10 Meetups for Rare Book Collections in London You Should Attend

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When you look out over the fields of book, manuscript, and ephemera collecting, you can see generations of amber waves of grain, a seamless continuum extending in memory from Gutenberg out into an endless future of collectors yet to be born who will one day bid and buy, accumulate, and organize material that matters to them. The history of collecting is clear, and the future of collecting should be as well, but changes in what we know and how we know it are engulfing the field at such a breakneck pace that today’s more senior collectors are finding it difficult to relate to and explain the world of collecting to the next generation, who sees it in very different terms.

How to find rare book collection meetups in London?

You will need to do a bit of a research on the internet and look for rare book collection meetups. Then you will be able to end up with discovering the right options available out there. Rare book collection is a popular hobby in London.

They both hold crucial parts of the collecting puzzle and, no doubt, suffer from a lack of communication. The clubs and associations in the fields of books, manuscripts, and ephemera have long provided a place for collectors, book craft artisans, historians, librarians, and dealers to meet in a shared environment, but the clubs are graying, with the next generation too often a no show, and the futures of some clubs uncertain.

In order to better understand the future of collecting in the realm of works on paper, I recently talked with a diverse group of representatives from several of the main book collecting clubs in the United States and Canada. The clubs are one of the seven communities that make up the universe of works on paper. Other resources include listing sites, auctions, and eBay, internet databases, dealers, libraries, and preservationists.

Finding rare book collectors’ groups

Rare Book Shop – Shapero told us that the good news is that such groups can be found in almost every large city, and that these clubs are dedicated to bridging the age gap. Their passion for the game and ongoing interest in the material persuades them that if the next generation is reached and encouraged, they will join them and, in time, help their clubs adapt as they have always done to stay relevant to changing collecting techniques, styles, and parameters. Every generation has hurdles, but the present generation of club leaders may confront the most significant in recent memory simply because the internet expands collecting opportunities while reducing club exposure.

Only a decade ago, clubs could hand out information to stores and expect a steady stream of customers to come their way. Today, such stores are significantly less popular, as commerce has gradually switched to the internet, catalogs, and phone and email conversations. Face-to-face meetings are becoming less regular, and this has hampered the club’s ability to recruit new members. In the era of the internet, collecting, which has always been an iconoclastic activity, fosters monk-like devotion, thus reducing in-person communication.

For the clubs, this has typically translated into lower membership, prompting the majority of clubs to widen their qualifying criteria. Book collectors used to be the primary members of book clubs. Even as membership declines, many organizations are struggling to retain collectors in the majority. Many clubs now include a majority of binders, dealers, printers, and craftspeople. And, to the degree that collectors are present, the predominant feature of club members is their hair color, which ranges from gray to white.

Locating the best rare book collection out there

Unless otherwise stated, LRBS courses are introductory in nature and do not need previous expert knowledge. Participants in London Rare Books School courses are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree. Please contact the Director for further information.

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association (Opens in new window), the Bibliographical Society (Opens in new window), and the Sambrook Fund generously fund bursaries to the London Rare Books School. These are intended to assist people who might otherwise be unable to attend LRBS. To apply for a bursary, check the box on the application form that says, “I desire to be considered for a scholarship.” Please note that our bursary application deadline for 2022 has been extended to Monday, April 25, 2022.

The London Rare Books School costs £680 for a week of instruction, which includes documentary materials, sandwich lunches, and coffee and tea. Students who want to be evaluated for credit by the University of London must pay an additional £180 each course.

Rare book collecting as a hobby

The library of the London Missionary Society (LMS), a protestant missionary organization established in 1795, is included in the collection, as are publications owned by the LMS’ successor, the Council for World Mission (CWM), an international Christian fellowship.

The collection contains CWM and LMS histories as well as monograph descriptions of the organization’s activity in specific locales. Several CWM and LMS magazines, such as the Annual Report of the London Missionary Society and the Chronicle of the London Missionary Society, are also included. Various missionary biographies and autobiographies are included in the collection, as well as histories of individual missions and organizations. Many publications on the geography, history, ethnography, and religion of the places and communities where the LMS served are also available, as well as early dictionaries, grammars, and translations of Asian, African, and Pacific languages.

A collection of 11,000 books produced mostly in Western Europe and the United States between the 15th and 19th centuries. California, dance, literary criticism and philosophy, and British naval history are among her strong suits. Other topics covered include classical author printings from the 17th and 18th centuries, international literature (with a focus on French literature and 19th-century English literary and popular works), theatre, American slavery history, and works on women.

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