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 Collectors Guide Audographed By Tucker And EbendorfCollectors Guide To California Milk Bottles & Other Unique Bottles - Donald Lord120 Coins Album Coin Collecting Book Holders Collection Storage Money Penny "the Collectors Guide To Air Rifles" Dennis Hiller.. Reference Book2014 Isle Of Man 1 Troy Oz .999 Silver Lucky Angel W/coa & Collectors Guide! Huge Lot Of Vintage Postcards Antique Postcard Lot Souvenir Collectors Book The Collector's Guide To Model Tin Figures - Ortmann - Zinnfiguren - Superb!1980 Hot Wheels 3-pack & Collectors Book Mustang Cobra, Airport Rescue,citationRed Book #10 Collectors Guide To Old Fruit JarsWarhammer 40k Eldar/space Marine/tau/necron Collectors Guide Codex Gamesworkshop"the Collectors Guide To Air Pistols" Dennis Hiller.. Reference BookBleach Ulquiorra Schiffer Hugging Pillow / Dakimakura Cover #151Millersburg The Queen Of Carnival Glass By Bill Edwards Collectors Book 1982 Q17Vintage Lesney Matchbox Models Of Yesteryear Moy Collectors Book Guide RareErte At Ninety : The Complete Graphics By Erte 1982 Hardcover Collectors BookCollector's Guide To Antique Radios By John Slusser And Radio Daze - 2008The Complete Guide To Jaguar Collectibles Book Ian Cooling With Brochures Etc1996 Collector's Guide To Tootsietoy's Second Edition By David E. Richter.1991 Collector's Guide To Tootsietoy's Paper Back Book 1st Edition.Daniel J. Keefe Lll: Signed: Wedgwood Ceramics: Schiffer Book: Hb 1st Hb 2005Occupied Japan For Collectors Guide & Price Book 1992 Great Photos InformationA Collector's Guide To United States Combat Shotguns By Bruce N. CanfieldMatchbox 1966 Collectors Guide,international Catalogue,has Little WearCandlewick:the Crystal Line A Schiffer Book For Collectors"a Collectors Guide To Air Memorabilia" Air Memorabilia Book,raf Etc..The Bottom Collectors Book Fr. Cyprian 1971Khs - Schiffer Military History Book: The Jolly RogersKriegsmodell Collectors Guide To 98k Production In The Lasts Months Of WwiiCollector's Guide To Electric Fans By John M. Witt (1996, Paperback)Ideal Dolls - Collectors Guide - Identification & Values - 2nd Edt. - Jusith IzeSikorsy H-34 Helicopter : An Illustrated History Schiffer Military History BookCigarette Lighters Collector's Guide Identification Value Tobacco Tobacciana ScLeica Collector's Guide 1992 By Dennis LaneyArt Deco Chrome Book 2 A Collector's GuideFun Jewelry By Nancy N. Schiffer (1996, Paperback, Revised)The Best Of Costume Jewelry By Nancy N. Schiffer (1996, Paperback, Revised)Collecting Antique Bird Decoys And Duck Calls : Identification And Value..2 EdVintage Lot Of 18 California Raisin, Glass & Collectors BookCollectors Guide To Thimbles By Bridget Mcconnel (1990, Hardcover) Hard Cover Book Sanfords Guide Mccoy Pottery Collectors Guide 1997 Martha SteveThe Collectors Guide To Theatrical Postcards Richard BonyngeCollector's Guide To Colt .45 Service Pistols : By Charles W. ClawsonUkraine, Kovel, Domestic Provisional Overprint, No. 21Ukraine, Kovel, Domestic Provisional Overprint, No. 22A Tapestry Of Hope-tracie Peterson And Judith Miller-2004-large Paperback