Researching your rare books
Unfortunately, the Archives and Special Collections of Franklin and Marshall College cannot
research your rare book for you, and will not appraise the value of your rare books. The best place
for information on your rare book is your own local library, a reputable rare book dealer, or a library
holding a large rare book collection such as the
Newberry Library in Chicago, or the
Huntington Library in San Marino,
Resources to look for at your local library or online may include:
- Carter, John. ABC for Book Collectors, 7th ed. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1995.
- Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974.
- Glaister, Geoffrey. Encyclopedia of the Book. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1996.
- Greenfield, Jane. ABC of Bookbinding. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1998.
A number of very good websites give information about rare books, and rare book collecting.
Please explore the following:
- Your Old Books - Rare Books and
Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries
- A wonderful list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about rare books.
- What's this Book Worth? -
by Vic Zoschak
- Online newsletter article by rare book dealer Vic Zoschak summarizing the four basic
factors affecting the commercial value of any book.
- Antiquarian Booksellers Association of
- Please see "about antiquarian books" for an introduction to book collecting and a useful
glossary of rare book terms.
- Rare Book Basics - Powells.com
- Discover illustrated rare book terms and condition standards.
The following professional organizations can provide a wealth of knowledge about your rare books.
For Determining Value:
- Addall Books - Used
- Addall Used searches used and out of print books from over 20,000 dealers.
Great tool for current pricing.
- Bookfinder is a great resource for current pricing and availability.
- ZVAB - Zentrales Verzeichnis Antiquarischer Bucher
- ZVAB is the professional European catalogue of antiquarian books on the Internet.
You will find more than 10 million antiquarian books on offer from over 1600 antiquarian
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 rare book
The Northeast Document Conservation Center
and The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
have helpful online advice for caring for rare books.
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 rare book.
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