Rare Book Week West: Letterpress, Calligraphy & More

The 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair (CIABF) kicks off today, and in addition to the nearly two hundred booksellers bringing beautiful books and manuscripts, nineteen local book artists and organizations, from calligraphers to letterpress printers, will be sharing their love of all things biblio as well.                                                                                                                                            

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the highlights visitors won’t want to miss:


The all-volunteer San-Jose Printer’s Guild of letterpress printers will have a vintage table-top printing press at the fair where attendees are invited to print their own letterpress coasters. A Valentine’s Day design graces the front, while information about the Guild’s May 6 Printers’ Fair is on the reverse. The Guild will also be displaying examples of letterpress printing created by members, including flyers, booklets, posters, and other ephemera, as well as a few collectible catalogs from type foundries of decades past.

                                                                                                                                                                                             

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credit: Matt Kelsey

More info about the Guild can be found at www.sjprintersguild.com.

                                                                                                                                                                              

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credit: Matt Kelsey


The Friends of Calligraphy, based in San Francisco, will be on hand to demonstrate calligraphic techniques while exploring the history and applications of the art of hand lettering, gestural art, and design. Four calligraphers will be on site during the fair, showcasing calligraphy in a variety of styles and providing an opportunity to watch calligraphy being crafted by expert hands. http://www.friendsofcalligraphy.org/

                                                                                                                                                                                       

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credit: White Rain Productions


Representatives from the non-profit Ephemera Society of North America (based in Cazenovia, New York) are operating an information booth promoting society membership as well as their annual conference in March in Connecticut. Members will discuss various examples of ephemera and the importance of collecting and studying items never intended for posterity. Two displays, “Early Trade Cards and Ephemera,” and “Easter Egg Dyeing Ephemera,” include material from the collection of Society president Bruce Shyer, who will be at the booth to answer questions. More information at: http://www.ephemerasociety.org/wp.html

                                                                                                                                                                                           

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credit: Ephemera Society

                                                                                                                                                                                         

San Francisco’s American Bookbinders Museum will showcase the history and craft of bookbinding by displaying and explaining the various tools and traditions of bookbinding. http://bookbindersmuseum.org/

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