Book Fairs

Happy New Year! We are just three weeks away from the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair and our office is buzzing with excitement! The California Fair is one of the three major fairs the ABAA sponsors- we also sponsor fairs in Boston every November and in New York every April- and the location alternates between San Francisco and Los Angeles biannually. This year, the fair will be held in Pasadena at the Pasadena Convention Center from February 10-12. It will be our first fair in this location and we couldn't be more thrilled, as the pre- and post-Fair hours will be easy to fill with activities and great dining. There will be more than 200 members of the ABAA and ILAB exhibiting a wide selection of books, maps, and ephemera from all different fields and disciplines. Click here to view a list of exhibitors and their specialties. In addition to the incredible offerings at the fair, there will also be a number of book-related seminars and a very special exhibit entitled "A Love Affair with Books: Personal Stories of Noted Collectors" and will explore the pursuits of collectors past and present, including some notable Southern California figures. Of course, there will also be a Discovery Day on Sunday, a feature of every ABAA fair, where you can have one of our rare book specialists appraise up to three items. Please click here for more information about fair events and exhibits. For information on hours and tickets, please click here. If you are in Southern Cal... [more 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair]

The 2011 Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair was a blast for exhibitors and attendees alike. Below is a video that I think will get any book lovers excited about attending a fair, and certainly puts me in eager anticipation for the upcoming California International Antiquarian Book Fair, which will be held in Pasadena this coming February. Enjoy! [more Video of the 35th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair]

Last weekend's 35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair was a great successlots of incredible material was being offered by dealers and each day the fair was filled with enthusiastic attendees both young and old. If you could draw your attention away from the books, prints, maps, ephemera, etc., you could even see a few celebrities! According to the Boston Globe: Rocker Peter Wolf, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough, and Italian novelist-essayist Umberto Eco were among the 4,500 visitors spotted at the 35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair over the weekend. The event, held at the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, drew 120 rare book dealers from around the world, offering not only first editions of Melville, Wilde, Frost, and Hemingway but also antique maps, letters, political documents, and an array of pop culture totems. Among the latter: a 1967 Bob Dylan album signed by Jimi Hendrix; film directorFrank Capra's manuscript copy of James Hilton's novel “Lost Horizon''; a notepad autographed by members of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other iconic '60s bands; and an Indiana State University yearbook with a youngLarry Bird on the cover, firing up his patented jump shot. Fetching one of the highest sums - $112,000 - was a hand-written letter from Alexander Graham Bell to his parents, detailing his invention of the iPhone (just kidding). No word on what if anything the Woofa Goofa took home with him, but we hear he's a b... [more Boston Fair a Great Success (And Included Some Celebrity Sightings)]

ABAA members across the country are gearing up for next weekend's 35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair and we hope to see you there! Over 120 dealers from the US and around the world will be exhibiting rare, antiquarian books, modern first editions, manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, and an abundance of ephemera. The Fair will be held in the Hynes Convention Center, and will run from Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13. Highlighted Items at the Fair Fair Activities Fair Hours Friday: 5pm to 9pm Saturday: 12noon to 7pm Sunday: 12noon to 5pm It's going to be a wonderful fair, so mark your calendars if you will be in the Boston area! Please click here to visit the Fair's website. [more 35th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair]

Upon returning to London after exhibiting at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, ILAB member Rick Gekoski of R. A. Gekoski Rare Books & Manuscripts posted a great entry to his blog in the Guardian, A Finger on the Page. The post answers some fundamental questions about the rare book trade and antiquarian book fairs. A fun read for those in the trade as well as novice collectors. Click here to read the post. An insider's guide to book fairs [more 'An Insider's Guide to Book Fairs' by Rick Gekoski]

