Current News & Events

  • The PFBA London Fair held at The IBIS Hotel, Earls Court was a great success being in tandem with The ABA in Battersea Park and many new members joined at our busy stand.

    We are at The Bristol Fair July 5-6th so come along and support us.

    Events coming up:

    In July there are 5 PBFA events which are:

    5th-6th Bristol – The Passenger Shed, Station Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QH.  Friday 1pm to 7pm and Saturday 10-4.30pm. Admission £2. Held in conjunction with The ABA.

    6th Northampton – Park Inn by Radisson, Silver Street, Northampton. NN1 2TA. 10-4pm. Admission £1.

    13th Norwich – The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF. 10-4pm. Free admission.

    14th Southwell – The Saracen’s Head Hotel, Market Place, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0HE. 10-4pm. Free admission.

    26th-27th Ilkley – Kings Hall & Winter Garden, Station Road, LS29 8HB. Friday 12pm to 6pm. Saturday 10am to 4pm. Free admission.

    As usual look at the PBFA web site for further details: or email

    The summer literary festivals are in full swing and details can be found on the Literary Festivals UK website –


    19th June–25 July 2019 – The Society of Wood Engravers’ (SWE) 81st annual exhibition travels to Penwith Gallery, Back Road West, St.Ives, Cornwall. TR26 1NL. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00 – 17.00. Telephone 01736 795579 or email –


    Friday 7th June to Sunday 8th September 2019 – British Library Exhibition: Leonardo da Vinci: A Mind in Motion. To mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, The British Library brings together highlights from three of his remarkable notebooks. Admission fee applies.


    Writing: Making Your Mark, opens Fri 26 Apr – Tue 27 Aug 2019 at The British Library – A new exhibition that follows the evolution of writing from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs carved in stone and early printed text such as William Caxton’s edition of The Canterbury Tales, to the art of note-taking by some of history’s greatest minds to the digital communication tools in use today.


    Etc Fairs run the Bloomsbury Book Fair at The Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury WC1H 0DG with the next book fair on Sunday 14th July, 10-3.30pm admission £2 untill 12.30pm and thereafter is free. On the 28th July, The Book, Ephemera Fair will be held in from 9.30am to 3pm with £1.50 admission all day.

    For further information look at

    OGP Summer  Picnic – The Oxford Guild of Printers will be holding their annual Guild Picnic on the 28th July hosted by Richard Lawrence, 15, Rectory Road, Oxford, OX4 1BU – Please contact either the Guild or Richard Lawrence to confirm.


    The Society of Bookbinders various regions begin to have events and meetings and this UK-based educational charity which is dedicated to traditional and contemporary bookbinding and to the preservation and conservation of the printed and written word showcases annually the best of British bookbinding.


    Victoria & Albert Museum National Art Library temporary closure – upcoming notice for anyone planning a visit in August as from Tuesday 13th August to Saturday 24th August it will be closed for the annual stock-take.




    There are many web sites dedicated to specific aspects of the book trade and specialists will know of them. Listed below are a few that give an overview of fairs, news, bookshops and services to the trade: – The Australian & New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers – Represents the antiquarian book trade in Australia and New Zealand. – Site for calligraphy, letterpress, linocut and letter carving workshops – Letterpress printers offering training courses – American based daily update on all aspects of the book trade, authors, news, publications and even scandal. – Details of international book fairs and festivals – The Society of Bookbinders; events, competitions and news – gives details of literary events mostly in the UK and Ireland but good coverage of overseas events – overview of fairs, news, bookshops – modern authors and trade news – sourcing rare and out of print books but with insights into the market, pricing and regulations – The Centre for Printing History and Culture run by the two Universities of Birmingham – Britain’s leading Fine Press printers, a wide range of design, printing and publishing amateurs and professionals. – International letterpress and printmaking information from a Belgium graphic designer – North American book fair, literary events and auctions information site that also has international information. – ATypI, Association Typographique Internationale – The global forum and focal point for the type community and business.


    Videos of proprietors of presses and publishers talking about their art and creative path can be found online with a broad brush coverage of the arts including publishers but mostly of painters and installation artists. has a comprehensive advice and how to do and who does what in publishing for writers and artists.



    July International Book Fair and Literary Events Calendar:

    There are other European literary events and details of these can be found on

    There is a busy summer book fair schedule in the USA and based in America has a useful list of book fairs, auctions and literary events listed that are held in North America and overseas. See

    The National Print Museum, Dublin, Ireland – A Letterpress Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the First Moon Landing.  The National Print Museum is delighted to announce an exhibition of work by Year 2 BA [Hons] Illustration students of the National College of Art and Design. Runs until 21st June 2019. Web:

    Early Private Presses 1730-1900, by David Chambers

    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.

  • 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.