New York Antiquarian Book Fair

Called "The Best Book Fair in the World," the ABAA’s New York Antiquarian Book Fair opens with a preview Thursday evening, April 9, and runs through Sunday, April 12, at the Park Avenue Armory at 643 Park Ave. Over 200 American and international dealers will display an astonishing array of rare books, fine art, maps, manuscripts, and ephemera. Admission: $20 per person, $10 for students carrying a valid school ID, free for children under 16. For more information, visit

Courtesy of Priscilla Juvelis.

The New York City Book & Ephemera Fair

Making Rare Book Week bigger and better, a new fair debuts in NYC this year. Held on Saturday, April 11 from 8 am-4 pm, the NYC Book & Ephemera Fair will be located at Wallace Hall at St. Ignatius Loyola Church. 980 Park Avenue (between 83rd-84th Streets). Admission $15. For more information, and to purchase a discounted ticket, visit

Courtesy of Carydale Books.

The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair and Fine Press Book Fair

‘Shadow Show’ is held on Saturday, April 11, at its new location: The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street. Hours are 8 am-4 pm, with appraisals by John Bruno, star of the hit PBS series, Market Warriors, from 1-3 pm Admission: Adults $15, Youths 12-21 $7, Under 13 free with paid adult. The Shadow Show will feature the second-annual Fine Press Book Fair within the larger fair. For more information, visit

Courtesy of Lorne Bair Rare Books.



Following on the success of this year’s Oscar-nominated film, The Imitation Game, Bonhams offers this spectacular find on April 13: a key scientific manuscript, written by British codebreaker Alan Turing. The 56-page notebook, full of mathematical notation, “is almost certainly the only extensive autograph manuscript by Turing in existence, and has never been seen in public,” according to Bonhams, and it dates from 1942 when Turing was working at Bletchley Park to break the German Enigma Code. It is estimated to sell “for at least seven figures.” For more information, visit

Courtesy of Bonhams.


On April 7, Christie’s New York serves up some “American Pie”—the original working manuscript for singer-songwriter Don McLean’s iconic, 1971 hit. The auction house will offer McLean’s complete working manuscript and typed drafts, 16 pages in all, containing 237 lines of manuscript and 26 lines of typed text. Estimated at $1,000,000-1,500,000. Notes the catalogue: “In the span of just six verses, McLean managed to depict with poetic authority the turbulent upheavals of the latter half of the twentieth century. In doing so, he created an emblem that stands alongside the work of post-war figures such as Andy Warhol, J.D. Salinger and Bob Dylan in its importance to the American cultural canon.” For more information, visit

Courtesy of Christie’s.

Doyle New York

The second of three sales to disburse the rare books of New York City’s Bar Association will be held on April 15 at Doyle New York. This selection favors material from the era of the American Civil War, including numerous rare southern imprints, although a large group of historical New York materials will also be offered. Two highlights of interest: Acts passed at a Congress of the United States of America (1790), estimated at $7,000-10,000, and The Constitution of the State of Texas, as Amended in 1861 (1861), estimated at $1,000-1,500. Elsewhere in the sale is a collection of books on the theater from the Estate of William W. Appleton, and early Central Park reports. For more information, visit

Courtesy of Doyle New York.

Heritage Auctions

Larry McMurtry’s collection of H. G. Wells goes under the hammer at Heritage Auctions on April 8. Highlights include a true first edition of The Time Machine and a first edition of The Invisible Man, signed by the author. Seen here is a first edition of Tales of Space and Time (London and New York: Harper & Brothers, 1900), inscribed by Wells to Henry James with an original drawing of Ugh-lomi, protagonist of “A Story of the Stone Age.” A significant association copy. Publisher’s tan cloth, stamped in gilt and brown. The estimate is $7,500 and up. For more information, visit

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Swann Galleries

Swann Galleries will host two auctions during Rare Book Week. The April 9 sale offers Early Printed Medical, Scientific & Travel Books, where highlights include a single leaf from the Gutenberg Bible and St. Bonaventura, Opuscula (Strassburg, 1495). Also of note is Petrus Lombardus, Sententiarum libri IV, manuscript in Latin on paper, Bohemia, 1463, estimated at $30,000-40,000. A second sale, held on April 14, offers Printed and Manuscript Americana, where highlights include an officer’s eyewitness description of Shay’s Rebellion, Massachusetts, 1787, and Ron Drummond’s The Art of Wave Riding (Hollywood, 1931). For more information, visit

Courtesy of Swann Galleries.


