On Saturday April 23, 2016 rare book dealers will focus world attention on rare books and associated materials. At this time, when UNESCO and many others throughout the world celebrate literacy, ILAB book dealers will once again run a worldwide 24 hour campaign to promote the trade and to raise money for literacy projects.

“The purpose of ILAB’s participation in World Book and Copyright Day is to spotlight rare books and bookselling while raising money for what is at the very foundation of all we do - literacy”, says Norbert Donhoffer, President of ILAB.

After a successful launch in 2015, AntiquarianAuctions.com, the online rare book auction platform based in Cape Town, South Africa, will participate once again in the international 24 hour event.  In association with publishing house Penguin Random House, AntiquarianAuctions.com will host a talk with Susan Buchanan, the author of the recently published “Burchell’s Travels: The Life, Art and Journeys of William John Burchell”, and other experts in the field.  Local collectors and botanists, local historians and the general public are invited and asked to make a donation on the day. All proceeds from the event will go to charity.

William John Burchell (23 July 1781 Fulham, London - 23 March 1863 Fulham) was an English explorer, naturalist, traveller, artist and author who arrived in Cape Town in November 1810 after several years as a naturalist on St Helena island. The following year he embarked on an epic journey through the Cape Colony, lasting four years and covering 7000 kilometres, mainly through unexplored terrain. During this time he collected over 50,000 plant and animal specimens and built a vast collection of sketches and paintings.  He is best known for his two-volume Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa, his extraordinary map of the country, and for the many species of animals, birds and plants that are named after him.

As he explained his own scientific curiosity with strong Romantic sensibilities in the preface to the Travels: “These collections consist of above sixty three thousand objects, inclusive of the duplicates, in every department of science… In addition to these results of the expedition, are about five hundred drawings, the subjects of which are landscapes, portraits, costume, zoology, botany, and a variety of other objects.”

Burchell is famous for his contribution to botany and Burchell’s  “Map of the Extratopical Part of Southern Africa” was a milestone in the mapping of South Africa. He completed his South African journey in April 1815. His life ended tragically. Suffering from depression, he took his own life in 1863.

To date, Burchell is regarded as a pioneer in botany and as scientific traveller. His work Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa is one of the most collectable Africana publications.

“I am sure that however much the family and I myself may wish to be passing time in England, yet you all know that too long a residence at Fulham begins at last to look very much like lost time: at least you may say that while absent I am doing something”

(William Burchell, source: Pickering, p. 238)


Susan Buchanan holds an honours degree in psychology and a master’s degree in English literature. Her English studies developed her interest in autobiography, 19th century literature, natural history and William Burchell. Susan is the author of Burchell’s Travels: The Life, Art and Journeys of William John Burchell, published by Penguin Random House in 2015.

Paul Mills, owner of Clarke’s Africana & Rare Books and the auction platform www.antiquarianauctions.com has been an active dealer in the international rare book trade for over 35 years and is a member of rare book trade associations such as ABA, ILAB and SABDA and various international rare book organisations and collectors clubs.

Dr. John Rourke is an expert on South African botanical history and was Curator at the Compton Herbarium, National Botanical Institute, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa. He has published has published widely including important volumes on historical botany for the Brenthurst Press

Dr. Roger Stewart is a South African expert in maps. His diverse publications on Burchell have popularised the subject and the recently published book by Penguin Random House draws extensively on Stewart’s expertise.

Location & exact time for the talk will be confirmed within the next days.

In cooperation with Penguin Random House and AntiquarianAuctions.com. AntiquarianAuctions.com is an online auction site dedicated to the sale of rare and out of print books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography. Dealers and collectors worldwide have been selling and bidding on the site since 2010. Only established booksellers who are members of major national trade associations such as  ABA, ABAA, PBFA or SABDA or are of good standing in the trade are permitted to sell on the site.  Auctions are held every five weeks and run on the model of a timed auction for one week.  The next rare book auction date is 3-10th March 2016.


