Book Fairs | October 13, 2022

What's On in Boston Rare Book Week 2022

Three times each year, book collectors gather to attend major antiquarian book fairs, sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America in California (February), New York City (April), and Boston , this year November 6-13, will delight booklovers with fairs, special events, tours, exhibits, and more, available to all who would like to join in the fun. For more information on the city’s two antiquarian book fairs, visit:
Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair
Boston Rare Book and Ephemera Fair

Rare Books Boston: The 2022 edition of the Boston Rare Book and Ephemera Fair, the “Satellite Show,” will be held on Saturday, November 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116, this is, four walkable blocks from the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center.

The fair’s growing list of exhibitors, include antiquarian booksellers, ephemera specialists, and book conservators  from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Ontario, Canada.  Exhibitors comprise veteran dealers with lifetime careers in the trade, as well as young booksellers, who've recently started their own businesses after working in the field for others along with recent graduates of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminars at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and Rare Books School.

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress; and Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers, the fair is produced by Book Fair Promotion, of Northampton.  Admission is $15. A limited number of complimentary and discounted admission tickets are available at Extremely accessible by mass transit, on foot, and by bicycle. Discounted, validated parking is available.

"Rare Books Boston will include an events program including talks by antiquarian book collectors, booksellers, authors, publishers, and ephemera experts. We are offering free expert appraisals, for up to four items, from 2 to 3pm by rare booksellers William Hutchison, of Mendenhall, Pennsylvania and Dan Gaeta, of John Bale Books of Waterbury, Connecticut", said Mark Brumberg, director of Rare Books Boston.

What are the 100 Best Books Written or Published in Massachusetts since the Seventeenth Century:  a panel discussion, will go live from 11am to noon at Rare Books Boston at the Back Bay Events Center, moderated by publisher and letterpress printer David Godine, with panelists John Buchtel, Ph.D., Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections at the Boston Athenaeum, Ken Gloss, owner of Brattle Bookshop, of Boston, and other publishers, authors, & antiquarian booksellers. The panel discussion will be filmed, to make this program available to a wider audience of participants, for later downloads and streaming at

"Why start our discussion in the 1700s? That century was a banner year in the history of book publishing as The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre, commonly called The Bay Psalm Book, a metrical psalter, translated into English, was printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, becoming the first book published in British North America", says Brumberg.

Among the books, magazines and newspapers, published in the nineteenth century, under consideration for  the 100 Best are: Tamerlane and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe (1827) , The Liberator by William Lloyd Garrison (1931 – 1865 ), Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1836), Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave (1845), Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas DeQuincy (1850) , The Scarlet Letter, a Romance (1850) ,  Moby Dick , or, the Whale (1851) , Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) , Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854) , The Atlantic (1857) , Leaves of Grass, Third Edition by Walt Whitman (1860) , Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (1861) , Little Women or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by Louisa May Alcott (1868).

Which of these classic books from the twentieth century will be included on the 100 Greatest? : Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth (1905), Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (1908), Sigmund Freud’s Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1910), Dr. Seuss’ (Theodore Seuss Geisel ) And to Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), Virginia Lee Burton’s Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939), Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940), James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (1941) , H.A. Rey’s Curious George (1941), Richard Wilbur’s’ The Beautiful Changes, and Other Poems (1947), J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951), Leonard Baskin’s On a Pyre of Withered Roses (1952), James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son (1955) , Philip Roth’s Goodbye Columbus and Five Short Stories (1959), Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961),  Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring (1962)), Sylvia Plath’s Ariel (1965).

“Our 100 Greatest list is not set in stone. It is growing, under debate, a work in progress. We hope to be able to compile a definitive list in 2023, with further input from panelists, special collections librarians, authors, publishers, book historians, literary scholars, academics, avid readers, book collectors and antiquarian booksellers. An annotated list with a full bibliography and illustrations sis planned,” Brumberg said.The 100 Greatest panel discussion is supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

Health and Safety Policy: Facial coverings are optional at the Back Bay Events Center but exhibitors and fair attendees are strongly encouraged to wear a mask while inside the building to protect the health and safety of our community. Masks will be available upon entry. Masks are highly recommended for people at high risk for serious illness.

Other programs during Rare Book Week/Boston:

Friday, November 11, 2022, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm at Harvard University Houghton Library, a guided tour of Harvard’s main rare book and manuscript library

The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair: this year’s participants will discuss the importance and influence of artist’s books in their lives and work

Other programs at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair on Saturday, November 12, include talks on Women in the American Wilderness, Architecture and Furnishing the Private Library, and Booked by Fate: A Life of Dealing in the Exotic World of Rare Books.

On Sunday, November 13, 1:30pm at the Hynes Auditorium: The Trials and Triumphs of Collecting Romance Novels:  A talk by Rebecca Romney, author, book collector and co-founder of Type Punch Matrix.