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The League and its national associations have a long history of preventing book theft and of catching book thieves, both at national and international level. This also applies to stolen maps as well as documents, manuscripts and other related material. We work closely with booksellers, libraries, museums, the police, national governments and other institutions. Our intention is that thieves will have nowhere to dispose of their ill gotten goods.

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:



15 arrests in theft of Galileo and Newton original books

European judicial cooperation unit EUROJUST has released information about the arrest of suspects related to a large UK warehouse theft in January 2017. No information is yet available to ILAB about the missing books. 

The Hague, 26 June 2019: 

In a joint action day, the Romanian, UK and Italian authorities arrested 15 suspects involved in the theft of 260 priceless antique books with an estimated value of more than €2 million. The books, which included original editions of Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, were stolen by a highly sophisticated international organised crime group (OCG), known to the authorities for committing a large number of burglaries throughout Europe. Eurojust established a joint investigation team with the countries involved and Europol to decide and execute a joint strategy to ensure that all suspects are apprehended. With the active participation of Eurojust, an operational centre was set up at Europol to coordinate the national authorities’ simultaneous operations, which led to the arrest of 15 suspects, several hearings and 45 searches.

In January 2017, the OCG members broke into a warehouse in Feltham, UK, in which the books were stored, with their owners’ permission, to be shipped for display at a book fair in Los Angeles. The books, which belonged to individuals from various EU countries, included rare first editions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The OCG members, who were of Romanian nationality, stole the books by avoiding all security systems and left the UK together with the stolen books.

Eurojust and Europol facilitated the close cooperation between the judicial and law enforcement authorities of Romania, the UK and Italy, which resulted in bringing down this notorious OCG. Eurojust, the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, supported the execution of several European Arrest Warrants issued by the UK authorities towards Romania. Eurojust effectively coordinated the parallel national investigations into the case and provided substantial financial and logistical support to the joint investigation team, which was set up in 2017. During 3 coordination meetings, held at Eurojust in The Hague, and 4 operational meetings at Europol, all countries involved swiftly exchanged case-related information and evidence, solved judicial issues as they arose, and decided on the best place to prosecute.

The Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), the Romanian National Police, the UK Metropolitan Police Service Specialist Crime South and the Italian Carabinieri Special Unit for the Protection of Cultural Heritage participated in today’s joint action.

For more information about Eurojust, see 
To contact the ILAB Office, please contact Angelika Elstner: 


Thefts of Collections

Thefts Of Collections

Large Theft from Passages in Portland, OR

6 January 2020: 
Passages Bookshop (in Portland, Oregon) was broken into on 2 January 2020. A first estimate is that 100-150 books were stolen from smashed display cases.

Most of the books are rare and signed editions of poetry, literature, photography, and modern art. I have only begun to identify the missing titles; a first shortlist follows, and we'll send an update with additional details when possible.

In case anyone suspects that they are offered material from this incident, the police contact is:
Officer Anthony Hill, Portland Bureau of Police
Case number 20-1394

Or please contact the bookshop directly
David Abel
Cell: +1 503-233-4562
Shop: +1 503-388-7665

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Thefts Of Collections

Thefts at the Swedish Library at Vitterhetsakademiens, Stockholm

The Swedish Library at Vitterhetsakademiens in Stockholm has informed ILAB on the 26th September 2018, that during a recent inventory project of the library's rare Numismatic book collection, located at The Royal Coin Cabinet - National Museum of Economy, it was discovered that several books are missing, most probably stolen.

The case has been reported to the police.

ILAB-affiliated booksellers as well as book buyers are asked to be vigilant and inform ILAB or the directors of the library if any of the stolen objects re-appear in the book trade. 

See full list of stolen books enclosed (PDF).

Contact Details Library:
Annika Peurell
Head Librarian 

Enhetschef Vitterhetsakademiens bibliotek
Riksantikvarieämbetet/Swedish National Heritage Board

Box 5405
11484 Stockholm
Telefon: +46 (0)8 5191 8338

Contact Details ILAB:
Angelika Elstner
ILAB Secretariat 

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Thefts Of Collections

Update July 2018: Thefts - Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Many will be aware of a large theft from the Oliver Room at the Carnegie Library which was covered extensively by the press in the United States and the United Kingdom. The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) urges booksellers and collectors to read the enclosed list of items stolen and immediately contact the offices of either ILAB or the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) if you are able to help in any way to recover the stolen books. 

ILAB affiliated booksellers are expected to adhere to a strict Code of Usages and Customs to which deviations are not tolerated.

John Schulman of Caliban Books has resigned his membership and therefore is no longer a member of the ABAA or an ILAB affiliate. 

Contact details ILAB:

Contact details ABAA:

ILAB will communicate a further update in due course.