February 2016 – For immediate release. Pictures: ILAB, UNESCO, the Organizers




“Peace is not something that exists on a piece of paper. True peace is created in the hearts, minds, and actions of women and men. True peace will exist when all citizens of South Sudan sincerely accept each other, respect each other, and can start honest and open dialogues with one another to resolve their differences amicably. True peace will only exist when the 10,000 children and youths who participated in this conflict are given the education they deserve and helped to re-integrate into society ...”

Forest Whitaker

“I’m really full of hope because I am giving hope”, says Valentino Okongo, Youth Peace Maker, South Sudan.

South Sudan is a country that is not often associated with hope so when a young South Sudanese man, orphaned by the war, speaks of hope, how can we NOT help?

South Sudan has a great deal of potential – just have a look at UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Forest Whitaker’s work in South Sudan … Inspiring isn’t it?  The Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) is building a network of youth peace workers across South Sudan which is stunning in its simplicity, power and inspiration. Literacy is a central part of what he and his passionate team are building. When you learn the South Sudanese literacy rates – 70 % of all adults are illiterate and 84 % of women – it doesn’t take much convincing to know that literacy is a vital part of their initiative.

“Can we write a new story for South Sudan?” asks Brian Williams WPDI Conflict Resolution Expert in  a video on WPDI’s work.  When you watch him working, when you listen to the Youth Peace Makers, when you see Forest Whitaker in the video it is difficult to think anything but YES!

So how can we, antiquarian booksellers, collectors or librarians in a world so very, very different from the one experienced by South Sudanese help?

Just a little money goes a long way in South Sudan.  ILAB booksellers raised over 10,000 Euros at the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day in 2015. What good did this do? 500 South Sudanese young people were given a prized notebook and pen (because these items are prized there) and 1,930 books were placed in 10 centres of the Forest Whitaker Peace and Development  Initiative. That’s a lot of young people who were helped in their journey of hope.  The following chapter on “Promoting Connectivity and Education” from the official 2015 WPDI Report shows where this journey shall lead to:

“Education opens doors to new worlds of knowledge and opportunities. But in communities impacted by violence and poverty, young people often do not have access to the educational resources they need to lift themselves out of these vicious cycles. WPDI is constructing a network of Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in EES to serve as hubs for education, technology, and civic engagement where all are welcome. In 2015 - in coordination with our partners and local authorities - we opened two CLCs in Torit and Nimule, and renovated three additional sites for CLCs in Kapoeta North, South, and East, scheduled to open in January 2016. WPDI plans to renovate and open four more CLCs in 2016, so community members in every county of EES will have access to these resources.

Thanks to Ericsson and Zain, all of the CLCs are equipped with hardware and connectivity, so community members throughout EES are able to access the Internet. ICTs have transformed how humans communicate and access information. But, while 82 percent of individuals in developed countries use the Internet, in South Sudan, only 15 percent do. In fragile communities like those in EES, we believe that ICTs can be tremendous assets that empower women and men to tap into the world’s entire collection of knowledge, to connect with others in their communities and around the world, and to participate in conversations as  informed global citizens. WPDI staff offers daily computer trainings for community members to provide them with valuable job skills and allow them to explore and interact with the online world, giving these individuals access to a vast array of knowledge and educational resources.

The CLCs also house small libraries, where community members can check out books and develop their literacy skills. In South Sudan, illiteracy among both adults and youths is still widespread - 73 percent of the population over the age of 15 cannot read or write. There is also a significant literacy gap between men and women because of cultural pressures that sometimes force girls out of school at an early age. Our CLCs are committed to spreading a love of reading. Each center houses a library and, in collaboration with UNESCO, holds regular literacy classes, many of which are targeted specifically toward women.

On April 23, 2015 - World Book and Copyright Day - UNESCO and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) partnered to support WPDI’s efforts to promote literacy in South Sudan. ILAB members held 30 pop-up book fairs in twelve countries to raise money for CLC libraries. These fairs - held around the world in schools, train stations, restaurants, pubs, schools, museums, and skyscrapers - raised more than 10,000 Euros. As of January 2016, ILAB and UNESCO have provided more than 1500 books and hundreds of pieces of scholarly materials to CLCs in South Sudan. These books fill the shelves of the centers’ libraries and are used during literacy classes.

