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Actualités Svenska Antikvariatföreningen

Stockholm's Bookmässa - The annual gathering for Scandinavian and international booklovers

In just a few days, the next Stockholm Book Fair will open its doors - to the seasoned collector, but also to a younger and more diverse audience - book lovers of all generations. The fair has seen a transformation in recent years...
Flyer 2024

Since the late 1950s, an annual antiquarian book fair has been a fixture in Stockholm. Its inaugural edition took place in the halls of Ostermans Marmorhallar in 1959 and over the years, the fair found a home in various locations, from the elegant setting of the Hotel Anglais to the Grünewald Hall (Konserthuset), the City Hall, and even the Army Museum.
In recent years, the fair has found a permanent home in the majestic halls of the Academy of Arts. In the heart of Stockholm, this grand venue offers a perfect central location but also state of the art exhibition space with natural light filtering through the exhibition room's skylights.

As time has passed, the fair has evolved from a niche gathering for antiquarian enthusiasts to a vibrant hub for all things related to the physical book. While rare book dealers remain central, exhibitors now also include bookbinders, library associations, and smaller publishers, each offering a unique perspective on the world of printed material.

A popular feature of the Stockholm Book Fair are the book history lectures, which are organised in collaboration with the Friends of the Royal Library "Biblis" (Bibliotekets vänförening Biblis). The lectures take place in the beautiful library of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts on a wide range of topics.

Here an extract of this year's programme:

"Brottsplats KB / Crime Scene Royal Library",
i.e. the notorious thefts of rare books from the Royal Library, is the subject of a lecture by librarians Greger Bergvall and Jan Ottosson together with criminologist Lars Korsell. They will talk about the great efforts to get the stolen treasures back to the library
Time & place: The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts Library on Saturday 9 March at 15:00.

And Badin, who was he? Born around 1750 in the Danish West Indies, he grew up at the Swedish court and became the most famous Afro-Swede during the Gustavian era. He was also an avid book collector! Based on the book auction after his death, antiquarian bookseller Harald Hultqvist talks about "Badin's books". He will also bring some volumes from Badin's collection.
Time & place: The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts Library Sunday 10 March at 12 pm.

We will then take a 100-year leap forward in time from Badin to the late 19th century and get a guided tour of "Decadent books of the turn of the century" by Hillevi Norburg, author, translator and publisher at the decadent publishing house Alastor Press: "Are you fascinated by the night side of life? Perhaps you suffer from boredom and a hypersensitive aesthetic sense? For the Decadents, the answer was yes. In the artificial paradise of literature, occultism, drugs, and debauchery, they sought a last spasmodic direction before the end of the world"
Time & place: The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts Library Sunday 10 March at 13.

As for its visitors, the fair has witnessed a remarkable transformation. Once frequented primarily by seasoned book collectors, the event now attracts a diverse and enthusiastic crowd. Younger visitors, in particular, are discovering the breadth of print culture, extending beyond classic editions to encompass an interesting selection of posters, pamphlets, prints, and curiosities.

The Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Svenska Antikvariatföreningen (SVAF), welcomes all bibliophiles and the rare book trade to its 2024 Bookmässa - Vi ses i Stockholm - See you in Stockholm!

For all information about the fair, visit the website HERE

Copyright for all images is with the Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Svenska Antikvariatföreningen (SVAF)