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California 2017 Events

Published on 30 Jan. 2017

Every year, the California fair offers a stimulating and exciting programme. Try and make time for some of the sessions. Bring your books for a free evaluation on "Discovery Day". Ask questions at "Book Collecting 101", Vic Zoschak will help and give guidance to new collectors. 

Book Collecting 101 - Presentations by the Calfornia Rare Book School - Seminars by the ABAA and Bibliographical Society of America  and the very popular Discovery Day! 

Saturday, February 11 

9:00 am - 10:30 am
California Rare Book School Presents: The Other Book: Ames Almanack Opens a Window on Colonial America. Presented by Susan M. Allen, Director of California Rare Book School. 

Two books were commonly found in eighteenth century households in North America: the Bible and the Other Book, or the Almanach. Susan M. Allen, who teaches "History of the Book, 200-1820," at California Rare Book School, will share an illustrated lecture from her course demonstrating how to "read" almanachs, both bibliographically and culturally, and how to decipher their puzzling tables. 

11:00 am - 12:30 pm
California Rare Book School Presents: Bound for El Dorado: Collecting California and the Far West.Presented by Gary F. Kurutz, Director of the Special Collections Branch, California State Library. 

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Meet Mr. Blake, An illustrated lecture by John Windle on the life, work, and influence of William Blake, given by an ABAA specialist in the literary and artistic output of this English genius. Jointly presented by the ABAA and the Bibliographical Society of America. 

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
California Rare Book School
Presents: Printers, Collectors, Bibliographers, and the Inquisition: A Brief Introduction to the History of the Book in Hispanic America. Presented by Daniel J. Slive, Head of Special Collections at the Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University and David Szewczyk of Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co. 

Sunday, February 12 

12:30 pm - 1:15 pm
Seminar: Book Collecting 101 Presented by Vic Zoschak Jr. of Tavistock Books Topics discussed to include: What to collect and collecting strategies, what is a "first edition", how to judge a book's condition, bookish terms and jargon, where to buy books and where to find additional information. 

1:15 pm - 2:00 pm
Seminar: What's This Book Worth?
 Presented by Vic Zoschak Jr. of Tavistock Books During this period, two frequently proffered questions will be addressed by one of our long-time ABAA members: 1. "I have this old book, is it worth anything?" And 2. "I have this rare book, what's it worth?" Expanding on the context of these two questions, appraisers will discuss the primary 4 factors that give books commercial and monetary value. Finally, strategies and venues for selling books will be offered, as well as when, and how to get books professionally appraised. 

2:00 - 3:30 pm
Seminar: Discovery Day

Exhibitors will offer interested individuals an opportunity to receive free appraisals on up to three books. Appraisals are limited to a first come, first served basis within the scheduled times. 


This year’s Book Fair will include a special exhibit from The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, which has a long history of collecting the literary fiction of California. In more recent years, that scope has expanded to include mystery and detective fiction, fantasy and science fiction, and western fiction. This special exhibit will highlight California authors’ notable contributions in genre fiction and will emphasize recent donations to the library by featuring materials from the extensive collection of influential author, critic, and literary mentor Anthony Boucher, first editions by early members of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, selections by popular western and adventure writer Kenneth Perkins and MWA Grand Master Ross Macdonald, and more.

More information about the collections of the Bancroft Library, Berkeley. 



The rare book trade couldn't exist without the many smaller businesses we call "affiliated trade"; bookbinders, restorers, book artists, libraries or rare book schools. This part of the fair will broaden your view of the rare book world!

The Fair will work with local “book art” artists and organizations to create an interactive, informative, and entertaining area at the Fair.

Local libraries and universities will be exhibiting one-of-a-kind works from their collections. Calligraphers, bookbinders and a small press operator will once again be creating unique souvenirs for attendees to take home. 

The American Bookbinders Museum
Bay Area Book Artists
Book Arts & Special Collections / SF History Center San Francisco Public Library
The Book Club of California
California Historical Society
California Rare Book School
The Ephemera Society of America
Friends of Calligraphy
Friends of the Oakland Public Library
Friends of the Palo Alto Library
Gleeson Library Associates
Hand Bookbinders of California
Letterform Archive
Mills College Book Art Program
Otter Bookbinding
Printers' Chappel of Santa Cruz
Rare Book School
Rare Books and Manuscripts Section
San Jose Printers Guild


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