Current News & Events

  • Have a prosperous new year to all our members…


    25th January 2018, 7-9 pm
    Organised by The University of London Society of Bibliophiles at Peter Harrington, London, WIS 4FF

    Innocents engraving


    Winter is fast approaching, and the Private Libraries Association would like to wish our members and all book collectors near and far a very happy holiday season.

    2017 was an exciting year for us, and we have been greatly encouraged at the number of new book collectors who have joined the PLA. We have a busy year ahead for 2018, both in terms of publications and events. The most current news can always be found here on the home page. Keep your eye on our website for information as the year goes on…

    Early Private Presses 1730-1900, by David Chambers

    Become a member before December 31, 2017 and receive as a free member book. 

    This is the first comprehensive study of the private presses in the British Isles that were active in the 18th and 19th centuries. It will be printed in early 2018. In two volumes: Vol. 1 The Presses, c 300 pp, 75 illus. Vol 2: Bibliography, c. 300 pp. Cloth boards, imperial octavo. Both volumes will be issued as the free member book for the two years 2017 & 2018 combined. (To be included in the distribution of free copies of this standard edition, the PLA membership subscription must be paid for both years.) It is priced at £80 for both volumes, trade discount 25%. Special editions also available, 30 copies, both volumes bound in full morocco, in slip cases, with selected original leaves taken from 14 volumes of the presses concerned, price about £750. A further 70 copies will be issued with both volumes bound in quarter morocco, in slip cases, with original leaves from the same volumes, price about £375. 25% discount to PLA members or the trade. Postage extra. Join today and receive for free or reserve your copy using our order form. If you would like the prospectus pdf emailed to you, please send us a request using the contact form. The book description is on the publications books page.

    Winter Party, January 25, 2018, Peter Harrington, London

    PLA members are warmly invited to our winter party, co-sponsored with the University of London Society of Bibliophiles. The party will be held on 25 January 2018 at Peter Harrington, London W1S 4FF. Please RSVP using our contact form

    The Private Library: Quarterly Journal update 

    For those who are familiar with our well regarded journal, The Private Library, the ‘current’ issue and the season and date on the cover do not seem to be in agreement — journal dates are about a year behind. This is due to falling behind some years ago, yet the editorial board is hard at work catching up! 

    The two latest issues of The Private Library that were sent to members in November 2017 are Autumn 2016, a 60 page issue with colour illustrations on the special editions of the Folio Society, and Winter 2016, which is a normal 48 page issue on the library of Philip Ward, our founder, and illustrator Joan Hassall in Scotland. The Spring and Summer 2016 issue is a double issue and has not yet been sent out as it is still in proof, but it will consist of 128 pages on the Caradoc Press.  As always, our quarterly journal is free to members yet can be purchased as a series or in individual copies. Please use the on-line order form to purchase your copy.

    Oxford Fine Press Book Fair update

    The PLA will have a stall at the 2017 fair, which will now take place on 24-25 March 2018 at the Kassam Stadium Conference and Events Centre  in Oxford, details of which can be found at The fair will be occupying the Exhibition Area on the ground floor and the Quadrangle Suite on the first floor. As before, the FPBA plan to have stalls for presses, specialist book dealers, trade suppliers, and related organisations. Further details will be announced as plans develop. Keep abreast of information at We hope to see many PLA members at this most enjoyable fair.

  • 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. 2017 was the beginning of what we are confident will be another 6 successful decades for the PLA and 2018 will offer exciting new publications as well as fairs and events for our members.

    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. A new feature, established in 2017, is a member page on-line exhibition. Members who wish to submit images and a short description of books from their collection are warmly invited do so. Any member interested in submitting photos of their collection should contact our Hon Secretary, Jim Maslen, via the contact form.  In addition, as correspondence within the Association is encouraged, a Members’ Handbook is issued about every three years, listing member contacts and collecting interests. A new handbook will be issued in 2018.