Encyclopedia Collecting
April 24, 2006 10:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in Encyclopedia collecting. Where would i find info about prices of old encyclopedias etc? (other than ebay)
posted by storybored to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
bookfinder.com is a good place to start.
posted by booksprite at 10:35 AM on April 24, 2006

I used to work in a used bookstore. The owner/buyer considered encyclopedias' only value was as decorator books because the info is out of date. Unless you are looking for something specific, you may have trouble finding them online. I might contact local bookstores and see what they have around. Often they buy them as part of an estate. If they have a similar mindset to my old boss, you may find great deals.
posted by wallaby at 10:46 AM on April 24, 2006

posted by fire&wings at 10:54 AM on April 24, 2006

Library book sales may be a good place to look for old sets. I picked up a 1974 set of Compton's encyclopedia's for about $3.

Oftentimes, I think someone dies, and their kids donate books they don't want to local libraries, which then go into the book sales.
posted by bullitt 5 at 10:59 AM on April 24, 2006

What kind of encyclopedias are you interested in? 19th-c. encyclopedias on specialized topics--religion, for example--can fetch $$$; 20th-c. World Books, not so much.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:23 AM on April 24, 2006

Thomas, i actually don't know since I'm new to the field, which is why i wanted to see if anyone knew any reference sources...
posted by storybored at 12:06 PM on April 24, 2006

Also alibris. But both alibris and abebooks will just show you what they are selling for.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 12:41 PM on April 24, 2006

Hmmm... Interesting question. I just looked up my 1912 compact edition of the Brittanica and was quite surprised to see it sells for around $1200...
posted by 327.ca at 6:03 PM on April 24, 2006

The 11th edition of the EB (1911-1912) is a cult. It was the last idiosyncratic "english" Brittanica. I saw a beautiful mint set mounted in its own bookshelf case over the weekend for £600, so $1200 may be a little steep.
posted by roofus at 4:15 AM on April 25, 2006

Thanks booksprite and ObsRefman for the links to bookfinder, alibris.

Aside from their considerable aesthetic qualities, i was thinking the other day that with the Rise of Wikipedia, people aren't so hot on Encyclopedias anymore and the resulting drop in sales could mean a bright future for collectors. Comments?
posted by storybored at 8:50 AM on April 25, 2006

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