Rare Books London - London's festival of old and rare books – June 2020

Spring 2021

Book Fairs

Book Fairs
27 November to 2nd December 2020, 2PM GMT Launch

Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair (Online)

The third edition of the ABA’s online fairs, Firsts Online will take place from 27th November to 2nd December going live at 2pm GMT on Friday. Following the cancellation of the Chelsea and Edinburgh Rare Book Fairs in 2020, this particular edition of Firsts Online is dedicated to the booksellers who historically would attend these events.

Visitors can expect a wide range of rare books, manuscripts, ephemera, maps and prints at both accessible and higher price points. Our online fairs have previously attracted over 115 international booksellers, and for the first time, they will each be showcasing up to 20 items on their highlights page.

The ‘Exhibitors Highlights’ section will be launched on Friday at 2pm, visitors will be able to click through to the highlights page and search items by exhibitor, keyword, tag, speciality and price.

Book Fairs
Sunday 29th November 2020 at 12 noon (UK time)

PBFA Online Book Fair

Christmas comes early at our Xmas Online Book Fair which goes live on 29th November. A broad range of  secondhand, rare and antiquarian books, maps, prints, posters, manuscripts and ephemera will be on offer at prices to suit all.

Book Fairs
Friday 21st May 2021 10:00-19:00 Saturday 22nd May 2021 10:00-19:00 Sunday 23rd May 2021 11:00-17:00

Firsts, London’s Rare Book Fair 2021

Firsts, London’s Rare Book Fair returns for its 64th edition, this year finding a new home at Saatchi Gallery, in the heart of West London.

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square, London UK
Book Fairs
Thursday 27th May 2021 12:00-18:00 Friday 28th May 2021 10:00-17:00

PBFA London Antiquarian Book Fair 2021

Over 100 bookseller professionals from across the UK, Europe and North America will be offering their books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscripts and printed ephemera for sale.  Entry is free – all welcome!

ILEC Conference Centre, Ibis London Earls Court Hotel 47 Lillie Road, London SW6 1UD





Sunday 2nd June 11:00am

Bram Stoker, Dracula and Friends

Everyone has heard of Dracula, but his creator, Bram Stoker, is much less familiar.  This is a walk through London’s West End, introducing the story of Stoker’s life in places he knew and visiting places associated with people he was friendly with or who influenced his writing – a remarkable range from Oscar Wilde to WS Gilbert and Arthur Conan Doyle among others.   We explore Stoker’s own vampiric relationship with Sir Henry Irving, the great actor.  We hear about the later history of the book on stage and screen.  And there is a real life murder, the front door of a secret society and a dark alley where we learn the unfortunate influence of gas lighting.

Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7RQ
Sunday 9th June, 11am-12.30pm

Bloomsbury’s lost libraries: a walk through some forgotten book collections

Twenty-first century London contains some of the finest book collections in the world, but what about the libraries that haven’t survived? If you know where to look, London’s streets and alleyways are crammed with the ghosts of libraries past.

This walk will carry you back through Bloomsbury’s history, to long-forgotten libraries, readers, librarians and collectors. Alice Ford-Smith will reveal some of the links between London’s past and present book collections- and the tales of enterprise, transformation, obsession and destruction that are often behind them.

Meet point: Senate House cloister entrance. Pre-booking essential.

End point: near the Bloomsbury Book Fair, which is free to enter from 12.30pm.