Visiting the California International Antiquarian Book Fair

Over this past weekend I had the delight of attending the California International Antiquarian Book Fair, which this year was held in Pasadena at the Convention Center.

This probably falls into another one of those “Busman’s holidays” I wrote about last summer — spending the weekend studying and reviewing beautiful books, manuscripts and art. I was part  of a group from APU to attend – the Special Collections Team in the  University Libraries. Around the convention floor we became known as “Team Azusa” and our team included Tom Andrews, Ken Otto, Roger White, Luba Zakharov, Diane Wilson, Paul Gray and myself.

While there we met with book dealers from around the world (I focused primarily on dealers from the U.K. in seeking out Wesleyan materials) and consulted with each other often in determining if a particular edition should be a priority in developing our collections and if a price seemed fair.

On Monday, at our Special Collections meeting, we did a “show and tell” so that we could see what items were selected for various university collections.

After a weekend with some big decisions, I wound up selecting one special book. I selected a beautifully bound volume of an extract from John Wesley’s journal covering his missionary trip to Georgia (US).

Wesley, John. An Extract of the Rev. Mr. John Wesley’s Journal From His Embarking for Georgia to His Return to London. Second Edition. Bristol and Philadelphia: Printed by Felix Farley. 1743.

This is actually the first American edition with an American distributor listed in the imprint (Andrew Bradford, Philadelphia). As you may know, John Wesley spent two years in Georgia serving at churches throughout the colony. The journal covers October 1735 to February 1738.

No early edition of this work has appeared at auction/trade in the past thirty-five years. Checking the WorldCAT database I discovered that there are now 10 libraries in the US that have this edition and it appears there are a total of 15 copies worldwide (including ours). I realize this doesn’t include privately held editions but it does reflect that this is
a fairly unique volume and one which will be added to our growing special collections in the Stamps Library.

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5 Responses to Visiting the California International Antiquarian Book Fair

  1. Shelley Long says:

    The event sounds awesome! If only I had known about it! And what a great find Liz. APU should be proud of “Team Azusa;” I am.

  2. Joseph Bentz says:

    I’m so glad you were able to acquire the Wesley book for the university! I hope you’ll be able to display it at some point. I’d love to see it. Congratulations!

  3. Diane Wilson says:

    Can’t wait to see this volume, Liz! Are you going to entrust it to me long enough to catalog? ; )

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