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Antiquarian Booksellers' Association

About the Association

Founded in 1906, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association is the oldest organisation of its kind in the world. It primarily represents dealers in antiquarian and rare books located in the British Isles (although booksellers in other countries may also join). Members are elected solely on the basis of experience, expertise, and integrity.

ABA members are expected to observe the highest professional and ethical standards, and are bound to foster mutual trust and respect between the bookselling profession and the general public. ABA booksellers are committed to authenticity of all items offered for sale, expert and detailed descriptions, disclosure of all significant defects and/or restorations, clear and accurate pricing, and fairness and honesty during the purchase experience. Almost 250 booksellers are members of the ABA and many of them sell on the AbeBooks marketplace where they offer the highest standards of bookselling.

The ABA stages a number of events each year, including the London International Antiquarian Book Fair, one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world. This is the 61st year of the Book Fair which will take place at Olympia (London) on June 1st-3rd, 2017.

Featured bookseller

Keel Row Books is an antiquarian and second-hand bookshop in historic North Shields, close to the mouth of the River Tyne in the north of England. Large and rambling, the shop is located in a Georgian house that was once home to Tynemouth parish church's sexton. It became a bookshop in 1981, and the current owners Anthony Smithson and Alice Laverty have run this busy shop since 2006. Anthony is a long-standing member of the PBFA and exhibits at book fairs up and down the country. In 2011 he joined the ABA and in 2014 was elected to the ABA Council. A twice graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, Anthony thought the Colorado course so inspiring and useful to the trade he and Alice set up a UK equivalent in 2014 (the York Antiquarian Book Seminar, YABS for short!). YABS is a not-for-profit educational seminar for booksellers and has been generously supported by the two main bookselling trade associations, the ABA and the PBFA as well as AbeBooks who provide two scholarships on the course annually.