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Virtual Fairs in the US and the UK open this week!

As many book fairs across the Globe were cancelled due to the Corona crisis, booksellers adapted to the new situation. Virtual book fairs will run this week in the US and the UK!
Published on 03 June 2020
Firsts Online

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association in the UK (ABA) are launching a virtual fair this week. 

Various lists and catalogues have been prepared by dealers exclusively for these events and a selection of items are now uploaded. 

On 4 June 2020 at  AT 10AM EDT the US ABAA Virtual Book Fair will go live here:

On 5 June 2020 at 2PM GMT, FIRSTS ONLINE, the digital alternative to London's rare book fair FIRSTS will go live here:

Virtual Fairs combined

ABAA Virtual Book Fair - "We would rather be together"

This online event showcases fresh material from ABAA booksellers across the country. The books, manuscripts, and ephemera featured will be available only at the fair. Visitors will be first in line for handpicked highlights and new acquisitions. They will also be able to interact with ABAA booksellers in real time.

“Even though the pandemic has forced many booksellers to close their shops and shelter at
home, the work of sourcing and cataloging new material has continued, and we’re excited to
showcase what ABAA members have been working on these past few months,”
said ABAA
President Brad Johnson.
Featuring more than 100 ABAA booksellers, the Virtual Book Fair presents volumes from six
centuries of printing, as well as original manuscripts. Books cover every imaginable area -- from the history of travel and exploration to early science and medicine, from classic literature to modern first editions, as well as autographs, photography, and children’s and illustrated books.
“We’ve been working hard to create a dynamic experience,” said ABAA Vice President Sheryl
Jaeger, who’s leading the Virtual Book Fair planning. “We would rather be together, but this
book fair experience provides an opportunity for connection and serendipity.”


FIRSTS ONLINE - "Virtual fairs are being embraced by dealers and customers alike"

Featuring over 110 dealers from 15 countries, each exhibitor has been invited to showcase up to 12 highlights not previously offered. This smaller showcase of items has encouraged dealers to upload many of their most interesting and significant pieces, creating a remarkable and diverse selection from around the world. Items will be searchable by category, dealer, and keyword with each item featuring a brief description, condition, and price. Viewers and customers will be able to contact dealers directly and enquire on particular items.
Once an item is sold, exhibitors will be able to upload further items, giving audiences the opportunity to visit the website daily to see what is new. 

Speaking on the launch of the digital event, Fair Chairman Pom Harrington says: “Fairs remain an important fixture in the world of fine collectables and art, and virtual fairs are being
embraced by dealers and customers alike. We are delighted to be able to host Firsts London
in a digital format this year and provide our exhibitors and colleagues a platform to showcase
their items. The ABA already had a great asset in the Firsts London website, which enabled
this new venture to move ahead fairly seamlessly. We thank our exhibitors for fully supporting
the digital fair format and are confident it will be a success.


The first virtual fair was launched by the French Antiquarian Booksellers Association, SLAM in April 2020 when the Paris Rare Book Fair at the Grand Palais had to be cancelled. The SLAM Council initiated a "Grand Palais Virtuel" which was a successful venture for dealers as well as for the fairs' exposure to the media. 

Join ILAB booksellers at this new fair model and browse and shop bookseller's offerings directly! 



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