About Us

This is the blog of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

The quick description of who we are and what we do is: we are a trade association with its headquarters in Mother London made up of some of the best and most reputable rare, antiquarian and second-hand booksellers in the British Isles. We organise regular bookfairs, buy and sell books to exacting standards and at the highest levels of quality, rarity and beauty. We also wear a considerable amount of tweed and if you invite us to your house we will stare fixedly at your bookshelves throughout dinner and then tell amusing stories about libraries.

The longer version is:

About the Antiquarian Booksellers Association


Founded in 1906 and the oldest organisation of its kind in the world, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association is the senior trade body for dealers in antiquarian and rare books, manuscripts and allied materials in the British Isles. Its membership also extends to many of the leading booksellers overseas. Members are elected solely on the basis of proven experience, expertise and integrity. They are expected to observe the highest professional and ethical standards and to foster the mutual trust and respect that exists between the trade and the public.

The display of the Association’s badge pledges members to:-

● the authenticity of all material offered for sale

● the expert and proper description of all such material

● the disclosure of all significant defects or restorations

● the clear, accurate and professional pricing of all material

● and the fairness and honesty of offers to purchase

The ABA is governed by an annually elected President, Vice-President and Treasurer (the Officers), together with an elected Council drawn from the membership. Work in specific areas of the ABA’s activities is delegated by the Council to various Committees. The Association also maintains a full-time professional secretariat working from its London office.

Apart from both representing and monitoring the rare book trade in the United Kingdom, the ABA also stages major annual international book fairs designed to bring the world of rare books to a wider public. We also maintain close links with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), an umbrella organisation of similar national associations, all committed to upholding the same highest standards of expertise, honesty and professionalism.

The United Kingdom has long been one of the great global centres of the rare book trade and we are determined that it remains so.

Details of the current Officers, Council, Committees and Staff are given on the website. All of them will do their very best to deal with any questions relating to the Association you may have.