Current News & Events

  • Innocents engraving“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
    ―Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

    In the heat of the glorious August weather, we at the Private Libraries Association continue to work hard on our books currently in production…although perhaps taking more time this month to indulge in the pleasure of catching up on reading a favourite book or two. 


    We had a wonderful first outing at the Bristol PBFA Book Fair July 15/16. We launched the sale of Mark Godburn’s 19th Century Dust Jackets and signed up new members whilst enjoying meeting and greeting booksellers, book buyers and book enthusiasts. 

     The Private Library, Series Six, Volume 8:1 (Spring 2015) is now out and has been posted to all members. (Please note that, although the dates are not current, Series Six, Volume 8 (2015) is the current series). If you are not a member and would like to purchase this issue, please use the order form. Members will, of course, receive their complimentary copy. You may also purchase back issues. Browse the contents of Series 2-6…

    New books for 2016 and beyond

    HOT OFF THE PRESS!
    The Book and Periodical Illustrations of Arthur Hughes, by Maroussia Oakley and Mark Godburn’s Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets are now available to purchase. Outside the UK they may be purchased through Oak Knoll.  Members please log on to the Members’ page for information about receiving your copy. 

    Also in the latter stages of preparation is Private Presses in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, by David Chambers. The text is complete, but will require careful editing because of the complexity of the material. It will consist of two volumes, the second being the bibliography.

    Upcoming Book Fairs

     We are also pleased to have a stall again at the PBFA York National Premier Book Fair again this year on 16 and 17 September. We also plan on a presence at the Autumn PBFA Bath Fair on 8 October. Details of all PBFA Fairs are found on their website fairs calendar.

  • Diamond Jubilee in 2016

    Become a member today and join us in our Diamond Jubilee Year. We have already celebrated with two grand occasions. On May 4th we enjoyed a wonderful celebration luncheon at the Atheneum, in honour of 60 years of the PLA. In addition, this year’s members’ AGM was held on 8th June at the spectacular neo-Gothic John Rylands Library in Manchester, where we received a tour and private viewing. Photos from both events can be seen on the members’ page. 

    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.

     In addition, in honour of our Diamond Jubilee in 2016, a new book is in the planning stages which will celebrate our members’ own private libraries.  (more…)

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.