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NEWSLETTER 40

 

A WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

1988 is the 40 years’ anniversary of the International league of Antiquarian Booksellers. It is now 41 years since a group of antiquarian booksellers from various countries met at a preliminary conference in Amsterdam on the initiative of the well-known Dutch dealer Menno Hertzberger. Mr. Hertzberger found it essential, after the war, which had kept so many countries isolated from each other, to strengthen international cooperation between the antiquarian booksellers in as many countries as possible, as he was convinced that the future would bring far more international bookselling than known before the World War II.

He suggested that rules be set up for the trade between booksellers, and that yearly conferences should be held, where booksellers could discuss problems of mutual interest.

The preliminary conference was held under the chairmanship of the English dealer Percy Muir, and resulted in the first International Congress of Antiquarian Booksellers, held in Copenhagen in 1948, where the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers was founded. The first President became Mr. W.S. Kundig, Switzerland, who died in 1950 and was followed by the vice-president, Percy Muir. Menno Hertzberger never became President himself. He served as Treasurer on the first committee, and retired only after 2 year. This, however, did not mean that he lost interest in the work of the League. Lifelong he followed with the greatest interest all the activities of the League, and he edited the useful Dictionary for the Antiquarian Booktrade, which was reprinted twice, and of which a revised edition will be published hopefully. It has proved to be an important tool of our trade.

The League had 6 member countries when it was founded, Denmark, France, Great-Britain, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Since it has grown to 17 countries, Australia and New Zealand counting as one. The first congress was attended by 24 people, while the Congress in Paris this year is expected to host more than 300. This says something about the importance of the League, even if it has not yet fulfilled all the expectations we had of it. But it is my hope that new generations will become interested in working for the League, for the benefit of their colleagues, and for the cause of the antiquarian book.

After 40 years one could ask the question: What would our trade look like without the League? I believe it is difficult for all the booksellers, who are dealing internationally in old and rare books, to imagine a world without congresses, where colleagues from abroad are met with, where many contacts have been made and friendships founded, the international bookfairs; our Guide-lines, Rules, Usages and Customs, the Committee to maintain them, the International Directory, now in the hands of Mr. Brumme jr., Frankfurt a.M; The Newsletter and the above mentioned Dictionary. The League gives me a feeling of fotherhood among Antiquarian booksellers worldwide, which I know is shared by many of my colleagues.

In September, at the congress in Paris, I shall retire from the Committee, after having served on it for 16 years. It has been wonderful years. And I am deeply grateful for all the support and all friendliness I have met everywhere, and for the many friends I have found through the years.

Hans Bagger

 

Minutes of the Committee Meeting held at Hotel Domicil, Bonn, on February 24th, 1987, 2 pm - 5 pm

 

Present: Mr. Hans Bagger, President; Mr. Jorg Schäfer, Vice-President; Mr. Anthony Rota, Treasurer; Mr. Konrad Meuschel, General Secretary; Mrs Elizabeth Woodburn, Committee-Member; Mr. Louis Loeb-Laroque, Co-operative member.

Apologies for absence were received from Mr. Anton Gerits, Newsletter Editor, and from Mr. John Lawson, Past President, as well as from Mr. Bob de Graaf and Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing.

No excuse was received from Mr. Jacques van der Heyde.

 

1.Approval of the Minutes

The minutes of the General Assembly and of the Presidents’ Meeting in Venice in September 1986 were approved and signed.

The President welcomes all members and hoped for a friendly discussion.

Mr. Schäfer promised to act as an interpreter for the French member, Mr. Loeb-Laroque.

 

2. President’s Intermediate Report

The President recalled the sad loss of the Dutch President Corinne van der Peet, of whom all had a pleasant remembrance from the meeting in Munich and from the Dutch Association’s 50th anniversary.

The Dutch Vice-President, Mr. Vloemans, will act as president until the next election.

The President recalled the most magnificent Congress in Venice and the excellent Bookfair following. He assumed that more colleagues would surely have participated if they had reckoned with such a success beforehand.

The Venice Congress had left the Italian Association with a severe financial problem and the League with the question of how it could be made possible for the national associations to organize a meeting without being burdened too much financially. This had been discussed in the League for many years. The President recalled the International Congress in Dusseldorf in 1977 where, in his opinion, this problem had been solved in a satisfactory way. The President hoped that the forthcoming congresses in France and Japan would find a way that makes it possible for younger dealers, especially, to participate and that would not strain the national associations too much. There is no need to engage the most expensive hotels and to organize the meetings in the biggest towns.

