Seminar History


YABS is the sister seminar of the long established Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and was created with the support of the Colorado faculty. YABS was set up when Anthony Smithson, of Keel Row Books, attended the Colorado seminar in 2011 and was so impressed with the intentions, execution and results of the Colorado seminar that he decided to answer the glaring need for a European equivalent.

Anthony developed and launched YABS in 2014 with Alice Laverty (also of Keel Row Books) and Jonathan Kearns, of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books and Curiosities. YABS 2019 will be the sixth annual seminar. The event is still managed by Anthony and Alice of Keel Row Books, with the support of the ABA office with the help of York-based event manager Sophie Pointon.


YABS Faculty 2014 – 2017

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From left to right, Justin Croft, Simon Beattie, Anthony Smithson, Sophie Schneideman and Jonathan Kearns.




The York Antiquarian Book Seminar is proudly supported by:


Antiquarian Booksellers Association

Founded in 1906 and the oldest organisation of its kind in the world, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association is the senior trade body for dealers in antiquarian and rare books, manuscripts and allied materials in the British Isles. Its membership also extends to many of the leading booksellers overseas. Members are elected solely on the basis of proven experience, expertise and integrity. They are expected to observe the highest professional and ethical standards and to foster the mutual trust and respect that exists between the trade and the public.

For more information: www.aba.org.uk


The Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

The Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association was founded in 1974 with just 20 members. Its primary aim was to provide provincial bookdealers with a shop window in London by holding regular book fairs. Nearly 40 years later it has over 500 members and regularly organises more than 80 antiquarian and secondhand book fairs a year.

For more information: www.pbfa.org




YABS 2019 is generously sponsored by London Rare Book School at the Institute of English Studies, university of London, Creative Computing and TL Dallas Insurance.

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TL Dallas Insurance

TL Dallas have been offering insurance policies for book dealers, binders and collectors along with associated home insurance policies for over 30 years and are approved by the PBFA. Tailored insurance policies for those in the books and collectables industry include key policy covers, ensuring piece of mind. 

Key policy features include:

Items in transit worldwide by postal/courier service. Stock, goods in trust and ancillary display equipment at book and craft fairs. Stock temporarily at other locations, including transit to and from. Defective title cover as standard.
For more information: www.tldallas.com/our-services/business-insurance/book-scheme-collectables/



Bookseller software has been used by leading booksellers in the UK and abroad since the early 90s.

It is a very comprehensive system offering many features to help booksellers run their businesses. It includes cataloguing, customer management, invoicing, image management and uploading to websites. It can be used by single users or on networks, and runs on both Windows and Macintosh computers. It has been developed using the award-winning database software, FileMaker Pro

For more information: https://www.bookseller.uk.com/index.php


London Rare Book School

The Institute of English Studies is one of nine member institutes of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. In addition to running over twenty-five seminar series in all topics related to English Studies, the Institute hosts and organises around thirty conferences each year and provides diverse study and training opportunities. Its mission is to promote advanced study and research in English Studies in the wider national and international academic community; facilitate academic discussion and the exchange of ideas through its comprehensive events programme; provide a centre for excellence in English language, literature, palaeography and the history of the book; and offer opportunities that promote excellence in English Studies, by means of events, fellowships, research training, consultancy, and publications.