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This database is for books reported stolen after 15th June 2010.

TO ENTER OR REPORT A THEFT: If an ILAB bookseller, please login with your bookseller login and enter under "ADD A STOLEN BOOK" in the backend.
All other enquiries and help, please email:



Italy police recover stolen manuscript after 30 years

Please find below a link to an article, first published on BBC News Online on 28 October 2016 about the reappearance of a 15th century manuscript in Italy that has been missing for over 30 years. It is only one of 145 volumes stolen from the Passerini Landi library during repairs in 1985. Seventy-two have been recovered so far, but none have been found for years. Link to the BBC article 

Thefts of Collections

Thefts Of Collections

Theft Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Latest update 17 April 2018:
Detectives from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, located in Pittsburgh PA, are currently investigating the theft of multiple rare books, folios, maps, plates, etc., which occurred over an extended period of time.
Many of these items may have stamps or other markings reflecting ownership by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and would also not likely be marked for deaccession.
A number of these items may have also been sold by or through Pittsburgh area booksellers.
ILAB members are being alerted about the theft.


- Listing of all stolen items (Excel), reflecting descriptive information, i.e., author, title and description, is also attached herein. A smaller number of the listed items are portions of items, such as maps, plates or drawings, removed from an otherwise intact item.

- The library's collection markings and bookplates (PDF)

Should any ILAB member identify having purchased or otherwise having knowledge of the disposition or current location of any of the listed items, detectives request one of the following Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office detectives be contacted:

Det. Fran Laquatra                           
(412) 388-5305                          

Det. Perann Tansmore                  
(412) 388-5307                            

Det. Lyle Graber                               
(412) 388-5316                          

Detectives do not have reason to believe that anyone who might have purchased any of these items was aware that these items had been reported stolen.

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Thefts Of Collections

Books stolen from the National Library of Sweden between the years 1995 - 2004

Status 23 May 2017: UPDATED LIST!

ILAB has received an updated list of the books stolen in Sweden - Please pay attention to this update! See PDF below!


Swedes Find Stolen Atlas in New York

"He was entrusted to guard Sweden’s cultural heritage, but instead this senior librarian spent years surreptitiously stealing and selling scores of its rare and precious books. When the thief, Anders Burius, was finally caught in 2004, the media called him the “Royal Library Man,” and his sensational crime and subsequent suicide became the subjects of a government inquiry, a radio documentary and, last year, a television mini-series. Now, for the first time, one of the missing books — the earliest printed atlas of the Americas — has been recovered by Sweden’s Royal Library after a librarian there noticed that it was being offered for sale …” Read the whole article by Patricia Cohen in The New York Times

>>> Swedes Find Stolen Atlas in New York. By Patricia Cohen


US Returns To Sweden Millions in Antique Books Stolen by Suicidal Librarian

In the 1990s rare and valuable 17th century books were stolen from the National Library of Sweden. Now some of them have been returned to Sweden with the help of two American antiquarian booksellers. The official repatriation ceremony took place in Manhattan, New York.

"The antiques had been stolen in the 1990s by Anders Burius, a senior librarian who pilfered at least 56 books from the library, according to court documents. During the ceremony, which was attended by Sweden's national librarian, Gunilla Herdenberg, deputy US attorney Richard Zabel expressed his pride in assisting in the return of the books, noting that "in many ways, the library contains the cultural memory of Sweden. The theft of piece of a nation's memory and heritage creates holes in its intellectual soul."

>>> Read the whole story in The Art Newspaper

Picture: Kungbib, via Wikimedia Commons

[...] Read more
Thefts Of Collections

Warehouse Theft London Januray 2017

Books of  significant value were stolen from a West London warehouse on the night of 29th January while in transit for the California Book Fair. A full police investigation is underway!

For a complete list of all stolen books, please view the PDF below!

For more details of individual copies, please contact the dealers directly, contact details to be found in the list of stolen books. 

If anyone offers you any of these titles, please contact the Police and quote crime reference number 0502127/17

ABA Secretary Camilla Szymanowska on +44 (0) 20 7421 4681 

or ABA Security Chair Brian Lake on +44 (0) 20 7631 4220  immediately!

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Thefts Of Collections

List of Books Lost in Transit

A collection of early printed books has been lost by the shipping company on its way from Belgium to Barcelona.