The next Presidents’ Meeting will be in Vienna in September 1987. As the suggested date is only shortly before the opening of the Bookfair in Cologne, the members of the Committee proposed that the Committee Meeting should take place in the morning of Sunday, 6th September 1987, and the President’s Meeting in the afternoon of the same day. This would enable the participants to start for Cologne on Monday, if they wanted to do so.

The Austrian President, Dr. Hans-Georg Krug, would be informed accordingly.

Fortunately, two conflicts between bookdealers had been settled, that is between Mr. Nico Israel and Mr. Weinstein, and between Mr. Breslauer and Mr. Brumme. Concerning the latter case the President thanked the German president, Mr. Reiss, for solving the problem in such an elegant way.

In December 1986 Mr. Walter Alicke, the Swiss President, had confirmed the invitation for the Presidents’ Meeting in September 1989.

The President recalled the discussion of the General Assembly at the Congress in Venice about the harmonization of VAT, caused by a proposal of the British Association. It had been decided that the Committee should set up a sub-committee to deal with this question. The President had written a letter to the Danish Cultural minister on this subject, but had received a rather disappointing answer. Two years ago, the League has sent out letters to all governments with similar negative results.

The Presidents proposed that the Committee should write a letter to all national associations asking for people who were willing to work in such a sub-committee. In Venice Mr. Lawson had expressed his readiness to cooperate.

 

3. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer submitted the Statement of Cash Receipts & Disbursements from September 1st, 1986, to January 31st, 1987, and also a Summary of Subscriptions.

The Treasurer mentioned, of all the associations, SLAM alone had arranged for each member to pay for his advertisement in the Directory separately. This was costing the League up to £5 in bank charges for each single payment. Mr. Loeb-Laroque was asked to motivate the French association to remedy this situation.

Concerning the annual subscription there was discussing about a new method of calculation of subscription, for instance, on the basis of the number of members each country has, assuming in return a fixed amount for each member.

The President preferred, however, to continue the system practised hitherto, considering it more suitable and satisfactory since there were various other aspects to consider.

 

4. International Directory

The President intended to write to all Presidents of the national associations in order to motivate them for more active engagement in selling the Directory. The members will be asked to advertise the Directory in their catalogues more than hitherto.

The President felt that in future he would not be able to take over the editing of the Directory again. When talking about this subject in Stuttgart with Mr. Brumme, junior, the latter showed his willingness to take over the editing of the next Directory. The President asked Mr. Brumme to present his detailed concept to the Committee.

The Committee did not agree with the suggestion of printing the first part of the Directory only, omitting the index and the specialities. It was also considered to have the Directory - just as the planned Dictionary - printed by a professional publisher who would then sell books on commission for the League. Konrad Meuschel proposed to contact Mr. Voerster, Stuttgart, for the German area, and to ask him if he would  take up the Directory in his “Bar-Sortiment-Katalog.”

As it had been practised with the Italian association, the French Association had also received labels with the members’ names. The labels would not be available to the associations only but also to each member, and there was no objection to them being used by pubishers and other interested persons as well.

They would have to pay, of course, a higher price than the members and it was proposed to fix three prices for the associations, for single members and for non-members.

 

5. Report of the Newsletter-Editor

The President read a letter from the editor of the Newsletter, Mr. Anton Gerits. The Newsletter n°39 would appear around the end of May 1987. SLAM had already announced a third and a fourth part of its history, but having received contributions to the Newsletter n°40 and 41 already from other countries, the editor would publish these two parts later on (after the French congress).

 

6. Bibliographical Prize

Dr. Kocher-Benzing had sent a list of those books that had arrived in the meanwhile.

Instead of Professor Köster, Dr. Peter Amelung, Stuttgart, was ready to act as the new member of the jury. The President would thank him for his readiness.

 

7. Security

There was no business on this subject.

 

8. Presidents’ Meeting in Vienna

See point 2, President’s report.

 

9. VAT Sub-Committee

See point 2, President’s report

 

10. Book-Fair Calendar

Mrs. Woodburn informed the Committee that there was nothing really new on this difficult subject. There, was e.g. the planned Bookfair in Zurich in October 1987 organised by a private entrepreneur without the collaboration of the Swiss Association, and there were also many dates of small events, but it was difficult to take them all down as it was not even certain whether they were really going to take place. More important was the fact, that the events of the national associations should not overlap.

 

11. International Directory

Mr. E. Franco, Utrecht, and Mr. B. Rosenthal, San Francisco, were willing to cooperate. They had already started with the new edition, but the financial situation of the League would not allow a publication before 1988 anyhow.

 

12. Any Other Business

All agreed with the decision not to publish Mrs. Kahn’s letter.