The two CLCs established in Torit and Nimule are proving to be incredibly popular - each center is routinely visited by more than 200 people every month. The ToTs and other YPN members are using the centers as headquarters for their recruitment and community-building projects. In a field adjacent to our center in Nimule, a girls’ soccer team has been established and holds weekly practices. Our vision for these centers is that they not only serve as locations for literacy classes and computer access, but also as vibrant hubs of community life where individuals can gather to participate in a wide range of activities and civic discourse.”

10,000 Euros from ILAB booksellers and book collectors worldwide for 500 notebooks and pens and 1,930 books in 10 WPDI centres was a good start in 2015 – and it is far from being enough. That’s why ILAB booksellers will stand up again on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2016, to raise even more money for this entirely important project. The children in South Sudan need our help, they deserve to learn, to read and to lead a better life in the future. So, there is still a lot more to do. Let us give our vital support to the UNESCO, the  Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative  and most of all to the children in South Sudan with another giant chain of books presented on ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs from Australia, to Korea, Japan, South Africa, all over Europe and to the United States.

When? On UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2016.

Where? Across the world.


Join Us!

Booksellers take part in a Pop Up event – collectors and librarians visit these events.
In just a few hours or with just a little money you can give so much hope.

Look at the video. Read even more about The Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative in their report just released.

And say YES!

Help us to help the children in South Sudan. Get inspired! Organize an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair wherever you are, and be a part of it.

February 2016 – For immediate release. Pictures: ILAB, UNESCO, WPDI




Last year on April 23rd  hundreds of antiquarian booksellers worked together in one big celebration. Antiquarian booksellers across the world decided to Think Global and Act Local and celebrate UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day with events within their communities - thinking local and thinking globally by coordinating their efforts. These local celebrations made a global impact. Rare books found new homes and over 10,000 Euros were raised to provide literacy aids to the children of South Sudan.

In 2016 we will do this again…. And we want you to join us!


... and anywhere else in the world where you decide to be a part of it!


SYDNEY: “Books: Still So Much to Learn and Discover” - The first ILAB Pop Up Fair on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 will be the final event of a most remarkable international conference for librarians, booksellers and anyone interested in rare books and their history held from 21 to 22 April at the State Library of New South Wales, and organized by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB).  The day after the conference Australian booksellers will offer for sale rare, fine and extraordinary books, maps, ephemera and other associated materials on paperat the State Library of New South Wales. Be there!

DUNKELD and HAMILTON: There are three booksellers far away in the Australian bush who decided not only to join their colleagues at the ILAB Pop Up Fair in Sydney, but also to raise funds for the UNESCO literacy projects in their bookshops at home in the weeks leading up to UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016. So, if you come across an empty bookshelf poster in Dunkeld and Hamilton, Country Victoria, help Roz Greenwood and Marg Phillips of Roz Greenwood Old And Rare Books and Guy Hamilton of Bellcourt Books raise funds to support literacy in South Sudan. And as if this were not enough, they will pack their boxes with beautiful books right in time to travel the long way to Sydney to exhibit at the ILAB Pop Up Fair on 23 April 2016 at the State Library of New South Wales. Bravo!


TOKYO: At their general meeting in April, shortly before UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Japan and their President will officially launch the ILAB Pop Up Celebrations in Japan.

ALL ACROSS JAPAN: From Tokyo to Kyoto, Sapporo, Osaka and Kumamoto the Japanese rare book dealers will join the great chain of worldwide bookish events on 23 April 2016 by decorating special Pop Up Book Fair Windows with a fine selection of rare books and Empty Bookshelf Posters in their shops to raise money for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan.

