The ABA Educational Trust works to support a continued awareness of the heritage of the book and the printed word. It aims to promote and support education and research across the wide field of rare book studies and antiquarian bookselling. At present it is doing this by providing backing or funding for courses, seminars, conferences, publications, prizes and lectures. It also awards bursaries to individuals for study on relevant courses.
Antiquarian booksellers play an important part in sustaining interest in the history of the book and the dissemination of knowledge through the books they sell. They have often learnt a great deal throughout their time in the trade which they can pass on to others. It is not surprising therefore to find that booksellers are often some of the best people to teach others about books and bookselling.
The Educational Trust is aware of the need to boost the number of younger people entering the trade in order to keep it alive and flourishing. It turned to the revival of a traditional practice which had almost disappeared as a means of entering the trade. It set out to create an ABA Traineeship Scheme for new entrants to this very old and interesting trade. In the autumn of 2014 the first two Trainees were in place with ABA booksellers.
The ABA Traineeship Scheme (formerly known as the Apprenticeship Scheme) offers financial and tutorial support to an ABA member to hire a trainee. While working for the ABA member, the trainee follows a two-year course based on a curriculum devised and monitored by the ABA Educational Trust, ensuring that they gain experience in all aspects of the trade. The aim is that, by the end of the course, the successful trainee can be considered a competent junior bookseller.
To apply for The ABA Trainee Scheme email Adam Douglas, Educational Trust Chairman.
Please include an updated CV and a cover letter explaining why (aside from your lifelong passion for books) you wish to work in the rare book trade. Be sure to mention any relevant bookselling experience and, if applicable, your own collecting interests. Please also note any limits on your willingness to relocate if necessary. The scheme is only open to those with an existing right to work in the UK.
The current Trustees of the ABA Educational Trust are Daniel Crouch, Adam Douglas, and Anthony Smithson. Simon Beattie, Bird, Justin Croft and Theodora Robinson are committee members.