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 March here are 6 PBFA events which are:

    2-3rd Oxford Premier at Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, OX3 0BP from 12-6.00pm on Saturday and 10-4pm on Sunday. £2.00 admission. Complimentary tickets available from

    9th Edgbaston, Mac Brimingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH. 10-4pm. Admission free.

    10th Wilton. The Michael Herbert Hall, South Street, SP2 0JS. 10.30-4pm. Admission £1.

    15-16th Harrogate Premier at The Derwent & Calder Rooms. Pavilions of Harrogate, Yorkshire Event Centre, HG2 8NZ. Friday 11-5pm and Saturday 10-4pm. Admission £2.

    29-30th Edinburgh Premier Fair (with The ABA) at The Radisson Blu Hotel, 80 High Street, Royal Mile, EH1 1TH. Friday 12-7pm and Saturday 10-5pm. Free admission.

    30th Stamford at The Arts Centre, Sr. Mary’s Street, PE9 2DL. 10-4pm. Admission £1.

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

    The Society of Wood Engravers (SWE) will hold their 81st annual exhibition at The Zillah Bell Gallery, Zillah Bell Galleries, 15 Kirkgate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 1PQ from 9th March to 30th March. The Private View is on Friday 8th March.

    The Printmakers Council invites you to join them on a journey into print. Journeys will encompass traditional & innovative original print exploring this wide theme, from artists’ personal journeys, commuting and holidays, to dream journeys, migrations and immigration, and all packed neatly in A4 frames to be held at The London Print Studio, London 5-15 March 2019 and 19-30 March at Jack House Gallery, Portsmouth.

    The London Book Fair (12th-14th March 2019) at Olympia, London W14 8UX will also host The British Book Award for Export to highlight the financial importance and success of British publishing and the export value it provides. See for further details.

    The University of Cambridge Sandars Lectures for 2018-19 will be given on 11th, 12th and 13th March (5-6pm) by Dr William Noel (Director of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania). These will explore the relationship between manuscript pages and digital images, and between physical and digital collections, examining the importance of interfaces in shaping audience and enquiry, and the potential of tools to aid in the archaeology of the medieval book.

    Seats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis; attendance is free and all are welcome, with the final lecture followed by a drinks reception. The venue is the McCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College (accessed off Bene’t Street rather than through the main college entrance on King’s Parade).

    For further information go to


    The Alderney Literary Festival of Historical Literature on 29th-31st March, 2019. See


    Etc Fairs run the Bloomsbury Book Fair at The Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury WC1H 0DG with the next book fair on Sunday 10th March 10-3.30pm admission £2 untill 12.30pm and thereafter is free. On the 31st  March, The Book, Ephemera and Postcard Fair will be held from 9.30am to 3pm with £1.50 admission all day.

    For further information look at

    Coming up in April……

    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.


    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: – 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.



    March International Book Fair and Literary Events Calendar

    There are numerous events either centred around the publishing trade or individual events celebrating cultural attachments or poetry with the stand out event being The 59th New York Antiquarian Book Fair (ABAA) March 7-9th at The Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, New York, Between 66/67 Streets. tickets from $10.

    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


    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.