Current News & Events

  • Events coming up:

    October’s events in the book trade are extensive and the PBFA leads the way with 8 events starting off with 3 events in the first weekend 6th and 7th at Bury St. Edmunds, Bath and further afield in Dublin. Thereafter there are fairs at Edinburgh and Sherbourne (east of Yeovil) on the 13th, Uppingham on the 20th, Bridport in Dorset on the 27th with the fair at Aberdeen on the 28th ending October’s PBFA events.

    The entry to these fairs are between £1-2 and are open generally from 10am until 5pm. 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 14th October 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 28th October 9.30am to 3pm with an admission fee of £1.50.

    For further information look at


    Oxford University (7 Colleges) Initial ImpressionsFriday 19 October, 1-4.30 pm

    Seven of Oxford University colleges will open their door to exhibit some of the most valued books from their libraries. The afternoon will start with a series of short presentations at Lincoln College. From 2pm, participants will be able to make their own way to the individual colleges. For further information on this event see


    London Literature Festival 18th-28th October at The Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX.

    Now in its twelfth year, Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival brings together today’s leading writers, thinkers and cultural observers to explore the burning issues of our times and the there will be a glittering array of literary, music and acting talent in discussion throughout including the Pulitzer prize-winning American author Marilynne Robinson, Polish novelist and 2018 Man Booker International Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk and Man Booker Prize-winning author Sir Salman Rushdie, Roger Daltrey lead singer of The Who and 2-time Academy award winner Sally Field.

    Admission fees apply and booking is required. See the web site:



    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).
    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.
    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.



    October’s International Book Fair Calendar

    There are numerous events either centred around the publishing trade or individual events celebrating cultural attachments or poetry and an novel approach to the Sci-Fi genre has been taken at The Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfuter Buchmese) from the 10th – 14th  October with Frankfurter Buchmesse’s very first Sci-Fi Lounge on Friday, 12 October 2018, 5 – 7 pm, in the new Frankfurt Pavilion at Agora. The lounge has been dedicated to SF author Ursula K. Le Guin and will serve as the central meeting point for all science fiction enthusiasts.


    Fine Art Print Fair – New York City

    River Pavilion, Javits Center, NYC, USA from 25th to -28th October. Admission is $25 each day or $55 for the whole event except preview night. Students and senior citizens $15.

    The fair encompasses the old masters and contemporary woodcut artists and artist books.




    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.

    The Private Library: Quarterly Journal update 

    The Spring and Summer 2016 issue is a double issue and is now with you and consists of 128 pages on the Caradoc Press.  It is the an expansive and definitive history of Harry and Hesba Webb, the husband and wife team and the Caradoc Press. As always, our quarterly journal is free to members yet can be purchased as a series or in individual copies. Please use the on-line order form to purchase your copy.

  • 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.