Book Fairs

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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]

A special exhibit celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is among the many highlights of the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair. The display will include cornerstone works of Gothic literature, including the scarce 1818 first edition of Frankenstein, as well illustrated editions, graphic novels, and film stills from The Bride of Frankenstein and other cinematic interpretations. It will also include a selection of albums with music inspired in whole or in part by Frankenstein's monster. Frankenstein was first set to music in Presumption; or the Fate of Frankenstein (1823), a three-act play by Richard Brinsley Peake (Mary Shelley attended the play in London during its original run). This was followed many years later by Frankenstein, or The Vampire's Victim (1887), a musical burlesque composed by Meyer Lutz and written by Richard Henry. Another 50 years would pass before this classic tale was reanimated with musical accompaniment, first in the creepy title sequence of James Whale's iconic 1931 film adaptation and then in Franz Waxman's lush score for The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). A generation later, Universal Studios released their catalog of classic horror films to television, sparking a monster boom among children coming of age during the late 1950s and early '60s. Several novelty records were targeted at these “Monster Kids,” some of whom would go on to compose Frankenstein songs of their own. Many of underlying themes in Sh... [more]

ABAA members will be exhibiting any number of rare and highly sought-after items at the 51st annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair (Feb. 9-11, 2018) in Pasadena, CA next month. Here is a small sampling to whet the appetite. Ward, Lynd. Signed block print from Gods' Man , . An original print from Ward's first and most famous wordless novel. Printed from the original woodblock on Japanese paper, the image measures 10 cm x 13 cm. Signed in pencil by Ward under the image in the right corner, with "Gods' Man" printed in pencil opposite. Fine. (Offered by Ken Sanders Rare Books) The Best Edition of the Poetical and Prose Works of Shelley, in a Superb Cosway-Style Binding by Bayntun (Rivière) SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Edited by Harry Buxton Forman. In Four Volumes. London: Reeves and Turner, 1876-1877. SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. The Prose Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Edited by Harry Buxton Forman. In Four Volumes. London: Reeves and Turner, 1880. First edition edited by H. Buxton Forman. Together eight octavo volumes (8 7/16 x 5 3/8 inches; 214 x 136 mm.). Frontispieces and plates. Uniformly bound by Bayntun (Rivière) of Bath (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in) in mid twentieth-century dark brown crushed levant morocco. Covers with gilt triple fillet border, spines decoratively ruled and lettered in gilt in compartments with five raised bands, board edges with gilt-dotted rule, gilt inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, all ... [more]

ABAA members will be exhibiting at the upcoming Brooklyn Book Fair in Greenpoint, September 8-10, 2017. Although not sponsored by the ABAA, this is a fast-growing book fair which attracts an eclectic range of active collectors. This year, ABAA associate member Rebecca Romney (you might know her from the History Channel's “Pawn Stars”) will give a talk on “The ABC's of Starting a Rare Book Collection," and will sign copies of her newly published book, Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History. Some of the highlights ABAA members are bringing** to the fair include: One of the Largest Private Collections of Vintage Luggage Labels Sheryl Jaeger (Eclectibles) will be showcasing labels from the private collection of Jane Goodrich, world traveler and co-founder of Spectrum Publishing. This collection of 3,550 labels, dating from the 1920s to World War II, includes colorful labels from such wonderful old hotels as the Luna House in Venice, the Grand Continental Hotel in Cairo, the Mayfair Hotel in London, and many, many more. “The Black Album” — Powerful and evocative postcard images of Nazi war crimes “The Black Album” is a very rare booklet, published in Tel Aviv by the Anti-Nazi League of Palestine in April, 1940, six months after the Nazi invasion of Poland. Its goal was to make public the already great extent of Nazi crimes in Europe -- particularly in Poland, only a few months after the country's brutal and total conquest. Taken by anonymous individu... [more]

The ABAA co-sponsors the three largest annual antiquarian book fairs in North America, the Boston, California, and New York Antiquarian Book Fairs. Antiquarian book fairs are the high points of the book collector's year, representing an unmissable chance to connect with other collectors and rare book experts from top libraries, universities, and other institutions, expand your knowledge of both your chosen areas of interest and rare books in general, as well as an opportunity to get to know the booksellers personally, and insure they know your interests and what items are top of your wish list! Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair November 10-12, 2017 Boston, MA In November, the first fair of the season takes place in Boston, MA. Dealers from all over the world will rendezvous at the Hynes Convention Center for three days to display the best the rare book market has to offer. From early manuscripts and rare print ephemera to association copies inscribed by famous modern authors, the Boston exhibitors will have something for every taste and pocket book. More details about exhibits, lectures, and discovery day will be announced closer to the date. Bookmark http://bostonbookfair.com/ for future reference. California International Antiquarian Book Fair February 9-11, 2018 Pasadena, CA Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the California International Antiquarian Book Fair is co-sponsored by the ABAA and the Internati... [more]

ABAA members have issued the following catalogs of the material they will be exhibiting at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend (March 9-12, 2017) at the Park Avenue Armory. Note: This list is being constantly updated. Check back frequently in the days before the fair for the latest catalog additions! Athena Rare Books Booth E24 Lorne Bair Rare Books Booth E18 F.A. Bernett Booth B18 -- direct download .pdf David Brass Rare Books Booth C10 Buddenbrooks Booth C23 Andrew Cahan Bookseller Booth D19 James Cummins Bookseller Booth A1 L.W. Currey, Inc. and John W. Knott Jr., Bookseller offer David H. Rajchel Arkham House Archive Booth A5 Donald A. Heald Rare Books Booth C1 Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller Booth B15 Jeff Hirsch Books Booth B23 Kaaterskill Books Booth B11 Eric Chaim Kline Booth A14 Michael Laird Rare Books Booth A33a The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. Booth C22 Part I: 54 Items on Display at the 2017 New York Antiquarian Book Fair Part II: 54 Items on Display at the 2017 New YorkAntiquarian Book Fair Part III: Pamphlets and Ephemera on Display at the 2017 New York Antiquarian Book Fair, 50 Items Liber Antiquus Booth A10 Lux Mentis Booksellers Booth E5 Jeffrey D. Mancevice Booth C12 Bruce McKittrick Rare Books Booth A20 Musinsky Rare Books Booth D4 B&L Rootenberg Rare Books & Manuscripts Booth B19 Sanctuary Books Booth B3 Abby Schoolman Books Booth A36 Triolet Rare Books Booth D30 For more details about the 2017 New York Antiquarian Bok Fair visit www.nyantiquarianbookf... [more]