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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

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 

 

 

News Stolen Books BBC Online

Thefts of Collections

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)

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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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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
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.

2 FILES FOR DOWNLOAD BELOW:

- 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                                   
flaquatra@alleghenycountyda.us

Det. Perann Tansmore                  
(412) 388-5307                                   
ptansmore@alleghenycountyda.us  


Det. Lyle Graber                               
(412) 388-5316                                   
lgraber@alleghenycountyda.us


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

UPDATED PDF FOR DOWNLOAD

 

In the Press: 

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

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Listing of Latest Stolen Books

Published 10 Aug. 2018

EMMA: A Novel

First edition. Three volumes. 12mo. Beautifully bound to style by Aquarius of London. Full speckled calf, double ruled in gilt to the upper and lower boards. Five raised bands, elaborate gilt decorated compartments, title and volume numbers in gilt to red and green morocco labels to the spine. Plain endpapers, gilt inner dentelles. Original half title present to volume three. Faded ownership name to the top edge of title page of volume II and the occasional short closed tear and finger mark throughout. A very attractive example.

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Published 11 July 2018

Memoire sur le Pais des Cafres et la Terre de Nuyts [and] Second memoire sur le Pais des Cafres et la Terre de Nuyts

Two volumes in one, small octavo, pp. 84 + 78, [ii]; later calf. First title-page a little dusty and with two early signatures, light marginal water stain on a few leaves in the second work.

Published 22 May 2018

FINNEGANS WAKE

FIRST EDITION. No. 206 OF 425 COPIES, SIGNED BY JOYCE.

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Published 02 May 2018

DRACULA

This is the earliest edition of the most famous and influential vampire tale of all. Stoker (1847-1912) was inspired by the folklore of his native Ireland and by the Gothic novels of his countryman Sheridan Le Fanu. As DNB observes, the "complex and highly symbolic" plot here "illustr ated [the author's] fears about a world approaching a new century, about the unspeakable things which could happen to ordinary people, and about male insecurity and the dangers of subservience to another person. . . . Favourably compared with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, and Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, it was considered weird and powerful, one of the best in the supernatural line." Received with enthusiasm by critics and the public alike, it went through 11 editions in Stoker's lifetime, and it continues to resonate with readers and to inspire other artists. This is not an especially rare book, but it is not common to find a well-preserved copy, and our appealing morocco binding provides a welcome alternative to the publisher's yellow cloth, which invariably shows up very soiled. (ST13178)

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Published 25 April 2018

FIVE HUNDRED NEW RECEIPTS IN COOKERY, CONFECTIONARY, PASTRY, PRESERVING, CONSERVING, PICKLING; AND THE SEVERAL BRANCHES OF THESE ARTS NECESSARY TO BE KNOWN BY ALL GOOD HOUSEWIVES.

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. Bittin g, 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.

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