New partnership, new location for this year’s Antiquarian Book Fair

·2 min read

In 1991, Minneapolis antiquarian bookseller Larry Dingman founded Midwest Bookhunters Book Fair, a gathering of 70 antiquarian and rare booksellers from the Twin Cities and around the nation.

The event, held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and later known as the Twin Cities Antiquarian & Rare Book Fair, drew thousands of book lovers annually. When Dingman died in 2010, others in the antiquarian bookselling community stepped in to keep the fair going.

This year, the Minnesota Antiquarian Book Fair will be a live and virtual hybrid in a new location and in a new partnership with CABS-Minnesota Book Seminar and its Diverse Voices Fellowship.

CABS stands for Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, which began in Denver. The CABS-Minnesota seminar is an intensive, hands-on, week-long course that will take place July 10-15 at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Its new Diverse Voices Fellowship supports five fellows who have a strong interest in learning more about the antiquarian book trade and felt isolated in or distanced from the trade because of race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and/or income. (More information at: bookseminars.com.)

The in-person book fair will be from 3 to 7 p.m. July 8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9 at Schoenecker Arena in the Anderson Athletic Complex and Recreation Center at the University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul. $7 Friday covers both days, $5 Saturday. Children under 12 get in free. Free parking in the Anderson Parking Facility at the intersection of Cretin and Grand avenues.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, there will be a special CABS-Minnesota panel at St. Thomas made up of three graduates of the Antiquarian Book Seminar.

The panelists will be:

  • Ken Sanders, who’s been in the rare book business in Utah since the 1970s, buying, selling, appraising and publishing new and old books, photography, cartography and documents

  • Kara McLaughlin, proprietor of Little Sages Rare Books and Paper in Longmont, Colo., collaborator with institutions, collectors, and conservationists. Her emphasis is on material relating to women, culture, art, design and social history

  • And Jaime Harker, founder of Violet Valley Bookstore, a queer, feminist, trans-inclusive nonprofit in Water Valley, Miss. She is professor of English and director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi. Violet Valley is the only queer feminist bookstore in Mississippi.

For more about the panelists, who will also discuss current efforts toward increasing the inclusivity of the book trade, visit bookseminars.com.

The book fair’s virtual portion is being produced on Getman’s Virtual Book Fair Platform, developed at the start of the pandemic when book fairs around the country came to an abrupt halt. For more information go to getmansvirtual.com.

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