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Book Collecting

My Old Book - A Brief Guide to Evaluating and Describing Old and Rare Books

Old Law BookPeople often have questions about their old and (possibly) rare books. Is my book rare and valuable, or just old? If it is valuable, what makes it valuable? How can I determine the condition of my book? These are common-apparently simple-questions that often have complex answers. While the State Library does not offer appraisal services we can help you find the resources to guide you!

This brief guide is designed to help you evaluate and describe old and rare books.

A great place to start is Rare Books for Beginners. This web resource provides information about what makes a book rare, how to care for and properly store such books, and, advice on the purchase and sale of rare books.

You can also check the ABE Books Guide to Book Collectingwhich discusses the basics of book collecting as well as specific genres and types of materials to collect.