Skip to main content

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 

Helen BrownPaying 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 

Sherlock Holmes LogoDrawing 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? 

Ukulele ImagesPrior 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 

Collage of book coversPosing 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, calligraphers, and binders.


California Young Book Collector Prize 

Whitney MilamPlease join us in congratulating this year's winner, Whitney Milam, for her collection "Dueling Public Narratives of Byron and Shelley." Whitney’s collection focuses on the public reception of these two Romantic poets, who were both immensely popular and died young. Whitney has collected memoirs by people who knew them in their lifetimes, and reactions to those memoirs by contemporaries. An interesting exploration of poets who were the rock stars of their day. Be sure to visit the collection on display at the fair.


Interactive Tour: Collecting & Connecting: How to Visit Book Fair Booths & Engage with the Booksellers

Join Russell Johnson, Curator for History of Medicine and the Sciences, UCLA Library Special Collections, for Collecting & Connecting: How to Visit Book Fair Booths & Engage with the Booksellers, an interactive tour of the 55th California International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Pasadena Convention Center! 
Register here: 
Tour spaces are limited & available on a first-come basis.

Entry to the book fair is not included. Click here for more information & to buy tickets to the book fair. 

Russell Johnson (Curator for History of Medicine and the Sciences, UCLA Library Special Collections) leads small general-interest tours of California book fairs for novice collectors, students, librarians, teachers, and others. He had great mentoring in how to make the most of interactions with booksellers and their collections, and has been paying it forward for more than a decade.



ABAA Gender Equity Initiative Networking Reception

ABAA Gender Equity Initiative Networking Reception

Join the ABAA's Gender Equity Initiative for a Networking Reception at this year’s California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena. The reception will take place on Saturday, February 11, 7:00pm PT, at the Magnolia Room of the Sheraton Pasadena. Stop by for a quick refreshment before your dinner plans. ALL ARE WELCOME.

The ABAA Gender Equity Initiative (previously the Women's Initiative) promotes greater participation of women and other people of underrepresented gender identities in the book trade. The goals of the initiative are to promote gender equity in the trade, facilitate gender-inclusive recruitment efforts and expand diversity in the market by developing a wider spectrum of collectors and collections.



Join us for the following seminars on Saturday, February 11 at the Pasadena Convention Center:

1:00 PM: California Collects

A panel discussion on important materials collected by notable Californians, moderated by Patt Morrison. This talk will cover the materials and significance of collections highlighted in our special exhibits from Occidental College, Southern California Women Bookmakers, and the winner of the California Young Book Collector Contest. With Kitty Maryatt (Scripps College), Whitney Milam (Young Collector Contest Winner), Helena de Lemos (Occidental College), Randall Tarpey-Schwed (Collector), James Tranquada (Collector).

Moderated by Patt Morrison, with panelists Helena de Lemos, Kitty Maryatt, Whitney Milam, Randall Tarpey-Schwed James Tranquada.


2:30 PM: Bibliography, Bibliophilia, and Bibliomania in Nineteenth-Century America

Presented by the Bibliographical Society of America and ABAA. Denise Gigante is a professor of British Romantic literature, and poetry at Stanford University. Her interests include poetic form and aesthetics, 19th c. bibliomania and literary antiquarianism,  gastronomy (or literature and food), the history and genre of the literary essay, and relations between William Blake’s poetry and visual culture. Her most recent book is Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America (Yale University Press), an experiment in associational literary history that explores different pockets of book collecting in mid-19th c. America.


“Whether you’re a music aficionado, food connoisseur, or mystery lover – or an experienced or novice collector – our fair is guaranteed to have something for everyone!” -- Carol Sandberg, California International Antiquarian Book Fair vice-chair.


The California International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Pasadena Convention Center, February 10–12, 2023. This three-day event features fine and rare materials from around the globe, including manuscripts, first editions, children’s books, ephemera, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books in a vast array of fields.


 Tickets are available here...

FREE admission for students with current valid student ID. Children 12 and under are free.

FREE admission for librarians, curators, and related non-profit cultural institution workers who register in advance (here) with a valid organizational email address (e.g. or 

* By receiving complimentary admission for this event, registrants agree to the ABAA's Terms of Services & Privacy Policy, including receipt of emails regarding future events. Registrants can unsubscribe at any time.

VIP tickets provide readmission throughout the Fair! Saturday tickets provide readmission on Sunday.



With special thanks to our sponsors: Biblio, LAist, Los Angeles Magazine, the Los Angeles Times.


California Book Fair 2023


Learn more about the California International Antiquarian Book Fair...