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Rare Books Boston

Rare Books Boston: The 2022 edition of the Boston Rare Book and Ephemera Fair, the “Satellite Show,” will be held on Saturday, November 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116, four walkable blocks from the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center.

The fair’s growing list of exhibitors, include antiquarian booksellers, ephemera specialists, and book conservators  from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Ontario, Canada.  Exhibitors comprise veteran dealers with lifetime careers in the trade, as well as young booksellers, who've recently started their own businesses after working in the field for others – together with recent graduates of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminars at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress; and Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers, the fair is produced by Book Fair Promotion, of Northampton.  Admission is $15. A limited number of complimentary and discounted admission tickets are available at www.rarebooksboston.com   Extremely accessible by mass transit, on foot, and by bicycle. Discounted, validated parking is available.

Rare Books Boston will include an events program including talks by antiquarian book collectors, booksellers, authors, publishers, and ephemera experts.   Free expert appraisals, for up to four items, will be offered from 2 to 3pm by rare booksellers William Hutchison, of Mendenhall, Pennsylvania and Dan Gaeta, of John Bale Books of Waterbury, Connecticut, said Mark Brumberg, director of Rare Books Boston.

What are the 100 Best Books Written or Published in Massachusetts since the Seventeenth Century? –  a panel discussion, will go live from 11am to noon at Rare Books Boston at the Back Bay Events Center, moderated by publisher and letterpress printer David Godine, with panelists John Buchtel, Ph.D., Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections at the Boston Athenaeum, Ken Gloss, owner of Brattle Bookshop, of Boston, and other publishers, authors, & antiquarian booksellers.  The panel discussion will be filmed, to make this program available to a wider audience of participants, for later downloads and streaming at www.rarebooksboston.com

Why start the discussion in the 1700s? That century was a banner year in the history of book publishing as The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre, commonly called The Bay Psalm Book, a metrical psalter, translated into English, was printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, becoming the first book published in British North America, said Brumberg.

Among the books, magazines and newspapers, published in the nineteenth century, under consideration for  the 100 Best are: Tamerlane and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe (1827) , The Liberator by William Lloyd Garrison (1931 – 1865 ), Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1836) , Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave (1845), Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas DeQuincy (1850) , The Scarlet Letter, a Romance (1850) ,  Moby Dick , or, the Whale (1851) , Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) , Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854) , The Atlantic (1857) , Leaves of Grass, Third Edition by Walt Whitman (1860) , Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (1861) , Little Women or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by Louisa May Alcott (1868).

Which books from the twentieth century will be included on the 100 Greatest? : Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth (1905), Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (1908), Sigmund Freud’s Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1910), Dr. Seuss’ (Theodore Seuss Geisel ) And to Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), Virginia Lee Burton’s Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939), Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940), James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (1941) , H.A. Rey’s Curious George (1941), Richard Wilbur’s’ The Beautiful Changes, and Other Poems (1947), J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951), Leonard Baskin’s On a Pyre of Withered Roses (1952), James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son (1955) , Philip Roth’s Goodbye Columbus and Five Short Stories (1959), Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961),  Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring (1962)), Sylvia Plath’s Ariel (1965).

“Our 100 Greatest list is not set in stone. It is growing, under debate, a work in progress. We hope to be able to compile a definitive list in 2023, with further input from panelists, special collections librarians, authors, publishers, book historians, literary scholars, academics, avid readers, book collectors and antiquarian booksellers. An annotated list with a full bibliography and illustrations is planned,” Brumberg said.