Book Fairs | April 14, 2024

Capitol Rare Book Fair Debuts at Washington DC's University Club

Fine Book Fair

Visitors enjoying a previous Fine Book Fair

The Capital Rare Book Fair will bring more than 35 antiquarian booksellers from across the country to the historic University Club in Washington, DC, from May 3 to May 5.  Building on the success of last year’s Georgetown Rare Book Fair, Fine Book Fairs has moved the fair to the downtown location, close to the White House.

Eve and Edward Lemon, who founded Fine Books Fairs in 2022, live in the Meridian Hill neighborhood of D.C.

This year the fair will take over two floors in the mansion on 16th Street and showcase thousands of beautiful, notable, and rare books, maps, and historic documents from around the globe. Exceptional examples that will be offered include:

  • Leaf 27 of a 40-leaf xylographic Biblia pauperum, a picture bible from 1465 for $85,000 from Bruce McKittrick Rare Books
  • George Washington’s Justice and Public Good letter and one of Abe Lincoln’s signed checks from Seth Kaller Inc.
  • an inscribed copy of John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage, Decisive Moments in the Lives of Celebrated Americans from B & B Books
  • a 17th century map of the Chesapeake Bay from New World Cartographic

The weekend will open with an opening night preview party on Friday evening where guests will have first access to the books while enjoying literary-themed cocktails, wine, and beer, canapes, and musical entertainment. The night will benefit the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

On Saturday and Sunday, the fair will feature respected speakers from around the U.S. and U. K. including British biogapher and broadcaster Hugo Vickers, literary community activist Christy Cashman  
distinguised journalist Marvin Kalb, director of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty, and Kermit Roosevelt III, professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

“We are excited to be hosting one of our fairs not only in a truly historic location, but in our hometown. As a Millennial couple, our goal when we started was to breathe new life into the world of book collecting,” said Eve Lemon. “We have found that there is a growing number of younger enthusiasts who are discovering the pleasure of collecting. For many it is not just about buying a first edition or finding a signed copy of a rare book; it is about enjoying the entire experience.”

Exhibitors include B&B Rare Books, Capitol Hill Books, Christopher's Rare Books, Bluemango Rare Books and Manuscripts, Brenner's Collectable Books, Commonwealth Books, Dale Steffey Books, First Place Books, Jeffrey Bergman Books, K&S Fine Arts, The Kelmscott Bookshop, Bruce McKittrick Rare Books, MacManus Rare Books, Michael R. Weintraub, Inc., New World Cartographic,Old Editions Bookshop, Owl of Athena Books, Pryor-Johnson Rare Books, Richard Mori Books,  Riverow Bookshop, Stan Gorski, Tennyson Williams Books and Fine Art, Vintage Books and Fine Art, West Side Book Shop, Wonder Book, Yesterday's Muse, and Quill & Brush.