Current News & Events

  • Innocents engraving

    “I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.” -Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room


    Spring Book Fairs and Events 

    Rare Books London 2017:  24 May – 12 June

    A festival of fairs, talks and tours…a not to be missed 2 weeks In London of all things to do with rare and antiquarian books. See for all information. 

    The PLA had an enjoyable day on April 1, with a stall at the Bath Book Fair. The PLA presence at the PBFA Bath, Bristol and York book fairs has become a firm event in our annual calendar and we encourage our members to come along to these fairs.

    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. This Spring you will find PBFA fairs from Devizes to the Scottish Borders, including the Oxford Premier 2 day fair on 22 April and, of course, the London International Fair from 1-3 June, which, along with the ABA London International Antiquarian Book Fair, are part of the festival Rare Books London 2017.  This being the 60th anniversary of the ABA, there is a combined free ticket to both fairs, but you must register for the free ticket. Click here to go straight to the ABA ticket page. The 2 day Premier Fair at Bristol kicks off the summer, commencing on June 30.

    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.

    New books for 2017 and beyond

    Hot off the press!
    Our much anticipated book, The Book and Periodical Illustrations of Arthur Hughes, by Maroussia Oakley, is now available for sale. Mark Godburn’s Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets, published this summer, has 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 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.

  • Join today! 

    Become a member today and join an ever growing community of book enthusiasts. The year 2016 marked the 60th anniversary of the PLA, and we hope 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.


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.