September 2011 | Nate Pedersen

ILAB Launches Internship Program

In an effort to help young antiquarian booksellers connect with the global trade in rare books, ILAB (the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers) has launched an internship program. The first two participants completed their internships this past summer and the organization is eager to continue the course.

The idea for the internship program came from Norbert Donhofer, an Austrian bookseller, and Eric Waschke, a Canadian dealer, who visited Moscow in 2009 to welcome the newly formed Russian Association of Antiquarian Booksellers into ILAB. While in Russia, Donhofer and Waschke visited the Moscow State University of the Printing Arts where they actually have a department of antiquarian bookselling. (How cool is that?) The head of that department, Dr. Olga Tarakanova, (a familiar name to collectors of Russian imprints) lamented the lack of opportunities for her students to gain experience outside of Russia.
Two years and hundreds of e-mails later, the ILAB internship program officially launched to help redress that balance. Two students from Moscow, Alena Lavrenova and Anastasya Zhikhareva, traveled throughout Europe this summer to gain international experience. Lavrenova worked with Donhofer in Vienna, Antoun and Arnoud Gertis in Amsterdam, and Adam Bosze in Budapest. Zhikhareva first went to Munich to work for an auction house before coming to Vienna to spend some time with Dunhofer. She also concluded her internship with Adam Bosze in Budapest.

Both young women wrote very interesting reports about their internship experiences which can be read on the ILAB website along with an introduction by Dunhofer. (Quick links to Lavrenova's report here and Zhikhareva's report here.)

If any booksellers out there are eager to host future interns, please get in touch with Dunhofer at If you are a young antiquarian bookseller hoping to gain some international experience, write to Dunhofer at the above address or Waschke at describing your background and experience.