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General Information

IOBA offers several scholarships each year so members can continue their education and professional development. Scholarships are awarded without regard to current level of accomplishment, financial need, full- or part-time bookseller status, or length of time in the book trade. IOBA is committed to the belief that every well-educated, well-informed, and ethical bookseller is a credit to the trade and to our organization, and we consider these scholarships to be our investment in the future of bookselling.

These scholarships are available to any current IOBA member in good standing, excluding members of the Scholarship Committee and current Officers. Prospective members who are currently participating in the mentorship program are also eligible to apply, if approved by their mentor.


Three scholarship is specifically reserved for CABS-Minnesota.. CABS-Minnesota is an intensive program on all aspects of bookselling, now held on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, USA for one week each summer.

IOBA also provides open scholarships that can be used at the following institutions:

  • York Antiquarian Book Seminar (YABS), held in York, England. YABS is a three-day intensive seminar modeled after CABS but tailored for booksellers in the UK.

  • Rare Book School (RBS, Charlottesville, VA, USA). RBS courses focus on specific aspects of book history, bibliography, printing and book arts. Most of these week-long courses are offered in the summer in Charlottesville, but others are offered at other venues around the East Coast and at other times of the year.

  • California Rare Book School (CALRBS, various locations in CA, USA). CALRBS courses are also similarly focused and are week-long courses covering a broad range of topics, from the history, identification and preservation of motion picture materials to the history of typography.

  • London Rare Books School (LRBS). Two week-long intensive sessions on specific topics about antiquarian material are offered each summer at the University of London, England. Courses have included A History of Maps and Mapping, The Medieval Book, and Children’s Books.

Each Scholarship covers tuition and required expenses plus any non North-American winners who attend a school in the USA will receive an additional travel stipend.

The CABS and YABS scholarships must be used in the year in which they are awarded. In order to allow time for the LRBS, RBS and CALRBS admissions process, a scholarship awarded to one of these schools is valid until December 31 of the year following the one in which the scholarship is awarded.


Each of the book seminars and courses listed above provides valuable information about how to be a better bookseller. Whatever your needs or interests, IOBA encourages you to strongly consider attending one of these programs and to apply for a scholarship to assist with the costs. Aside from gaining knowledge and insights, you will also meet mentors, collectors, librarians, and colleagues and help foster greater community in our trade.

Here is what some of the past IOBA Scholarship winners have to say about their experiences:


Elizabeth Saunders of Tannery Books in Archdale, North Carolina received an IOBA scholarship to attend CABS in 2014. Elizabeth summed up CABS at her blog:

“As expected, the next five days of class were like drinking from a firehose — but I was thirsty. Nine instructors did their best to cover everything: bibliography, research sites, where to buy and sell books, photography, websites and databases…. You name it. We scribbled copious notes.”

You can read further details in her full blog post.

James South of Treasure & Relish, a bookseller and arts and antiques dealer based in Harrogate, England, attended YABS in 2014. Here are his thoughts about this experience:

“For the last couple of years or so I have concentrated my efforts into acquiring, presenting and selling books via the internet and book fairs. Though, working alone, buying stock, making decisions, etc., can be daunting when you’re relatively new to the bookselling world.

Being awarded the IOBA scholarship to attend the inaugural York Antiquarian Book Seminar presented a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from some of the leading book dealers and specialists through their lectures, discussions & demonstrations. I was delighted to receive this very generous scholarship, and certainly consider it instrumental in my continued professional development.

My bookselling journey continues, and now my wife and I are in the process of opening a bookshop in the city of Ripon, North Yorkshire, which will incorporate a vegetarian cafe alongside books and art. A new website is underway to compliment the new business direction.”


More Information:

Further details on application can be found in the members area (log in required). Additional questions should be addressed to:


Best of luck to all!

Walking on Campus
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