TOKYO: The World Antiquarian Book Plaza is located in Tokyo’s city centre, five minutes away from the famous Ginza. The Plaza is a joint venture of Yushodo Ltd. and Michael Steinbach Rare Books and unites the exquisite offers of rare book dealers from Japan, the United States, Australia and Europe. On 23 April 2016, the Plaza will once again be the elegant venue for an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair, organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Japan (ABAJ).


SEOUL, PUSAN, DAEGU: Find rare and fine books, get in contact with antiquarian booksellers in Seoul, Pusan and Daegu! For the first time ever, the ILAB dealers in the Republic of Korea will join their colleagues worldwide on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016. Korean booksellers will organize Pop Up Fairs in  prominent places in their capital Seoul as well as in the second biggest Korean city Pusan and in the city of Daegu, which owes the most antiquarian bookshops over there.


MOSCOW: Free Appraisal Day at the Moscow State University of the Printing Arts: bring your books, maps, prints and autographs and learn about their value! And even more: Enjoy a special exhibition and auction of books about books, organized by the Russian antiquarian booksellers at one of the beautiful bookshops in Moscow.


CAPE TOWN:  After the successful launch in 2015, AntiquarianAuctions.com, the online rare book auction platform run by Paul Mills in Cape Town, South Africa, will participate once again in the international 24 hour chain of events organized by ILAB booksellers across the world. In association with publishing house Penguin Random House, AntiquarianAuctions.com will host a talk with Susan Buchanan, author of the recently published “Burchell’s Travels: The Life, Art and Journeys of William John Burchell”, and other experts in the field. Local collectors and botanists, local historians and the general public will be invited and asked to make a donation to support the UNESCO literacy projects.


BARCELONA: A rose for a book – It is a long and good tradition in Barcelona to offer a rose for every book bought on St Jorge’s Day. Coinciding with UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day 2016, ILAB bookseller Albert Casals and his colleagues will pop up at the famous La Ramblas, to show wonderful books, to raise money for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan and to present roses to booklovers.

MADRID: 23 April 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the deaths of two of the world’s greatest poets: William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615, Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” is considered one of the most influential works of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and as a founding work of modern Western literature. In fact, it is regarded as the first novel ever written. “Don Quixote” was first printed in Madrid by Juan de la Cuesta. At his former house the Spanish booksellers will pop up on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day to present rare and fine editions of Don Quixote along with the crème-de-la-crème of Spanish book history.


ZURICH: For bookish people 2016 is a year to celebrate and to commemorate in many respects. 400 years ago Shakespeare and Cervantes died, and a hundred years ago one of the most innovative artistic movements was brought to light in Zurich: Dada. At the Cabaret Voltaire, where Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp, Hugo Ball, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Marcel Janco and others founded the Dada movement in 1916, the Swiss antiquarian booksellers will gather exactly a hundred years later for an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair on 23 April 2016 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Dada founding with a Dada performance, a presentation of rare first editions and a gorgeous fundraising to fill the Empty Bookshelf Posters as a strong support of literacy worldwide.


MUNICH: “Book Tales & Cocktails” was such a big success on 23 April 2015, that the rare book dealers in Munich and their customers immediately decided to celebrate UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day again in 2016. So, right in the city centre of the Bavarian capital in the rooms of the Kaufmanns Casino, where business men and women have been meeting for conferences and cocktails since 1832, some 15 antiquarian booksellers from Munich and Bavaria will once again show some of their most extraordinary books – with music, drinks, finger food, and a lecture on “Early 20th Century German Publishing” held by the renowned, no: legendary German collector and publisher Klaus G. Saur.


VIENNA: The "Heart of Darkness" lies next to Vienna at Dr. Paul Kainbacher Rare Books on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016. With a Bibliophile Evening dedicated to lectures and books on travel and exploration from Austria into the World the Austrian antiquarian booksellers will launch the ILAB Pop Up Week on 16 April 2016, from 5 to 7 pm. Dr. Paul Kainbacher will invite colleagues and collectors to his bookshop in Baden (Vienna), where Walter Sauer, Professor of Economic and Social History, and Martin Pfitscher, specialist in Ethnology, will talk about famous 19th century travels of Austrian explorers and adventurers to Africa. The evening will close with a book presentation and a fundraising to support the great work of UNESCO's Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) in South Sudan.

