2018 Guest Speakers

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Keynote Speaker: Lisa Baskin

Lisa is a political activist, collector, antiques dealer, book dealer and antiquarian. Brooklyn born, educated in New York City public schools, she went off to attend Cornell before moving to Western Massachusetts. She is a former editor of the Massachusetts Review, historian & independent curator (most recently of the Phillis Wheatley 200th Anniversary exhibit; the inaugural exhibition at the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, Seneca Falls Women’s Rights National Historic Park and The Gehenna Press: Fifty Years 1942-1992.) She jokes that she collected in the cradle, and the product of her efforts, a near comprehensive collection documenting the political & social history of working women from the fifteenth century to the Spanish Civil War, is now part of the David M. Rubenstein Library at Duke University.

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Speciality Dealer: James Hallgate

James has been dealing in rare books since 1991 when, aged 16, armed with a decade’s worth of back issues of The Book and Magazine Collector he began scouring the shelves of book fairs and bookshops looking for the titles that appeared on dealer’s wanted lists. He founded Lucius Books in 1993 and consolidating his various careers (restaurateur, artist, print media distribution operative) into full time bookselling the following year. 23 years on and Lucius Books has grown to become one of the leading dealers of Modern First Editions, trading through a bricks and mortar shop, exhibiting at book fairs worldwide and all aspects of the internet and media (in 2014 he was appointed to rare books expert at BBC Radio York where he continues to offer biblio advice on a live phone-in show).

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Tim Pye

Tim is Libraries Curator for the National Trust. As the Trust's authority on its curatorship of its historic collections Tim develops exhibitions, researches new techniques and technologies for making the Trust's libraries accessible and oversees the Trusts cataloguing and conservation programmes. Formerly at the British Library as Curator of Printed Literary Sources 1501-1800 Tim has also previously worked at Lambeth Palace Library and Cambridge University Library. Working in these major institutions, together with his MA Library Studies at UCL, has fostered Tim’s knowledge of historical bibliography and his particular interest in the history of book collecting.


Sophie Schneideman

Sophie is an antiquarian bookdealer with over 25 years experience. Following a long apprenticeship at Maggs Bros, she now runs her own business in London specialising in Private Press and illustrated books, fine bindings, artists’ books, manuscripts and prints. 


Stephen Foster

Stephen is a second-generation bookseller, with 35 years' experience. He has one of the few second-hand bookshops left in West London. From his lovely c18th shop in Chiswick, he sells not only to local customers, but around the world. He also works with the film industry, supplying books for film sets and TV dramas.


Alice Laverty

Alice has managed the Keel Row Books in Tyneside since 2009, after a decade of work in the design and architecture industry, both in the UK and overseas. She worked with Anthony Smithson and Jonathan Kearns to develop and launch the YABS as a UK equivalent to the long established Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and has event managed YABS since its inception in 2014.




Anthony Smithson

Anthony is the founder of YABS and its joint director. He opened his first bookshop in 1991 at the age of 19 and learned the book trade from the ground up, selling at book fairs in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Anthony is a long-standing member of the PBFA and joined the ABA in 2012. In 2014 he was elected to the Council of the ABA and also sits on the board of the ABA Educational Trust. He is a twice graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and since 2006 he has run Keel Row Bookshop (near Newcastle Upon Tyne).


Jonathan Kearns

Jonathan is a 19th and 20th century literature enthusiast with an obsession bordering on the indecent for anything weird, speculative or unusual. A bookseller for almost 18 years, he started out working on Charing Cross Road. He recently left Adrian Harrington Rare Books to work for himself as Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities. He runs the Bibliodeviancy book blog and is a joint director of YABS. 


Simon Beattie

Simon has been in the book trade since 1998. After a dozen years working for Bernard Quaritch and Simon Finch Rare Books, he set up on his own in 2010, specialising in European (cross-) cultural history. His catalogues have won seven design awards on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2011 the ABA described him as ‘a dealer to watch’ and in 2012 he was included among the winners of the Smarta 100 Awards for ‘the most resourceful, original, exciting small businesses in the UK’


Justin Croft

Justin has worked in the antiquarian book trade for over 20 years and has traded independently since 2005. He holds a PhD from the University of Kent and is a contributor to the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. 


Adam Douglas

Adam started bookselling in 1988 with Simon Finch, after reading English Literature at Bristol University. In 2005 he joined Peter Harrington, where he is now a partner and senior specialist in English literature and early books. Adam also specialises in law, philosophy, the history of ideas and is responsible for training new cataloguers. He has also taught an MA course in screenwriting and is the author of The Beast Within, a cultural study of the werewolf myth. 


Deborah Coltham

Deborah graduated from St Andrews University in 1994 with an MA Honours degree in English Literature and Medieval History. She joined the leading London firm of Pickering & Chatto Ltd as an apprentice to the Head of the Science and Medicine Department and moved to establish her own business, Deborah Coltham Rare Books in July 2006.

She is involved in the running of the ABA National Book Collecting Prize and has sat on the judging panel. She is currently a sitting member of the ABA National Council and one of the two membership Secretaries.

Although originally focusing upon rare and important books (together with occasional manuscripts and ephemeral items) in a range of scientific and medical subjects, over recent years her interests have evolved somewhat, leaning towards visual, unusual and sometimes quirky, with a further continued interest in books by or about women, and in typography.