Current News & Events

  • Innocents engraving

     December greetings…

    “One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

    As our Diamond Jubilee year comes to a close, we would like to thank everyone who has filled our 60th year with their enthusiasm and participation in the various events and book fairs held throughout the year. We had a tremendously busy yet delightful year, enjoying the company of the members who have provided the lifeblood of the PLA for many years but also meeting new, enthusiastic book collectors along the way, many of whom joined and swelled our membership to well over 500 individual members this year – an increase that reflects perhaps a renewed interest in the beauty and pleasure of the physical book in the age of the digital download. 

    We want to wish book lovers of all description a joyous holiday season. This year has been an exceptional one for the PLA, with several special occasions marking our 60th anniversary, not least our Annual General Meeting in the glorious, gothic setting of the John Rylands Library in Manchester.

    This year we participated in more book fairs than ever before, with a presence at Bath, Bristol and York. Our outreach via book fairs and our new website, twitter feed and facebook page have all contributed to a renaissance in interest in the PLA, amongst book collectors and enthusiasts from all walks of life – from students to booksellers — to collectors of private press to collectors of vintage Penguins. We are rapidly becoming the go-to organisation for any and all with a love of books. We are rounding out our 60th year as a proud supporter and sponsor of one of the newest groups of book enthusiasts, the University of London Society of Bibliophiles, and will be providing and pouring the bubbly at their Christmas party this month. 

    From all of us at the Private Libraries Association, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a happy, book-filled New Year. 

    Upcoming Book Fairs 2017

    Please keep an eye on our website for information regarding book fairs for 2017. We plan on being at Bath, Bristol and York again in 2017 as well as at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair, 11-12 November, 2017.

    New books for 2017 and beyond

    Our much anticipated book, The Book and Periodical Illustrations of Arthur Hughes, by Maroussia Oakley, is now printed and bound awaiting dust jacket. Mark Godburn’s Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets, published this summer, has been exceptionally well received and copies are now available to purchase. Outside the UK they may be purchased through Oak Knoll.  The text and bibliography of David Chambers’ Private Presses in Britain in the 18th and 19th Centuries, in two volumes, is in proof, to be completed by year end 2017. Private Press Books 2008 and 2009 is printed and ready for sale. The final issue of Private Press Books, PPB 2010, is promised for 2017.

  • Diamond Jubilee in 2016

    Become a member today and join an ever growing community of book enthusiasts.

    We want to encourage all bibliophiles – anyone who loves books – to join at an annual subscription of only £30. You will receive our well-respected quarterly journal, packed with interesting articles on all manner of subjects relating to books. Members also receive discounts on all our publications and a complimentary members book every 2 years.


Welcome to The Private Libraries Association

Founded in 1956, the Private Libraries Association is an international society of book collectors – collectors of rare books, fine books, single authors, special subjects, and, above all collectors of books for the simple pleasures of reading and ownership.

Private Libraries AssociationThe Association publishes a well regarded quarterly journal, The Private Library. It prints essays on members’ libraries, specialised collections, the work of the private presses, illustrators and, indeed, any aspect of the mania likely to appeal to collectors.  Reviews of new books are a regular feature.

A series of illustrated books on specialised aspects of book collecting has been issued over the past fifty years, those still in print described in our current Books Catalogue.  Also available is the annual bibliography Private Press Books, the definitive checklist for worldwide private press output from 1960 to 2008, which has been published by the Private Libraries Association since 1959.

Become a member today!  Members receive the journal, free books, discounts and access to the exclusive members’ Newsletter and  Exchange List, which is issued quarterly. Members can also access members’ information via their new Members’ Page on the website, using their exclusive member log in. In addition, as correspondence within the Association is encouraged, a Members’ Handbook is issued, listing member contacts and collecting interests.