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45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair Will Dazzle With Rare and Beautiful Treasures

From February 10 - 12, 2012, Southern California will become the rare book capital of the world as thousands of book lovers, U.S. and international dealers and scholars converge for the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Pasadena Convention Center. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, prints, maps, photographs and more.

Published on 19 Jan. 2012

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Prestigious Biannual Book Exhibition Checks Into Pasadena For The First Time


From February 10 - 12, 2012, Southern California will become the rare book capital of the world as thousands of book lovers, U.S. and international dealers and scholars converge for the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Pasadena Convention Center. Recognized as one of the world’s largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, prints, maps, photographs and more.

Featuring the collections and rare treasures of more than 200 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the Book Fair will feature volumes from five centuries of printing as well as original manuscripts that predate Gutenberg. Rare books will cover every imaginable area of interest - from the history of travel and exploration, early science and medicine to classic literature, modern first editions, children’s and illustrated books, and the arts. Items range in price from a few dollars to more than six figures.

“It’s impossible to walk through the aisles of the Book Fair without being wowed by the visual beauty and cultural significance of the volumes on display. First time visitors are amazed that they can browse, touch and even go home with items that they imagine could only be found in a museum or special collections library.” (Michael R. Thompson, Book Fair Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA, which organizes the event).

Exploring the avid pursuits of collectors past and present, the California International Antiquarian Book Fair will feature a special exhibit entitled


A Love Affair with Books: Personal Stories of Noted Collectors


This colorful, wide-ranging exhibit spotlights legendary library builders as well as the contemporary Southern California book lovers including:

Railroad magnate Henry Huntington amassed a spectacular collection of rare books and manuscripts in the fields of British and American history and literature which make up the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world: the Huntington Library.

Philanthropist William Andrews Clark, Jr. formed a collection that makes up one of the nation’s most comprehensive rare books and manuscripts libraries with particular strengths in 17th and 18th century English literature and history, Oscar Wilde and fine printing: UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar collects children’s books with an emphasis on the works of Victorian illustrator Arthur Rackham.

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan has assembled an encyclopedic cinema collection.

Academy Award-winning producer and director Tony Bill’s collection documents the history of early aviation; it is now part of the San Francisco International Airport Aviation Museum & Library.

Monsignor Francis J. Weber has published and built a big collection of small books all measuring less than 4 inches.

Librarian and gemologist Mary Murphy began her collection dedicated to precious stones and jewelry to advance her professional knowledge and 30 years later has a private library of over 600 items.

A past president of the Zamorano Club, California’s oldest book club, Gordon J. Van De Water has long collected books dealing with California and the West.

The Ward Ritchie Collection from Occidental College presents the work of the world-renowned, Southern California-based fine book printer.

The Lawrence Clark Powell Collection from Occidental College honors the legendary librarian and literary bibliographer who founded the UCLA School of Library Service.


Book Fair Seminars and Lectures


The Book Fair also includes seminars on the basics of collecting as well as various themed topics.


Jefferson’s Legacy: Building the Rare Book Collections at the Library of Congress


A talk by Library of Congress Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Mark Dimunation. Sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America.

Saturday, February 11, 2012, 1 pm


A Love Affair with Books: Personal Stories of Noted Collectors


Panel discussion about building collections featuring Tony Bill, Kenneth Turan and Mary Murphy. Moderated by TV/radio personality Patt Morrison.

Saturday, February 11, 2012, 3 pm


Topics and Problems in IRS Appraisals (2 hours-ABAA/ILAB Members Only)


Presented by Charles Goldsmid and Sheryl Jaeger. The process of appraisal and topics such as: problems in determining fair market value (including IRS requirements regarding "appropriate markets," conditions" affecting gifts, and authentication); comps when there are "no comps"; the question of media (books, original paper, Xeroxes, thumbdrives, etc.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012, 8.45 am


Book Collecting 101


Presented by Katy Carter, Brad Johnson and Carol Sandberg. Noted rare booksellers will provide a speed course on the essentials you need to know to start collecting. What makes a book rare? Edition, condition, availability (rarity & value), etc. The different areas of collecting: Early Books such as the Nuremberg Chronicle, Early Bibles, 19th Century Literature, Modern Literature like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as well as Children’s Books such as Dr. Seuss’ first book And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street. Internet as a research tool for shopping: EBay versus ABE, how not to get duped, and how to build a trusting relationship with your bookseller.

Sunday, February 12, 2012, 11.30 am


Discovery Day


Sunday, February 12 is Discovery Day, which gives attendees the opportunity to present up to three items to experts for free examination.


45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair


February 10 - 12, 2012

Pasadena Convention Center


Book Fair hours


Friday, February 10 from 3 pm. to 8 pm

Saturday, February 11 from 11 am to 7 pm

Sunday, February 12 from 11 am to 5 pm

For more information, visit www.labookfair.com and join the Fair on Twitter and Facebook.

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