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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

Larger theft of prints in Vienna, items mainly Vienna/Austria-related

26 March 2020:

A larger theft of prints was reported to the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers Association and ILAB by Antiquariat Bauer in Vienna. 

The list of stolen items is attached. The items are mainly themed around Vienna / Austria. 
Please be vigilant and report back to ILAB or the bookseller if the items reappear in the trade. 

Contact details Antiquariat Bauer:
Mag. Michael Bauer
Gentzgasse 99
A - 1180 Wien

[...] Read more
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

[...] Read more
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 

[...] 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:

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)

[...] Read more

Listing of Latest Stolen Books

Published 21 July 2020


Small 4to. A very fine copy in contemporary white morocco, with arms on side.
« The Novelas Exemplares », twelve in number, are masterpieces which it has become a commonplace to say would have established Cervantes » lasting fame as a writer of ficti on, even if he has never produced Don Quixote. Indeed they represent the high-water-mark of the short story of the Seventeenth Century, for as Cervantes overtops the earliest novelistas, so he remains superior to those who followed him. Not one of his successors reached the same level of attainment, none articulates his stories so well or writes with the same mastery of style, not one approaches him as a psychologist or observer; none compare with him in his power to depict life truly and to create character. It is doubtful whether the whole body of short stories after the “Novelas exemplars” could yield a group of characters so living and so highly individualized.”
The twelves novels are:
I. La Gitanilla.
II. El Amante liberal.
III. Rinconete, y Cortadillo.
IV. La Española Inglessa.
V. El Licenciado Vidriera.
VI. La fuerça de la sangre.
VII. El zeloso Estremeño.
VIII. La illustre fregona.
IX. Las dos donzellas.
X. La Señora Cornelia.
XI. El casamiento engañoso
XII. La de los perros Cipiò, y Bergàça.
The success of the « Novelas » was immediate and lasting; twelve editions were made within ten years of their first appearance, and twelve more had been issued by 1665. They were translated into French as early as 1615 and into Italian in 1626. Six of them were rendered into English in 1640.
This copy was bound for Jerome de Bignon (1627-1697), “Grand Maître de la Bibliothèque du Roi” his arms on the side
-Jerôme de Bignon (1627-1697), “Grand Maître de la Bibliothèque du Roi”, Paris
-Jorge Ortiz-Linarès (1894-1965), Paris, bought from Maggs Bros, London, 21st December 1936 -George Ortiz (1927-2013)
We do not have the photo of the binding but the Bignon’ arms are on the side on a contemporary white morocco.

[...] Read more

Published 21 July 2020


2 parts in 8vo., calf
Uniform bindings of brown vellum, end of the XVIIth century, ex-libris emblazoned of the Beilby Thompson of Ejerick on the paste downs, double net on the plates, back with nerves. Red morocco case.
Binding slightly repaired< br /> Provenance :
-Beilby Thompson of Ejerick (ex-libris armorié)
-Bought by Jorge Ortiz-Linarès (1894-1965), from Maggs Bros, London, 21st December 1936 -George Ortiz (1927-2013)

[...] Read more

Published 20 July 2020

Meetkonst in XXVII boeken vervat

4°, pp.  [x] + 221 + [ii], contemporary vellum. Upper right corner of t/p missing. 

Published 20 July 2020

La Science des ombres, par rapport au dessin

8°? , xvi + 92pp with 14 engraved plates, pp. 97-168 with 4 eng plates. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine
ribbed, al edges red. 

Published 20 July 2020

Traité de géométrie praitique

Manuscript in folio, half 19th century brown calf, a.e.g. 102ff,  31 flg illustrations water-coloured.