The ABAA was delighted to have Professor Adrian Johns of the University of Chicago lecture at the 2011 California International Antiquarian Book Fair. His talk was entitled The Promise and Peril of Universal Libraries, and Professor Johns is kind enough to let us republish the text on our blog and website. Enjoy! ******************************* The Promise and Peril of Universal Libraries Adrian Johns University of Chicago Since it was originally announced some five years ago, the Google book project has provoked a rich variety of responses. The intensity of the debate is understandable, because the implications of the project are indeed as broad as they seem to be. This really is the rare enterprise that has implications for everyone who works in academia and, in all likelihood, everyone who does not. The future of knowledge itself is at stake. So too is its past. Many of the debates that Google's venture has ignited have taken place on the relatively familiar, if sometimes very technical, terrain of law and economics. The problems evoked have been those of copyright infringement and monopoly. The debate has also been infused with a strong dose of publishing industry jeremiad, and more recently experts in the bibliographical world have voiced disquieting revelations regarding Google's devotion to outmoded classification criteria and surprisingly poor metadata standards. When addressing what is trumpeted as the project's real purpose, however – to transform how knowledge i... [more 'The Promise and Peril of Universal Libraries']

Last weekend at the 44th California International Antiquarian Book Fair in San Francisco, the ABAA held a raffle in support of the Elisabeth Woodburn Fund. For those who are unfamiliar, the Elisabeth Woodburn Fund is non-profit charitable fund established by former ABAA President Elisabeth Woodburn in 1990. It is overseen by the Trustees of the Benevolent Fund and the Executive Director of the ABAA, and gives financial assistance for scholarly research and education relevant to the antiquarian book trade, such as scholarships to the Colorado Antiquarian Bookselling Seminar and the California Rare Book School, contributions to the ILAB Bibliographical Prize, and support of the Bibliographical Society of American and the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. The Elisabeth Woodburn Fund also houses the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest Fund, which was created to encourage and educate new book collectors and to support the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, which is now cosponsored by the ABAA. The raffle prize was a photo collage celebrating 50 Years of ABAA Fairs. Emeritus member Barney Rosenthal supplied the photographs, which were taken at the 1961 New York Fair, and he also compiled and signed the collage. Barney was also kind enough to come to the Fair on Sunday to draw the winning ticket and present the collage to the winner. ABAA member Sam Hessel was the lucky winner, and he generously donated the piece to Headquarters for archival purposes... [more San Francisco Raffle Photos]

The 44th California International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held this weekend, February 11th-13th, in San Francisco at the Concourse Exhibition Center. Over 200 members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) will be exhibiting their diverse inventories, providing a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps and other printed materials. The theme of this year's fair is music, and there will be a special exhibit of rare musical books and manuscripts from the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library of the University of California at Berkeley. Additionally, there will be several lecture and seminars taking place during the fair; a schedule of events can be found here. If you are attending the fair, please drop by the ABAA booth! The 44th California International Antiquarian Book Fair Concourse Exhibition Center 635 8th Street at Brannan Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Hours: Friday, February 11, 2011 3 pm - 8 pm Saturday, February 12, 2011 11 am - 7 pm Sunday, February 13, 2011 11 am - 5 pm For more information, please visit [more This Weekend: 44th California International Antiquarian Book Fair in San Francisco]

The Frankfurt Book Fair commenced yesterday, and with a special focus this year on technology. A new digital initiative, called Frankfurt SPARKS, was launched at the fair, and aims to "provide an initial 'spark' for for future publishing projects" and bring "together providers of innovative technology and those working with creative content- thus breaking traditional industry boundaries," according to Director Juergen Boos. Set apart from all the technological presentations and conferences is the rare and antique book pavilion, in its own separate space for the first time this year. Described as "an oasis of calm, with not an iPad in sight", the rare books dealers may be physically detached from the digital pandemonium, but the subject of digitalization and the possibility of how it may impact their business is still on their minds. ProQuest is a company whose current project is to digitalize all early European books published between 1475 and 1700 and put them online. Come November, 4,000 texts from the Florence library, all dating before 1600, will be published online, including some books owned by Galileo. While acknowledging that they do most of their business online, rare booksellers seemed to balk at the idea that digitilization would truly impact their trade. "Look, the people who buy my books are not really interested in ebooks," said Moritz Backhaus, from the Antiquariat im Hufelandhaus book firm. He continued on to say that if one was interested in the text itself, ... [more Even with a Focus on Digitalization, Rare Books Still Display at Frankfurt Book Fair]