Book Fairs

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41st Boston Book Fair

By Rich Rennicks

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Hynes Convention Center for its 41st year, November 10-12, 2017. One of the largest rare book fairs in the country, the 2017 Boston Book Fair will host more than 120 dealers from Argentina, Australia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Russia, as well as from all over the United States, including many ABAA members! Special events at this year's Fair include a bookbinding demonstration by British book artist Mark Cockram; Ricky Jay, the world's greatest sleight-of-hand artist discussing Magic, Cheaters & Remarkable Characters; the largest exhibition on American icon Henry David Thoreau ever mounted will be the subject of two talks by curators Christine Nelson (The Morgan Library & Museum) and David Wood (The Concord Museum) — the exhibition, "This Ever New Self," is currently on view at the Concord Museum in Concord MA (through January 21) and was on view at the Morgan this past summer; as well as the 16th annual Ticknor Society Roundtable discussion. Where: Hynes Convention Center 900 Boylston Street Boston, MA When: Friday, November 10 5:00-9:00pm Opening Night Tickets: $20.00 Saturday, November 11 12:00-7:00pm Free Admission Sunday, November 12 12:00-5:00pm Free Admission Highlights! Among the highlighted items for sale at this year's fair will be the David Powers Collection of John F. Kennedy speeches and manuscripts, spanning the statesman's political career from his first race in 1946... [more]

Even if you are not able to be in Oakland for the 50th annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend, you can still browse some of the dealer's material (virtually) through their fair catalogs. We've collected catalogs by ABAA members below. Enjoy! Athena Rare Books Booth 1005 Boreas Fine Art Booth 418 James Cummins Bookseller Booth 217 Eclectibles Booth 918 Donald A. Heald Rare Books Booth 301 Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller Booth 311 Honey & Wax Booksellers Booth 903 John Howell for Books Booth 914 Kaaterskill Books Booth 106 Ken Lopez Bokseller Booth 1015 Liber Antiquus Booth 213 Jeffrey D. Mancevice Booth 417 Musinsky Rare Books Booth 108 Abby Schoolman Books Booth 102 B&L Rootenberg Rare Books & Manuscripts Booth 103 Michael R. Thompson Rare Books Booth 915 John WIndle Antiquarian Bookseller Booth 205 **This page will be updated as more catalogs are published!** Browse selected highlights from the 2017 California Antiquarian Book Fair here... [more]

You've no doubt heard the great news that Assembly Bill 228 has been introduced by California State Assembly Members Gloria and Chiu. If passed, this bill will provide significant relief from the most troubling and onerous provisions of AB 1570, California's new autograph law. The ABAA, IOBA, PBA Galleries, and The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, The Manuscript Society, The Ephemera Society, The Professional Autograph Dealers Association, Horror Writers Association, The Grolier Club, Biblio and The Easton Press have formally expressed support for this pending legislation in the linked letters. The legislative process is long and complicated. Bills pass through policy committees in each house of the legislature and the process takes many months. What this bill needs to help ensure that it becomes law is your support. We encourage members and interested parties to write a letter of support for AB 228 addressed to the bill's primary author: Assemblymember Todd Gloria P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0078 You can also add your name and comments to the change.org petition. We'll keep you updated on progress here. [more]

The 50th annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair will take place in Oakland, CA from February 10-12, 2017. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the California Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more. Where: The 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair Oakland Marriott City Center 1001 Broadway Oakland, California When: Friday, February 10 (3pm to 8pm) Saturday, February 11 (11am to 7pm) Sunday, February 12 (11am to 5pm) Largest Book Fair on the West Coast Featuring the collections and rare treasures of 200 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the California Book Fair will present volumes from five centuries of printing, as well as original manuscripts that predate Gutenberg. Books will cover every imaginable area of interest -- from the history of travel and exploration, early science and medicine to classic literature, modern first editions, children's and illustrated books, and the arts. Items range in price from a few dollars to more than six figures. Special Events This year's California Book Fair will include a special exhibit from The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, which has a long history of collecting the literary fiction of California, highli... [more]

ABAA members will be bringing their best items to the 56th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair during the second week of April, 2016. Below, we have a few highlights from our members (in no particular order): exceedingly rare books, unique records, and one-of-a-kind ephemera to give a brief flavor of the treasures that await discovery in New York. Members submitted so many featured items that we've had to split the list into two parts. Tune in next week for another sneak-peak at items you'll find at this year's New York Antiquarian Book Fair. (For more details on the book fair, click here...) BODMER, Karl (1809-1893, illustrator) -- Prince Maximilian zu WIED-NEUWIED (1782-1867). Voyage dans l'Intérieur de l'Amérique du Nord execute pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834. Paris: Chez Arthus Bertrand, 1840-1843. 4 volumes (text: 3 volumes, 8vo (9 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches); atlas: 1 oblong folio (17 x 23 1/2 inches)). French text: Half-titles, 1 lithographic plan, 31 plates of wood-engraved vignettes, 6 wood-engraved illustrations, large engraved folding map. Atlas: 81 engraved and aquatint plates (48 large aquatint tableau plates (19 hand coloured), 33 vignette plates on full folio sheets (7 hand coloured), all after Bodmer. The greatest illustrated American travel narrative and the most important depiction of American Indians in the frontier era: a very rare issue with the best plates hand-coloured. (Offered by Donald A. Heald Rare Books) KNAUSGÅRD, Karl Ove. Min Kamp. Bok 1. O... [more]