Jörg Schäfer recalled that in Venice also the members had voted when discussing the VAT Sub-Committee. This was against the rules of the League, since only the presidents of the national associations have a right to vote. The President considered these votes rather as a recommendation for the Committee or as an indication of the opinion of the General Assembly.

On future congresses perhaps it would be better to change the order of meetings, that means, to arrange first the meeting of the Committee or as an indication of the opinion of the General Assembly, followed by the Presidents’ Meeting, which might then vote on the recommendation of their members.

Mrs Woodburn would retire this year and Mr. Louis Weinstein would be nominated to take her place in September 1987. She asked, whether Mr. Weinstein would be allowed to attend the meeting in Vienna together with her. Everyone agreed on this, but on the condition that he might attend the meeting as a guest without voting right.

 

Meeting of the committee of the ILAB on Sunday, September 6, 1987

In Vienna, Grünangergasse 4

 

Present: All members of the Committee as well as the Presidents of Honour Bob de Graaf and Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing. Mr. Weinstein attended the meeting as guest.

 

1. Nomination of Scrutineers

The Committee suggested Bob de Graaf and Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing.

 

2. Approval of Minutes of the congress in Venice in 1986

They were approved and signed by the Preisdent

 

3. President’s Report

See the minutes of the Presidents’ meeting

 

4. Treasurer’s Report

See the minutes of the Presidents’ meeting

 

5. Annual Subscription

See the minutes of the Presidents’ meeting

 

6. Newsletter. Editor’s Report

Until now 2 reports on the history of the SLAM had been published and both had met with a great response because of their extraordinarily interest and clear representation. The editor, however, preferred to print the history of the Danish Association, whose turn it was, before the third and the fourth part of the French history. He hoped to be able to publish the next Newsletter towards the end of this year.

 

7. Directory

The President reported on his contacts with Mr. Brumme Jr., who had sent a dummy of the Directory to Vienna. The Committee considered it rather bulky and Mrs. Woodburn recommended an India paper edition as was done formerly. Thus the Directory could more easily be used on journeys than the present voluminous one. The problem would be passed on to the Presidents’ Meeting and discussed there as the Directory was the most important connecting link between the national associations.

Mr. Anthony Rota again reminded the Committee that advertisements in the Directory had to be paid free of bank charges. Members of SLAM, the only association not to make one consolidated payment on behalf of all its advertisers, had not all complied with this rule, so costing the association much expense.

 

8. Dictionary

See the minutes of the Presidents’ Meeting.

 

9. Bibliographical Prize

Dr. Kocher-Benzing reported that a large number of books for the bibliographical Prize had already arrived. A problem was the value of the prize, a present $1,000.00. This sum was relatively high at the time the prize was founded, but nowadays it had to be regarded as most insufficient, due to the fluctuations in the exchange. Dr. Kocher-Benzing asked that the problem be discussed again at the next Meting of the General Assembly in Paris.

 

10. Security

Mr. Baynton-Williams who had been responsible in the League for security matters during a number of years had resigned from the ABA committee. Mr. Michael Phelps, London, had replaced him.

 

11. Election

See the minutes of the Presidents’ Meeting.

 

12. Future Congresses

A detailed report was given in the Minutes of the Presidents’ Meeting. Mr. Loeb-Laroque informed the committee about the SLAM’s plans concerning the Congress in Paris and the following book fair. The President read a letter from the German Presidents addressed to the Committee.

In his letter Mr. Reiss made the proposal that in future only participants in the congress should be allowed to take part in the following book fair. Mr. Reiss was of the opinion that the Congress had an extremely important function in communication between the members of the League. Compared with the book fair, the importance of the congress was much higher, and it ought to be expected of every exhibitor that he also takes an interest in the affairs of the inviting association.

Both, the President and Mr. Loeb-Laroque supported this point of view and in the following voting it was accepted by everybody.

 

13. Any Other Business

The committee had to deal with 2 cases of quarrels between booksellers and auctioneers. Among other things, it was discussed how long the description of books in catalogues should be valid. Mr. Loeb-Laroque informed the Committee that in France, for example, these descriptions were valid for about 30 years.

The Committee was of the opinion that a limitation of this period to one or two weeks should be prevented, and also a complete objection to assuming responsibility for the correctness of the description should be prohibited. The President read a letter from Mr. Bob de Graaf to the Committee in which he complained about the gradually worsening state of affairs in this respect. It should be a matter of routine to collate all books before they are offered for sale. He stressed that during the past years the number of incomplete books he had bought at auctions or from catalogues of colleagues, had increased alarmingly.

It was important - not to say essential - that the antiquarian booktrade guarded its credibility and that collation was once more considered to be absolutely necessary instead of redundant. Mr. Bob de Graaf did not mean the general condition of books (which often was not adequately described either), but he talked of really defective books or absolutely wrong descriptions.

Mr. Loeb-Laroque approved of this letter and remarked that his own experiences confirmed the objections of Mr. Bob de Graaf. The President was asked to urge all National Presidents at the following meeting to inform their members accordingly, as this was an essential basis of the antiquarian book trade.

 

MINUTES OF THE PRESIDENTS' MEETING 

On Sunday, September 6, 1987, Grünangergasse 4, Vienna

On Monday, September 7, 1987, Annagasse 18, Vienna

 

Present: All members of the committee, presidents of honor: Mr. Bob de Graaf and Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing. Apologies were received from Mr. Fl. Tulkens, President of Honour, and John Lawson, Past President.

The presidents of the following national associations:

Austria Dr H. J. Krug

Belgium Mr. J. Van der Heyde

Canada Mr W. Matthews

France Mrs J. Laffitte

Germany Mr G. Reiss

Great Britain Mrs S. Grant

Italy Dr. V. Soave

Japan Mr. K. Nakao

Netherlands Mr. J .Vloemans

Sweden Mrs K Wachtmeister

Switzerland Mr Walter Alicke, Vaduz

USA Mr E Glaser

Proxies

Denmark Proxy was held by Mr Hans Bagger

Norway Proxy did not arrive

3 National Associations were not represented.

In all 17 votes were represented.

Designation of Scrutineers

Mr. Bob de Graaf and Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing were nominated scrutineers. 

2. Approval of the minutes of the congress in Venice in 1986

They were approved by the assembly and signed by the president.

3. President's Report

The President opened the meeting and thanked the Verband deer Antiquare Österreichs for the invitation to hold the meeting in Vienna.

He began with a memorial address on four prominent members of the League, that is Corinne van deer Peet, Tom Crowe, R. V. Tooley and Jake Zeitlin. Corinne van deer Peet was still especially in the memory of all who knew her from the Presidents' Meeting in Munich and from her arrangements of the 50th anniversary of the Dutch Association.

He once again recalled the most magnificent Congress in Venice and the overwhelming hospitality of the Italian Association, who had done everything possible to make the Congress in Venice a memorable event. As had been discusses at the last Committee meeting in Bonn, financial problems still remained and he felt that the league should find a way to arrange more modest Congresses. It was important that the younger generation should be able to participate in order to make them interested in the international cooperation which was of great importance to all.

As promised in Venice the idea of editing a new VADEMECUM has been worked on but with little success. The questionnaires sent to the national presidents had been returned only by half the countries. The committee found this point of importance and the president hoped that the result of his inquiries would be published in the next newsletter.

Within the last year the Committee has received 5 cases of quarrels between booksellers or booksellers against auctioneers. 2 had luckily been solved before the committee could make a statement, while 3 were still up for discussion in the committee.

Both, the directory and the dictionary brought about a lively correspondence? This would be reported on under points 7 and 8.

4. Treasurer's Report

Anthony Rota gave a short up-to-date report. He had distributed to all a brief statement of the cash-account. The finances of the League were in good condition.

The sale of the directory were coming to an end and unfortunately there had been fewer copies sold than had been expected. A large amount of money would be necessary for the print of the dictionary and a reserve had to be kept up. Accordingly he would ask for a 5% rise in subscription, roughly in line with inflation.

Anthony Rota gave notice of his new address:

9 & 11 Langley Court

Covent Garden

London WC2E 9RX

5. Annual Subscription

All approved a 5% rise in subscription.

6. Newsletter. Editor's Report

Until now 2 reports on the history of the SLAM had been published and both had met with a great response because of their extra-ordinarily interesting and clear representation. The editor, however, preferred to print the history of the Dutch association, whose turn it was, before the third and the fourth part of the French history. He hoped to be able to publish the next Newsletter towards the end of the year.

7. Directory

Mr. Reiss reported about his conversation with Mr. Edmund Brumme Jr. who would present his ideas to the presidents at the congress in Paris. Mr. Reiss was of the opinion that whoever attended to the work of editing the Driectory should get a financial compensation. The possibility of receiving an interim report from Mr Brumme at the February 1988 committee meeting was raised.

The reason for the slow sales of the directory lay, among others, in the various other lists of addresses circulating on the market, and that was why it was so difficult to sell the Directory to non-members.

Mr. Glaser asked whether the price of the directory would be the same if it was edited by Mr. Brumme. Mr. Reiss answered in the affirmative.

