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Over 35 Exhibitors to Showcase Thousands of Antique, Notable, and Historic Books, Maps, and Documents

Over 35 Exhibitors to Showcase Thousands of Antique, Notable, and Historic Books, Maps, and Documents
Photo: Fine Book Fairs (@rcourihaycreativepr)

The Capital Rare Book Fair will bring 35+ antiquarian booksellers from across the country to the historic University Club at 1135 16th St NW in Washington, DC, from May 3rd to 5th, 2024.  Building on the success of last year’s Georgetown Rare Book Fair, Fine Book Fairs has moved the fair to a prestigious downtown location, just steps from the White House.

This year the fair will take over two floors in the illustrious mansion on Sixteenth Street and showcase thousands of beautiful, notable, and rare books, maps, and historic documents from around the globe. Exceptional examples that will be offered include Leaf twenty-seven of a forty-leaf xylographic Biblia pauperum, a picture bible from 1465 for $85,000 from Bruce McKittrick Rare Books; George Washington’s “Justice and Public Good” letter and one of Abe Lincoln’s signed checks from Seth Kaller Inc., an inscribed copy of John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage, Decisive Moments in the Lives of Celebrated Americans” from B & B Books, and a 17th century map of the Chesapeake Bay from New World Cartographic.

The weekend will kick off with an opening night preview party on Friday evening where guests will have first access to the diverse and coveted books while enjoying literary-themed cocktails, wine, and beer, canapes, and musical entertainment. The night will benefit the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, who champion the breadth and power of fiction in America. They administer the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story to help call attention toward literary achievements; by bringing free books and authors into under-resourced DC schools to inspire the next generation of readers and writers; and by curating public literary programs to amplify the work of accomplished authors.

Eve and Edward Lemon, who live in the Meridian Hill neighborhood of D.C., founded Fine Books Fairs in 2022 with the goal of creating memorable, fun, and affordable fairs that instill the joy of books in a new generation of collectors.  The couple, who are in their 30s, are respected collectors and experts in the field and host five fairs throughout the year.

On Saturday and Sunday, The Capital Rare Book Fair will feature respected speakers from around the United States and United Kingdom who are coming expressly to speak at the fair.  The guest speakers, who will offer their insights and expertise on a variety of literary topics, include:

Hugo Vickers, the British writer, broadcaster and noted expert on the Royal family, has written biographies of many twentieth century figures, including the Queen Mother, Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough, Cecil Beaton, Vivien Leigh, a study of Greta Garbo, Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece, and his book, The Private World of The Duke and Duchess of Windsor was illustrated with pictures from their own collection.

Christy Cashman is a mother, author, and an active member of the Boston literary community. She is on the board of directors for the Associates of the Boston Public Library and is the founder of YouthINK, a not-for-profit mentorship program for young artists in the United States and Ireland. In addition to The Truth About Horses (2023), she has published two children’s books, The Not-So-Average Monkey of Kilkea Castle and Petri’s Next Things. She is currently working on her second novel, Beulah, and on her third children’s book, The Cat Named Peanut Shrimp Cookie Fry Muffin Who Lives on Staniel Key.

Marvin Kalb, Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice, Emeritus, was the founding Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. He has had a distinguished journalism career that encompasses 30 years of award-winning reporting for CBS and NBC News as Chief Diplomatic Correspondent, Moscow bureau chief and anchor of “Meet the Press.” In addition, Kalb has authored and co-authored 13 non-fiction books and two best-selling novels. His most recent book is, “The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956 – Khrushchev, Stalin’s Ghost, and a Young American in Russia.”

Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty is the director of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, which contains nearly 3 million library volumes and over 44,000 cubic feet of archival materials chronicling the history of the Smithsonian. Evangelestia-Dougherty oversees 137 employees, a national advisory board of 15 members, an annual budget of over $16 million and 22 library branches and reading rooms located in Washington, D.C., New York City, Maryland, Virginia and the Republic of Panama.

Kermit Roosevelt III,  a professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, is a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice David Souter. He is the author of The Myth of Judicial Activism, as well as two novels, Allegiance and In the Shadow of the Law. In addition, he is the great-great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, first cousin of Eleanor Roosevelt, and distant cousin of FDR.

“We are excited to be hosting one of our fairs not only in a truly historic location, but in our hometown. As a Millennial couple, our goal when we started was to breathe new life into the world of book collecting,” said Mrs. Lemon.  “We have found that there is a growing number of younger enthusiasts who are discovering the pleasure of collecting.  For many it is not just about buying a first edition or finding a signed copy of a rare book; it is about enjoying the entire experience.”

Friday’s Preview Party tickets are $50 and include admission to the fair for the entire weekend. General admission on Saturday and Sunday is $15, $10 for students, and free for those under 16 years of age. Tickets are available at the door or HERE. Tickets allow multiple entries on different days.

Exhibitors include B&B Rare Books, Capitol Hill Books, Christopher’s Rare Books, Bluemango Rare Books and Manuscripts, Brenner’s Collectable Books, Commonwealth Books, Dale Steffey Books, First Place Books, Jeffrey Bergman Books, K&S Fine Arts, The Kelmscott Bookshop, Bruce McKittrick Rare Books, MacManus Rare Books, Michael R. Weintraub, Inc., New World Cartographic,Old Editions Bookshop, Owl of Athena Books, Pryor-Johnson Rare Books, Richard Mori Books,  Riverow Bookshop, Stan Gorski, Tennyson Williams Books and Fine Art, Vintage Books and Fine Art, West Side Book Shop, Wonder Book, Yesterday’s Muse, Quill & Brush, and more.


Friday, May 3rd:

  • 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Saturday, May 4th:

  • 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sunday, May 5th:

  • 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM


About Fine Book Fairs:

Fine Book Fairs was founded by Eve and Edward Lemon in 2022 to promote book and print fairs across the United States. Each of the fairs is a unique social event that combines rare books and prints, bespoke service to both exhibitors and attendees, live music, food and drink in a historic venue.  Since its inception, Fine Book Fairs has hosted internationally attended book fairs in D.C., Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New York, helping to make collecting accessible to a new generation of fans.


Published By: Aize Perez

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