Current News & Events

  • Exciting News!

    The Oxford Guild of Printers reports in the February newsletter that following a suggestion by Graham Moss (Incline Press) and Paul Kidson (Ludlow Bookbinders) at our Winter Wayzgoose that it is planned to open a private press bookshop in Hay-on-Wye on March 19th 2019. Please contact Emma & Oliver Balch: for further information on this interesting project.

    Events coming up:

    In May there are now 4 PBFA events left which are:

    11th Darlington -Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Vane Terrace, DL3 7AU. 10-4pm. Admission £1.

    18th Lincoln – The Judge’s Lodgings. Castle Square, LN1 3AA. 10-4pm. Admission £1.

    19th Dorchester – Stratton Hall, The Square, Stratton, DT2 9WG. 10.30-4pm. Admission £1.

    25th Scottish Borders – Corn Exchange, Market Square, Melrose, TD6 9PN. 10-4pm. Admission £1.

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


    7th-11th – Chipping Camden Literature Festival.

    10th May to 9th June – The Society of Wood Engravers’ (SWE) 81st annual exhibition travels to Clare in Suffolk for the first time. Sea Pictures Gallery, Well House, Well Lane, Clare, Suffolk CO10 8NH. Winter opening hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 10am-5pm. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday – Closed. Telephone 01787 279024 or email –

    May 11th – Chipping Campden Wayzgoose – Church Rooms, St James ChurchChurch StreetChipping Campden, England, GL55. 10-4:00pm.

    19th May St. Brides Foundation Wayzgoose, Bride Lane Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 8EQ. 11am-6pm. Tel: 020 7353 3331. Email:

    23rd May to 2nd June – Hay Festival Wales – Hay-on-Wye, Wales. See web site for details of this wide ranging literary event.

    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.

    3rd May to 1st June 2019 RE ORIGINAL PRINTS 2019 – Bankside Gallery, Thames Riverside, 48 Hopton Street, London SE1 9JH. The Royal Society of Painter Printmakers are among the best artists working in printed media today and this annual exhibition displays new works in linocut, etching, screen print, among other skillful techniques by leading printmakers. Embracing both established and experimental techniques, the original prints in this exhibition endeavour to inspire artists and delight visitors. Tel. 020 7928 7521. 


    Etc Fairs run the Bloomsbury Book Fair at The Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury WC1H 0DG with the next book fair on Sunday 15th May 10-3.30pm admission £2 untill 12.30pm and thereafter is free. On the 26th May, The Book, Ephemera and Postcard Fair will be held in from 9.30am to 3pm with £1.50 admission all day.

    For further information look at


    Coming up in June……

    ALL PLA MEMBERS – The next Council meeting and the AGM will be held on Wednesday 5th June 2019 – provisionally to be held at CILIP, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE between 2pm to 5pm. Please contact Jim Maslen to confirm.

    31st May to 8th June 2019 – Derby Book Festival – The Derby Book Festival celebrates the joy of books and reading for all ages and interests, with a programme featuring great writers, poets, historians, politicians, illustrators, storytellers and musicians. Each year internationally celebrated, best-selling authors as well as a broad range of local writing talent take part and include an exciting children, families and educational programme. Various locations in the city but mostly held at The QUAD. Admission fees apply. email:

    Monday, 3 June 2019 – Oxford Guild of Printers. Graham Moss, Incline Press of Oldham: ‘Minding your Ps and Qs: the language of letterpress’ See web site for details

    7th – 9th June 2019 – Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair – The ABA summer fair at Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park. This major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world. To be opened by Stephen Fry. Opening times: Friday 7th June: 12pm – 8pm, Saturday 8th June: 11am – 7pm and Sunday 9th June: 11am – 5pm. Entry is £20 for Two on opening day, Friday 7 June. You can register for free tickets via the web site.

    6th to 7th June 2019 London Antiquarian Book Fair – ILEC Conference Centre, Ibis London Earls Court Hotel, 47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD. Opening times: 6th June 2019, 12:00 – 19:00 and 7th June 2019, 10:00 – 19:00. Free admission.

    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.

    10th May to 9th June – The Society of Wood Engravers’ (SWE) 81st annual exhibition travels to Clare in Suffolk for the first time. Sea Pictures Gallery, Well House, Well Lane, Clare, Suffolk CO10 8NH. Winter opening hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 10am-5pm. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday – Closed. Telephone 01787 279024 or email –

    18 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 The Society of Wood Engraves is delighted to be taking its annual show to St. Ives this summer. St. Ives has long attracted artists for the magical light in this traditional fishing village. The exhibition will be held at the Penwith Gallery, which is home to the Penwith Society of Arts. Monday to Saturday: 10.00 – 17.00. Admission – Free. Tel. 01736 795579

    1st and 2nd JuneBookCon 2019 – Javits Center, 655 W. 34th Street, New York, NY 10001. Saturday, June 1, 10-6 and Sunday, June 2, 10-5.

    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.




    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 – 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.



    May International Book Fair and Literary Events Calendar:

    PEN WORLD VOICES FESTIVAL New York City, USA May 6th to May 12th

    Join more than 200 writers and artists representing over 50 nationalities in New York City for the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival: Open Secrets. In 70+ events in venues across New York City, the 15th anniversary of New York’s first international literary festival will gather nonfiction and fiction writers, thinkers, and activists to discuss what we reveal and what we withhold, and the opportunities and dangers inherent in the rapid reconfiguring of the public and the private in the literary, cultural, social, and political realms.      Web:

    There are other European literary events and details of these can be found on based in America has a useful list of book fairs, auctions and literary events being 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.