41st ILAB Congress - Monday: Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal and Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF)
We meet on Facebook, we talk in Tweets. Why bother to travel a long way to meet real people? - Why not? - Have you ever attended an ILAB Congress? Have you ever met in Bologna, Lucerne, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Munich, London, Brussels, New York, Edinburgh, Venice, San Francisco or on a ship cruising between the Scandinavian countries? - No? - YOU MISSED A GREAT OPPORTUNITY!
ILAB Congresses are the real thing: They offer the possibility to meet colleagues, collectors, librarians, and real books, and the possibility for collectors, librarians and real books to meet us. This is unique.
The 41st Congress in the history of ILAB started on Sunday evening with official welcomes by ILAB President Norbert Donhofer and SLAM President Anne Lamort in the elegant Salons de l'Association France-Amériques next to the Grand Palais where the International Antiquarian Book Fair had closed its doors after three enormously successful days. SLAM, the second oldest antiquarian booksellers' association worldwide, has always played an important part in the League. André Poursin, one of ILAB's founding fathers, was a member of SLAM, succeeded by distinguished French booksellers who served as ILAB Presidents: Georges Blaizot (1952-1954), Fernand de Nobele (1968-1972), and Alain Nicolas (1996-1999). So it was only natural, said Anne Lamort, to celebrate SLAM's centenary with ILAB, the international family of antiquarian booksellers. New ILAB President Norbert Donhofer traced the lines of SLAM’s history in his welcome address and wished SLAM President Anne Lamort and all SLAM nembers another equally successful hundred years.
On Monday the ILAB booksellers visited two magnificent libraries: The Bibliothèque de L'Arsenal has been a public library since 1797; its collection goes back to Antoine René d'Argenson, Marquis of Paulmy, who gathered a vast number of books, manuscripts and prints. Throughout the 19th century the library focused on literature and the theatre, particularly under the guidance of its famous director Charles Nodier who laid the grounds for today’s rich collection of books, prints and manuscripts on arts, art history, photography, history, literature, music, religion and political science. In the afternoon the delegates enjoyed three private tours through the Bibliothèque National de France, admiring, first, the famous Coronelli Globes, second, treasures from the BnF showing rarities from Dante’s “Commedia” to Euclide’s “Elementa” to manuscripts, sketches and annotations by Flaubert, Charles Baudelaire, Marcel Proust, Picasso, Brassai and Yves Klein – and finally, an impressive exhibition on The Great War 1914-1918.
At the end of the day there could be nothing more romantic than a cruise on the Seine with a dinner - and dance - in the moonlight under the Eiffel Tower.
> Go to the left column, click down and see the pictures!