Imagine walking through the California International Antiquarian Book Fair with some of the foremost experts in a collecting field, listening as they discuss the significance of items offered for sale. Now, this will be possible when you join one of the free virtual tours happening live during the California Virtual Book Fair, March 4-6. Tours will center around three subjects: Californiana, Cookery, and materials documenting LGBTQ+ history.
All you will need is an Internet connection to follow along. During each of the tours, our experts will comment live while sharing their computer screens and scrolling instead of strolling through the book fair. Once they’ve had a chance to share a few of their favorite things, they will answer your questions. Tour participants are also invited to comment in chat as the tour moves through the fair.
The virtual tour program opens with our experts in culinary history on Thursday, March 4th at Noon PST/3 pm EST. They will examine the important cookery books and food- and drink-related ephemera offered at the book fair. Your tour guides will be Ben Kinmont, an artist, publisher, and antiquarian bookseller specializing in gastronomy; Lynda Claassen, Director of Special Collections & Archives at UC San Diego, and Randall Tarpey Schwed, a collector of books and ephemera primarily related to 20th century California gastronomy.
On Friday, March 5, plan to tag along for the virtual tour with our specialists and scholars examining material that reflects the LGBTQ+ experience. The tour begins at 11 am PST/2 pm EST and your guides will be Greg Williams, Director of the Gerth Archives and Special Collections Department in the CSU Dominguez Hills Library and board member for the ONE Archives Foundation; John Durham, co-founder and senior owner of Bolerium Books; Sue Englander, Ph.D., former editor with the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project at Stanford; and Gerard Koskovich is an antiquarian book dealer and queer public historian based in San Francisco.
The final virtual tour of the book fair begins at 11 am PST/2 pm EST on Saturday, March 6 and focuses on collecting the important books and unique ephemera highlighting the Golden State. The guides will be Gary Kurutz, retired Director of the California State Library’s special collections; Theresa Salazar, curator of the Bancroft Collection of Western Americana at the University of California, Berkeley; and Brad and Jen Johnson, booksellers who specialize in California and the West.
And don't forget to explore the rest of the book fair, which goes live at www.abaa.org/vbf on March 4th at 9:00 am PST/12 pm EST.
About the author: Jen Johnson is an ABAA Member and an owner of Johnson Rare Books & Archives in Covina, CA.