One page of the American addresses was missing in the directory and Dr Soave asked for a replacement. Mr. Bagger promised it.

Dr Soave proposed that every member should possess one copy of the directory. To this Mr Reiss informed that in Germany every member got a free copy from the German association.

Mr Glaser pointed out that in the USA it was rather difficult to realize such a recommendation. Many American book dealers did not require the directory because they were so much concentrated on their internal market and, due to the geographical distance to Europe, they only seldom travelled abroad.

8. Dictionary

The president read a letter from Mr Bernard Rosenthal in which he gave detailed information about the Dictionary he was working on together with Mr E. Franco. Both, Mr. B. Rosenthal and Mr. E. Franco, were thoroughly convinced that the text of the dictionary needed to be revised entirely and that this would take a longer time than they had estimated. In his letter he asked the national presidents to name one member of each association who would be willing to work with the editors on contributions for the dictionary is his own language. Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing was ready to do this for the German association.

Mr. Alicke informed the meeting of a polyglot dictionary edited by UNESCO which might be useful for the League's work. Mr. Bagger asked him to try to get a copy (it being out of print) for Mr. Franco.

9. Bibliographical Prize

Dr. Kocher-Benzing reported that a large number of books had already arrived for the bibliographical prize.

A problem was the value of the prize, at present $ 1000.00. This sum was relatively high at the time the prize was founded, but nowadays it had to be regarded as most insufficient due to the fluctuation in the exchange. Dr. Kocher-Benzing asked that the problem be discussed again at the next meeting of the General Assembly in Paris. 

10. Security

Unmarked documents had been stolen from the Library of Congress, all of mainly American interest, and the meeting was warned against buying documents of this sort.

The Italian president produced a list of stolen books 'Elenco Libri Rubati in Varie Biblioteche 1986.' Library stamps were - as far as they were marked on the books - described in the list. In cases of doubt this list might be requested from the ALAI, Via Jacopo Nardi, 6, I-50132 Firenze.

Mr. Alicke proposed that the stamps of the libraries concerned be published in the bulletin of the Italian association dealing with the stolen books.

Mr. Baynton-Williams who had been responsible in the League for security matters during a number of years resigned from the ABA Committee. Mr. Michael Phelps, London, had replaced him. 

11. Election

The president expressed his great appreciation of Mrs. Woodburn's work in the committee during the pas years and also her great services to the League. In the League's name, he thanked her for her cooperation. Mr. Weinstein having been nominated from the American Association was elected as the new member of the committee by common consent.

End of session, 5 pm

Beginning of the session: Monday, September 7, 9:30 am.

 

12. Future congresses

Dr. Soave once again reported on the Congress in Venice which had been attended by 220 and the following fair by 50 participants. The difficult financial situation - due to the often unexpectedly high costs of the congress - had been balanced meanwhile. The Italian president would prepare a short report for the Newsletter, which was highly appreciated by Mr. Anton Gerits.

A number of members, who had applied for the congress, had because of various reasons not been able to attend the meeting. Their withdrawal had arrived after the closing date for application and, though the members had asked for a refund of their advance payment, the Italian Association had not been able to grant it. At that time expenses had already been incurred and the costs of the congress had been so high that it was only with great difficulties that the Association were able to cope with the financial situation. So by not reimbursing the members concerned the Italian Association did not make a profit at all; the money was rather necessary to cover the costs.

The presidents agreed with this opinion and supported the decision of the Italian Association in every respect.

Mme Laffitte gave a general view on the planned activities of the SLAM at the 29th Congress of the League in Paris. The French Association had tried to keep the costs as moderate as possible and, estimating about 300 participants, the costs for each participant would be about 3000FF.

The presidents thought it rather difficult for members to estimate their own costs without knowing the exact prices, especially since the costs for hotels had to be added. the French President, in return, found it difficult to give exact prices without knowing the exact number of participants. Hitherto the fee for all congresses had been between 3000 and 3500 FF.

Mr. Glaser thought it better to know the maximum amount of the costs in order to have an idea of the expenses coming up. 

The French association would send a provisional questionnaire to all members of the League. Knowing the exact number of the participants the association would be able to fix the costs exactly.

A second letter would then inform the participants of the final costs and of the detailed program.

There was criticism that the English text of the participation form read: "I will participate", which was a firm intention; while in French the text read: "Je desire participer", which was an expression of intention. It was asked that the English text be changed accordingly. Mme Laffitte declared that this would be no commitment but only an information for the French association.

Before SLAM took it over, the "Bulletin du Bibliophile", highly important to all booksellers and collectors, had been about to cease publication because of its small circulation. More subscribers were needed and Mme Laffitte asked all the national presidents to make propaganda for it.

