ABAA-member Kenneth Gloss, an internationally known rare book specialist and appraiser who runs the Brattle Book Shop in Boston and appears on national TV, will speak at New York's Grolier Club to talk about the "improbable finds" of his decades-long career. The presentation will take place on Thursday, October 5, 6:00 pm at The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, NY, and is open to the public. As Ken reflects on the surprises he's experienced while bookselling: “One day you find yourself drinking from Thomas Jefferson's coffee service, and the next day you're fumigating your truck of fleas. The house you're visiting could contain a handful of Turner watercolors, or a roomful of live ammunition.” His upcoming talk will cover spectacular finds, such as T. S. Eliot's copy of The Great Gatsby and Isaac Newton's copy of Principia Mathematica. On a particular occasion, Ken remembers, “a customer walked into the Brattle Book Shop with a Nuremberg Chronicle and a Kelmscott Chaucer!” And he's experienced some unexpected challenges, too—when he was invited to look at “about 500” books, Ken instead encountered three floors of more than 20,000 nearly perfect dust-jacketed books that he simply had to buy (and figure out how to transport). The unusual and the extraordinary will abound in this illustrated lecture. Ken will talk in part about the history of his historic bookshop (, which goes back to circa 1825. He is a second-generati... [more Grolier Club in-person lecture: Ken Gloss]


2023 Boston Book Fair

By Rich Rennicks

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (BIABF) returns to the Hynes Convention Center in Downtown Boston, October 27-29, 2023. Celebrating its 45th year, this three-day event features fine and rare printed materials from around the globe, including illuminated manuscripts, modern first editions, children's books, ephemera, photographs, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books on a vast array of topics. For more information, visit ABOUT THE FAIR More than 100 rare-book dealers from Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, the UK, and the US will exhibit an alluring treasure trove for seasoned bibliomaniacs and first-time attendees. Prices range from the millions to the eminently affordable. Each item on view, whether immaculately preserved or intriguingly weathered, tells its own story. Each bookseller holds a seemingly bottomless wealth of knowledge, both artistically and historically, about each item in their collection. “This is one of the most important annual events in the country for rare book enthusiasts,” says Julie Roper, CEO of Capricorn Event Management, LLC, who has managed the Boston Book Fair since 2015. “After the height of the pandemic, we are seeing resurgent demand for in-person fairs, where a global community of the top dealers offer the most sought-after collections of books, maps, illustrations, and ephemera on the market.” Whether browsing or buying, the Fair offers something for every taste and bud... [more 2023 Boston Book Fair]

Max Beerbohm: The Price of Celebrity The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY October 20, 2023–January 28, 2024 Today we live in a world of celebrity culture. Celebrity became an international industry in the late-nineteenth century, and the English artist and author Max Beerbohm (1872–1956) was at the center of it. From the 1890s through the 1920s, to be a celebrity meant the hope—and fear—of turning up in a drawing or a parody by “Max,” as he was known in both Britain and the U.S. His brilliant skewering of famous people in his visual caricatures and of their writing styles in his satirical works made him a celebrity himself. This was an identity he enjoyed, but later shrank from. In essays and fiction, he explored the price in human terms of achieving and maintaining celebrity status in ways that still resonate with us now. This exhibition maps the career of Sir Max Beerbohm (knighted in 1939) in relation to the idea of celebrity, following him from his early days in the Decadent circles of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley through his late career as a radio performer on BBC broadcasts during World War II. Along the way, he knew, drew, and wrote about many other celebrities, from Henry James to Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw to members of the Royal Family. The New York Public Library is the perfect place for this show. A wit and a dandy, renowned for always b... [more Max Beerbohm: The Price of Celebrity at the NYPL]

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, 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." However, don't mistake the museum-quality artefacts with a museum's explicit invitation to stand around and admire all day. The object of book fairs is to sell books -- how else will the dealers be able to buy more books? Many dealers have traveled a long way to offer their particular treasures at the fair. On the other hand, booksellers are eager to establish relationships with collectors and would-be collectors, and are generally happy to talk books and share... [more Attending Your First Book Fair]

The upcoming 55th California International Antiquarian Book Fair (February 10-12 at the Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA) will feature several special exhibitions including: Helen Brown: Bibliophile and Champion of West Coast Cuisine Paying homage to Helen Brown, the inventor of “California Cuisine,” this event will include some of Brown's inscribed material, her correspondence with fellow iconic food writer, M.F.K. Fisher, copies of The Californian Magazine featuring Brown's column, and books given to Helen Brown inscribed by James Beard, Alice B. Toklas, and other food luminaries. Curated by Randy Tarpey-Schwed. The Game's Afoot: Collecting Sherlock Holmes Drawing on the Ned Guymon Collection of Mystery and Detective Fiction at Occidental College, this exhibition will focus on the collection's Sherlock Holmes holdings, featuring first edition books, magazines, and rare, fascinating ephemera. Curated by Helena de Lemos, from the Special Collections Department at Occidental College. What the Hell is Ukulele Literature? Prior to its current status as an international phenomenon, the ukulele has a long history of not being taken seriously; this exhibition will try to right that wrong. Curated by Jim Tranquada. Pushing the Envelope: Southern California Women Bookmakers Posing the question “What is bookness?”, this exhibit, curated by renowned bookmaking and artist book expert Kitty Maryatt, explores books made by Southern California women letterpress printers, c... [more Special Events at the California Book Fair]


