Showing posts with label Recoveries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recoveries. Show all posts

August 24, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013 - , No comments

Book thefts and recovery: How the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers Use

by A. M. C. Knutsson

Reporting and retracing stolen books might to the uninitiated seem like an herculean mission, with vast edition runs and reproductions it can seem impossible to identify a stolen copy even if it would re-emerge on the market. However, as with most objects years of love and use have set their marks also on these once indistinguishable edition copies and the people involved with the books can often recognize ‘their’ copy at a glance. Here we shall consider the leading stolen book database, which works with the venerable task of reuniting books with their owners. is the largest specialized stolen book database currently in existence and most dealers and major auction houses rely on their email alerts in order to keep up with stolen printed material and manuscripts. There are some smaller, national lost-book databases but with their limited scope and their haphazard maintenance they do not pose a considerable competition to was instigated as part of the main ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers) website in 2010 when that website was redesigned and the older version of stolen-book was restructured. This worldwide database covers maps and documents as well as full books. It builds on information submitted by ILAB affiliates, currently over 1850 members all over the globe. Members can submit information on stolen books through a private section on the site. A basic template is provided, which included sections for specifics of binding, ex libris or provenance characteristics. The editor reviews the submitted forms and frequently updates the database, either daily or several times a day. Usually an email is issued to all affiliates a few minutes after a new stolen book posting informing of newly conducted thefts.

Public access to is free access for basic details of stolen goods. However, the bookseller’s section, which contains more in-depth information, requires a login and is available only to affiliates.

In addition to bookseller’s loss reports, includes thefts from public libraries and other book and document holding institutions.

Last November ILAB was invited to the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) security conference with the aim to strengthen ties between institutional libraries and to make librarians realize that the main motive behind library thefts is to make a monetary profit. Therefore, quick co-operation and interchange of information between libraries and law-enforcement agencies through ILAB and would improve chances of fast returns of stolen property.

With Special thanks to Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes, ILAB Security Chair, for supplying the information about

February 17, 2011

The Journal of Art Crime: Stefano Alessandrini reviews "Ancient Art Works Recovered by the Guardia di Finanza Exhibition"

Photo of Stefano Allessandri by Urska Charney

In the fourth issue of The Journal of Art Crime, Stefano Allessandri reviews "Ancient Art Works Recovered by the Guardia di Finanza Exhibition" in Vittoriano, Rome (14 June - 12 September 2010).

The Guardia di Finanza's Archaeological Heritage Protection Group collaborated with the Ministero dei Bene Culturali (Heritage Ministry) to curate "From the Tomb to the Museum: Stories of Looting and Recoveries" last summer at the Complesso del vittoriano at Piazza Venezia in Rome. Stefano Alessandrini is head of Italy's Archaeological Group and adviser to the Ministry of Culture and the Advocate General of Italy on the recovery of looted antiquities.

To seek out this piece, and many others, consider a subscription to The Journal of Art Crime—the first peer-reviewed academic journal covering art and heritage crime. ARCA publishes two volumes annually in the Spring and Fall. Individual, Institutional, electronic and printed versions are all available, with subscriptions as low as 30 Euros. All proceeds go to ARCA's nonprofit research and education initiatives. Please see the publications page for more information.