Book Fairs | November 10, 2015

The 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair Will Celebrate “Alice”


LOS ANGELES—From February 12 - 14, 2016, thousands of book lovers, rare book dealers, and scholars will converge at the Pasadena Convention Center for the 49th 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 2016 edition of the Book Fair will also include a special exhibit marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

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.

"The theme of the 2016 Fair is A Wonderland of Books and it has dual meaning," said Michael R. Thompson, Book Fair Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA, which organizes the event. "We're inviting people to join us in celebrating Alice in Wonderland -- arguably the world's most influential children's book and an iconic work that has inspired diverse writers, graphic artists, moviemakers and other creative voices over the last 150 years. But above all, to walk the aisles of the Fair is to enter a veritable wonderland of books where dealers from across the country and around the world offer up their most desirable and fascinating items for people to browse, touch and even go home with."

The "Alice in Wonderland" special exhibit will feature books, illustrations, papers and original ephemera from the G. Edward Cassady, M.D. and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N., Lewis Carroll Collection at the University of Southern California Doheny Library. Prepare to be taken on an amazing journey into the world of Alice starting with Carroll's manuscript, his drawings of Alice and a first edition of the classic, and continuing with fantastic collectors' editions with illustrations by famed artists such as Salvador Dali, Mary Blair's 1951 concept drawings for Walt Disney Studios and contemporary visions of Alice in comic books, Japanese Manga and even video games. 

Those who want to start their own Alice collections will find excellent opportunities to acquire items from individual dealers who will offer many different editions of the Carroll book as well as other Wonderland-inspired works.

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 14 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 12 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, February 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center, located at 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101. Tickets on Friday, February 12 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.

For more information, visit  or call 800-454-6401. Connect with the Book Fair at or