History and profession
Statute and code of ethics
(Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Italy) was established in 1947 and gathers under the same roof 101 booksellers from all over the country.
Applications for ALAI membership follow rigid guidelines and all our members are bound by our strict Code of Ethics, which provides absolute expertise in the antiquarian book-trade; that includes manuscripts, autograph letters, prints, maps and drawings, as well as books, and any other written or printed material.
As heirs of a centuries-old tradition, ALAI members help the preservation and the improvement of the Italian antiquarian books heritage, as well as the education of future bibliophiles and collectors.
ALAI works side by side with the main national government institutions and police agencies dealing with the safeguard of the Italian cultural heritage (Ministero, Sovrintendenza, Carabinieri). It also promotes the rare books awareness and knowledge by organizing high-level fairs, lectures and events.
Members are responsible for the accurate expertise and description of all material offered for sale. All defects, significant restorations and sophistications or omissions should be clearly noted and declared to private customers to whom the material is offered or sold. Unless the parties agree otherwise, a full refund shall be available to the purchaser of any misrepresented material.
ALAI and ILAB
ALAI is the only antiquarian bookseller association in Italy and is member of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, aka ILAB, since its foundation. ILAB unites 23 national associations and 32 Countries, representing 1,850 of the World’s best booksellers dealing in fine, rare, old and collectable books in all fields. ILAB’s partnership is a further proof of the high reliability and commitment of the Italian Antiquarian Bookseller Association. The ILAB must be considered as a real “Internationale” of the love for books and culture, which rejects any difference of race, nation, religion, with a code of ethics, its own traditions and history, gathering different people and cultures under the motto – which says it all – Amor Librorum Nos Unit.
ILAB Congresses and Book Fairs are held every two years in a different country. They are cultural and social events that lead the booksellers to the capitals of the world, where they are shown the treasures of book printing and arts, and where they have the possibility of networking in a relaxed atmosphere with a worldwide background. ALAI had the honour of hosting several of them, the last one of which took place in Bologna in 2010; this event was very successful, with a large popular appeal. It was a great chance to rediscover the sense of belonging to our association, forgetting the websites, the emails and the virtual reality.
If you want to buy a book, ALAI members will make every reasonable effort to warrant the authenticity and completeness of all materials offered for sale. They also are at your disposal for advises in order to create a new collection and to help with auction houses.
If you want to sell, ALAI members guarantee honest valuations and appraisals, based on the current market value (link al Tariffario), as well as confidential transactions and quick payments in case of purchase.
Therefore, when you see ALAI and ILAB's logos you know you can safely buy and sell!