Letters from Aaron Burr, Jackie Kennedy at DC book fair

A vendor at the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair will be selling first-edition copies of the children’s classic “Winnie The Pooh.”   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A copy of “HOWL,” signed by author Allen Ginsberg (left), is available at this year’s Washington Antiquarian Book Fair.  (AP Photo/HO/First Run Features)
(AP Photo/HO/First Run Features)
“Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell is shown in this 1937 photo. A copy of Mitchell’s book, signed by the cast of the movie, will be at this year’s Washington Antiquarian Book Fair.  (AP Photo/File)
(AP Photo/File)
Personal letters from former first lady Jackie Kennedy, written during her time living in the White House, will be on sale at this year’s Washington Antiquarian Book Fair.  (AP Photo/File)
One bookseller is bringing a white-box Dungeons and Dragons early printing to the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair.  (AP Photo)
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)
February 21, 2024 | Listen up, literature fans: Here's an event you don't want to miss (WTOP's Rachel Nania)

WASHINGTON If you dream of owning a piece of history in the form of printed and bound pages, you’ll want to bookmark this event.

The Washington Antiquarian Book Fair is taking over K Street’s Sphinx Club April 28 and 29, and attendees can expect anything but the typical book fair experience.

The annual event, now in its 42nd year, attracts niche book collectors from all over the country who bring with them thousands of rare books, unique collectibles and first-edition classics.

This year’s event will feature items such as a copy of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind,” signed by the movie cast, and a first-edition copy of the children’s classic “Winnie The Pooh.”

“I think that collecting is about moments in time and ways that you can connect with either a memory or your past or some experience that really mattered to you,” said Beth Campbell, director of the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair.

There will also be letters written by former first lady Jackie Kennedy during her time in the White House, a letter written by Aaron Burr after his acquittal for treason, a signed copy of Allen Ginsberg’s “HOWL,” and a white-box edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

“It’s a pretty special opportunity for people looking to build a collection around that kind of offering,” Campbell added.

You don’t have to be in the market for a one-of-a-kind artifact to enjoy the fair. The family-friendly event hosts a game night with D.C.’s Labyrinth Games and Puzzles and offers lectures on the preservation and conservation of books.

Austin-based Typewriter Rodeo will be on-hand to create custom, on-demand poetry, typed on vintage typewriters. There will also be booths focused on specific authors, such as Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost.

“There’s a plethora of opportunities for people,” Campbell said.

The Washington Antiquarian Book Fair will run Friday, April 28 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available online and at the event.

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