The president thanked Mme Laffitte for her report and hoped that many members would take the opportunity to participate in the congress and to visit Paris.

Switzerland. In 1989 the presidents' meeting was to be in Switzerland. Mr. Alicke reported that planning had commenced, and informed the presidents that the meeting would be at about the same time as this year's meeting in Vienna.

Japan 1990. Dr. Krug, president of Austria, had received a letter from the Japanese association. The Japanese committee would present the program and the plans at the congress in Paris. Mr. Nakao, the president of the ABAJ, asked for suggestions and proposals. The president thanked Mr. Nakao for the letter and expressed his delight at the prospect of meeting in Japan.

Germany 1992. Mr. Reiss reported on the preparation of the German committee. For the congress the cities of Berlin and Stuttgart were up for discussion and a decision would be made at the next German General Meeting in Stuttgart in 1988. The German president would present the program at the Congress in Paris.

Canada 1993. Mr. Matthews, the Canadian president, invited all presidents to Canada. The prospective place of the meeting would be either Toronto or Vancouver. The invitation was accepted with great approval. 

13. Any other business

Mr. Reiss repeated his proposal that only participants in the congress should be allowed to take part in the following fair. On behalf of the committee the president supported this proposal and Mr Weinstein suggested to adopting this practice in Paris first. The president asked for a vote and it was agreed on by all presidents.

The president again read the letter from Mr. Bob de Graaf. Mr. Vloemans remarked that many auctioneers were not members of the League and therefore should also receive the letter.

Mr. Bob de Graaf stressed that it was not the buyer's but the seller's duty to collate all books before they are offered for sale, and he regretted that this responsibility was often passed on to the buyer in the regulations of the catalogues. The president thought it necessary to talk about this problem thoroughly in Paris and possibly to strengthen this point in the "Compendium of Usage and Customs".

Mr. Vloemans and Mr. Glaser complained that all book fairs of national associations were open to all members, except the book fairs in Stuttgart and Cologne organized by the German Association. This was an exception and they asked the presidents' meeting for comments.

The president answered that there were two kinds of fairs: one fair was sponsored by the League and open for all members, the other one was a local one and had the right of having its own rules. The German president drew attention to the fact that the German book fairs had their own organization. They were independent from the German association which had no title to it. Moreover, the German book fairs in Stuttgart and Cologne took place in limited space in the rooms of museums, not allowing an extenuation of the participants. The German president would put this question to his own committee and after that he would comment again on these problems.

To end the discussion, Mr. Bob de Graaf pointed out the Statues and Rules, point II/7 where it read: "The national associations are independent in their own internal affairs" and also to the fact that every association had the right to have its own rules also concerning book fairs.

The address of the General Secretary of the League, Mr. Konrad Meuschel, had changed. He gave notice of his new address.

Mr. Bob de Graaf expressed his thanks to the excellent interpreters and the president once again thanked the Austrian association for the friendly invitation and especially Dr. Krug for his arrangements.

 

End of the session.

Meeting of the Committee of the I.L.A.B. on Wednesday,

February 24,1988,

9.30 a.m. in Stuttgart, Hotel am Schlossgarten


Present: All members of the Committee, except Mr. van der Heyde, who had sent apologies, and President of Honour Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing. Apologies were received from Mr. Bob de Graaf, Mr. Fl. Tulkcns, Presidents of Honour; and also from Mr. John Lawson, Past President.

Mr. Reiss and Mr. Brumme,Jr. attended the meeting as guests during the discussion of point 9 and 11.

1. Approval of the Minutes of the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna 1987. These were approved and signed by the President.

To item 11 of the Vienna Minutes 1987, Mr. Loeb-Laroque pointed out, that it would make discussion about nominations easier for the members if they did not take place in the nominee's presence.

 

2. President's Report The President opened the meeting and reported that after his return from Vienna he had sent a letter of thanks to the Austrian President Dr. Hansjörg Krug, and had expressed the League's gratitude to the Austrian colleagues for their great hospitality and for organizing the Presidents' Meeting so well. He thought that all had spent very pleasant days in Vienna. 13 out of 17 countries had been represented, also the Presidents of Honour Mr. Bob de Graaf and Dr. Frieder Kocher-Bcnzing took part, thus showing their great interest in the League. The President was pleased with the discussions on important matters such as the directory, the dictionary, and future congresses, as well as on some quarrels between booksellers.

The President reported that Mr. Wyer had been disappointed with the Committee's decision and proposed to discuss the matter once again in the course of the meeting.

