By Maria Girsel (ABF President)
For his outstanding efforts and commitment to the antiquarian book trade, Poul Jan Poulsen has been elected honorary member of the Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABF), as the only still active bookseller ever, and as the third in the entire history of ABF, which was founded in 1920.
During the 90 years that ABF has been in existence, Poul has done more for the association than any other member. For many, many years, he has formed the back-bone of ABF, which would hardly be imaginable without him.
Poul has been in the book business since 1957, when he began his training as a bookseller in Knud Rasmussens Boghandel on Østerbrogade in Copenhagen. He quickly became interested in old books and began working in Politikens Antikvariat, after that Rosenkilde & Bagger, and finally Harcks Antikvariat (three of the most well esteemed antiquarian book shops in Denmark, sadly all closed now), before he started on his own in 2001 under the name of Antikvariat Aldus, which is situated in Vesterbrogade in Copenhagen.
Poul had worked for the ABF for many years, before he became president of the association 23 years ago. He had this post for 18 years (being re-elected every second year), and is thus the longest running president of ABF. At the same time, he has spent more than 20 years as the treasurer of ILAB, a post that he still holds.
Throughout his many years working for the ABF and ILAB, he has spent an enormous amount of energy on making our association and ILAB run smoothly and efficiently. Not only has the association throughout his presidency benefitted from his international work, which has made our small association an important part of ILAB, Poul has also been, and still is, a vital asset for all later ABF-committees, as he has always been willing to help and guide us with his great knowledge and experience. But as important is the fact that he has succeeded in attaching the younger generation personally to the association and given us all a sense of responsibility for the ABF as well as for ILAB and the antiquarian book trade in general.