Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair exhibits collections from around the world

By Meaghan T’Ao
BU News Service

BOSTON — This past weekend, the 42nd annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair was held at the Hynes Convention Center. It featured collections from exhibitors from countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan. The fair also included presentations and discussions and a free appraisal session.

On Friday night, visitors got a first look at the items for sale at the exclusive Opening Night event, while admission on Saturday and Sunday was free. From the wide variety of collections, visitors could view and purchase anything from ephemera and first editions of books to maps and atlases, art books, manuscripts, fine prints and bindings.

On Saturday, events included multiple presentations in the Exhibit Hall Theatre. Aji Yamazaki, a prominent dealer, and Charles Vilnis, an expert in Japanese printing, presented about Japanese art books.

At the Ticknor Society Roundtable, new collectors learned about how to start book collections with prominent and award-winning book collectors. Additionally, director Frederick Wiseman discussed his documentary Ex Libris: The New York Public Library.

On Sunday, visitors to the book fair had the opportunity to have their items appraised for free by experts in the industry. Michael Goldman, a political and cultural historian, examined the importance of the year 1986 and the books, music and film that it inspired. Peter K. Steinberg discussed his role in publishing Letters of Sylvia Plath and the discovery of two lost Plath poems.

Meanwhile, more than 130 exhibitors from both inside and outside of the United States displayed and sold their collections in the exhibition hall.

“It’s a nice, cozy book fair and it’s very interesting,” said Jose Peulers. “It has all kinds of things and customers.”

Peulers staffed the Konstaninopel Rare and Fine Books booth for the third year as an exhibitor at the book fair and has travelled from the Netherlands to do so.

However, a good deal of the exhibitors came from closer to home.

“We’ve exhibited here for many years,” said Sheryl Jaeger, of Connecticut. Her store, Eclectibles, specializes in ephemera, historical memorabilia and had-made objects. Items for sale ranged in age from the late 18th century through the 20th century.

“We like the environment in Boston. We also like the interface we have with a lot of younger people,” Jaeger said. “It’s important for younger people to be able to understand some of this history.”

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