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Friends of Robbins Library present: What Makes a Book a Collectible

June 8, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This program will be conducted as a conversation between two professional librarians, David Warrington and Richard McElroy, who also have worked in the antiquarian book trade.  They will discuss the three factors operating together that make a book valuable: intrinsic importance, collector interest, and the scarcity and physical condition of the item itself.  They will provide a quick overview of the terminology of book collecting and guidelines for answering such basic questions as:  How do I know if a book is complete or not? and What is original condition and why is that so important?  Sources of collectible books with particular emphasis on the second-hand and antiquarian bookmarket will also be addressed.  Finally, they will talk about what determines a book’s monetary value and how to use printed and on-line price guides to get an estimate of what a particular copy of a book may be worth.

The presenters will provide examples from their own experiences and display items from their own collections.  Participants will receive a handout listing key resources in book collecting.

Participants may bring to the session one item they may own for guidance on how to determine its rarity and value.

Registration is limited:





Amy McElroy


Robbins Library Conference Room
700 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476 United States
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