Rare Books Edinburgh is a new festival taking place from 20th to 30th March 2017, which brings together ten different institutions and organisations to celebrate book culture, collecting, and the history of the book.
The programme includes talks, workshops, and exhibitions, and incorporates the Edinburgh Book Fair, jointly run by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association and the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association. The Edinburgh Book Fair is the largest antiquarian and collectable book fair in Scotland, this year featuring over forty specialist booksellers from around the UK. They will be offering for sale rare and collectable books and printed material of all kinds and ages, at price points from several pounds to several thousand pounds. The fair will be opened by bestselling author and ‘king of tartan noir’ Ian Rankin OBE, creator of Inspector Rebus.
Also contributing to the festival programme are the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh University Library, the Centre for the History of the Book, the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Central Library, Blackwell’s Bookshop, and auction house Lyon & Turnbull.
‘The latest figures for hardcover and ebook sales show that books are back, and collectable books in fact never went away’, says festival organiser Derek Walker, co-owner of McNaughtan’s Bookshop in Edinburgh. ‘This city is lucky to have so many world-class bookshops, libraries, collections, and organisations, and Rare Books Edinburgh is an unparalleled opportunity for locals and visitors to see, learn about, handle, and even buy important, antique, or collectable books and printed material. It will be a veritable feast for book-lovers of all kinds.’
There will be introductory talks suitable for beginners as well as advanced workshops of interest to established scholars and collectors. Most of the events are free and open to the public, though several have limited capacity and require pre-registration. A full programme with information on how to register for events that require it can be found at the festival website. The website additionally contains an exhibitor list and floorplan for the book fair, and links to all participating organisations.