The 40th annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is scheduled a bit earlier than usual this year, so mark it on your calendars now before it slips by. The dates are Friday – Sunday October 28-30. One thing that won't change is the location. Once again, the fair will be held at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston, in the Back Bay.
The fair organizers are providing one notable bonus for this 40th anniversary edition. Admission will be free on both Saturday and Sunday, as they look to entice potential new collectors to experience the excitement of a book fair and collecting. Admission for the Friday preview remains at $20 for those looking to get first crack at the selections.
The Boston show is sponsored by the New England chapter of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America). Over 120 dealers will be exhibiting and selling, representing the United States, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark and Australia. The organizers note that there is something for "every taste and budget," including "books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy, science, sport, natural history, gardening, literature, music, and children’s books." Anyone who has ever attended one of these fairs knows the subject matter is way more extensive than that. Additionally, as collectors these days are more likely to collect subjects rather than just books, you can expect to find many related types of items in the works on paper field, including manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, and ephemera.
Turning to specifics, the fair organizers tell us, "Among the highlighted items for sale will be rare and first editions of works by James Baldwin, Jonathan Swift, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Lewis Carroll, and Sylvia Plath; a souvenir program and scorecard for the 1915 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, won by Boston in five games and Babe Ruth’s first as a rookie; a rare original watercolor drawing by British artist Arthur Rackham; one of the earliest printed works in the world, Hyakumanto Dharani, a 1250 year old relic of East Asian high culture; Albert Einstein’s childhood building blocks; signed photos from the horror films The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Psycho; Elvis Presley’s first record; two sketchbooks by the renowned Ukrainian-born Jewish-American sculptor and graphic artist Chaim Gross; a very unusual autographed press book for the 1968 legendary film Night of the Living Dead; the original watercolor painting depicting Hogwarts, for the British edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; a masterfully illustrated Japanese version of Don Quixote; and a signed & inscribed photo of legendary illusionist Harry Houdini."
For beginners, or those on a limited budget, there will also be a selection of "Discovery" books. These are books priced under $100, and among them will be books from one of the most popular fields of collecting – children's books.
A series of events will also be held during the fair. Here they are.
SPECIAL EXHIBITION! Collecting the Boston Music Scene: 1976-2016
On display all weekend - October 28-30
David Bieber, formerly of WBCN and the Phoenix Media Group, displays highlighted selections from his extensive archive of rock posters, albums, and ephemera chronicling 40 years of Boston’s music scene. View items from Aerosmith, The J. Geils Band, The Cars, and many one-of-a-kind pieces.
DISCOVERY: Starting Your Own Collection
Saturday, October 29 1:00pm
Panel Discussion - A rare opportunity to ask the experts the best way to start your own collection. Afterwards, shop the Fair and visit our “Discovery” exhibitors for items $100 and under to help you begin your collection.
Saturday, October 29, 2:00-5:00pm
The Typewriter Rodeo poets will be on hand to write an original poem for you on any topic you choose on their eclectic collection of vintage typewriters.
Librarians Who Collect: Ticknor Roundtable
Saturday, October 29, 3:00pm
The Ticknor Society collectors’ roundtable will feature Mindell Dubansky (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) on her collection of blooks (objects that look like books), Christian Dupont (Boston College), Silvia Dupont (Newton North High School) collection of 18th and 19th century Italian grammar books and Joshua Lupkin (Harvard University) on a collecting books about cats and dogs - discussing interesting collections outside of their institutional holdings.
Adventures in Literary Archaeology – Edgar Allen Poe & Boston
Sunday, October 30, 12:30pm
Paul Lewis, professor of English at Boston College and president of the Poe Studies Association, discusses his work on Edgar Allan Poe’s relation to Boston’s literati and on recovering a generation of poets who published in Boston during the early national period.
FREE Expert Appraisals!
Sunday, October 30, 1:00 - 3:00pm
Bring your books & ephemera to get expert free appraisals. You might find you have a valuable treasure!
Friday, October 28 – 5:00-9:00 pm.
Saturday, October 29 – 12:00-7:00 pm.
Sunday, October 30 – 12:00-5:00 pm.
To purchase tickets for Friday evening, and find other information about the fair, visit the website of the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair.