Reference Works

1100 Obscure Points; the Bibliographies of 25 English and 21 American Authors, Schwartz, Jacob: Boston, Milford House, 1973.
Comments: I find it of limited use, but when I need it, its indispensible.

20th Century First Edition Classic Fiction: a Price and Identification Guide, Lee, Thomas: Book Emporium Press, 2003.
Comments: Not comprehensive by any means; does list points and prices for many of the ‘classic’ authors. A good beginners guide to let you know how little you know.

ABC for Book Collectors, Carter, John & Nicolas, Baker: New Castle, Delaware & London, Oak Knoll Press & The British Museum, 2004, 8th edition.
Comments: As snooty as it sometimes appears (by way of example, see his definition of “Else Fine,”) I love the exactitude of it.

ABC of Bookbinding, a Unique Glossary with over 700 Illustrations for Collectors and Librarians, Greenfield, J. Oak Knoll Press, 1998.
Comments: Book covers the basics of bookbinding styles and terminology. Lots of breadth but lacking depth.

Alice One Hundred Being a Catalogue in Celebration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Victoria, B.C., The Adelphi Book Shop, 1966.

America on Stone: the Other Printmakers to the American People, a Chronicle of American Lithography other than that of Currier & Ives, from its Beginning, Shortly Before 1820, to the Years When the Commercial Single-stone Hand-colored Lithograph Disappears, Peters, Harry T.: New York, Arno Press, 1976.
Comments: Includes a list of books with lithographs, which is full of errors but very useful.

American Authors and Books, 1640-1940, Burke, W. J. and Howe, Will D., New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1943.
Comments: One more common/general reference I have found very useful over the years. Cross-referenced with short bios of many authors, many insignificant, but it includes birth and death dates, important books, and just a lot of data that is book- related.

American Book Prices Current
Comments: Are worth their weight in gold (and they tend to be heavy). Having a series of these helps. And you can usually get the older copies much cheaper on the services.

American Color Plate Books, Reese, Bill.
Comments: Useful and in print.

American Colorplate Books, Bennett.
Comments: Is not supposed to include juveniles but does have some, but it is very lacking and needs to be supplemented with McGrath.

American Colorplate Books, 1800-1900, McGrath, Daniel Francis: Ann Arbor, Michigan University, Microfilms International, 1995.
Comments: Has to be ordered from Michigan University as a copy of the typed text. He never thought it was good enough to publish, but it is far and away the very best reference there is. Most people who use it put their own notes in to add to the information.

Antiquarian Books: a Companion for Booksellers, Librarians and Collectors, Bernard, Philippa: University of Pennsylvania, 1994.
Comments: A nice (and nicely illustrated) encyclopedia-style book.

Antique Trader Book Collector’s Price Guide, Russell, Richard: Krause Publications, 2003.
Comments: This is one of those keep-it-in-the-car guides that covers what the author feels to be highlights in Americana: art and Illustrated books, banned books, biographies, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, literature in translation, modern firsts, mysteries, occult, etc.

Author Price Guides, Ahearn, Allen & Patricia: Rockville, Maryland, Q&B, 1990.
Comments: Multi-volume, and they usually update one volume yearly lots of good stuff on points, and they have reproductions of most authors signatures.

Bibliography of American Literature [referred to as BAL], Blanck, Jacob: New Haven and London, Yale University Press.

Bibliographia Oziana: a Concise Bibliographical Checklist of the Oz Books, L. Frank Baum and his successors Greene, Douglas G. & Peter E. Hanff: International Wizard of Oz Club, 1988.
Comments: Popular and very useful bibliography of Oz Books.

Book Collector’s Handbook of Values, Bradley, Van Allen: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1982-83.

Book Finds, Ellis, Ian: Berkeley, 2001, Revised.
Comments: 1) Great introduction for the novice, with enough detail for more experienced sellers; 2) Not exactly a reference in the bibliographical sense, but I recommend it to all novice collectors who ask for books to learn more from.

Book of Autographs: an Introduction to the Joys and Techniques of Autograph Collecting by the World’s Foremost Authority, Hamilton, Charles: New York, Simon & Schuster, 1978.

Book Prices: Used & Rare, Zempel, Edward N. & Verkler, Linda A.: Peoria, Illinois, Spoon River Press.
Comments: 1) A decade or so ago I used to heavily rely upon these books, but after Interloc–then ABE–we let our subscription run out; 2) Sort of sad–these books used to be sort-of a bible to me but the last one I bought was 1999.

Bookman’s Bible: Books in English, 1925-1949, Roskie, Philip M.: Oakland, California.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

Bookman’s Price Index, Gale Group.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

Books In Print

Botanical and Horticultural Books: a Price Guide, Barnett, Carol: Peoria, Illinois, Spoon River Press, 1995.

Care and Feeding of Books Old and New: a Simple Repair Manual for Book Lovers, Rosenberg, Margot & Marcowitz, Bern: New York, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2002.

