formerly the Archives and Collections Society  

Researching your rare or out-of-print book

The Naval Marine ArchiveThe Canadian Collection cannot research your book for you, and will not appraise the value of your book without actually seeing it on our premises. If you are unable to visit us, the best place for information on your book is your own local library, a reputable antique print/rare book dealer, or a large print collection such as the Royal Ontario Museum or the Library of Congress.

Resources to look for at your local library or online may include:

General information:

Print Resources -

Wilson, Robert A. Modern Book Collecting, New York: Lyons & Burford, 1980.

Bernard, Philippa Antiquarian Books: a companion for booksellers, librarians, and collectors, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994.

Greenfield, Jane. ABC of Bookbinding, New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1998.

Web Resources -

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.

Collectors Corner - Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America Please select "Collectors Corner" for an introduction to book collecting and a useful glossary of rare book terms.

Rare Book Basics - Discover illustrated rare book terms and condition standards.

Professional Organizations: The following professional organizations can provide a wealth of knowledge about your rare books.

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada - Association de la Librairie Ancienne du Canada

Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America

International League of Anitquarian Booksellers

For determining value:

Print Resources -

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

Web Resources -

Our own Search Page, that includes AddAll, regrouping most of the original rare book sites on the web., ABE books and are other great resources for current pricing and availability.

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.

Note: This is not a definitive guide or endorsement of any particular publication, source, or internet site. It is intended solely as a research aide.


Revised: 31 March 2012