Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 

Spring is in the air and the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America's New York Book Fair returns to the Park Avenue Armory April 27-30, 2023. The Fair's specialties encompass art, science, medicine, literature, history, gastronomy, fashion, first editions, Americana, philosophy, children's books and much more. From the historic and academic, the religious and spiritual—to the bedrock of secular culture, finance, politics—the Fair boasts offerings in every conceivable genre and subject. The 63rd New York International Antiquarian 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 purc... [more 2023 New York Book Fair]

Weekly Highlights

By Rich Rennicks

Our members list new acquisitions and recently cataloged items almost every day of the year. Below, you'll find a few highlights from these recent additions... Double Helix by James Watson NY: Atheneum, 1968. Hardcover. Very Good. Hardcover. First Edition. Manufacturing defect to bottom edge of the title page to xiii where the signature was improperly cut and roughly separated causing a couple of tiny spots of loss and concomitant extra pieces to the edge, else a very good hardback in a slightly tanned jacket that has some minor edgewear to the extremities. Unclipped with $5.95 price present. Offered by Kenneth Mallory. The Story of the Irish Citizen Army by O CATHASAIGH, P. (SEAN O'CASEY) Dublin, Ireland: Maunsel & Co. Ltd, 1919. First edition. Softcover. 72 pages. The first book by Irish writer Sean O'Casey. An about very good copy in g... [more Weekly Highlights]

Browse the latest catalogs, newsletters, and e-lists of rare books, fine bindings, incunabula, print ephemera, and much more from the members of the ABAA below. (Also includes podcasts, blog posts, and other digital formats.) *New* indicates any catalogs brought to our attention since the end of February 2023. AARDVARK BOOKS/EZRA TISHMAN BOOK APPRAISALS Irish List #1 New (Irish-Themed) Arrivals ABACUS BOOKS Rubaiyat War, Peace, and Protest ABRAHAM LINCOLN BOOK SHOP Holiday Gift Book List September 2022 Book List: US Presidents CHARLES AGVENT Spring 2023 *New* New Arrivals ANDERSON BUTLER RARE BOOKS E-list #25: A Baker's Dozen of Recent Acquisitions E-list #24: Women Sci-Fi Authors from Easton Press ANTIPODEAN BOOKS, MAPS, PRINTS E-list #44 ~ W.W.I., Americana, Australia, Photographs, Maps, Ephemera E-list #43 ~ Antipodean Books at the Bro... [more Latest Catalogs of Rare Books]

The ABAA is accepting entries for the 2023 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, which is jointly administered by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division (Library of Congress). The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is open to all prizewinners of college book-collecting contests, as well as to interested students whose institutions do not offer formal contests. (More information can be found here...) All entries should be submitted at https://www.abaa.org/ncbcc/ncbcc-application... All entries for the 2023 competition must be submitted by June 15, 2023. For more information on the contest, please visit https://www.abaa.org/ncbcc/the-national-collegia... [more 2023 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest]

Meet the antiquarian booksellers accepted as members of the ABAA in 2022. Full Members: Scott Brasseur, gallerybfa Scott Brasseur originated in central West Virginia but now resides in western Pennsylvania. After graduating from WVU with a marketing degree in 1984, he spent the next 20 years travelling the U.S. in corporate sales and marketing. After collecting and selling antiques “part time” for most of his life, he finally succumbed to the antiques lure and traded in his job in 2003 to start his business full time. Operating the business under the name gallerybfa, Scott conducts his sales both online and as an exhibitor at shows. His focus is on unique items and historic Americana which includes photography, archives, manuscripts, ephemera and U.S. flags. He particularly enjoys researching an archive, often giving the subject a cha... [more The Latest Members of the ABAA]

Join the ABAA-Public Google Group, a listserv where ABAA members announce select books for sale, share information on their participation in upcoming book fairs, and showcase their recent catalogs! The ABAA-Public Google Group is a read-only email group, so email traffic is kept to a minimum and only ABAA members can announce books for sale — ensuring all items are in full compliance with our Code of Ethics. Subscribers to the group can opt to receive emails individually, or have each day's emails combined into a daily digest to limit the number of emails they receive. Subscribing to the ABAA-Public Google Group You must have a Google Account to subscribe to receive emails from the ABAA-Public Google Group. You can create a Google Account without changing your non-Google email address here. Once logged in to your Google account, you can... [more Introducing the ABAA-Public Google Group]

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... [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, feat... [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' Asso... [more 2023 ABAA Book Fairs]

This fascinating blog post about the history of vellum and parchment is written by Richard Norman, an experienced British bookbinder now living in France, where he runs Eden Wookshops with his wife and fellow bookbinder, Margaret, specializing in Family Bibles and liturgical books. The article originally appeared on www.edenworkshops.com, and is reprinted below with the author's permission. --Editor According to the Roman Varro and Pliny's Natural History, vellum and parchment were invented under the patronage of Eumenes of Pergamum, as a substitute for papyrus, which was temporarily not being exported from Alexandria, its only source. Herodotus mentions writing on skins as common in his time, the 5th century BC; and in his Histories (v.58) he states that the Ionians of Asia Minor had been accustomed to give the name of skins (diphtherai)... [more The History Of Vellum And Parchment]