Any publication meant to serve as a resource for those interested in learning about or collecting a specific type of item is considered a collectors book. As long as people have been collecting, printed guides to popular items have been produced by a variety of sources, from major publishers to individual enthusiasts, detailing a particular subject’s history and common pricing. Many older, out-of-print guides are especially desirable because they contain images or information no longer covered in current publications.

By the late 19th and early 20th century, public interest in history and antique objects had grown enough to inspire a steady supply of text-heavy books on the subject, with titles like “Furniture of the Olden Time” or “The Practical Book of Chinaware.” Terry Kovel’s earliest price guide, “The Complete Antiques Price List” was printed in 1967, and became the first book to be compiled with the aid of emerging computer technology.

As printing machinery improved, collectors books incorporated full-color photographs instead of drawings, etchings, or textual descriptions of collectibles. Time-Life released its classic “Encyclopedia of Collectibles” in 1978, alphabetically covering the field in 16 volumes running from A to Z. The following year, Judith Miller published her first “Antiques Price Guide,” and has since expanded Miller’s Publications to a global brand, producing books on all major collectible categories. In the 1980s, the venerable Knopf publishing house began releasing its own series of “Collector’s Guides” covering everything from silver and pewter to toys and dolls.

Today, there are several prolific publishers, like Krause Publications, Schroeder’s, and Warman’s, who create in-depth collectible guides on disparate subjects ranging from jewelry to radios to tractors. Many provide minimal historical context, and focus instead on the details important to true collectors already versed in a subject, like an item’s production date, materials, and market price. While values in the real world may fluctuate wildly, these books are indispensable for collectors hoping to compile a reference library on their favorite collectible topics.


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Bruce Black's gallery of paperback book covers from the 1940s and 50s. With help from numerous contributors, he's a… [read review or visit site]



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International Collectors Library Lot Of 10 Classics Hardcover Decorative BindingCollectors Guide To Old Fruit Jars Red Book 9Easton Press The Count Of Monte Cristo-leather Bound Collectors Very NiceEaston Press The State And Revolution By V.i. Lenin Collectors Leather BoundUnitt's Book Of Marks - Antiques & Collectibles - Pottery, Glass, SilverEaston Press The Beautiful And Damned 1991 Collectors F. Scott Fitzgerald & MayBismarck - The Man And The Statesman , By Taylor, Easton Press Collectors Ed.Kovels' New Dictionary Of Marks - Pottery & Porcelain - 1850 To 19862001 A Space Odyssey The Easton Press W Collectors Notes Arthur C Clarke KubrickSuper Rare Torah Book Silver Gold Metal Jewish Bible Hebrew Only Antiques SiddurGreat Eastern Cutlery Northfield Tidioute Collectors Book From FactoryEaston Press 1986 - Downbelow Station By C.j Cherryn - Leather Bnd Collectors EdGia Gem Identification Getting Acquainted With Minerals Crystal CollectingLed Zeppelin The Illustrated Collector's Guide By Robert Godwin 1987Complex Magazine Collectors Ed | N.e.r.d. X Kaws Illustration | 2008 Aug/sep 20000 Leagues Under The Sea Jules Verne Gullivers Travels Windermere AntiquesCollecting Costume Jewelry 101 Value Guide Softcover Book Frank151 Magazine, Chapter 48 Mf Doom Collectors IssueDavid Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing, Collectors Ed. Easton PressEncyclopedia Of Marbles Collectibles, 1st Ed., 2002, Now Out Of Print!John Milton Paradise Lost : International Collectors Library Vg Icl BookA Collector's Guide To U.s. Machine Postmarks 1871-1925 Breyer Model Horse Collector's Guide 5th Edition Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone Collectors Deluxe Edition Gold Foil Kovel 925 Sterling 18k Pendant Carolina Beach NcWarren's Common School Geography 1881 Colored Maps Atlas AntiquesBook "the Mercedes-benz Since 1945 By James Taylor, A Collector's Guide David Copperfield By Charles Dickens Hc International Collectors LibraryThe Collectors' Guide To Airpistols Dennis E Hiller 3rd Edition PaperbackMatchbox Toys - Stoneback - Coffee Table Book For Collectors - 1993Terminator Genisys Collectors' New Sealed U.k Empire 2015 311 Game Of ThronesAmerican Impressionism; William H. Gerdts: First Ed. Signed, Collectors CopyLladro Collectors Catalog 2 Vol. Set The Art Of Peter Carl Faberge Antiques 1961 BookVery Beautiful Unicorn In Black Sky Reusable Sticker Collecting Book, Made InusaPhiladelphia Furniture & Its Makers, 1st Edition, Antiques MagazineInstructions For Collecting And Preserving Valuable Lepidoptera(butterflies)1917Methods Of Collecting And Preserving Vertebrate Animals By R.m. AndersonMarvel 1975 - 100 Page Collectors Special. The Hulk On The RampageBaseball Card Show Program 1975 Chicagoland Collectors AssociationFishing Lure Collectibles Book By Murphy And Edmisten 1995Vintage Ladybird Book Coin Collecting Series 633 Priced 24p MattRare Match Attax 2010/11 Trading Cards Official Exclusive Collectors GuideRare Match Attax 2009/10 Trading Cards Official Exclusive Collectors GuideWuthering Heights Leather Gold Trim Collectors Library Of ClassicsThe History Of The Marx Brother Comic Book (e-go Collectors Series 5, Nov. 1976)