Antiquarian Booksellers Association

A trade body for the UK’s antiquarian and rare book dealers, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) was founded in 1906. It runs the annual London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia as well as the Chelsea Book Fair, with other events organised throughout the UK by the Provincial Book Fairs Association (PBFA).

ABA works closely with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the umbrella organisation for 32 countries.


Books body rebrands training scheme after employment law shift

02 May 2017

The Antiquarian Bookdealers’ Association is to rebrand its young booksellers’ apprenticeship scheme as a training programme following a change in employment law.

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Industry bodies and the common bonds that tie the antiquarian book trade together

02 May 2017

From the earliest days a common bond has bound the antiquarian book trade together. And, more than ever, professional standards matter.

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A brief history of book dealing associations

02 May 2017

ATG’s timeline chronicling the history of book dealing associations from 1906 to 2016…

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New chapter for two major books events in London

02 May 2017

For the second year running, two major events – the ABA’s London International Antiquarian Book Fair, running from June 1-3 at the National Hall, Olympia, and the London International Book Fair organised by the PBFA at the ILEC Conference Centre in SW6 on June 2-3 – will run under the marketing umbrella Rare Books London.

Beaux Books

A sneak peek at Rare Books London as ABA takes stand in BADA 2017

27 January 2017

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association will participate in its first BADA fair as it gears up for its summer festival of old and rare books later this year.

Chelsea Books

ABA reports 50% rise in sales during their annual Chelsea Book Fair

10 November 2016

The Chelsea Book Fair, which closed November 5 after a two-day run, has reported an increase in sales of nearly 50% on last year’s fair.

ILAB Leaders

ILAB elects new members of its international leadership committee

27 October 2016

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) elected a new president and vice-president at their recent biannual OGM.

London International Antiquarian Book Fair

Book dealers in ‘paradise’ – party photos from 59th edition of London fair

13 June 2016

The 59th London International Antiquarian Book Fair (or “book paradise” as described by author Mark Beech in an admiring Facebook post), drew more than 180 book dealers to Olympia. View ATG's exclusive photogallery from the drinks reception held at the end of the fair’s second day.

BADA and ABA will ‘work towards closer cooperation’

27 May 2016

The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) have announced plans to create a ‘memorandum of understanding’ between the two venerable trade bodies.

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Dressed to kill

15 May 2014

This bizarrely dressed young man is the 23-year-old Alfred Hitchock, the film director who went on to make Psycho, North by North West, The Birds and Vertigo.

ABA bid to trace serial forger’s work

05 November 2012

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association is taking the fight to forgers after one of its members was instrumental in bringing serial forger Allan Formhals to justice.

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Book dealers with a light touch – but business at the fair is serious

18 October 2011

YOU get the impression that the Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair does not take itself too seriously – the opening page of the website bears the famous Groucho Marx quotation: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

ABA name new leaders

03 May 2011

THE Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) has held its first ever contested election for the posts of president and vice president in its 105-year history.

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ABA mourn their president

23 November 2009

ONLY three weeks after it was announced that Antiquarian Booksellers Association president Alan Shelley was standing down because of ill health, we are sorry to report that he has passed away.

Shelley steps down as president of ABA

09 November 2009

ALAN Shelley has decided that he can no longer continue as Antiquarian Booksellers Association president owing to illness.

Oxfam defiant over attack by antiquarian book trade

28 September 2009

OXFAM remain defiant in the face of criticism from the antiquarian book trade who say the charity is threatening their livelihoods.

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Ulysses sold for £275,000 at Olympia

08 June 2009

THERE were notable sales in the first hour of the two fairs which opened at Olympia in West London last Thursday.

ABA steps up efforts to resolve Slade affair

26 May 2009

THE Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) has stepped up its efforts to recover books stolen by its former president, David Slade, from Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

Former ABA president jailed over book thefts

16 February 2009

A FORMER president of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association has admitted stealing dozens of books from Sir Evelyn de Rothschild valued at a total of around £230,000.

ABA mark their centenary with a rather saucy publication of their own… and it’s a hit

16 April 2007

A surprisingly saucy book commissioned by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) to celebrate their centenary has become an unlikely hit, and is having to be reprinted to meet demand.

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