Frontlist | First-Ever Boston Virtual Book Fair Online Events Announced

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The first-ever Boston Virtual Book Fair, to be held November 12-14, 2020, will launch with an all-day Paid Preview on Thursday, November 12. Online programming on Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14, will feature curator Marylène Altieri exploring the culinary collection at Harvard’s Schlesinger Library, including the papers of famed chef Julia Child; Nicole Aljoe, director of the Africana Studies Program at Northeastern University, sharing her latest research around a recently discovered mysterious 19th century text by Chloe Russell, “A Woman of Color of the state of Massachusetts, also commonly termed the Old Witch, or Black Interpreter” at the Boston Athenaeum; Boston-based scholars/curators Allison Lange and Theo Tyson discussing the Women’s Suffrage Movement from the perspective of its visual representation; and The Ticknor Society’s popular Collectors’ Roundtable.

The 44th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (reimagined as the Boston Virtual Book Fair in 2020) is the annual fall gathering for book lovers and collectors, featuring the top selection of items available on the international literary market. Hosted by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, this three-day virtual marketplace will feature 150+ booksellers from around the globe!

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12

11AM-7PM EST Paid Preview, Tickets are $50. Available at www.abaa.org/vbf.

Be the first to browse and shop 150+ dealers at the Boston Virtual Book Fair. An alluring treasure trove awaits seasoned collectors as well as new visitors. The event will showcase the finest in rare and valuable books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, ephemera, political and historic documents, maps, atlases, photographs, fine and decorative prints, and much more.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13

1PM EST Julia Child and Company: Culinary Delights at the Schlesinger Library

Marylène Altieri, Curator of Published and Printed Materials

Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America,

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Julia Child’s voluminous and fascinating papers are just one of several collections of prominent women in the world of food at the Schlesinger Library. Their papers are nestled in comprehensive collections of cookbooks, culinary periodicals, product pamphlets, and menus that give depth and context to the record of their achievements. Schlesinger’s broader mission to document the lives of women in America further enhances their meaning and provides researchers with unparalleled resources. Marylène will introduce you to the range of these materials, with perhaps some timely recipes thrown in!

3PM EST The Curious Case of Chloe Russell’s “The Complete Fortune Teller and Dream Book”

Nicole N. Aljoe, PhD

Director of Africana Studies Program, Department of Cultures, Societies, & Global Studies

Associate Professor of English & Africana Studies, Northeastern University

This talk will explore an intriguing text held in the Boston Athenaeum. Titled The Complete Fortune Teller and Dream Book, it purports to be written by Chloe Russell, “A Woman of Color of the state of Massachusetts, also commonly termed the Old Witch, or Black Interpreter.” Dated around the turn of the 19th century, the text is a puzzle for scholars. Russell is documented as owning a home in Boston’s West End and was alternatively listed as a washerwoman and cook; she is not now known to have written anything else. The text itself, an interesting compilation of astrology and superstitions around choosing a mate, might have been reprinted from elsewhere. The talk will share some of the unique aspects of this surprising text that facilitate speculation about its possible occasion for publication.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14

1PM EST Historical Artifacts and the Myths of the Women’s Voting Rights Movement

Dr. Allison Lange

Associate Professor of History, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston

Curator of the suffrage exhibitions at Massachusetts Historical Society and Schlesinger Library

Theo Tyson

Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture at the Boston Athenaeum

Curator of the (Anti)Suffrage exhibition

Dr. Lange and Theo Tyson will discuss the Women’s Suffrage Movement from the perspective of its visual representation, from books and prints to books, posters and photographs. The discussion explores the ways that historical artifacts established many of the popular myths of the women’s suffrage movement, many created by the activists themselves.

3PM EST The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable

The Ticknor Society sponsors an annual roundtable of collectors at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, and this year’s participants include Heather O’Donnell (founder of Honey & Wax Booksellers of Brooklyn), Erika Hapke (Bernett Pinka Rare Books of Boston), and Peter X. Accardo (Programs and Public Service Librarian, Houghton Library).

ABOUT THE FAIR

The 2020 Boston Virtual Book Fair kicks off with an all-day Paid Preview on Thursday, November 12, 11AM-7PM, and requires purchase of a $50.00 ticket. It will be an exclusive opportunity to get a first look at items for sale. The Fair opens, free to the public, at 11AM on November 13 and will run 24 hours a day online at abaa.org/vbf until November 14 at 7PM. For more information and tickets for the Paid Preview, visit abaa.org/vbf.

Collectors can virtually peruse the booths of every exhibitor in the Fair or quickly visit their favorite dealers, hosted in an easy-to-navigate online version of the traditional book fair booth. A search feature allows visitors to quickly browse by category, dealer, or keyword-with each item featuring a brief description, condition, and price-and they can contact dealers directly to learn more about the items for sale. Each exhibitor will showcase up to 50 of their most interesting and significant pieces, creating a remarkable and diverse selection of items from around the world. Fresh items will be available throughout the weekend as dealers continually restock their virtual booths.

Whether just browsing or buying, the Fair offers something for every taste and budget-books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy, and science to sport, natural history, literature, fashion, music, and children’s books-all appealing to a range of bibliophiles and browsers. From the historic and academic, to the religious and spiritual, from the exotic to everyday-the Fair has offerings in every conceivable genre and subject. Attendees have the unique chance to view rare and historic museum-quality items, offered by some of the most prestigious participants in the trade.

With the Fair hosted completely online, everyone around the globe can attend the Boston Virtual Book Fair, one of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the U.S.!

 

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