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2018 RBMS Conference

By John Schulman

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) is a division of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), which itself is part of the American Library Association (ALA). As the RBMS website states, “RBMS strives to represent and promote the interests of librarians who work with rare books, manuscripts, and other types of special collections.” Each year, the RBMS holds a conference in a different city: dinners are organized; there are plenary sessions on topics of interest to special collections librarians, and there is also a “showcase” in which ABAA members who sign up can exhibit some of their items. This represents a rare opportunity for ABAA members to connect with special collections librarians, have conversations, gain some understanding of how librarians think, operate, make decisions, acquire items, etc. It also affords librarians the chance to get to know some dealers that they may only know of through their catalogs or on-line listings. For both dealers and librarians, this conference can be a valuable few days: sales are made, connections forged, friendships can flourish, and the human dimension becomes for many the most enriching part of such a conference. This year, the conference is in New Orleans, June 19-22. One of the items F. A. Bernett Books will be displaying at the RBMS showcase: Grosz, George. Interregnum. Black Sun Press, 1936. 19 pp. introductory essay by John Dos Passos, followed by a suite of 64 black and white hand-struck lith... [more]

The New York Antiquarian Book Fair celebrates its 58th year in 2018. From March 8-11, 2018 book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera. The diversity of specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana, and much more. “The best book fair in the world.” – Andy Rooney This book fair is officially sanctioned by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. This means that the consumer can rely upon the experience and professionalism of participating dealers and the authenticity of the items available for purchase. Simply stated, all books, manuscripts and related material have been carefully examined for completeness and bibliographic accuracy. New York Antiquarian Book Fair When: Thursday, March 8 (5-9pm) — Preview Night! Friday, March 9 (noon-8pm) Saturday, March 10 (noon-7pm) Sunday, March 11 (noon-5pm) Events: Discovery Day, Sunday (1pm-3pm) Bring a treasure to be evaluated by our experts! Free with paid admission to the Fair. Tickets: Preview Pass (Good for the weekend) — $60 (includes one re-admission daily) Daily Admission: $25 Students: $10 (with valid ID) Run of Show: $45 (Student and Run of Show tickets onl... [more]

ABAA members provide a few pointers for beginning collectors who might be considering attending an antiquarian book fair for the first time. Members Lorne Bair, Michael Hackenberg, John Schulman, and John Windle provide some advice gleaned from decades of book fair attendance. Ask Questions/Develop Relationships with the Dealers Veteran bookseller John Windle notes that "a good, close, trusting connection to a dealer will yield the best possible results," so book fairs present a valuable opportunity to get to know many dealers, and let them get to know you and your interests as a collector. Lorne Bair agrees, adding that his "number one piece of advice to beginning collectors attending their first book fair is to ask questions! Antiquarian booksellers as a rule get very few opportunities to talk about their books with people who are genuinely interested. Book fairs are the one environment where they can open up, share their experience and expertise, and communicate with members of the public who share an enthusiasm for what they do." John Schulman of Caliban Book Shop notes that "many exhibitors will bring along stacks of fair lists and their latest catalogs. Even if they don't buy anything, visitors should take copies of these and not be afraid to do so. They make great reading and even other dealers can learn a lot from their colleagues." However, don't mistake the museum-quality artefacts with a museum's explicit invitation to stand around and admire all day. The object of... [more]

Pardon the pun, but the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair is going to be a monster event! Not only are about 200 rare book dealers from around the world bringing the cream of their respective crops to Pasadena, but it's also the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and there's going to be a huge exhibit to celebrate the classic book. From the organizers: From February 9-11, 2018, Southern California hosts the nation's largest rare book exhibition as thousands of book lovers, booksellers, and scholars converge at the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair. The 2018 Book Fair also celebrates the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus with a special exhibit spotlighting holdings from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Occidental College Library's Ned Guymon Mystery and Detective Fiction Collection, University of California Riverside Library's Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Sara Karloff, the daughter of Boris Karloff. Recognized as one of the world's pre-eminent exhibitions of antiquarian books, this eagerly anticipated bi-annual fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more. Featuring over 200 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), ... [more]

It's time for another batch of rare books and print ephemera that our members will be bringing to the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena, CA next weekend. (You'll find the first batch here...) Stoker, Bram, DRACULA'S GUEST AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES London, George Routledge & Sons, 1914. First edition. 12mo. 200pp. With "First Published in 1914" on the copyright page. Publisher's linen-textured red cloth blocked in blind on the spine and upper board, and with a gilt spine title. We note some foxing on the edges of the textblock, a tiny spot on the upper board, and oiffset on the free endpapers where the dustwrapper ended. Otherwise this is a very nice copy. Neat ownership name on the front pastedown dated July, 1914. In scarce, full color dustwrapper with art by Handforth. The dustwrapper bears the "2/- net" sticker on the spine and so is second state. There is a trace of roughness along the edges but it is in near fine condition.'Dracula's Guest' is a previously unpublished episode from an early draft of Dracula and is published here with eight other stories by Stoker. (Offered by Thorn Books) Pynchon, Thomas. Gravity's Rainbow New York: The Viking Press, (1973). First edition. 760 pp. Price of $15.00 on front flap of jacket. Nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award for Best Novel and winner of the National Book Award in 1974. Just about Fine in a like dust jacket that is bright, unfaded, and clean. A beautiful copy of Pynchon's masterpiece, a landmark w... [more]