HIGH ABOVE VIENNA: A high-flying book presentation in the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel  of the world-famous Prater will be one of the ultimate highlights on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016. If you haven't once in your lifetime taken a ride on the Ferris Wheel and enjoyed the breathtaking views over the roofs of Vienna, this is your time for an amazing experience. On 23 April, from 10 am to noon, the members of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association will take you on a trip high above Vienna while offering rare and fine books in one of the wheel cabines and raising money to buy school books for the children in South Sudan. And who knows? Maybe Orson Welles' Third Man will be there, listening to the famous zither tunes by Anton Karas.


BUDAPEST: 2016 – the year of the book, the year of Cervantes. Hungarian booksellers will hold an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair at the Institute Cervantes: the perfect venue for a bookish event on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 which marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes. Support literacy, enjoy an exclusive “Don Quixote” exhibition at the Institute named after its famous author, admire the bibliophile treasures and have a chat with the Hungarian booksellers!


PARIS: On 23 April 2016 there will be one really big event  - in Paris in the elegant surroundings of the Grand Palais!  French antiquarian booksellers who are members of Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) will join in ILAB’s worldwide celebrations on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 by granting free entry to the Salon International du Livre rare & de l’Autographe on 23 April. In exchange fair visitors will be invited to donate some money in support of UNESCO’s South Sudan literacy project. Inside the Grand Palais, the French booksellers will celebrate William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes with an impressive exhibition.

PARIS, GRAND PALAIS: Throughout the elegant Parisian Book Fair, ILAB President Norbert Donhofer, Michael Steinbach, President of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VAO), and many other ILAB booksellers will set up the Empty Bookshelf Posters in their own stands to raise funds for the UNESCO literacy South Sudan projects and to say: Wherever we are, we are a part of it. Amor librorum nos unit. The world of books unites us, on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016, and every  every other day, as long as we read and love books.  A fitting and elegant contribution to the world celebration of books and literacy from booksellers in UNESCO’s home town!


AMSTERDAM: One of the most beautiful and lively cities in Europe, Frank Rutten, Sascha Kok and the Amsterdam booksellers will organize a “UNESCO Night of the Books”, with music and theater – bookish entertainment at its best!

GRONINGEN: Antiquariat Isis is the only ILAB affiliate and member of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (NVvA) in that area, but instead of thinking "there is only one of us and nothing can be done", Lyseth Belt and Theo Butterhof, with the support of their local community, will once again organize a rather special Pop Up celebration of UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day at Folkingestraat in Groningen. Before the Second World War Folkingestraat with the beautiful Synagogue was the heart of the Jewish community. Today it is a lively and busy quarter of Groningen, full of small and independent shops, full of bookish and cultural events, and must go to for every visitor in the Netherlands.

HAARLEM, founded in 1245, has been the historical centre of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and bears the nickname "Bloemenstad" (flower city). Since the Middle Ages, Haarlem, which lies on a thin strip of land above sea level known as the "strandwal" (beach ridge), is one busiest and richest places in the Netherlands. On UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016 Dutch booksellers will hold a Pop Up Book Market on Kruisstraat 3 in the historical centre of Haarlem, next to the city Kruispoort which was blown up by the Haarlem inhabitants in 1573 in their battle against the Spanish. Meet the Dutch booksellers there on 23 April from 2 to 5 pm, enjoy their wonderful array of rare and fine books and fill the empty bookshelves for the children in South Sudan by donating money for the UNESCO literacy projects. 


COPENHAGEN: Antiquarian booksellers will pop up in the foyers of the Copenhagen libraries!


