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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: editor@ilab.org.

News

News

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 www.eurojust.europa.eu 
To contact the ILAB Office, please contact Angelika Elstner: secretariat@ilab.org 

 

Thefts of Collections

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
E-Mail: annika.peurell@raa.se

Contact Details ILAB:
Angelika Elstner
ILAB Secretariat 

secretariat@ilab.org 

[...] Read more
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: secretariat@ilab.org

Contact details ABAA: sbenne@abaa.org

ILAB will communicate a further update in due course.

FILES FOR DOWNLOAD:

Carnegie Library Pittsburgh_Loss Report for ABAA and ILAB 

Carnegie Library Pittsburgh - Collection Markings vs2 (1)

[...] Read more
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.

 

[...] Read more
Thefts Of Collections

Stolen memorabilia relating to the late Pierre Mendes- France, former French Prime Minister

Stolen in West London on 24 th April 2018, memorabilia relating to the late Pierre Mendes-
France, former French Prime Minister (valued collectively at £47,000), including:
- RAF identity tags and identity card
- RAF log book
- French Air Force log book
- 5 letters signed by Winston Churchill
- Personal diary
Crime reference 6519743/18
LSAD ref. 54558
Any information about this object contact DC Colin Moore (email:
Colin.Moore@met.police.uk)

[...] Read more

Listing of Latest Stolen Books

Published 15 July 2019

King James Bible dated 1617

"Each page would be A4 size and it must have been 10cm thick."
No further specifications given.
No valuation was ever done.

[...] Read more

Published 25 June 2019

Fables de La Fontaine

8vo in 4s (19 cm, 7.5"). 2 vols. I: [3] ff., cxv, [1], 167, [1] pp. II: [2] ff., pp. [169]– 478 pp., [1] f.

Binding: Full crushed red morocco, gilt spine and boards; gilt rule on board edges; gilt rolls on turn-ins; marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Binding signed Petit Succs. de Simier.
Provenance: Bookplates of Casimir L. Stralem, Clarence E. Clark, and Brian Douglas Stilwell.
Jammes, Les Didot, 25. Boun d as above. Foxing. (40320) [...] Read more

Published 24 June 2019

ELIZABETHAN COMMERCIAL PROPAGANDA

A treatise of commerce. Wherein are shewed the commodities arising by a well ordered and ruled trade, such as that of the Societie of Merchants Adventurers is proved to be: Written principally for the better information of those who doubt of the necessarinesse of the said societie in the State of th e Realme of England. By Iohn Wheeler, Secretarie to the said Societie. Printed at London by Iohn Harison. 1601.
small 4to., 125 (i.e. 126) + 2pp., complete with the terminal blank (Q4), title-page and final blank rather soiled and with a few old stains, the title-page expertly reinforced at gutter, tiny marginal wormhole affecting a single letter in B3V (p.14), occasional neat and small emphasis marks in pencil. A good, crisp, copy rebound in the late 20th century in maroon half morocco with raised bands and gilt lettering.

[...] Read more

Published 14 June 2019

Les Travaux d'Ulysse (with 59 plates)

Stolen in Normandy
The owner doesn’t have a photo of the binding (green late-18th early 19th century leather) but the title page has a distinctive black mark on it (see image).

[...] Read more