The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Austria or Verband der Antiquare Österreichs (VAO), established in 1949, joined the League in the same year. With 37 members and Michael Steinbach as President, the VAO has hosted several ILAB Congresses, Book Fairs and Presidents’ Meeting in Austria, the last one in 2009 when 20 Presidents of the ILAB met in Vienna for four wonderful days and an important meeting during which China and Russia were admitted as new ILAB members.
The association has its office in the Vienna city centre, being part of the Austrian Association of Publishers and Booksellers that represents all parts of the Austrian book trade. It includes those Austrian antiquarian booksellers who exclusively or primarily buy and sell antiquarian books, magazines, prints, autograph letters or music. Like all ILAB affiliates the VAO members submit themselves to a strict code of ethics which defines how commercial transactions are to be conducted between Austrian and foreign antiquarian booksellers on the one hand and the professionals and individuals on the other hand.
The VAO has hosted the biennial ILAB Congress in 1954, 1996 and 1998 in Vienna. In 1998 the congress, in which 243 antiquarians from all over the world participated, was followed by the 17th International Antiquarian Book Fair, held in Vienna’s “Hofburg” with no less than 111 antiquarian booksellers from 16 countries. It was, by the way, the first ILAB Congress and Book Fair with a website. Last but not least, the Austrian Association has organized several annual Presidents’ Meeting in 1972, 1987 and 2009, when the VAO was host to two of the major events in the Antiquarian Book Calendar: the ILAB Presidents’ Meeting and the 26th Congress of the Association Internationale de Bibliophilie (AIB) with a partially shared program that gave all participants the chance to interact and build contacts and friendships that will be of mutual benefit. For both, ILAB affiliates and bibliophiles, it was a magnificent event:
“Quel merveilleux congrès vous nous offert!” Or: “What a remarkable week it was and how privileged we were to see so much of your beautiful country’s heritage up close. We have been won over by Austria’s lovely river landscape, superb monasteries, fine cuisine and wine and rich book culture. Above all, your hospitality and that of your colleagues has made a deep and happy impression on us.”
Elections for the Committee are held every three years. In cooperation with the German Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (VDA) and the Vereinigung der Buchantiquare und Kupferstichhändler in der Schweiz (VEBUKU) the VAO organizes annual seminars for rare booksellers, that are held in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin or, 2006, in Vienna. Since 2008, the International Book Fair “BUCH WIEN”, organized by the Austrian Publishers and Booksellers Association, has a special a section for Antiquarian Booksellers.
Term of office
Michael Steinbach, President
Paul Kainbacher, Vice-President
Prof. Christian M. Nebehay (†): 1949 - 1962
Ingo Nebehay (†): 1962 - 1970
Michael Krieg (†): 1970 - 1976
Werner Taeuber (†): 1976 - 1985
Dr. Hansjörg Krug: 1985 - 2000
Hans-Dieter Paulusch (†): 2000 – 2003
Norbert Donhofer (2003-2012)
Dieter Tausch (2012-2015)
BUCH WIEN: Every year in the 2nd week of November, a number of antiquarian booksellers exhibit at Austria's largest book fair and literary event. BUCH WIEN is organized by the Austrian Publishers and Booksellers Association with a section for antiquarian booksellers.
For more information about the fair, please contact Michael Steinbach (President) by Email.
BUCH WIEN 2017 will run from 8 - 12 November 2017.
>>> “BUCH WIEN” – Four questions to Norbert Donhofer. Interview in the “Börsenblatt des Deutschen Buchhandels”
>>> Impressions from „BUCH WIEN“, including the antiquarian booksellers for the first time in 2008
Picture credit, Image 1:
Antiquarian collective stand at BUCH WIEN
(c) LCM Fotostudio Richard Schuster