Current News & Events

  • Events coming up:

    December PBFA events are already underway on the 1st and as such there are now only 3 more in with one before Christmas and 2 at the end of December. These are:

    Sunday 9th at Exeter: Matthews Hall, Topsham, EX3 0HP from £1.00 admission.

    Saturday 29th at Market Harborough: Congregational Church Hall, High Street, LE16 73D from 10-4pm. £1.00 admission.

    Saturday 29th at Sherborne: Church Hall, Digby Road, DT9 3NL. from 10-4pm. £1.00 admission.

    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 9th December 10-3.30pm admission £2 untill 12.30pm and thereafter is free. On the 16th December The Book, Ephemera and Postcard Fair and includes The Small Antiques & Collectables Fair will be held from 9.30am to 3pm with £1.50 admission all day.

    For further information look at


    The St. Bride Foundation are holding wood engraving and rebinding paperbacks courses in December, See for further information.

    The PBFA held it’s London Christmas Book Fair at The Holiday Inn, London Bloomsbury on the 1st December and a good time as had by all despite the rain diluting attendance, with Kevin, Holly and David Chambers in attendance helping with queries and signing up new members.

    Coming up in 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.


    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.

    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.



    December’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 Più Libri Più Liberi (Rome Book Fair), Rome, Italy from the 5th to the 9th December, Sofia International Book Fair, Bulgaria from the 11th to 16th December and The Jeddah International Book Fair, Saudi Arabia from the 12th to the 22nd December being held this month. based in America has a useful list of book fairs, auctions and literary events being held in North America and overseas. See for the 1 remaining fair left in December Boston Book & Paper Row at the Boston Antiques Show & Design Sale on the 8th and 9th December.

    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.