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47th California International Antiquarian Book Fair Puts Rare, Beautiful Volumes Centerstage

Giant Gathering of Book Lovers From Around the World Will Celebrate the 450th Birthday of William Shakespeare

From STAFF REPORTS
Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 11:19 AM

From February 7 – 9, 2014, thousands of book lovers, rare book dealers, and scholars will converge at the Pasadena Convention Center for the 47th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. Recognized as one of the world’s largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more. The 2014 edition of the Book Fair will also include a special celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.

Featuring the collections and rare treasures of 200 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the Book Fair will present volumes from five centuries of printing, as well as original manuscripts that predate Gutenberg. Books will cover every imaginable area of interest — from the history of travel and exploration, early science and medicine to classic literature, modern first editions, children’s and illustrated books, and the arts. Items range in price from a few dollars to more than six figures.

“Because of Shakespeare’s enduring influence on literature and the arts, we couldn’t let this milestone birthday pass without celebrating his genius,” said Michael R. Thompson, Book Fair Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA, which organizes the event. “The Book Fair is all about bringing people closer to books by giving them a chance to browse, touch and even go home with items that they might imagine could only be found in a museum or special collections library. We’re really excited about connecting people with Shakespeare in the same way.”

The Book Fair’s tribute will include a special exhibit featuring some of the finest expressions of Shakespeare through the centuries. The Huntington Library, which holds a world-class collection of early editions of Shakespeare’s works, will offer an enlightening display on Shakespeare scholarship throughout the 90-plus years of its history. Fine press and artists’ books from the Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps College will show how Shakespeare has inspired the art of the book. Poster images from the collections of the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will spotlight memorable film adaptations of Shakespeare from around the world, while photos, costume studies and prompt books with actors’ handwritten notes from the Honnold/Mudd Library at the Claremont Colleges Library will offer insights into stage productions.

Rare books on food and cookery in Elizabeth times from the University of California San Diego Library and a related special panel “What Shakespeare Ate: Dining in the Elizabethan Age” will further immerse Book Fair visitors into the world of the Bard. Panelists include Los Angeles Times and Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold; noted food historian Charles Perry; cookbook author and founder of the Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne Anne Willan; and bookseller Ben Kinmont who specializes in antiquarian books on gastronomy. Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison will moderate. Those who want to start their own collections of the plays or sonnets will find many opportunities to acquire items from individual dealers who will be displaying their finest Shakespeare works at the Book Fair.

The Book Fair is the perfect introduction for those new to the world of rare books and includes a seminar on the basics of collecting. Sunday, February 9 is Discovery Day, which gives attendees the opportunity to present up to three items to experts for free examination.

Book Fair hours are Friday, February 7 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, February 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 9:00 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center, located at 300 East Green Street, Pasadena. Tickets on Friday, February 7 are $25 and provide three-day admission. Proceeds from Friday tickets will benefit and offer free admission to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens during the month of February. Tickets purchased on Saturday or Sunday are $15 and include return entry and free admission to the Huntington during the Book Fair.

Purchase tickets for the Book Fair at Eventbrite. For more information, visit www.cabookfair.com or call (800) 454-6401. Connect with the Book Fair at http:/twitter.com/cabookfair or http://www.facebook.com/CABookFair.

 

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