The ANZAAB, which is affiliated with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, was formed in 1977 with the object of promoting the standing, welfare, and growth of the local antiquarian book business. It aims to make statements on matters concerning antiquarian bookselling, book collecting, and library policy, and to bring public and political questions relevant to the business, a point of view that might otherwise be ignored. It seeks to encourage between its members, and between booksellers generally, the observance of those courtesies and honourable practices traditionally associated with the trade; and per contra, to discourage practices capable of bringing disrepute to antiquarian bookselling. In particular, the Association seeks to encourage its members to achieve high standards of accuracy in descriptions of materials offered for sale.
One of the Association's main activities is the organisation of book fairs.
Association membership is open to booksellers who have, for a certain number of years, been engaged full-time in the buying and selling of old or secondhand books of some worth or consequence, and who are recognised for their expertise and good name.