2023 ABAA Book Fairs

By Rich Rennicks

We hope you'll be able to join us at some of our upcoming book fairs this year. BIBLIOGRAPHY WEEK SHOWCASE January 25, 2023 Join 32 exhibitors offering books, maps, ephemera, and more for sale at the Bibliography Week Showcase. The Showcase takes place in conjunction with Bibliography Week. Learn more about the 2023 Bibliography Week Showcase... CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR February 10-12, 2023 This three-day event presents rare and collectable books, manuscripts, letters, maps, photographs, original artwork, and all manner of paper ephemera from booksellers around the world. Learn more about the 55th California International Antiquarian Book Fair... 63RD NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR April 27-30, 2023 Universally referred to as the world's finest antiquarian book fair, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America's New York International Antiquarian Book Fair will showcase over 175 exhibitors in April, 2023. Learn more about the 63rd New York International Antiquarian Book Fair... 45TH BOSTON INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR October 27-29, 2023 The Boston Book Fair is the annual fall gathering for book lovers and collectors, featuring the top selection of items available on the international literary market. Learn more about the 45th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair... Can't make it to one of our in-person book fairs? You can shop for rare books and related ephemera year-round right here at and watch our soci... [more 2023 ABAA Book Fairs]


2023 California Book Fair

By Rich Rennicks

From February 10–12, 2023, thousands of book lovers, rare-book dealers, and scholars will converge at the Pasadena Convention Center for the 55th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most pre-eminent exhibitions of antiquarian books, the California Book Fair gives visitors a chance to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, modern first editions, children's books, ephemera, maps, autographs and more. The California Book Fair's 2023 edition promises an eclectic mix of special collection exhibits highlighting a noteworthy range of topics, including: The Game's Afoot: Collecting Sherlock Holmes – featuring materials from Occidental College's special collection of perennial favorite Sherlock Holmes; Helen Brown: Bibliophile and Champion of West Coast Cuisine – highlighting the renowned food writer's inscribed materials and correspondence with fellow iconic food writer, M.F.K. Fisher; What the Hell is Ukulele Literature? – with books and ephemera related to the beloved instrument, currently experiencing a boom in popularity; "Pushing the Envelope: Southern California Women Bookmakers – Posing the question, “What is bookness?” this exhibit, curated by renowned bookmaking and artist book expert Kitty Maryatt, features books made by Southern California women letterpress printers, calligraphers, and binders; The Young Book Collector competition winner's collection. Featuring... [more 2023 California Book Fair]


Boston Book Fair 2022

By Rich Rennicks

The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (BIABF) is making its much-anticipated return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay from November 11-13, 2022. The 44th Boston Book Fair is the annual fall gathering for book lovers and collectors, featuring the top selection of items available on the international literary market, sanctioned by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). An alluring treasure trove awaits seasoned collectors and first-time attendees. More than 100 exhibitors, from 9 different countries–Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, the UK, and the US–will showcase the finest in rare and valuable books, photography, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, historic documents, maps, fine bindings, original illustrations, ephemera, fine and decorative prints, and much more. A full list of exhibitors can be found at Highlights of items available at this year's fair include rare first editions of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and James Joyce's Finnegans Wake; a gorgeous lithograph of Alphonse Mucha's Salome; the first edition of the health and civil rights landmark Our Bodies, Ourselves; a copy of the Highgrove Florilegium featuring botanical paintings of plants and trees growing at Highgrove, the Gloucestershire garden of King Charles III, signed by the newly crowned King of England; Inaugural addresses of... [more Boston Book Fair 2022]

Get ready for the RBMS Booksellers' Showcase: a virtual book fair in conjunction with RBMS' annual conference. This virtual fair will take place at from Tuesday, June 21 to Friday, June 24, 2022. Explore the finest rare books, manuscripts & ephemera. Shop the virtual booths of ABAA members and discover their latest acquisitions and rare finds. Learn more: The doors will be open continuously from 12pm EDT on Tuesday, June 21 until 8pm EDT on Friday, June 24, 2022. Never visited an ABAA virtual book fair before? Read "How to Shop a Virtual Book Fair"... [more Don’t Miss the RBMS Booksellers’ Showcase!]

On the 100th anniversary of her birth, an exhibition, entitled GET HAPPY! celebrates the life and artistic contribution of actress, singer and cultural icon Judy Garland. Garland's expansive career hit nearly every popular genre of entertainment during her lifetime, including Vaudeville, blockbuster Hollywood films, sold-out concerts, best-selling records and a television variety show in her name. After 50 plus years since her passing, Garland continues to capture new fans and remains one of the most beloved cultural icons of all time. The exhibit will be situated on the 3rd Floor in the President's Tea Room. Most of the costumes and memorabilia have never been seen by the public, and they include highlights spanning from her most beloved role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, to what many historians consider her pinnacle performance in A Star Is Born. This is a rare opportunity to see a true tribute to one of the greatest stars that ever lived. Woolsey Ackerman of ABAA member firm Walter Reuben, Inc. is assisting with the exhibiton. The last exhibit of this kind, which Woolsey also helped launch, was at the Lincoln Center Library, 30 years ago on the occasion of what would have been Garland's 70th birthday. The exhibit will be open to the public for a limited time at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre where Judy performed as a child on June 11 – June 12, 10am – 1pm. Contact Hailey Simmons (323-931-1277 ext. 159) for more information. [more Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles Hosts Judy Garland Exhibit in June]