World's Largest Rare Book Fair Celebrates 50th Anniversary 

OAKLAND, CA - The 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, returns to Northern California to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 12, 2017 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. 

Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and featuring the collections and rare treasures of nearly 200 booksellers from over 20 countries around the world, the three-day Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, maps, autographs, graphics, photographs, fine bindings; children's and illustrated books, and ephemera from many centuries and countries.

This year’s Book Fair will include a special exhibit from The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, which has a long history of collecting the literary fiction of California. In more recent years, that scope has expanded to include mystery and detective fiction, fantasy and science fiction, and western fiction. This special exhibit will highlight California authors’ notable contributions in genre fiction and will emphasize recent donations to the library by featuring materials from the extensive collection of influential author, critic, and literary mentor Anthony Boucher, first editions by early members of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, selections by popular western and adventure writer Kenneth Perkins and MWA Grand Master Ross Macdonald, and more. 

The Book Fair will work with local “book art” artists and organizations to create an interactive, informative, and entertaining area at the Fair. Local libraries and universities will be exhibiting one-of-a-kind works from their collections. Calligraphers, bookbinders and a small press operator will once again be creating unique souvenirs for attendees to take home. Fun for all ages!

The Book Fair’s schedule will also include the following events and special exhibits, free with Fair admission:

Saturday, February 11

9:00 am - 10:30 am: California Rare Book School presents: “The Other Book: The Ames Almanack Opens a Window on Colonial America.” Two books were commonly found in eighteenth century households in North America: the Bible and the Other Book, or the Almanach.  Susan M. Allen, who teaches "History of the Book, 200-1820,” at California Rare Book School, will share an illustrated lecture from her course demonstrating how to “read” almanachs, both bibliographically and culturally, and how to decipher their puzzling tables.

11:00 am - 12:30 pm: California Rare Book School presents: Bound for El Dorado: Collecting California and the Far West. Presented by Gary F. Kurutz, Director of the Special Collections Branch, California State Library.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Meet Mr. Blake, An illustrated lecture on the life, work, and influence of William Blake, given by John Windle, ABAA specialist in the literary and artistic output of this English genius. Jointly presented by the ABAA and the Bibliographical Society of America.

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm: California Rare Book School presents: Printers, Collectors, Bibliographers, and the Inquisition: A Brief Introduction to the History of the Book in Hispanic America. Presented by Daniel J. Slive, Head of Special Collections at the Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University and David Szewczyk, proprietor, Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co. 

Sunday, February 12

12:30 - 1:15 pm: Book Collecting 101, Learn from ABAA member Vic Zoschak, Jr., Tavistock Bookshop to create a strategy for collecting books, as well as how to spot a “first edition,” judge a book’s condition, and learn bookish terms and jargon.  

1:15 - 2:00 pm: What’s This Book Worth? - Vic Zoschak, Jr., Tavistock Books will discuss the primary factors that give books commercial and monetary value, as well as strategies for appraising and selling books.

2:00 - 3:30 pm: Discovery Day is the public’s chance to discover if those old books gathering dust are worth something.  The public will receive free, expert oral appraisals on up to three books. Appraisals are limited to a first come, first served basis - within the scheduled times. 

The Book Fair’s venue in downtown Oakland is an added convenience for bibliophiles. The Oakland Marriott City Center is just steps away from the 12th Street BART Station, making it easily accessible to attendees from San Francisco and all over the East Bay.  Out-of-town visitors will appreciate staying onsite at the Marriott, plus fair visitors arriving at both Oakland and San Francisco airports can take BART directly to the new venue. 

Moreover, downtown Oakland is within easy walking distance to diverse and eclectic cuisine, hip nightspots, historic Old Oakland, museums, Lake Merritt and the waterfront at Jack London Square.  

Sponsors for the Book Fair include: Michals Insurance Agency, Inc. Media sponsors for the book fair include: ABC7, BART, Interiors California, SF Gate and The San Francisco Chronicle. 

Tickets and Information

The 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at the Oakland Marriott City Center at 1001 Broadway in downtown Oakland from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Friday, February 10; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 11; and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 12.

Tickets are available online or at the door. Friday admission tickets are $25; Saturday and Sunday tickets are $15 and all tickets allow return admission for the remainder of the fair. For more information about tickets or exhibiting, visit www.cabookfair.com. Pre-sale ($13-$23) and student passes ($10-$20) are available online now.

For more information about the 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, please visit the website at www.cabookfair.com or the ABAA website at www.abaa.org; or contact Fair Managers, White Rain Productions at, cafair@whiterainproductions.com, (800) 454-6401. 

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