Events

Bibliophiles everywhere are invited to join the hunt for rare books and all manner of fine works on paper March 4-6 during the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America's California Virtual Book Fair. Exhibitors from 14 countries will present a carefully curated collection of more than 4000 books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and rare historical artifacts. “The ABAA's California International Antiquarian Book Fair has always been the most eclectic and inclusive, and we expect this virtual fair to be no different. More than 150 exhibitors from 14 nations will be offering a diverse array of rare books and fine works on paper. This one's not to be missed,” said Brad Johnson, ABAA President. Exhibitors will offer a rich selection of manuscripts, early American and European literature, modern first editions, children's books, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books on history, science, law, architecture, cooking, wine, and a wide range of other topics. Visitors will also be able to interact with book, map, autograph, and ephemera sellers in real time. “The virtual book fairs have been an important way for booksellers and collectors to stay connected during this past year of closures and canceled in-person events, and they have produced a number of unexpected benefits,” said Sheryl Jaeger, ABAA Vice President and Chair, Virtual Book Fair Committee. “The obvious—you don't have to leave home, fly, or pack your wares. The virtual fairs also allow those p... [more Visit the California Virtual Book Fair]

The public programs at the upcoming California Virtual Book Fair have been announced. The events are free, but pre-registration is required. Thursday, March 4 2:00 PM EST: A Matter of Time Join knowledgeable panelists as they explore topics ranging from horology, timepieces, the artistry and history of watchmaking, rare books and archival materials. In partnership with Vacheron Constantin. Jonathan A. Hill is a rare book and manuscript seller specializing in science, medicine, natural history, bibliography, and early printed books. Eric Ku is an internationally renowned collector, expert, and seller of vintage and contemporary watches. Sigrid Offenstein is Collections and Archives Manager for Vacheron Constantin. Register for this event... 3:00 PM EST: Virtual Tour: What's Cooking? WHAT'S COOKING? A virtual tour with our experts in culinary history examining the important cookery books and food- and drink-related ephemera offered at the book fair. Ben Kinmont is an artist, publisher, and antiquarian bookseller specializing in gastronomy. He sells 15th to early 19th century books about food and wine, domestic and rural economy, health, perfume, and the history of taste as Ben Kinmont Bookseller, ABAA. Lynda Claassen is Director of Special Collections & Archives at UC San Diego, which is home to the American Institute of Wine & Food Culinary Collection with more than 7,000 volumes about culinary history. Randall Tarpey Schwed is a collector of books and ephemera primarily relat... [more California Virtual Book Fair Special Programs]

The 2021 winner of the California Young Book Collector's Prize is Jessica Camille Jordan of Palo Alto, California. Her collection, “Women in Subscription Bookselling” explores the role of women book agents, who went door-to-door selling books to people in their homes, rather than in a bookstore. A selection of Jordan's collection will be displayed virtually in conjunction with the California ABAA Virtual Book Fair (March 4 – 6), and can be found at www.abaa.org.vbf. She will also take part in a panel discussion with past winners of the prize on Saturday, March 6 during the fair. Please register in advance for this free event here... As Jessica sought for narrative accounts of the experiences of these book agents, of the approximately two dozen she has unearthed, she found that “they were predominately written by women, despite the fact that women made up a tiny fraction of the canvassing workforce.” Such canvassing would have been a risky proposition for a woman given the societal norms of the day, in which the female “presence in public spaces was still a lightening rod for conversations about respectability” -- and the very essence of being a book agent was to interact with strangers, often men, as each new door was knocked upon. Sponsored by the Southern and Northern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, The California Young Book Collector's Prize is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All c... [more Third Annual California Young Book Collector’s Prize Awarded]

How does one shop an ABAA Virtual Book Fair? Our Virtual Book Fairs combine the convenience of online commerce with the community of in-person book fairs. Just like at an physical book fair, you will be able to: browse the inventory of many exhibitors, but now with the advantage of only having to check out once no matter how many exhibitors you purchase from! speak with the exhibitors in real time, via digital tools like FaceTime and Zoom. be among the first to have the opportunity to buy newly acquired or cataloged items from the most-reputable dealers in the business. shop the fair for a set time only. Our virtual book fairs last for 2-4 days. So arrive early, make a plan to visit the exhibitors you know, and find the material you want! Browsing Options By exhibitor — Browse your favorite booksellers first (organized alphabetically) By aisle — It's a big fair, and you'll want to see every exhibitor. In this case our aisles correspond to geographic region. By product type — Are you particularly interested in maps or photographs? In search of autographs or ephemera? Hunting certain modern first editions? — This is another way to zero in on the items of most interest to you. By budget — Shop items under $500 and don't get distracted by the big-ticket items (as amazing as those may be). By specific item — A keyword search will quickly show you the item(s) you want without having to spend hours walking the show floor! How is an ABAA Virtual Book Fair different from a... [more How to Shop a Virtual Book Fair]

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]

