Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association Of America

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America

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The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) is an organization of rare and antiquarian book dealers.


Founded in 1949, the ABAA is the benchmark for professionalism and ethics in the rare book trade in the US. The founding of the ABAA was the direct result of the founding of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) a year earlier: “It was quickly recognized in the United States that national and international cooperation among booksellers was an idea whose time had come and that an American association was vital for the interests of professional booksellers.” An organizational meeting was held in New York City in 1949 to discuss the advisability of forming a national organization, with about 50 dealers in attendance, with Marston Drake (James F. Drake, Inc.) acting as informal chairman. The Antiquarian Bookman (later AB Bookman's Weekly) reported in its issue of 5 March 1949 that “A great step forward towards the establishment of a genuine national association of antiquarian booksellers was taken” at this meeting, though “it was recognized that there were a great many differences, a long backlog of personal disputes and dissensions and an enormous field of individual views and prejudices” to deal with. “It was also recognized that all the...
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