Rare Books Edinburgh 2023 Opens

Rare Books Edinburgh

The annual Rare Books Edinburgh festival opens its doors with a variety of events in addition to its centrepiece, the Edinburgh Book Fair.

Its Scotland’s largest antiquarian and collectable book fair, run by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association and the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association. More than 40 specialist booksellers from around the UK are exhibiting books, maps, prints, photographs, and ephemera at the Radisson Blu Hotel on the city's High Street. Opening hours are 12pm to 7pm on March 24, and 10am to 4pm on March 25.

Other highlights include:

* Treasures of the National Library of Scotland

Held on March 24 at the National Library of Scotland, this features rare books, illuminated manuscripts and fascinating maps from the permanent display including the Library’s Gutenberg Bible, and the works of Scotland’s first printing press established at Edinburgh in 1508 by Walter Chepman and Androw Myllar. There is also Gerhard Mercator’s 1595 Scotia Regnum and examples of the Scottish bookbinder’s art. The curators of the exhibition will be available between 10amd and 11 to introduce the items on display.

* The Kind of Bibliography I Like: some reminiscences of a retired antiquarian bookseller

Organised by the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, Andrew Hunter, a retired antiquarian bookseller, will reminisce about his professional interaction with bibliographies, over a 40 year career in London, Oxford, and  Kirkcaldy) at the Quaker Meeting House on March 23, 5:45pm – 7pm.

* Treasures of the Library
On March 23 (11am – 11.40am and 12pm – 12.40pm) the Surgeons’ Hall Museum will be exhibiting some of the oldest items in its collection, including a 1460 Book of Hours, and a superb copy of The Nuremberg Chronicle from 1493, as well as unique medical texts such as Henry Gray’s handwritten annotations on the first edition proof of Gray’s Anatomy.

* History of Printing

This exhibition on the main staircase and reference library at the city's Central Library runs until March 27. Highlights include The C.L. Psalmes of the Princelie Prophet David, printed in Aberdeen by Edward Raban in 1629, and a broadside, Sermon preached before the King, 1697, from the highly successful printing house of Agnes Campbell