ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography

Jury Meeting in Modena, October 2017.

Jury Meeting in Modena, October 2017.

“Dans le monde du livre ancien et de la recherche bibliographique, deux personnages sont, jours après jours, confrontés à des problèmes de recherche, d’identification et d’évaluation d’oeuvres anciennes, précieuses ou non: Le conservateur de bibliothèque et le libraire antiquaire. Le second, tout particulièrement, car de sa science et de ses connaissences dépendent son commerce et sa réputation.“

Georges A. Deny

“Bibliographies are, if not the most important tool of an antiquarian bookseller, certainly one of the most important tools of antiquarian booksellers, librarians, scholars, researchers, and collectors. It is therefore only befitting that the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)  honours a work in this scholarly field with a prize.“

Arnoud Gerits


The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, worth 10.000 $, is one of the most prestigious prizes in the field of bibliography. Every fourth year it detects and awards a particularly significant reference work within a selection of scholarly books about books published in the previous years. 

The 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded in 2018 to one or more books published in any language and in any part of the world between April 2013 and April 2017. Any work submitted to the Prize must be a published book available on the market. The prize jury will admit all publications relating to bibliography in a very broad sense (textual bibliography, history of the book, bookbinding, papermaking, type-founding, library catalogues, short-title catalogues of a single author or typographer, etc.). The jury will not take into consideration ebooks and catalogues of books intended for sale and translations of previously published works. 

Submissions for the 2018 Prize are now closed. 

However, publishers and members of the trade are encouraged to submit titles for the 2022 Prize. (Follow link to submit a publication)

Jury Meeting in Modena (Italy), October 2017 

In October 2017, Prize Secretary Fabrizio Govi of Libreria Alberto Govi, invited the jury to his hometown Modena in Italy. The bookshop offered to be an appropriate venue for a jury meeting to assess the over 50 outstanding titles that had been submitted for the 2018 Prize.

Daniel de Simone (former Eric Weinmann Librarian at Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D. C.) writes on 20th October 2017: 

All of us who participated in the jury selection for the winner of the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography recognized that this was a unique experience, both for the opportunity to review the work of our colleagues and for the experience of working together as a team of independent reviewers.  It was established very quickly that the quality of the bibliographical work submitted was a testament to the vibrancy of field of bibliographical research.  The subject areas covered and the methodologies used by the authors tested the skills of the reviewers who had to make judgments based on the intent of the authors, the presentation of the bibliographical information, and the usefulness of the research that was published.  Discussions among the reviewers often focused on the production values of the publications and the quality of the design and presentation.

More information about the Prize and awards ceremony will be published soon. 

All submitted titles for 2018 can be viewed here. 

Fabrizio Govi of Libreria Alberto Govi, Prize Secretary

Fabrizio Govi of Libreria Alberto Govi, Prize Secretary

The jury for the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography:

Bettina Wagner – State Library, Bamberg (Germany)

Daniel de Simone – Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC (United States)

Yann Sordet – Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris (France)

Winfried Kuhn - Antiquariat Winfried Kuhn, Berlin (Germany)

Justin Croft – Justin Croft Antiquarian Books, Faversham (United Kingdom), and

Fabrizio Govi – Libreria Alberto Govi, Modena (Italy)

Fabrizio Govi serves as the new Prize Secretary. He follows Arnoud Gerits who oversaw the 15th and 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize in the years 2010 and 2014. In order to gather as many recently published editions in this field as possible, the jury invites publishers, librarians, collectors, antiquarian booksellers and all bibliophiles, whenever they might come over a significant reference work for the Prize, to contact the Prize Secretary:

Fabrizio Govi (Secretary, ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography)

Libreria Alberto Govi - Via Bononcini, 24 - 41124 Modena (Italia) - phone 0039 059 373629 - email

And the winner 2014 was ... James Bond!

The 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography of the year 2014 was officially presented to Jon Gilbert for his superb and outstanding work "IAN FLEMING. THE BIBLIOGRAPHY" (Preface by Fergus Fleming. Foreword by Michael L. Vanblaricum. Edited by Brad Frank. London, Queen Anne Press, 2012).

Official presentation of the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography to Jon Gilbert

Click here to see the pictures and to watch the video!