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This article was published on www.ILAB.org, it is presented here by permission of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

First Impressions – Anne Lamort and Liam McGahern at the 39th Congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

First Impressions – Anne Lamort and Liam McGahern at the 39th Congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers First Impressions – Anne Lamort and Liam McGahern at the 39th Congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

By Anne Lamort (SLAM Vice President)


Colleagues, accomplices, competitors, guests, in short, happy. Absents are, as ever, wrong. Come on, I do have to confess that it was my first ILAB Congress, and that it took some of Neveen Marshiset’ enthousiasm to convince me to leave my beloved bookshop. My thanks go to her ! This congress has turned out to be an opportunity to discover Bologna and its region. But not only that. I have to add the multiple encounters with professionals from all over the world, and even with amateurs who had joined the congress. The receptions in exceptionnaly beautiful private homes, the local gastronomy and the smiling kindness of the Italians did the rest.

The greatest moment of our stay was not cultural : the football match between Italy and the Rest of the World - which ended up with a terrible score... for the Rest of the World - was the opportunity to compete with pom-pom girls of all ages and from all countries. Our voices were hoarse the next day.

The Pregliasco family has spared no effort to organise this event and has presented us with an unforgettable congress. We shall try to do as well in Paris in 2014...

By Liam McGahern (ABAC President)


I was fortunate in September 2010 to attend ILAB’s congress in the beautiful and historically rich city of Bolgna, Italy. I must say I was tremendously pleased that I attended the congress. I found the experience rewarding for two primary reasons.

The first is the networking that took place at the congress. During the days of tours and lectures there was a great deal of socializing. We had the opportunity to meet other dealers, collectors and librarians who shared common interests; everyone could spread the word about what he or she specialized in and was looking for. The contacts made over these few days have already proved rewarding.

The second benefit of attending the congress was the reminder that ILAB is a large organization. Sometimes being an antiquarian bookseller can be a somewhat lonely occupation in that many of us are not surrounded closely by our colleagues. Attending the congress gave me the opportunity to share the unique experiences that I have as an antiquarian bookseller with other dealers, and likewise to learn how they handled various issues facing the trade today. So many of the experiences we have as antiquarian booksellers are unique. It is a comfort to know that we are not alone, that so many ILAB members face the same issues that I do.

I found attending the congress to be extremely rewarding and beneficial, and would highly recommend the experience to any fellow ILAB member who has the opportunity to attend.

Both articles were published in the ILAB Newsletter 63 (2010) which has recently been sent out to the ILAB affiliates. The newsletter is also available on the ILAB site.

>>> 39th ILAB Congress, Bologna 2010

>>> Anne Lamort

>>> La Bibliophilie, by Anne Lamort

>>> Liam McGahern

Published 15 Nov 2010

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