He would also prefer to discuss the problems of the German book fairs in the Committee once again before Mr. Reiss' arrival.

The President informed the Committee about a phone-call from Mr. John Lawson in which he had again declared his willingness to coordinate the work with the dictionary. Welcoming this, the President suggested that Mr. Lawson should contact Mr. Franco in Utrecht to have a look at the collected material there.

The League should pay for this and for further necessary trips of this kind. Mr. Lawson had promised to come to Paris and to report about the dictionary at the Congress.

The President recalled Mr. Bob de Graaf’s letter to the Committee, which had been dealt with in Vienna and which had been received with great interest. It had said that

the rules about collating books should be tightened up and the President was of the opinion that this matter had to be decided on.

In spite of a few difficulties concerning the timing of the Paris Congress 1988, it had finally been decided to stick to the original dates.

After the Vienna Congress 1987, Mrs. Woodburn had travelled to Australia, where she had met the Australian-New Zealand President, Mrs. Kay Craddock. The President informed the Committee about a letter he had received from Mrs. Craddock and which he wanted to read to the Committee.

Through the English Association the President had been informed by Mr. Anthony Rota about a new organization, launched at the book fair in Frankfurt as a committee against taxing books.

The President sympathised with this organization but, before taking any steps, he wanted to discuss the matter in the Committee. He asked the Committee to consider that the new organization only covers EEC-Countries, while the League also covers many countries not connected with EEC and therefore not directly concerned with these tax-problems.

The President asked the Committee to give some thought to the question of whether the League should be allowed to decide on behalf of all its members or whether it should be left to each association's own decision to join this new organisation - in particular he thought of those countries concerned with the EEC-rules.

Finally the President asked the members of the Committee to confirm, that Mr. John Lawson would be elected President of Honour in Paris.

Discussion

a) In the following discussion all members of the Committee agreed with the President's proposal to elect Mr. John Lawson as President of Honour in Paris.

b) Concerning the quarrel between Mr. Wyer and Mr. Zisska, the Committee was of the opinion that there were no new arguments which could change the decision of Vienna. Mr. Loeb-Laroque thought, that the description of the copy in Mr. Zisska's auction-catalogue with the note saying 'so komplett' could have led an attentive reader to the conclusion that there is no claim to completeness. Mr. Rota found it an unreasonable demand to discuss this case again; it would be a bad principle to re-open discussion about a case without any new facts.

The Committee confirmed its original finding and agreed that further word should be sent to Mr. Wyer.

c) Concerning the German bookfairs, the President emphasized, as he had already done in Vienna, that there were two kinds of fairs: those sponsored by the League and local ones, with the right to have their own rules.

It was the problem of the Stuttgart bookfairs and had now become one of the Cologne bookfairs as well, that both fairs took place in state-buildings not allowing any extension and that both fairs were overbooked by the large number of members of the German Association.

In Amsterdam it was a different situation. The Dutch Association needed the participation of foreign members in their bookfairs.

In this context Mr. Loeb-Laroque spoke about the beginning of the Stuttgart book fair. It was founded at a time when the German Association had been divided into two parts, and when the members of both associations had not been members of the League. Consequently the fair was founded independently from the League and was organized independently from the executive Committee of the German Association. The book fair in Cologne, founded in 1986, also had its own organization and its own rules.

Mr. Konrad Meuschcl pointed out that about 15% of the participants in the German book fairs come from abroad, anyhow.

Mr. Anthony Rota underlined that in principle bookfairs should be open to everybody, but a deviation from that principle due to historical and geographical reasons should also be accepted.

It was finally agreed that the Committee should recommend that all bookfairs ought to be open to all members, but bookfairs having their own rules due to historical and geographical reasons should also be accepted. At this point, item 11 of the Agenda was discussed and Mr. Reiss joined the meeting. The President commented upon the Committee's attitude and Mr. Rota said he was willing to draft a statement to the above matter to be sent to the Dutch and German Associations. Mr. Reiss agreed with that and regarded the matter as settled.

The President asked Mr. Rota to formulate and to write down the Committee's recommendation.

d) With his letter about the need for exact descriptions of books, Mr. Bob de Graaf had caused a lively discussion and the President tried to profit from it by calling for the tightening up of articles3-5ofthe 'Compendium of Usages and Customs'. Mr. Louis Weinstein was willing to draft a revision of the Compendium and to present it to the members in Paris.

e) The Committee approved of supporting the aims of the new organization: European Committee against taxing books, Bruxellcs, Avenue du Parc 111.

It was willing to inform all national associations of this initiative, yet leaving it to each association's own decision to join it.

