Current News & Events

  • From all of us at The PLA, we wish our members and associated friends in the trade an exciting new year and that your book collections keep expanding.

    Events coming up:

    The new year 2019 brings 2 PBFA events which are:

    12th January at The Knavesmire Suite, York Racecourse YO23 1EX, from 10-4.30pm. £1.00 admission. Tel: 01904 638227

    A free shuttle bus running every 30mins will depart from Memorial Gardens, next to York Railway station (turn left out of the exit, and it is about 50 yards). Buses are run by York Pullman Bus Company.

    27th January in Stratford-upon-Avon at The Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School, Chapel Lane, CV37 6BE 10-4pm admission free.

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


    Etc Fairs run the Bloomsbury Book Fair at The Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury WC1H 0DG with the next book fair on Sunday 13th January 10-3.30pm admission £2 untill 12.30pm and thereafter is free. On the 27th December 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


    The St. Brides Foundation  2 events – 21st-28th January – The St. Brides Foundation Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London is holding a Three Week Hand Composition & Letterpress Course to be held on Monday Evenings 14th, 21st and 28th January 2019. Standard course fee is £195.00 with concession at £175.00. See for further information.

    31st January – Another event for all is to be held at St Bride is a “Tour of St Bride Foundation – Behind Fleet Street” on Thursday 31st January 2018 from 11:00 – 14:00, price £10 and booking required. The tour will cover the printing workshop, historic rooms, and famous library and you will get the chance to view some of the items in the library’s special collection and learn more about the Foundation and its significant place in the illustrious history of the printing press trade. Perfect for designers, printmakers, or just lovers of history.
    Coming up in February…….

    The Oxford Guild of Printers are holding a talk to be given by Daryl Green, Librarian at Magdalen College on the subject of Peter Apian’s Typography & Initials. This talk will be held in the ‘Green Room’ in Charlbury Memorial Hall on Monday, 4 February 2019. The time of this event is “probably” 7.30pm but check with The Chariman and Events Secretary Miles Whigfield:

    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: – 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.



    January’s International Book Fair 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 Zee Jaipur Literature Festival held in Jaipur, India from 24th – 28th January.  There will be 2,000 speakers and an estimated attendance of over 1 million.

    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

    New York City, USA – From January 22nd to the 26th in New York City, “The Bibliography Week 2019″ will take place at locations throughout the city happens each year in New York City at the end of January when the principal national organisations devoted to book history have their annual meetings. Look at the Grolier Club web site for further details:

    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.