Friday 14 September 2012 12 noon – 7.00pm
Saturday 15th September 2012 10.00am – 5.00pm
Organised by the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association
Enquires to: The Fair Manager tel 01904 624414
Car Parking: Free Parking on site
Motorway Junction: A1 (M) J.1
Nearest railway station: York, just over a mile away
Buses: Free shuttle bus from York railway station
Refreshments: Lunches and light refreshments in cafe
Disabled facilities: Full facilities for the disabled.
From modest beginning with just 20 exhibitors at the White Swan Inn in York in 1974, the York Book Fair has grown into the largest, and many say friendliest, rare, antiquarian and out-of-print book fair in the U.K.
Held over two days, around 200 of this country's leading booksellers offer for sale a breathtaking diversity of books, as well as maps & prints, ranging in price from just a few pounds up to tens of thousands of pounds. There will also be a range of trade stands related to the book trade.
There are also vast collections of material from famous authors, both dead and living. There are miniature fantasy novels penned by Branwell Bronte, brother to Charlotte, Anne and Emily, there are hand-written letters authored by Evelyn Waugh and J R R Tolkien and original manuscripts by Graham Greene and Leeds-born poet Tony Harrison.
The extensive archives range over several floors, each occupying a large climate-controlled room full of rows of metallic racking which can be moved on rails, like the pages of a giant book.
Chris Sheppard is guardian of this treasure trove of chapter and verse, although he is in the process of stepping down from the role and will retire altogether in about a year. He has worked at the university since 1979 and is proud of how the collection has evolved.
The library's vaults even hold some rather unusual items, among which are locks of hair from Beethoven and Mozart. One thing the university does not have, however, is much material related to one of its alumni, J R R Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, which is presently being adapted for the cinema.
Katy Goodrum is head of special collections and the person stepping into Mr Sheppard's shoes. She said she wanted to make the archive more accessible to the public.
"One of our aims is to make the material more widely available – all of it is currently open to the public to view, so if someone is interested in a particular subject, they can contact us and we will arrange for them to see it. However, over the next few years, one of the things we are keen to do is set up a gallery space somewhere near the entrance on the ground floor, where people can come and view things more easily."
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