Dutch Scholar Ina Kok Named Winner of ILAB's Breslauer Prize for Bibliography
The winner of the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, sponsored by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers with the generous support of the B.H. Breslauer Foundation, is now officially announced!
Dutch scholar and author Ina Kok will receive the 2018 award for her outstanding work: Woodcuts in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries, Brill, April 2013, (4 Vols.)
Honourable Mentions were given to two further publications:
Dirk Imhof, Jan Moretus and the Continuation of the Plantin Press, Brill, October 2014 (2 Vols.);
Staffan Fogelmark, The Kallierges Pindar. A Study in Renaissance Greek Scholarship and Printing, Dinter, 2015 (2 Vols.)
Over 50 publications from publishers and academic institutions across the globe were submitted and had to be reviewed for the 2018 award.
Daniel de Simone (previously Folger Library and Library of Congress), member of the 2018 Prize Jury describes the process: “It was established very quickly that the quality of the bibliographical work submitted was a testament to the vibrancy of the 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.”
Fabrizio Govi, ILAB Vice President and Prize Secretary: "?The author has spent decades working on this book compiling an incredible census of illustrations used in editions printed in the 15th Century Netherlands. We cannot compare Ina Kok’s book to any other publication submitted for the 2018 Prize. Woodcut illustrations were often reused during the first period of printing, they were fragile and were easily worn down after a few impressions. As a result, they were sometimes repaired with a few minor changes or completely recut, trying to recreate the original block as closely as possible. This work, published in four volumes and? based on the study of almost four thousand illustrations, is remarkable.”
Awards Ceremony 2018 - ABA RARE BOOK FAIR LONDON, MAY 2018
The 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded during the ABA Rare Book Fair London on 25th May 2018, one of the world’s leading events of the antiquarian book trade. This prestigious prize in the field of bibliographical studies, worth US$ 10,000 is awarded every fourth year to the most significant reference work within a selection of scholarly books on bibliography, published in the previous years and submitted to the Prize jury.
The B.H. Breslauer Foundation who have provided an endowment since 2010, was set up by Dr. B.H. Breslauer, one of the most recognized antiquarian booksellers in the 20th century with a keen interest in bibliography and bibliophily.
The jury considers publications relating to bibliography in a very broad sense from textual bibliography to history of the book, bookbinding, papermaking, type-founding, library catalogues, short-title catalogues of a single author or typographer and further afield.
Jury Members 2018:
Bettina Wagner (Bavarian State Library, Munich)
Daniel de Simone (prev. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC)
Yann Sordet (Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris)
Fabrizio Govi (Italy)
Winfried Kuhn (Germany)
Justin Croft (United Kingdom)
Ina Kok: Woodcuts in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries
Published by Brill, April 2013, (4 Vols.)
The purpose of the book is to provide a survey and an understanding of book woodcuts of the 15th century.
Firstly, the book gives a complete census of woodcuts in Dutch and Flemish incunabula, and a record of all places in which they appear. Both the book in which the woodcut (or series of woodcuts) appears for the first time and all repetitions of that woodcut before 1501 have been registered.
Second, the book offers a survey and analysis of the woodcuts used by each printer. With this inventory, Dr. Kok has developed a very accurate dating system for incunabula. Over 3800 different illustrations have been found in the incunabula printed in the Low Countries, which illustrate the history of the use of woodcuts - the different states, the different stages of wear and tear.
About Ina Kok
Ina Kok was born in The Hague (The Netherlands). After her high school education, she studied Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Amsterdam (main direction: Historical Literature) and graduated cum laude in 1978. The subject of her doctoral thesis was the woodcuts of the prominent fifteenth century printer Gerard Leeu. After this study, she followed the postgraduate study Book and Library Science at the same university.
She held positions at the Royal Library in The Hague and the University of Amsterdam, where she obtained her PhD in 1994 for the study of woodcuts in incunabula. (Thesis title: De Houtsneden in de Incunabelen van de Lage Landen 1475-1500; Inventarisatie en bibliografische analyse (The Woodcuts in the Incunabula of the Low Countries 1475-1500. An Inventory and Bibliographical Analysis). Positions followed at the Incunabula and Postincunabula Department of the Royal Library, under curator Gerard van Thienen.
In 1985, she became a part-time curator of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in the Stadsarchief and Athenaeumbibliotheek in Deventer (SAB). Througout her career, Dr. Kok continued the research on woodcuts.
In 2013, the revised, fully illustrated English language commercial edition of her thesis was published in four volumes by Hes & de Graaf Publishers in Houten (now Brill, Leiden): Woodcuts in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries. In 2015 she received the Menno Hertzberger Prize for this reference book. Dr. Kok retired in 2017 and is currently working on a publication about the fascinating correspondence between the English art historian and woodcut expert William Martin Conway (1856-1937) and his tutor, the renowned bibliographer Henry Bradshaw (1831-1886), which will also be published by Brill.