Current News & Events

  • Innocents engraving

    “Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness…. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing.”

    —Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist



    The Bristol Book Fair kicks off the summer…

    The PLA had a wonderful two days at the PBFA Bristol Premier Book Fair on June 30 and July 1. We signed up new members and chatted to several current members who stopped by our stall to say hello. The fair itself was great fun, as has become custom for this new fair, with entertainment, food and drink as well as over one hundred stalls this year selling all manner of vintage and rare books, maps and printed ephemera. There was a great deal of interest in David Chambers’ new book, Private Presses in Britain in the 18th and 19th Centuries, which will be published in two volumes and will be the member book for 2017 and 2018 – a very good reason to get your subscription form in before the end of 2017!

    The PBFA and the ABA both have extensive UK-wide fair calendars and it is very much worth having a look at both their websites for information regarding their fairs. PBFA regularly hosts over 60 fairs each year throughout the UK, so there will be no doubt that wherever you live you will have a fair close by. Other fairs this summer include, among others,  Ilkley on the 28th and 29th July, Exeter on the 6th of August and Stratford upon Avon on the 26th of August.

    Oxford Fine Press Book Fair postponed

    The fair, which was scheduled for November, has been postponed this year due to the ongoing reconstruction work of Headington Hall at Oxford Brookes University. According to the FPBA website: “the PBFA (who manage the Fair) have agreed with the FPBA that it should be postponed until 24-25 March 2018 and held at the Headington Campus. We expect the Fair schedule will otherwise remain the same with the following one in November 2019.” Please see the FPBA events page for more information.

    PLA books for 2017 and beyond

    Both The Book and Periodical Illustrations of Arthur Hughes, by Maroussia Oakley and Mark Godburn’s Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets, published last summer, have been exceptionally well received and copies of both books 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 published in 2018. 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.

  • Join today! 

    Become a member today and join an ever growing community of book enthusiasts…at last count over 450 individual members and over 80 institutional members! The year 2016 marked our 60th anniversary and the momentum of enthusiasm for all things PLA continues to grow. We have no doubt 2017 is the beginning of another 6 successful decades for the PLA.

    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. Students and anyone under the age of 26 will receive membership at only £15…so all young book collectors should sign up today!


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.