Cabookfair-2020

The Image of Suffrage

By Jen Johnson

In commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, February 7-9, 2020 in Pasadena, will feature a special exhibit and panel discussions on the women's suffrage movement. This celebration will highlight the contributions of successive generations of women, from protofeminists like Mary Wollstonecraft, to the abolitionists and the temperance movement, through pioneering crusaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the suffragettes who eventually won the vote, as well as those activists who have continued the fight for equal rights in the 21st century. Among these women is the California artist whose iconic artwork adorns the book fair's poster. Bertha Margaret Boye (1883–1931) was born in Oakland, the daughter of German immigrants. Her father was a cabinet maker, and her mother a homemaker. She was the middle of three sisters; the oldest worked as a nurse and her younger sister was a portrait painter. Boye had just completed studies at the famous Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco when she entered and won the poster contest sponsored by the College Equal Suffrage League in 1911. She received a $50 prize for her design, which was reproduced on cards, handbills, and publicity stamps. Boye's design was the precise image leaders of the movement sought. The first suffrage campaign in California, in 1896, failed. When conditions suddenly changed in 1910 and a progressive Republican administration... [more The Image of Suffrage]

The Boston Book Fair is the annual fall gathering for book lovers and collectors of rare books, featuring the top selection of items available on the international literary market. The 43rd annual gathering of U.S. and international dealers, sanctioned by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, takes place in Boston, Massachusetts over the weekend of November 15-17, 2019. Here are a few preview items to tempt you, including copies of some of the most-famous rare books of all time! Allen Ginsberg, Original Carbon Typescript for Part I of “Howl”, (ca. early 1956) Previously unknown original carbon typescript of the most important postwar American poem: Allen Ginsberg's “Howl.” Almost certainly the only surviving draft version of this iconic poem remaining in private hands, and the only one to ever be separately offered for sale, this copy was struck from what has become known as the fifth draft (so identified in HOWL: Original Draft Facsimiles and Variant Versions . Barry Miles, Editor. New York: Harper & Row, 1986) and most likely dates from early 1956. It is this draft that Ginsberg read in what is the earliest known recording of the poem at Oregon's Reed College from February 1956 (indeed you can hear him turning the pages at precisely the right time on the recording), performed just three months after the legendary Six Gallery reading where the poem debuted. Provenance: this copy of “Howl” was ... [more Boston Book Fair: Preview Items]

The ABAA Women's Initiative organized a panel at the 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair to discuss the publication "Zamorano Celebrates 90", which highlights important women collectors from Southern California. Project coordinator and editor Jean Gillingwators and first woman president of the Zamorano Club Judy Sahak spoke about how the project came to fruition. Designer and printer Norman Clayton explained the significance of design choices such as the purple Japanese silk and 1/4 leather cover as well as the challenges of replicating old and sometimes deteriorated photographs in print. ABAA members Jen and Brad Johnson were contributing essayists and spoke on fine press printer Lillian Marks of the Plantin Press and bookseller Peggy Christian. Librarian and educator Gary Kurutz discussed Alice Millard. ABAA member Kait Manning moderated the panel and asked questions which elicited insightful answers and convivial banter between the panelists. The Panelists (left to right): Brad Johnson, Gary Kurutz, Kait Manning, Jen Johnson, Jean Gillingwators, Judy Sahak, and Norman Clayton. The Zamorano Club is Southern California's oldest organization of bibliophiles and manuscript collectors. Founded in 1928, it sponsors lectures and publications on bookish topics. Most noteworthy is the Zamorano 80 (1945)—a member-selected and -written catalogue of the most significant books in California history. "Zamorano Celebrates 90: Honoring the Contributions of Women in Books... [more Women’s Initiative Hosts “Zamorano Celebrates 90” Panel in Oakland]

The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland, California, over the weekend of February 8-10, 2019. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to Northern California, Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and featuring the collections and rare treasures of nearly 200 booksellers from over 20 countries around the world, the three-day book fair offers a rich selection of manuscripts, early American and European literature, modern first editions, children's books, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books on history, science, law, architecture, cooking, wine, and a wide range of other topics. This year's Book Fair will include a special exhibit by the Book Club of California, an active association of over 800 major California collectors with interests in rare books and manuscripts of all types. Founded in 1912, the Club's library is dedicated to collecting and sharing works of California fine printers; resources on book making, book design, and book history; and books of historical significance. One side of this bi-faceted exhibit will display a selection of materials by California women printers and book artis... [more 2019 California Book Fair]

The 2019 California International Antiquarian Book Fair takes place in Oakland, California February 8-10, 2019. Nearly 200 rare-book dealers from around the world will be bringing their most-outstanding items to surprise and delight book collectors. Some of the ABAA members attending preview their wares below... Harold Arlen. "The Wizard of Oz" Record Set - Inscribed by the Composer! 1939. 4-disc set of first issue 78-RPM records of the cast-recording soundtrack album for the beloved film, inscribed by the composer, Harold Arlen, to his brother and sister-in-law. Housed in original illustrated covers. Inscribed in pen on the first record sleeve: "For Julie + Jean, Love Harold 12-18-39". Songs include "Over the Rainbow", "Munchkinland Part I & II", "If I Only Had a Brain", "If I Only Had a Heart", "The Merry Old Land of Oz", and "We're Off to See The Wizard". This record set includes the only known release of the movie's deleted musical number, "The Jitterbug", as the album was created and distributed before filming wrapped. Discs exhibit very little handling, but are untested. Front cover detached but present, with part of cloth tape torn. Edge wear to the covers, with cloth tape repair between inside front cover and first record sleeve. Overall very good. Songwriter Harold Arlen (born Hyman Arluck) is to thank for some of the most iconic songs of the twentieth century, including "Over the Rainbow," "Get Happy," "Stormy Weather," and "The Man That Got Away." He collaborated w... [more CA Book Fair: 2019 Preview]