob Fleck asks if there is a maximum number of delegates. Umberto replies that he is worried about the minimum! However, the Friday visit to Barilla only can take 120 people, but this visit only concerns non exhibitors. One library visit will be divided into two groups.

Bob replies that for the first time, ILAB opens up to Bibliophiles, but suggests that it should be restricted to only 50 of them. It is indeed a good idea, it would be a good way of presenting it, as an exclusive event.

Furthermore, Umberto reminds us that the fees will gradually rise the nearer we get to the time of the congress. In other words, there will be discounts for early registrations.

Umberto is thanked and applauded.

 

d. Future Congresses and Presidents’ Meetings

 

Marcus Benz hands out a written outline about the 2012 Congress in Switzerland, set to take place any time between the 11th and the 30th September. Two locations are being studied: Geneva (congress) and Lausanne (book fair) or Lucerne (congress) and Zürich (book fair). Lucerne and Zürich will probably be selected. The book fair could take place either in the Railway Central Station or in the Congress and Events Center in Zürich, depending on security solutions. The choice of activities during the congress include the visit of the Abbeys of Einsiedeln and Engelberg as they both include large libraries,  visits to the Glacier of Titlis, to the mount of Pilatus, to the lake of Lucerne, to the KKL Lucerne (a famous music hall designed by Jean Nouvel), to the Falls of Reichenbach and an excursion to an Alpine hut including cheese fondue.

 

Marcus is thanked for his presentation.

 

Adrian says that at this stage, as we now have two new members in the League, we would like to ask them if they would like to present their respective associations.

 

Alexey Lukashin presents himself and the Russian association (Forum Antikvarov Bukinistov), he says that he is very glad to be with us and that his association will do its best.

 

Mr. Yu Hua Gang, president of the ABAPRC, makes a speech in Chinese which is then translated by Ms Liu:

 

Respected Committee Members, Presidents and Dear Colleagues,

I feel very delighted and honoured to know we are accepted to be one of the members of the ILAB. On behalf of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of the People’s Republic of China, please allow me to extend our sincere thanks to the ILAB committeee for inviting us to the Presidents’ meeting in this beautiful city. To Mr. Adrian Harrington, Mr Paul Feain, Mr Mitsuo Nitta and all the other members who have been very supportive and helpful during the process and to Mr Norbert Donhofer as well as all the Austrian colleagues for their warm welcome and generous hospitality. We will comply with the rules and regulations and the code of ethics of the ILAB, and try our best to cooperate with the ILAB. I would like to take this opportunity to extend all of you an invitation to come to the 2011 Presidents’ Meeting in Beijing, so that we can return the kindness and hospitality you gave us and build up our business relationship and friendship. Thank you.

 

Adrian Harrington stands up and thanks Messrs. Gang and Pang for their generous invitation to Beijing in 2011, and announces that the ILAB Committee and the Presidents are very grateful to accept their kind invitation.

 

13 . Internet

 

Tom Congalton, as head of the Internet sub-committee, reads his report.

 

At the Presidents’ Meeting in Madrid, 2008 our current Webmaster and database provider, Rockingstone resigned effective 1 December 2009. Rockingstone up until that time had provided the website design, hosting, and the search engine for the ILAB website. This left the Presidents and the Committee with the challenge of re-evaluating ILAB’s entire Internet presence. The Presidents charged the Committee, and particularly the Internet Subcommittee, with accomplishing this. Many online discussions were conducted, and the problem was further discussed, along with some Internet presentations, at the Committee Meeting in Barcelona in March, 2009.

The task was broken down into three separate sections:

1.      Webmastering, website hosting, and re-design: The website was originally designed, created, and hosted by Rockingstone.

2.      Book search within the website: The current website plays host to a database search created by Rockingstone, with participating affiliates paying Rockingstone a quarterly fee to host their data.

3.      Website content: In order to drive traffic to the website we perceived a need for online content to attract viewers. Rockingstone did little to create content (and indeed this was not a specific part of their mandate). Starting in 2007, the Committee employed Corey Bechelli, a low cost, part-time editor who worked in my office until early in 2009. However he resigned at that time.

After much deliberation, we have addressed each of these problems as follows:

1.      Webmastering, website hosting, and re-design: The Internet Committee solicited and received five proposals for website hosting and a complete redesign of the website. Proposals came from France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany. Almost all of the proposals were both competent and affordable, but after much discussion, the French-based company Neteor was chosen to host and completely redesign the website. The new website is scheduled to be in place on 1 December, and we have every reason to believe that it will be. The complete cost of the website redesign, testing, and implementation is 10540€. Hosting cost is 240€ annually. Estimated Maintenance cost is 1350€ annually. Total estimated cost for the redesign, launch, plus hosting and maintenance for one year is 12130€. For the past few years we have been paying Rockingstone 12000€ annually in hosting and maintenance alone.

2.      Book search within the website: Both the ILAB Committee and the Internet Committee have had extensive discussions on the future of the ILAB book search, and indeed the Presidents have been involved in these discussions. The basic dilemma was whether to continue with a Database model for the search – that is to have all books aggregated into a single database and searched in a finite search - as we have done with Rockingstone for the past ei

Presidents' Meeting Vienna 2009 Minutes OGM
English