Ken Lopez Catalogs, Lopez, Ken.

Catalogue of Crime, Barzun, Jacques & Wendell, Hertig Taylor: New York, Harper & Row, 1989.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

Checklist of Fredric Brown, Stephens, Christopher.
Comments: Used mainly for my own collecting.

Civil War Books: a Priced Checklist, Broadfoot Publishing.

Collectable Paperback Books, Canja, Jeff: East Lansing, Michigan, Glenmoor Publishing, 2000.

Collected Books: the Guide to Values, Ahearn, Allen & Patricia: New York, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2002.
Comments: Essential when dealing in points and pricing of higher end books. Prices not intended to be up-to-the-minute accurate, but relative to each other. With experience, the pricing figures can be translated into reality.

Collector’s Book of Children’s Books, Quayle, Eric and Clarkson N. Potter: 1971.
Comments: It describes books from the late 16th century to the present day.

Collector’s Guide to Children’s Books, 1850-1950: Identification & Values, Jones, Diane: McClure and Rosemary, Collector Books.

Collectors’ Guide to Hardcover Boys’ Series Books, Mattson, E. Christian & Davis, Thomas B.: Newark, Delaware, Mad Book Co., 1997.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

Crime Fiction, 1749-1980: a Comprehensive Bibliography, Hubin, Allen J.: New York, Garland Publishing, 1984.

Discarded, Godsey, Joyce: Privately Printed.
Comments: Handy book repair methods and updated regularly.

Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, 1670-1870, Hamilton, Sinclair: Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.
Comments: Includes many juvenile titles not to be found elsewhere, and also points not to be found elsewhere.

Early American Juveniles Published Before 1821, Welch, DeAlte.
Comments: Will mention the remainders as such or show many holdings for them so you can work it out yourself.

English Bible in America; a Bibliography of Editions of the Bible & the New Testament Published in America, 1777-1957, Hill, Margaret: New York, American Bible Society, 1962.

Farrah’s Guide.
Comments: Not price guides but invaluable for edition info for Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.

First Editions: a Guide to Identification Zempel, Edward N. & Verker, Linda A.: Peoria, IL, Spoon River Press, 3rd Edition.
Comments: I have to admit that I use the McBride first edition identification guide more often than this one. It’s handier and covers more publishers, though it does have some inaccuracies.

First Editions of Dr. Seuss Books: a Guide to Identification, Younger, Helen and Marc, Dan Hirsch, Saco, ME, Custom Communications, 2002.
Comments: Comprehensive bibliography with detailed points.

Goreyography : a Divers Compendium Of & Price Guide To the Works of Edward Gorey, Toledano, Henry: San Francisco, Word Play Publications, 1996.
Comments: The incomparable Mr. Toledano, who has been mentioned regarding his work on Modern Library, does it again with Edward Gorey.

Gumuchian.
Comments: Is still useful for continental books.

Hancer’s Price Guide to Paperback Books, Hancer, Kevin: Radnor, PA, Wallace Homestead Book Co., 1990, 3rd Edition.

Hardy and Hardy Investigations, Carpentieri, Tony, with Mular, Paul: Rheem Valley, CA, SynSine Press, 2001.
Comments: Not price guides but invaluable for edition info for Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.

Historical Catalogue of English Printed Bibles, 1926-1961, Herbert, A. S: New York, American Bible Society, 1968.

Historical Catalogue of English Printed Bibles, 1926-1960: London, The British and Foreign Bible Society, 1968.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

Historical Catalogue of the Printed Editions of Holy Scripture in the Library of the British and Foreign Bible Society, Darlow, T. F. & Moule, H. F. Moule: London, The Bible House.
Comments: Probably the most comprehensive bibliographical references to all Bibles.

How to Identify and Collect American First Editions, Tannan, Jack: New York, Arco Pub.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

Huxford’s Old Book Value Guide: 25,000 Listings of Old Books with Current Values, Huxford, Bob & Sharon: Collector Books, 11th Edition.

Huxford’s Paperback Value Guide, Huxford, Bob & Sharon: Collector Books.
Comments: They appear to be a useful listing of fairly-common books that we all run across and thus useful, but they also appear to be put together as a far-too-easy way for Collector’s Books to produce a book, year after year. The listings are sent in by various sellers.

Introduction to the Knowledge of Rare and Valuable Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics. Together with the account of Polyglot Bibles, Polyglot psalters…, Dibdin, T. F.: London, Herding & Lepard, 1827, 4th Edition.
Comments: There is a facsimile reprint by Martin Publishing available. A rather specialized text but very useful.

Jehovah’s Witness Literature: A Critical Guide to Watchtower Publications, Reed, David A.: Baker House Books (ISBN 0-8010-7768-0), 1993.
Comments: I have found one book particularly helpful to me (as a religious book specialist) in one generally obscure niche Jehovah’s Witness material. It’s a pretty comprehensive bibliography of official Watchtower publications, with lots of obscure information.