STOCKHOLM:  Thanks to the Swedish rare book dealers the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April 2016 will turn into a great World Book and Copyright Night! On that day, 23 April 2016, the Stockholm Culture Night rolls out the purple carpet to celebrate art, music, dance and literature throughout the Swedish capital. Visitors will lose themselves in breathtaking performances and amazing exhibitions held at public places, museums and institutions all night. As part of this awesome event in Sweden and at the same time as part of the amazing great chain of ILAB Pop Up Fairs worldwide Mats Petterson, Mats Rehnströhm and other Swedish booksellers will pop up at the Royal Swedish Academy of Art, presenting treasures from the history of printing in Sweden and, as their colleagues across the world, raising money for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan. What a night in Stockholm!

LUND is one of the oldest and most charming cities in Sweden. It is famous for its historical buildings, for its University (founded in the year 1666), for numerous bicycles in the streets, its rich cultural scene – and for its bookshops. Pierre Dethorey, member of the Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (SVAF) runs one of these bookshops. Akarps antikvariat at Kalkstensvägen 21 has one of the largest stocks of rare books in Scandinavia. And it is home to a very special treasure all book people will immediately fall in love with: a stunning collection of over 200 Swedish chapbooks and catch-penny-prints. For this year’s UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day Pierre Dethorey will organize a special exhibition of this beautiful, funny, colourful and extremely rare bibliophile treasure. An amazing idea and another great event in Sweden on 23 April 2016!


OXFORD: Booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) and their colleagues in the Provincial Booksellers’ Association (PBFA) will join together to bring World Book and Copyright Day to the attention of all who come to one of Britain’s largest rare book fairs, the Oxford Premier Fair. Open on both Saturday April 23 and Sunday April 24th this is one of those special fairs where really different books and other works on paper can be found. Co-organiser Tom Lintern-Mole reports that every year really unusual books are offered in Oxford – last year there was quite a buzz created around an early book on magic, for example. So, if you will be in Britain on April 23 Oxford should be your destination!       


NEW YORK: The city that never sleeps will host an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair at a most spectacular venue. Where? Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

CHICAGO, IL: "Sweet home Chicago" is worth visiting for its numerous architectural gems and famous jazz and blues musicians. Thanks to Kurt Gippert, the Chicago booksellers will hold an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair overlooking Lake Michigan and  the elegant skyscrapers of one of most beautiful American cities with a rich cultural life.

SEATTLE, WA:   In the late 19th century Seattle was the gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush, by the year 1910 it became one of the 25 largest cities of the United States, and up to the present it is an emerging industrial and cultural centre at the Pacific Northwest coast. Here, Ray Charles and Quincy Jones made their first steps as Jazz musicians. And who was born in Seattle? Yes! Jimi Hendrix! On 23 April 2016 5, the antiquarian booksellers who belong to the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) will host the final event of ILAB’s 24 hours of celebrations of the rare book and its place in our world. In Seattle the ILAB booksellers will welcome you in the Madison Room at the Sorrento Hotel for an ILAB Pop Up Fair including a 6-hour appraisal event, lots of information about the antiquarian booksellers in the United States and their national association and a big fundraising for the UNESCO project to help the children in South Sudan.

WEST LINN, PORTLAND / OREGON: At the same time and only few kilometres away, ABAA members Elisabeth Burdon, Nat des Marais and Charles Seluzicki will join in celebrating  "the end of the day" with an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair, as the sun goes down over World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016. The Portland booksellers who celebrated UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2015 in a Portland pub are heading a few miles south this year and will be showing a varied selection of antiquarian books, maps and ephemera at the West Linn Public Library on April 23 2016, noon to 5pm.  West Linn, a small city located on the Willamette River just south of Portland Oregon, boasts a vibrant community library - a great spot to chat with fellow booklovers, bring a book for an appraisal and donate to UNESCO literacy programs for South Sudan.

This is a first overview of what will happen at the ILAB Pop Up Celebrations from Australia to Asia, Africa, all over Europe to the United States on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016.

For 24 hours, from Australia to the Pacific Northwest, these and many more worldwide events will pop up one after the other to show that there is nothing more powerful than BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS! Take an atlas, go to Google Maps and look for an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair near you! 

ILAB will follow up all events worldwide on 23 April in a 24-hours live-report. Visit us on the blog and on www.ilab.org, follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook! We’ll see you there!

