Antiquarian Booksellers' Association logoAntiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA)

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, is the senior trade body for dealers in rare and fine books, manuscripts and allied materials in the UK. The flagship event of the ABA is the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia.

All books at the fair are from exhibitors who must be an affiliate of ILAB and member of their own country’s national antiquarian booksellers association (i.e. ABA) with a rigorous code of good practice.

The ABA has supported the LRBS over the last few years by providing bursaries for students.

The Bibliographical Society logoThe Bibliographical Society

Founded in 1892, The Bibliographical Society is a world reknowned leader in the study of the book and its history. The Bibliographical Society has supported the LRBS in the past by providing bursaries for students. 

Maggs Rare Books

Maggs Bros Ltd has been dealing in rare books and manuscripts since 1853. Based in Georgian townhouse in London’s Berkeley Square, their staff is organized into nine different departments, each offering a different expertise. Maggs has supported the LRBS by hosting receptions for students during the school. 

Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

The LRBS was partly modelled on The Rare Book School (RBS) at the University of Virginia . RBS is an independent, non-profit and tax-exempt institute supporting the study of the history of books and printing and related subjects, governed by its own board of directors. Founded in 1983, it moved to its present home at the University of Virginia in 1992.

At various times during the year, RBS offers about 30 five-day, non-credit courses for adults on topics concerning old and rare books, manuscripts, and special collections. The majority of courses take place in Charlottesville, but courses are also offered in New York City, Baltimore, and Washington DC.

The educational and professional prerequisites for RBS courses vary. Some courses are broadly directed toward antiquarian booksellers, book collectors, bookbinders, conservators, teachers, and professional and avocational students of the history of books and printing. Others are primarily intended for archivists and for research and rare book librarians and curators.

Most Rare Book School courses are limited to twelve or fewer students, who make a full-time commitment to any course they attend, from 8:30 or 9 am through 5 pm, Monday - Friday; in Baltimore, Washington, and Charlottesville, most students also attend an informal dinner and orientation on the Sunday evening before their first class on Monday. In addition to the formal daytime classes, there is an optional early evening public lecture (usually on Monday night), and (especially in Charlottesville) other bookish events throughout the week of the RBS session.

Visit the Rare Books School website. The RBS site contains information about, and links to, other Rare Books courses around the world.