In October 2017, Prize Secretary Fabrizio Govi of Libreria Alberto Govi, invited the jury to his hometown Modena in Italy.
Libreria Govi offered to be an appropriate venue for a jury meeting to assess the over 50 outstanding titles that had been submitted for the 2018 Prize.
The panel of judges (or jurors) consists of three professional scholars or librarians and three antiquarian booksellers. All are chosen for their expertise in the field of bibliographical scholarship as it is on their standing and judgment that the reputation of the Prize itself depends. The judges represent the widest possible range of nationalities so that the panel is qualified to adjudicate on books in various languages and on all aspects of the field.
Fabrizio Govi – Libreria Alberto Govi, Modena (Italy)
Daniel de Simone – Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC (United States)
Bettina Wagner – State Library, Bamberg (Germany)
Yann Sordet – Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris (France)
Justin Croft – Justin Croft Antiquarian Books, Faversham (United Kingdom)
Winfried Kuhn - Antiquariat Winfried Kuhn (Germany)
Daniel de Simone - Prev. Folger Shakespeare Library (US)
In January of 2017, Daniel De Simone retired from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. as the Eric Weinmann Librarian, where he directed the operations of the Central Library.
De Simone came to the Folger from the Library of Congress where he held the post of Curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
Before his appointment as Rosenwald Curator in 2000, he operated his own New York-based bookselling business for 22 years.
He is a member of the Grolier Club, NY, the Association Internationale de Bibliophilie, Paris, and Print Council of America. Mr. De Simone holds an M.A. in American History from the University of Dayton and a B.A. in European History from Clark University.
Bettina Wagner - Director of State Library, Bamberg (Germany)
In October 2016, Ms Wagner was announced Director of the State Library Bamberg in Germany after a long career at various international institutions.
After her studies in Würzburg and Oxford, Ms Wagner received her PhD in 1994 at the University of Würzburg with the following dissertation: Die ›Epistola presbiteri Johannis‹ lateinisch und deutsch. Überlieferung, Textgeschichte, Rezeption und Übertragungen im Mittelalter. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2000 (Münchener Texte und Untersuchungen zur deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters 115)
From 1992-6, she was involved in the Incunable Cataloguing Project of the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.
Between 1996-8, Ms Wagner worked at the Bavarian Librarianship School in Munich, followed by 18 years at the Bavarian State Library in Munich. Her last position at the Bavarian State Library Munich oversaw the ›Handschriftenerschließungszentrum‹ and the incunabula collection and she was responsible for numerous book history related exhibitions as well as overseeing projects on cataloguing manuscripts and incunabula.
Yann Sordet - Director Bibliothèque Mazarine Paris (France)
Yann Sordet is director of the Bibliothèque Mazarine since 2011. He was previously head curator of the Rare Books and Manuscripts department of the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris. His research focuses on the history of libraries and book collecting, bibliographic practices, incunabula, production and dissemination of the book of spirituality in early modern times (Imitatio Christi). He is chief editor of the journal Histoire et civilisation du livre, and member of the Jean Mabillon Research Center (Ecole nationale des chartes, Paris).
Fabrizio Govi of Libreria Govi (Italy), ILAB Vice-President
After an education in Classical Studies at the Liceo Classico San Carlo of Modena, Mr Govi studied at the University of Bologna, where he graduated in 1997 with the art historian Anna Ottani Cavina, and for a semester at the University of Göttingen (Germany).
Later he deepened his knowledge in the field of antiquarian books, attending courses at the École de l’Institut d’Histoire du Livre of Lyons on physical bibliography and printing types, and at Merton College in Oxford on the study of paper.
He started his career as a bookseller in 1996, joining his father who had founded the Libreria Alberto Govi in 1973. Since then, he has published at least one printed catalogue and several electronic lists each year. His main fields of interest are early manuscripts, incunabula and 16th-century books.
For several years, he has been a committee member and treasurer of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Italy (ALAI) where he served as president from 2010 to 2015.
In 2010, he was part of the organising team of the ILAB Congress and Book Fair in Bologna.
During his presidency, he organized the 2013 ILAB Presidents' Meeting in Sienna and supervised the organization of two editions of the Milan Book Fair. In 2016, Mr Govi was elected as member of the ILAB committee and in February 2018, as ILAB Vice-President.
In 2015, he opened Govi Rare Books Llc to develop the business in the US. Since 2005, he is also partner of the historical Swiss company Gilhofer und Ranschburg based in Lucerne (Switzerland).
Justin Croft - Justin Croft Antiquarian Books Ltd (UK)
Justin Croft is proprietor of an antiquarian bookselling business based in Faversham, Kent and works with collectors, libraries and museums all over the world.
Mr Croft has an academic background in medieval bibliography and extensive experience of developing collections in the traditional fields: literature, human sciences, science, medicine, art and architecture.
Since 2006, he has been a regular contributor to the BBC Antiques Roadshow.
Winfried Kuhn - Antiquariat Winfried Kuhn (Germany)
Based in Berlin, Winfried Kuhn specialises in early and rare books of the 15th - 19th centuries.
Mr Kuhn also serves as board member of the German booksellers association Verband Deutscher Antiquare e.V. (VDA).