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]

Bookscans.com

Bookscans.com

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    

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (ps1, 2000) Collectors + Collectors Guide100 Years Of Winchester Cartridge Boxes Bullet Gun Collector's Schiffer Book~ Vintage 82 Pez + Huge Accessory Lot & Collectibles Book ~Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (ps1, 1999) Collectors + Collectors GuideCollectors Guide To Tonka Trucks 1947-1963 By Don & Barb Desalle - 1994Book: Collectors Guide To The Nazi Party Awards & Collectibles - Medals BadgesSchiffer Book Christmas 1940-1959 A Collector's Guide Vintage Decorations CustomCoin Collecting Book Coin Album Holders Mixed 318 Coins And 30 Pcs Paper MoneySchiffer - Soviet T-34 Battle Tank, All Variants, Great Guide!The Official Anheuser Busch Collectors Guide To Steins / Volume Three **rare**Collector's Guide To The Saratoga Type Mineral Water Bottles Tucker 1986 Sc NewThe Ferrari Dino 246, 308 And 328 A Collector's Guide Book Alan Henry 288/f40Collectors Encyclopedia Of Creek Chub Lures And Collectibles BookVictorian Jewellery. Brooches, Pendants.80 Page Collectors Guide. Deirdre O' DaySchiffer - The V1 Flying Bomb & It's Soviet Successors. Detailed GuideOld Gunsights: A Collector's Guide, 1850-1965 - By Nick StroebelPam Schiffer Santa Star Ornament Midwest Of Cannon Falls Signed P.s.A Century Of Indiana Glass 2005 Schiffer Books With Price GuidePalestine Banner To Collecting Book To The Jewish Regugees Cyprus Camps 1947Vintage Packard 1899-1942 Collectors Book Guide Booklet Antique AutomobileBlenko: Cool 50s & 60s Glass (schiffer Book For Collectors), Leslie Pi"mickey Mouse And The Boy Thursday" Whitman's Children's Vintage Collectors BookBreyer Animal Collector's Guide: Identification And Values (breyer Animal Collec19th Century Fishing Lures-a Collector's Guide To U.s.lures Mftd. Prior To 1901Gas Station Collectibles BookThe Collector's Guide To Tammy Sabulis And Weglewski 1997 Ideal DollThe Children's Classics Collectors Book (lot Of 6)Lionel : A Collector's Guide And History: Standard Gauge By Tom Mccomas...S6 Hot Wheels Interactive Purple Vw Drag Bus Collector's Guide Cd-romWarmans Gas Station Collectibles Indentification Price Guide Vintage PetrolianaHarold L. Peterson American Knives History & Collector's Guide Military WeaponsA Collector's Guide To German Ww2 Medals & Political Awards For Satellite StatesCoro Jewelry A Collector's Guide Identification By BrownEvolution Of Miniature Night Lamps Lighting History Id Collectors Guide BookCobalt Blue Glass A Schiffer Book For Collectors With Prices Clements GcPuma And Hetzer 2 Schiffer Military History BooksTexaco Collectors Guide,new Old Stock,very Nice!!Book "lionel A Collector's Guide And History" Volume Iii: Standard Gauge MccomasDecoy Collectors Guide 1968 Duck Geese Shorebirds Mini Carver Diver Wood CarvingThe Portable Radio In American Life By: Michael Brian Schiffer - Good Cond.Collector's Guide No 4 Tinnies Of The Third ReichHot Wheels Collectors Guide 1995 Business Promo Book Spiral Bound CarTracie Peterson Judith Miller Lot Of 3- Christian Romance - Broadmoor #1-3 Faith1996 February Mopar Collector's Guide Dodge Plymouth ChryslerAutomobilia/the Land Rover/1948-1984/collector's Guide/bookAutomobilia/mercedes Benz Since 1945/vol1 /1940s/1950s/collector's Guide/book