welcome to
Ken Spelman Books
thank you for visiting us on
"A true treasure trove" [The Times]

"One of the 10 best rare bookshops in Britain" [The Independent]

"One of the best independent retailers in the country" [Royal Society of Literature]

Books bought in all quantities - we travel throughout the country

70 Micklegate, York YO1 6LF
Open: 9.00am - 5.30pm Mon-Sat. tel: 01904 624414

~ ~

Or click here to send us a message ~

Established in York in 1948, with 70 years of experience we are always happy to provide professional and confidential advice - whether you are an experienced collector or a first time buyer or seller.

Rare and Secondhand Books, Manuscripts & Documents, contemporary art exhibitions, designer cards, and in winter a real coal fire. There is on-street parking right outside our door - a rarity for York!

I joined Spelmans in 1979, becoming a partner in 1984, and now own the business with my wife Nicki.

I have served on the Council of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, and was Chairman of the ABA Rare Book Fair London from 2014-2018. I am currently Fair Manager of the PBFA York National Book Fair, the largest fair of its kind in the U.K.

If you are thinking of selling or thinning out your collections - or just have individual books of interest - then contact me - I buy books in all quantities and travel extensively throughout the country. I am also always keen to purchase any manuscripts, diaries, journals, inventories, estate plans &c pre 1850.

I regularly handle significant items & specialist collections on a private commission basis: contact: tony.fothergill@kenspelman.com

For nearly 40 years I have worked with major institutions and collectors in developing their libraries.

~ book fairs - I exhibit at the following major ABA & PBFA Fairs each year, Bristol, Cambridge, London, Oxford, & York. complimentary tickets for all fairs

~ modern printmakers, photographers, and cards

We stock original prints by a number of leading modern printmakers, including Andrew Waddington, Neil Bousfield, Angela Harding, Tom Frost, Hannah West, Matte Stephens, Alan Turnbull, Tessa Asquith-Lamb. Also the shop now stocks a superb range of designer cards, and wrapping paper, and we even offer a free wrapping service for purchases. Also books by Mark Hearld, and his wonderful flying bird cut-outs.


View Tony Fothergill's profile on LinkedIn

Visit our store on ebay, with nearly 3,000 items for sale, the majority not listed elsewhere.
17th century / 18th century / 19th century / manuscripts /
Theology / Philosophy /
York & Yorkshire prints and engravings / Ephemera / Drawings & Watercolours

and lots more.... new items are added daily.

Include description

Catalogue 101 (November 2018):
17th & 18th century Philosophy & Theology.
The John Stephens Library, Part One.

Monthly Lists:
I send out a monthly list of 10 interesting recent acquisitions. They have not appeared anywhere else before, and there will only ever be 10 on each list.

Rare Books & Manuscripts ~

I issue regular catalogues - fully illustrated in colour. These books get their first appearance in the catalogues, and are not found on ABE or other websites as a courtesy to our customers.

Just email us to join the mailing list to receive these.

Manuscripts - archive
Highlight items sold

General Stock of quality secondhand books:

Book Collecting Prizes

In 2017 I was delighted to announce that I established the York University Book Collecting Prize. It is open to all students at the University of York, and offers the opportunity to win a £500 cash prize, and to progress to the ABA National Book Collecting Prize.

This year's winner of the prize is History PhD student Sky Duthie. The theme of the winning collection is Animals in Print c.1700-1900.

copyright: Ken Spelman Books Ltd, 2018