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General Information

An aerial view of Battersea Evolution and the surrounding Battersea Park.

Welcome to Firsts, London's Rare Book Fair the 62nd ABA summer fair, which returns to Battersea Evolution in the heart of Battersea Park, for a second time. This major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world. Showcasing rare, unique and unusual items from more than 170 leading UK and international dealers, Firsts, London's Rare Book Fair is the jewel in the crown of Rare Books London, which celebrates old and rare books, with special events and behind-the-scenes activities for bibliophiles during June.

From museum-quality medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions such as Harry Potter, visitors to the fair can literally hold history in their hands as they view and buy rare books, maps, prints, photographs, ephemera and original artwork. Whether you are an established collector or new to collecting, exhibitors welcome you to browse their Highlights, and to get in touch prior to the Fair. They will be happy to bring specific items for your inspection, and this is an excellent opportunity to make new contacts in your area of interest.

In addition to regular and new exhibitors, we have a carefully selected series of live events run by specialist organisations and craftspeople. Fascinating hands-on workshops (including family-friendly activities) give visitors a chance to dive straight into the world of fine printing, bookbinding, and calligraphy.

The 2019 fair will again feature Vintage Corner, generously sponsored by AbeBooks, where you can find out what makes a book rare, listen to talks on all aspects of book-collecting, and be signposted around the fair to the subjects of our choice by our friendly staff. Vintage Corner will also serve as the meeting point for our popular expert-led guided tours. A complete list of events and tours will be available soon.

The Fair is presented and managed by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA), in collaboration with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). These internationally recognized badges of excellence guarantee the accuracy of description and authenticity of all items for sale, as well as the professionalism and knowledge of the exhibitors.

Firsts is a highlight of the year for bibliophiles around the world.