Current News & Events

  • Events coming up:

    November PBFA events are a ready underway on the 3rd and as such there are now only 3 more until December. These are:

    10th November – Northern Illustrated Children’s and Detective Fiction Fair to be held at The Wharfe Room, Pavillions of Harrogate, Yorkshire Event Centre, HG2 8NZ, £1 admission. Then on Sunday 11th at Dorchester at Stratton Hall, The Square, Stratton DT2 9WG admission £1. The fair at Edgbastion, Mac Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH  free admission on the 28th ends October’s PBFA events. As usual look at the PBFA web site for further details: or email


    Etc Fairs run the Bloomsbury Book Fair and also the Book & Ephemera Fair at The Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury WC1H 0DG with the next book fair on Sunday 11th November 10am to 3.30pm £2 admission (free after 12.30pm). The next Ephemera Fair including the pulp and paperback fair will be held on the 25th November 9.30am to 3pm with an admission fee of £1.50.

    For further information look at


    Small Publishers Fair – Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL on the 9th & 10th  November from 11am  – 7pm.
    The Small Publishers’ Fair is an annual celebration of books by contemporary artists, poets, writers and book designers.

    Revolutionary Typefaces Then and Now with Cambridge University Libraries – Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP on Tuesday 13th November 2018 between 18:30 – 20:00.

    A panel of esteemed designers; Craig Oldham, David Jury, Barbara Brownie and Dennis Duncan will debate the biggest advances in typeface design across the centuries and the importance of preserving typefaces for future generations of designers all over the world.

    To book tickets see

    Manchester Print Fair to be held at The Central Library, St. Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 5PD on Saturday 24th November 10.30-4.15. See the twitter page

    Winter Wayzgoose at The Story of Books, Hay-on-Wye.  – Winter Wayzgooze, 10am-3pm, Saturday 24 November at The Story of Books, 20 Castle Street, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5DF. Admission free.

    This is part of The Hay Festival Winter Weekend, 22nd November 2018 – 25th November 2018 and several political commentators and authors will present talks about current issues (tickets required). See for full details.

    ABA “Lives in The Book Trade” – The Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA Educational Trust) is hosting a 2 day conference “Lives in The Book Trade” on the 25th – 26th November at The Stationers’ Hall, Ave Maria Lane, London EC4M 7DD. Please use the following links for further details and booking: (ABOUT) (BOOKING).
    Coming up in December…….
    The PLA will have a stand at The PBFA London Christmas Book Fair to be held at The Holiday Inn, London Bloomsbury, Coram Street, London WC1N 1HT. Come and support Holly and Kevin on the day from 10.30 till 4.30 admission £2.

    AbeBooks U-turn over plans to stop trading in 4 countries after backlash from booksellers and trade organisations

    After Abe announced it was to stop booksellers from Russia, South Korea, The Czech Republic and Hungary from listing on it’s site there was a strong reaction from international booksellers and trade bodies. There are many web pages devoted to this issue and the current one to read is


    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: – Details of international book fairs and festivals – 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

    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.



    November’s International Book Fair Calendar

    There are numerous events either centred around the publishing trade or individual events celebrating cultural attachments or poetry with locations such as The Sharjah International Book Fair, UAE 31st October to the 11th November, to China with The Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair, from the 9th until the 11th November, Istanbul Book Fair, Turkey 10th – 18th November as examples of non-European book fairs of which, there are many being held this month.


    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.