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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Google Book Search

Google Book Search

Want to do one quick search and pull up the mother lode of vintage books? Try Google Book Search, a database filled… [read review or visit site]

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]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Coleman Lantern Lamp Collectors Guide Book 1903 – 1954 - Never UsedCollector's Guide To Tonka Trucks 1947-1963 By Don Desalle ( Paperback)Dune Frank Herbert Easton Press Leather Bound Illustrated Gilt Pages Collectors Thrilling Mystery - March 1936 Collectors Look! Cave, Duncan, Rogers, Fleming1850's Antiques Huge Holy Bible By Rev. Robert Jamieson Britain 23 LbShopkins Season 1 Lot Of 10 + Baskets - Bags - Collectors GuidePenthouse Magazine - Lot Of 5 - Rare Vintage 1980s Collectibles (madonna)Lot 11 International Collectors Library Classics Gilted Embossed Hardcover BooksFord Escort Mk1 & Mk2 Mexico Rs2000 Twin Cam Collectors BookCollectors Guide Porsche 911 & 959 Cotton Car Book Manual Brochure 1985Collector's Guide To Modern Federal Reserve Notes 1963 To 2009 CurrencyNew Sealed "beatrix Potter The Complete Tales" W/ Collectors' LithographM&m's Around The World - A Collector's Guide - Usa Publication - Great Book!Antique Collectors Reference Guide Book Swords For The Sea Serrvice Navy Naval 1994 Paperback Collectors Guide To Tonka Trucks, 1947-1963,don & Barb DesalleNew Sealed Mortal Kombat Kollectors Edition (collectors) Book Ends Xbox 3601972 Colt Tips E Dixon Larson Guide To Collecting Colt Pistols Revolvers GunsLot Of 12 Schiffer Military History Mostly German Armor Books Horst ScheibertLot Of 15 Leather Bound Books International Collectors Library ClassicsNorwegian 1994 'living In Norway' Elisabeth Holte '4' Season' Folk Art Antiques1974 Though I Walk Through The Valley By Vance Havner / Signed Collectors CopyLot Of 4 Easton Press Collectors Classics Collectors Guide To Evel Knievel Stunt Toys - Stunt Cycles And MoreDragon 6519 1/35 Ww Ii German Infantry Wiking Division Kovel '44 Gen2 Gear1994 Panzerfaustand Other German Infantry Anti Tank Weapons Schiffer MilitaryThe Hobbit Or There & Back Again Jrr Tolkien 1966 Collectors Ed In Slip CaseNew England Aviators Wwi 1914-1918 2-volume Set SchifferGuns Of The World The Complete Collectors & Traders Guide Hc Gun BookA Schiffer Book For Collectors Ser.: Halloween In America : A Collector's...Vw Beetle Convertible 1949 - 1980 Schiffer Automotive Series Car Book Manual Old Collecting Vintage Handwork Rare Oriental Vases **free Shipping**Glass Animals Collectors Book W/ Fenton Le Smith Heisey Imperial Duncan And More1998 Collecting Michael Jordan Memorabilia Oscar Gracia Identification Guide Straight Razor Collecting, Illustrated History Price Guide Book. 1980. Doyle.Collecting Japanese Movie Monsters 1998 Pb Dana Cain Gamera Godzilla Toys ValuesBombing Aircraft Before World War Ii The Aeroplane Collectors Archive CutawayBook Stern's Guide To Disney Collectibles Vol 1 & 2 Lot Of 2 Books Vintage GuideDracula And Frankenstein International Collectors Library Stoker/shelleyCollecting World War Ii German Military Identification Discs* "airgun Digest 3rd Edition" By J.i. Galan Test Collecting Brand Hot New Book *Sealed Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess Hardcover Collector's Guide Nintendo2 Model Train Books-inside The Lionel Trains Fun Factory/collecting Toy TrainsHot Kitchen & Home CollectiblesBig Coffee Table Book Noritake Collectibles A To Z Signed By David Spain NrCrime And Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky International Collectors Library 1953International Collectors Library, Bleak House, Charles DickensSchiffer Military/aviation History Ser.: The Flak Towers In Berlin, Hamburg... Music Boxes The Collector's Guide To Selecting, Restoring, And Enjoying VintagThe Tin Collectors By Stephen J. Cannell (2010, Cd, Abridged)#49 Premier Hooters Magazine Collectors Issue 2003 Great Condition RareVtg Kids Books (5):see Listing For Titles/ragetty Ann/nice Old CollectiblesCollecting Hollywood #10/ March-april 1995/ Queen Of Outer Space Zsa Zsa GaborA Schiffer Book For Collectors Ser.: Great Cigar Stuff For Collectors By...Lot Of 2 Books On Pottery & Porcelain....kovel Dictionary Of Marks & Warner Old Collecting Vintage Handwork Rare Oriental Vases **free Shipping** Old Collecting Vintage Handwork Rare Oriental Vases **free Shipping**High Standard : A Collector's Guide To The Hamden And Hartford Target Pistols...Hot Wheels Collectors Guide 1995 Store Display Spiral BookBeer Trays Advertising Collectibles Price Guide Collectors BookAladdin Collectors Manual & Price Guide -6 Softback Book 1978 Vintage