The Grolier Club

Two exhibits welcome visitors to the Grolier Club, located at 47 East 60th St. Through April 25, the ground floor gallery hosts Aldus Manutius: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze, curated by Grolier president G. Scott Clemons. The second floor gallery offers At Home With Victorian Authors and Artists: William and Helen Allingham through May 23. Both are open to the public free of charge Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm.

Courtesy of Robert Lorenzson.

Les Enluminures

An opening reception on April 8, from 6-9 pm, heralds a new exhibition and catalogue from Les Enluminures: The Idda Collection of Romanesque Biblical Manuscripts, c. 980-1240. This exhibition of sixteen manuscripts allows a glimpse into the treasure chests of Romanesque Europe. Included are two early Gospel lectionaries from the Iberian Peninsula, two exceptional Psalters, and the famous tenth-century Liesborn Gospel Book. The exhibit is on view Tuesday through Saturday from April 9 to May 2 at Les Enluminures, 23 E. 73rd St. Visit

Courtesy of Les Enluminures.

The Morgan Library & Museum

A visit to the Morgan, at 225 Madison Ave., offers no less than four major exhibits during Rare Book Week. Hebrew Illumination for Our Time: Barbara Wolff, on view through May 3, showcases the contemporary illumination of the Rose Haggadah. Piranesi and the Temples of Paestum: Drawings from Sir John Soane’s Museum, will be on view through May 17. Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions, on view through May 24, marks the tenth anniversary of collecting twentieth-century drawings at the Morgan. Lincoln Speaks: Words that Transformed a Nation, on view through June 7, focuses on Abraham Lincoln as a writer and a public speaker.

Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum.

Bookish Browsing

Printed Matter, Inc.

Vanity Fair called it “the CBGB of Indie Bookstores,” but Printed Matter, located at 195 Tenth Avenue, is much more than that. Founded in 1976, the non-profit organization is dedicated to the dissemination, understanding, and appreciation of artists’ books. The shop carries contemporary artists’ books, zines, posters, prints, multiples, and a broad selection of out-of-print material. In addition to programs and exhibits on site, PM has also organized the annual NY Art Book Fair and the LA Art Book Fair. For more information, visit

Courtesy of Printed Matter.

Center for Book Arts

Located at 28 W. 27th Street, 3rd floor, the Center for Book Arts offers all manner of bookbinding and printing classes and gallery events. The first week of April is reserved for its annual auction and benefit on April 10 at 6 pm. This year’s honorees are Béatrice Coron, artist; Mark Dimunation, chief of rare books & special collections at the Library of Congress; and Sue Gosin, founder of Dieu Donné Papermill. Seen above is one of 2013 CBA artist-in-residence Cecile Chong’s letterpress-printed carousel books. For more information, visit

Courtesy of the Center for Book Arts.

Bowne & Co. Stationers and Bowne Printers

At 209-211 Water St., this “dos-à-dos” establishment is a hidden jewel. Here you can experience the traditional craft of nineteenth-century letterpress in a charmingly atmospheric shop true to its origins (Bowne & Co. is Manhattan’s oldest existing business under the same name). Part museum and part shop, it expanded in 2012 to better use the museum’s working collection of printing presses and hundreds of fonts of moveable type. Whether you try your hand at printing or simply browse the shop’s handcrafted wares, you will not be disappointed. Open every day, 11 am-7 pm. For more information, visit

Courtesy of Tyler Orehek Photography.