Carnegie Library Pittsburgh_Loss Report for ABAA and ILAB 

Carnegie Library Pittsburgh - Collection Markings vs2 (1)

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Thefts Of Collections

Books stolen from Senate House Library, University of London

Books are from the collection of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (1837-1914). They were stamped while in his possession, usually in two ways. One stamp recorded the accession number, corresponding to the number in Durning-Lawrence’s accessions register. The other stamp impressed the letters 'D S' in mauve, with a distance of 15 mm between the D and the S. These letters indicate location, and correspond to the numbers in the 'dis. Shelf’ column of Durning-Lawrence’s accessions register. Senate House Library A general reference to Durning-Lawrence library markings appears in: K.E. Attar, “Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence: A Baconian and his Books”, The Library, 7th ser. 5 (2004), 294-315. Senate House Library markings present on the books are (1) a label, ‘Durning-Lawrence Library’, measuring about 10 x 57 mm, pasted on the front pastedown; (2) a University of London Library bookplate, 118 x 99 mm, on the front free endpaper.

A list of sixteen titles formerly reported to ILAB is incomplete. This report lists the extra books and provides an update on the former list. See PDF for download. 

Reference to a ‘Spanish list’ is to a list of books advertised for sale by Soler y Llach, Barcelona.


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Listing of Latest Stolen Books

Published 05 Jan. 2020

Life and Times of St Wulfram's (manuscript)

Manuscript, black boards, photograph of St Wulfram's church tipped in facing title.

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Published 23 Dec. 2019

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples.

FIRST EDITIONS. 4 vols. 8vo. (24 x 16 cm.) Handsomely bound in full red morocco, spines gilt, all edges gilt.

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Published 12 Dec. 2019


First UK paperback edition. Signed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Original pictorial card wrappers. A very good or better copy of this notoriously fragile production. The binding square and firm and with a little rubbing and light creasing to the extremities, the spine without the heavy fading usually associated with this title. The contents are entirely complete with no loose or torn pages. The paper stock, toned as usual is otherwise clean throughout. An attractive example, highly desirable in signed state.

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Published 31 Oct. 2019

Recueil d’Arrest notables des cours souveraines de France. Ordonnez par titres en vingt-quatre livres par Jean Papon, conseiller du Roy & Lieutenant général au Baillage de Forests [suivi de] Commentaires sur la loy, si unquam c. de revoquand. donat. Par E

Unique ouvrage édité par Jean de La Fontaine, bien entendu un homonyme du célèbre écrivain (qui nait en 1621). Cette édition fut vraisemblablement faite pour l’usage des étudiants de l’école de Droit de Pont-à-Mousson. Cette université exista de 1572 à 1793, les premiers cours de droit y furent donn é en 1575.
Notons que cette édition a eu deux tirages. En effet, nous avons pu consulter un autre exemplaire de cette édition, avec la même manière curieuse de noter l’année. Si l’édition semble bien identique, les pages de titres diffèrent, avec une composition très similaire. Ainsi, notre première page de titre est en rouge et noir avec comme gravure un emblème de la Gloire avec la devise « Virtute Ac Studio Per Orbem Fama Perpetua Comparatur ». Celle de l’autre tirage est en noir avec une gravure représentant une ville dans un cadre. Notre seconde page de titre représente une fontaine avec la citation de l’Apocalypse de Saint-Jean (chapitre 21) : « ego sitienti dabo de fonte aquae vitae gratis », rappelant donc en même temps le nom de l’éditeur. Celle de l’autre exemplaire représente un cheval ayant désarçonné son cavalier dans un cadre.

Jean Papon (1505 ou 1507-1590) est un célèbre jurisconsulte, né à Montbrison dans le Forez. Etienne, jurisconsulte lui aussi, est un de ses fils. L’ouvrage est édité la première fois en 1556 et sera réédité de très nombreuses fois.

Provenances :
· Vacher : ex-libris manuscrit sur le titre
· F Joly (?) : ex-libris manuscrit sur le titre. Il s’agit peut-être de François Joly de Bévy (mort en 1739), maître en la chambre des comptes de Bourgogne et de Bresse, grand-père du suivant.
· Louis-Philibert-Joseph Joly de Bévy (1736-1822), président à mortier au Parlement de Bourgogne : ex-libris gravé sur le contreplat.
· Claude-Philippe Testenoire-Lafayette (1810-1903) : ex-libris manuscrit en garde « De la bibliothèque forézienne de C.P. Testenoire Lafayette ». Testenoire-Lafayette eut probablement une des plus belles bibliothèques foréziennes.

Reliure pleine basane d’époque, filets à froid et dorés, médaillon au centre des plats, coiffes arrasées, manque de cuir en haut du dos, usures aux coins et coupes, épidermures, déchirures parfois recollées. Rousseurs, mouillure angulaire sur tout l’ouvrage, visible surtout au début et à la fin et disparaissant quasiment au centre de l’ouvrage. Déchirure à un feuillet datant de l’impression (mal imprimé, le papier s’est retourné entre les deux passages).

Edition rare.

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Published 22 Oct. 2019

Neuestes Abc-Buch. Mit vielen Bildern

Binding elaborately decorated with gold-leaf embossing and paper cameos. Very good condition. Hand-colored plates.

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