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What's my item worth?: Autographs

Researching your autographs

Unfortunately, the Archives and Special Collectionsof Franklin and Marshall College cannot research your autograph for you, and will not appraise the value of your autograph. The best place for information on your autograph is your own local library, a reputable autograph/manuscript dealer, or a library holding a large autograph collection such as the Kansas City (Missouri) Public Library.

Professional Organizations:

The following professional organizations can provide a wealth of knowledge about your autographs.

PADA - Professional Autograph Dealers Association (

Manuscript Society (

UACC - Universal Autograph Collectors Club (

For determining value:

American Book Prices Current. New York: Bancroft-Parkman, published annually.

The Sanders Price Guide to Autographs, 5th ed. Alexander Books, 1999.

The Appraisals & Authentication page of the Professional Autograph Dealers Association will assist you in identifying a professional appraiser in your area of specialization.

Although these sources may be helpful, one must remember that various factors such as condition, subject, scarcity, demand, etc., all play a part in determining value.

How to care for your autograph

The Northeast Document Conservation Center and The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts have helpful online advice for caring for paper and photographic artifacts.

For the services of a professional conservator, please link to the online directory of the American Institute for Conservation of Art and Historic Works.

This page is not intended as a definitive guide or endorsement of any particular publication, source, or internet site. It is intended solely as a aide to research that will provide ideas where to start looking for information about your autograph.

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2/4/05 - cmr


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