Please have a look at the pdf file below or contact the ILAB Security Chair Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes  ( for further information.

Kind regards
Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes, ILAB Security Chair

[...] Read more
Thefts Of Collections

Missing - Private Collection of Valuable Financial Books and Documents

A private collection of valuable, specialist financial books and documents has gone missing from a storage unit in England.  The loss was discovered by Melanie Ireland and Alexander Jones on 3 October 2013: the last time the entire collection was seen together was 5 August 2013. The police crime reference number is 4713 0080 245.

Should any of these books surface, or have perhaps already been noted as sold, please contact Melanie Ireland so that this may be referred to the police for their continued investigation.

Click below to see the list of missing books.

Reported by the ABA.

[...] Read more

Listing of Latest Stolen Books

Published 25 April 2018


Revised and recommended by Mr. Henry Howard Pleasing recent retrospective chestnut-colored calf, covers with central frame formed by multiple blind and decorative rules, fleuron cornerpieces, raised bands, maroon morocco label. Printer's woodcut rose device on title page. Bitting, p. 324; Oxfor

d, p. 64; Vicaire, col. 598; Maclean, p. 101. Title page a little soiled, very faint dampstain to tail margin of first half of text, occasional min

Revised and recommended by Mr. Henry Howard Pleasing recent retrospective chestnut-colored calf, covers with central frame formed by multiple blind and decorative rules, fleuron cornerpieces, raised bands, maroon morocco label.
Printer's woodcut rose device on title page. Bitting, p. 324; Oxford, p. 64; Vicaire, col. 598; Maclean, p. 101. Title page a little soiled, very faint dampstain to tail margin of first half of text, occasional minor marginal stains, smudges, or corner creases, other trivial imperfections, but AN EXCELLENT COPY of a book difficult to find in pleasing condition, the text generally clean and fresh with especially ample margins, and in an unworn sympathetic binding.

[...] Read more
Published 19 Oct. 2017

La Retraite à temps ou une année au Bengale

La Retraite à temps ou une année au Bengale avant les Mutineries des Cipayes par deux soeurs

Broché, 375 pp.

[...] Read more
Published 19 Oct. 2017

Les Bucoliques

Basane de l'époque, dos lisse orné, roulette en encadrement sur les plats, [14] - 264 pp.

[...] Read more
Published 19 Oct. 2017

Le Moyen de parvenir

LE MOYEN DE PARVENIR, Oeuvre contenant la raison de tout ce qui a esté, est, & sera : Avec démonstrations certaines & nécessaires, selon la rencontre des effects de vertu. Et adviendra que ceux qui auront nez à porter lunettes s'en serviront, ainsi qu'il est escrit au Dictionnaire

à dormir en toutes langues. S. Recensuit Sapiens ab A ad Z.

Maroquin rouge avec encadrements sur les plats du type "à la du Seuil" (pastiche du XIXe siècle), [4] - 617 pp.

[...] Read more
Published 06 Oct. 2017

Apophthegmes, that is to saie, prompte, quicke, wittie and sentencious saiynges, of certain Emperours, Kynges, Capitaines, Philosophiers and Oratours, as well Grekes, as Romaines, bothe veraye pleasaunt [et] profitable to reade, partely for all maner of

In later tan calf binding with attractive floriate borders and panel decoration blind-stamped on boards. More recently rebacked with four raised bands on spine and blind-stamped decoration in the compartments; burgundy lettering-piece with author and title gilt. All edges washed red. [20], 345, [12] leaves; signatures *-2*8, 3*4, a-z8, A-Y5 (LACKS the three final blanks). Includes index. Printed in black letter with attractive woodcut

initials. Occasional manuscript marginalia. Leaves *1-5; *7; 3*4; h1-5; m1; v1; v8, z6, A-C2, C8, U7, X-Y5 supplied in sympathetic facsimile. Paper fault at foredge of t4 affecting one or two letters in the marginal note. Repair to top foredge corner of v7. Brown marks in foredge margin of x3-4. A few leaves close-trimmed at foredge, touching marginal notes in places. Minor light damp-marking and some marks of use. Crisp, clean and tight. A very good example of this rare book, the text of which is now complete. STC (2nd ed.), 10443; ESTC S105498.

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