February 2016 – For immediate release. Pictures: ILAB, UNESCO, the Organizers, Wikipedia



Make a donation! What could be closer to the interests of all ILAB affiliates than literacy? What is more appropriate than to enable as many children and adults as possible throughout the world to read books? Book collectors start as book readers! If we are concerned about the future of the book and younger generations of collectors, we must start at the very beginning.

That’s why ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs on April 23, 2016, will be more than just a fair: they will a venue for  raising money to fight illiteracy. UNESCO is the most powerful worldwide partner we could have, and the UNESCO literacy projects deserve all our support.

Help UNESCO to realize the vision of a literate world for all!

Today, 781 million adults worldwide cannot read, write or count. 2/3 of them are women. This number declines every year. Thanks to greater access to education, young adults are much more likely to be literate than their parents. However, many children of the 21st century are destined to live on social and economic margins of our world.

We can change their destiny

For over 65 years, UNESCO has worked to ensure that literacy remains a priority on national international agendas. Through its formal and non-formal literacy programs worldwide, the Organization works to realize the vision of a literate world for all.

For World Book and Copyright Day, UNESCO organizes a call for donations to create a literacy rich environment in Africa. Committed to promote education in South Sudan, Forest Whitaker, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and actor is actively sponsoring our mission. The money raised will directly provide brand new and carefully selected books of Bouba and Zaza collection to librairies and schools.

Bouba and Zaza collection: books to develop life and socialization skills
The Bouba and Zaza series cover topical subjects affecting the lives of African families that parents are sometimes reluctant to address. These include various topics such as war and conflict, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the issue of water resources and environmental protection.

Support literacy - Help fill these book cases!

ILAB joins UNESCO in its activities to fight illiteracy worldwide. On UNESCO World Book and Copyright a series of ILAB Pop Up Celebrations - book fairs, appraisal days, exhibitions, lectures, conferences, book parties - will be organized across the world: from Australia to Japan and Korea, South Africa, Europe and the United States. On all these bookish events you will find amazing rare books for sale - and an opportunity to buy "symbolic books" to fill a "symbolic book case" and thereby to donate money to the UNESCO projects in South Sudan.

Make a donation!

Your contribution will improve access to books and learning for thousands children in South Sudan:

$ 3 will send one book to a child in South Sudan

$ 15 purchases 1 collection set of 12 books for a classroom

$ 100 provides 30 HIV/AIDS awareness books for children

$ 500 purchases 45 collection sets for a rural community

Be there! Support Literacy and fill the symbolic book cases worldwide on the ILAB Pop Up Fairs on April 23, 2016!

Take a look back to what was achieved in 2015 and help us to make 2016 even bigger!


It is with pleasure we report that ILAB’s participation in UNESCO’s 2015 World Book and Copyright Day was a great success. Hundreds, if not thousands of booksellers and members of the public were involved. Although it is not possible to know the exact number who took part based on careful estimates we believe it to be a minimum of several thousand people. ILAB’s celebrations received a significant amount of media interest, including for example, an article in The Guardian who created a special additional site where pictures of the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs could be uploaded. We are proud to report ILAB booksellers across the world raised at least Euros 10,528.01 for UNESCO’s South Sudan literacy project.

It was a special celebration for a great many reasons, but without doubt a principal one, was proof that antiquarian booksellers want to work together. A large proportion of the comments we have received from booksellers who took part in the day stated that working with colleagues across the world with the united purpose of promoting the rare book trade while raising money for literacy was the attraction for them. This is a shining example that ILAB’s motto is still alive: Amor librorum nos unit.

Thirty two events in twelve countries took place on April 23: A charity auction (in Cape Town), an appraisal  day (in  Moscow) and 30  Pop  Up  Book  Fairs.  The  day  opened  in  Australia, with  a progression of events through Asia, Europe and then across the United States. The creativity shown by the ILAB affiliates who organised these Pop Up Fairs was inspiring and unexpected. If you have in mind static Pop Up Book Fairs where middle aged and older booksellers showed their wares to similarly aged book buyers think again - you definitely need to look at the blog we spent the whole, yes, the entire 24 hours putting together live!