Literature of American History: a Bibliographical Guide, Larned, J.N.: Frederick Ungar.
Comments: Has been helpful.

Locked Room Murders and Other Impossible Crimes : a Comprehensive Bibliography, Adey, Robert: Minneapolis, Crossover Press, 1991.
Comments: Lists publication data and the problems in one section; solutions in the next. An odd reference book for that completist mystery collector.

MacDonald Potpourri : Being a Miscellany of Post-Perusal Pleasures of the John D. MacDonald Books for Bibliophiles, Bibliographers, and Bibliomaniacs, Shine, Walter & Jean: Gainsville, FL, University of Florida, 1988.
Comments: Essential for identifying points for John D. MacDonald’s books, many of which were paperback originals printed by the notoriously hard-to-identify Gold Medal.

Mark Twain, Catalogue 130, Heritage Bookshop.
Comments: I have found this dealer’s catalogues to be a great source of reference, especially the juvenile books I have collected over the years.

Modern Library Price Guide, 1917-2000: A Comprehensive and Refreshed Catalog of Values for Collectors, Dealers and Scouts, Toledano, Henry: Thomson-Shore, 1999.
Comments: Covers the incredibly Byzantine variations of MLs and how to evaluate them. The book is comparably Byzantine and its learning curve is steep, but it’s still the best.

Official Price Guide, Paperbacks, Warren, Jon: New York, House of Collectibles.

Official Price Guide To Collecting Books, Tedford, Marie & Goudey, Pat: New York, House of Collectibles, 4th Edition.

Osborne Collection (2 volumes).
Comments: Is the best compilation of English books although it is woefully incomplete.

Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide: Fully Illustrated Catalogue & Evaluation Guide, Overstreet, Robert M.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

Oxford English Dictionary.

Paper Collectibles : the Essential Buyer’s Guide, Reed, Robert: Radnor, PA, Wallace Homestead Book Co., 1995.

Paperback Prices: the Complete Guide to Collecting Vintage Paperback Books, Holroyd, Graham: Guide Media, 2003.

Peter Parley to Penrod; a Bibliographical Description of the Best-Loved American Juvenile Books, Blanck, Jacob: Cambridge, MA, Research Classics, 1961.

Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions, McBride, Bill: West Hartford, CT, McBride Publishing.
Comments: Essential, sits next to my PC use it daily; 2) Of course the McBride duo are indispensable.

Points of Issue: a Compendium of Points of Issue of Books by 19th – 20th Century Authors, McBride, Bill: West Hartford, CT, McBride Publishers.

Price Catalogues (various booksellers).
Comments: Sequential older editions of price catalogues are useful.

Price Guide and Bibliographic Checklist for Children’s & Illustrated Books, 1880-1970, Baumgarten, E. Lee, Compiled by: Martinsburg, West Virginia, E. Lee Baumgarten Books, 2003, New, Expanded.
Comments: This, to me, is essential…and having back copies…old editions, really helps in finding the ‘direction’ to the market. My collector/investor customers appreciate my being able to tell them what has been increasing in price/value.

Rare Bibles, an Introduction for Collectors and a Descriptive Check-List, Rumball-Petre, Edwin A. R.: New York, Phillip C. Duschnes, 1963.
Comments: More suitable for the collector seeking to form a specialized edition.

Rosenbauch Catalog
Comments: Is still useful, but has to be used knowing that a lot of the titles published in Philadelphia were held by Rosenbauch in remainders and those remainders are really not worth much no matter how pretty they look.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: a Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction, Curry, L. W.: Revised on CD-ROM.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Pseudonyms, McGhan, Barry: Misfit Press, 1976.

Science Fiction and Heroic Fantasy Author Index, Wells, Stuart W.: Duluth, Purple Unicorn Books, 1978.

Thornton W. Burgess, a Descriptive Book Bibliography, Wright, Wayne W.: Sandwich, MA, Thornton W. Burgess Society, 2000.

Three Centuries of Thumb Bibles: a Checklist, Adomeit, Ruth Elizabeth: New York, Garland Pub., 1980.
Comments: Is very useful.

Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, Reilly, John M.
Comments: I like and have in my possession.

U.S.iana (1650-1950): a Descriptive Bibliography of 11,622 Uncommon Books and Pamphlets Relating to the Development of That Section of the North American Continent Now Known as the United States of America, Howes, Wright.
Comments: Is worth four times its weight in gold.

Used Book Price Guide: an Aid in Ascertaining Current Prices: Retail Prices of Rare, Scarce, Used and Out-Of-Print Books (2 volume set), Mandeville, Mildred S.: Kenmore, WA, Price Guide Publishers, 1972.
Comments: There are later editions, but be sure that Mildred is the compiler.

Works of Maurice Sendak, 1947-1994, Hanrahan, Joyce Y.: Portsmouth, NH, P. E. Randall Publisher.
Comments: Useful bibliography.

Thanks to Gayle Williamson, Champ & Mabel Collectibles,
San Pedro, California, for compiling this list of reference books.

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