 

Item 9 - Directory - was dealt with now and Mr. Brumme, Jr. also joined the meeting.

Mr. Brumme, Jr. commented upon his ideas for a new directory. He proposed the edition of a handy book, rather a pocket-edition, and presented a dummy. According to his opinion, an edition of 3 to 4000 copies should be planned in order to keep the publishing price to DM 20,- or $ 9,- (at the present rate of exchange). If this price range could not be kept, the price should be approved by the League's Committee. The League would get a royaliy of 15% of the selling price of all copies sold and also a share in the advertisement revenue yet to be agreed. Mr. Reiss declared that the German Association would take 500 copies. Some of them would be given to the members as usual, and the rest would be distributed without charge to German libraries and organizations.

Mr. Brumme, Jr. proposed to ask each association to nominate one member to provide him with addresses and also to be responsible for corrections in his own language. Mr. Rota thought it right to allow only members of the League to advertise in the directory. This was agreed.

The Committee decided to entrust Mr. Brumme, Jr. with this work. An informal contract should be drawn up (by exchange of letters) between him and the League declaring that to begin with he would only be the publisher of the next issue and that the copyright would remain with the League. It was also pointed out, that the League's agreement with Mr. Brumme,Jr. was a personal one and could not be passed on to any other party without the written consent of the League's Committee.

Mr. Brumme, Jr. proposed to issue the next copy of the directory in 1989. It was decided, that it would be published in 1989 but dated and sold in 1990.

Mr. Louis Weinstein thought it important for the Committee to go over the proof- sheets of the directory and proposed to authorize 2 Committee members for this task.

Mr. Anthony Rota was willing to make up a draft of these arrangements between Mr. Brumme, Jr. and the League, and Mr. Brumme, Jr., on his part, would also formulate his suggestions. A statement about the agreement would be published in the next Newsletter.

 

3. Treasurer's Report Mr. Anthony Rota distributed to all a brief statement of the cash receipts and disbursements for the time of September 1, 1987, to January 31,1988. The finances of the League were in reasonably good condition.

 

4. Newsletter - Editor's Report The new rules of the Australia-New Zealand Association, as mentioned in Mrs Craddock's letter, would be published in the next Newsletter and off-prints would be made. These rules would be a valuable help for the League regarding the definition of technical terms.

It had been planned to publish the history of the Danish Association in the next Newsletter, but their contribution had not yet arrived. The editor was anxious to receive advertisements for the next Newsletter and he intended to ask for them in a circular-letter to those members of the League who would be likely to advertise.

 

5. Bibliographical Prize Dr. Kocher-Benzing reported that he had received 20 entries, now reduced to a short list of 8. The final discussion and choice would be in July 1988. He proposed to invite the winner to the Paris Congress 1988, if it were payable. The President suggested raising the value of the bibliographical prize and thought a sum of $ 2000,- or $ 2500,- adequate. This should be decided at the Congress in Paris.

 

6. Dictionary As mentioned in the President's report, Mr. John Lawson is going to report on the dictionary and the present state of affairs in Paris.

Mr. Louis Weinstein proposed to add to the directory a short list of the most important abbreviations concerning the description of books in the languages of all associations represented in the League.

 

7. Security No news.

 

8. Nomination of new Committee Members It was proposed to nominate the following officers and members at the Congress in Paris 1988:

President: Anthony Rota; Vice President: Jörg Schäfcr; Treasurer: Louis Weinstein; General Secretary: Konrad Meuschel; Newsletter Editor: Anton Gerits; Committee Member: Louis Loeb-Laroque.

As the 7th member, Mr. Anton Gerits and Mr. Louis Weinstein recommended the nomination of a colleague from the Japanese Association.

Apart from Mr. Nitta, there has never been a Japanese member in the Committee and therefore they thought it proper to nominate one now, especially considering the preparations for the Japanese Congress.

Mr. Anton Gerits agreed to contact the Japanese Association about the nomination of a member and to report to the Committee within a month. If this failed, the following candidates would be asked to accept nomination: Dr. Krug/Austria; Mrs. Kahn/Canada and Dr. Soavc/Italy. The Committee agreed on asking Dr. Soave first, if necessary.

 

10. Future Congresses Mr. Louis Loeb-Laroque informed the Committee that the preparations for the Paris Congress were going on quite well. A final report and the final application forms would be sent off during the next few weeks. There had been difficulties in finding a suitable room for the bookfair, but an acceptable solution had now been found.

So far 300 members had applied to attend the Congress and 130 to take part in the bookfair.

All the other dates concerning Future Congresses remained unchanged.

End of the session: 1 p.m.

Vienna 1987
English