About The American Bell Association International, Inc (ABA)
We are a network of bell collectors, ringers, carillonneurs, artisans, manufacturers, technicians, dealers, and researchers.
The ABA was founded in 1940 and incorporated in 1984 for educational and scientific purposes related to the collection, study, preservation, restoration and research of bells of all kinds. We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization. ABA members include bell lovers from most U.S. states and many other countries.
We publish six issues a year of our 48-page, full-color magazine The Bell Tower. Each issue contains articles about bells, news of members, chapter meetings, future events, and much more. It is both interesting and beautiful.
We hold an annual convention at different locations throughout the United States where we have educational speakers and programs, bell forums, a bell auction, bell sales, and general business meetings. Anyone who is able to attend one of these conventions will not only learn a great deal, they will have the opportunity to meet the friendliest people in the world—bell lovers. See the link on our homepage for convention details.
Annual dues for a household membership are $40. This includes bulk mailing of The Bell Tower magazine in the US. First class mail is $12 additional, for a total of $52. Mail for Canada is $12, total $52, and other international mail is $24, for a total of $64.
Bell collectors collect bells made from bronze, brass, pewter, silver, gold, china, porcelain, pottery, glass, crystal, wood, stone/mineral, and any number of other materials, including volcanic ash. They may be as small as a tiny earring or as large as a locomotive, ship, or church bell. They may look like a bell but not sound like a bell (“smoke bells”) or sound like a bell but not look like a bell (Chinese chiming bells). Some people specialize, and some people like to have some (or more) of everything.
Ringers may include ringers or directors from English handbell choirs, change ringers of tower bells (we had a fabulous demonstration in Marietta, Georgia, at our convention in Atlanta in 2013), or even ringing a member’s large bells in their yard on New Year’s Eve or July 4.
Carillonneurs have given us delightful demonstrations of their art at various conventions and chapter meetings around the country.
Artisans and manufacturers provide us with a unique commissioned Convention Bell every year.
Technicians supply parts and expertise for the repair and refurbishment of our bells, especially the large ones.
Dealers: Many of us are dealers as we sell some of the bells we have in order to make room and buy new ones!
Researchers: Sooner or later, all of us want to find out more about some of our bells. And that’s where ABA really meets our need.