On  April  23rd  ILAB  affiliates  held  pop  up  book  fairs  giving children, students and a very broad cross section of the general public access to rare books. These fairs popped up at the most unexpected places, to mention just a few; a barge on a canal in Amsterdam, a woolshed in the Australian bush, a library in an underprivileged section of Antwerp, an elegant historic business man’s club in Munich, a bookshop in central Tokyo, the new Museum of Literature in Vienna, a brew pub in Portland Oregon, a whole street in Groningen… -  there was even a travelling pop up fair in England with “Celeste the Rare Book Campervan” visiting primary schools on the road from Salisbury to Oxford.

Amidst such a great diversity of events there was a very significant unifying factor shared by all ILAB affiliates – a deep commitment to literacy. As mentioned above the ILAB celebrations contributed over Euros 10,500 to UNESCO’s important literacy work in South Sudan. ILAB has transferred Euros 8192.17 to the UNESCO Euro bank  account  we  were  advised  to  donate  to.  The  remaining amount was donated via the button on UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day site. We understand that more funds than we are aware to date have been donated - UNESCO will be giving us the figures soon.

ILAB affiliates worldwide have and will get real benefit from our activities on April 23. Firstly there has never been so much publicity - and all of it positive - about ILAB and the antiquarian book trade. Lots of people around the world added photos from the pop ups they visited to the website added to the article in The Guardian. AbeBooks supported ILAB’s worldwide campaign with a generous donation of US$2000 to the South Sudan project, blogged about the day on several websites and in several languages and sent representatives to two of the ILAB Pop Up Fairs in Tokyo and in Portland (US). Moreover AbeBooks gave its entire home page to promote ILAB's celebrations on 23 April. Numerous book blogs like The Bookhunter on Safari, Book Patrol, My Sentimental Library, The Literary Tourist, Fine Books and Collections and iBookcollector published articles, and Sheppard’s Confidential dedicated a whole series of articles to the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs. ILAB sent out press releases to the international press and, most importantly, the organisers of the Pop Ups got into contact to the local press using and modifying the press templates provided by ILAB. In summary it was ILAB affiliates across the globe that launched a worldwide campaign. This was a worldwide campaign which was mentioned in the press from Cape Town to the Sunday Times to the local newspapers in Dunkeld, Country Victoria in Australia. And even more: ILAB and the ILAB affiliates were omnipresent in the internet on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. The number of visitors of the ILAB website doubled on 22 and 23 April, 2015. In addition, ILAB attracted an impressive 2500 visitors to the newly established ILAB blog on that day, and there were hundreds of posts and tweets in the social media. Such a campaign, launched worldwide in a joint effort by ILAB affiliates had never been seen before. A graphic demonstration of the power of working together.

Finally, we are pleased to report that sales were made at many of the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs. In some cases these were serious 6 figure sales. We have heard several reports from booksellers that the events of April 23 continue to work in the favour of booksellers who took part. In fact last week a bookseller reported selling a $8500 book to a customer he met at the Pop Up Fair he exhibited in. This bookseller rang to say thanks. Without the Pop Up fair with its smaller more informal format he thought this collector would not have walked right past his books. The Pop Up Book Fair format is different  and  has  much  to  recommend  it  as  a  nimble, interesting  and  exciting  way  of  presenting  antiquarian bookselling in the 21st century.

Join us in 2016!

THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS (ILAB) is the umbrella organization of the professional rare book trade uniting 22 national associations and around 2000 rare book dealers in 34 countries worldwide.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit www.ilab.org and www.unesco.org/new/en/wbcd.

CONTACTS:  Sally Burdon - Sally@AsiaBookroom.com    |  Barbara van Benthem - editor@ilab.org

February 2016 – For immediate release. Pictures: ILAB, UNESCO, the Organizers, Wikipedia