Autograph Alert
The Premier Site for Autograph Related News!
Chapter I: Introduction

Hardly a day goes by that www.autographalert.com doesn’t get an email from someone asking where they can go to learn more about the hobby of autographs. Almost everyone who writes wants to know if there is a course available.

Basically the answer is there are no longer any courses of any value available to autograph collectors. During the mid-to-late 1990's fourteen different autograph courses were available around the United States. All of the instructors of the courses are household names in the industry such as Kenneth Lawrence, Bill Butts, Kevin Martin, Gil Griggs, Christopher Jaeckel, Joseph Maddalena, Bill Miller, Daniel Weinberg, Stephen Koschal and Kenneth W. Rendell.

Christopher Jaeckel of Walter R. Benjamin Autographs, Inc. instructing the class
“Observations of the Autograph Industry” Nov. 1996

Daniel R. Weinberg of Abraham Lincoln Book Shop Inc. Instructing his class
“Getting Write With Lincoln: The Forgers View” August 1999

A Los Angeles Class waiting for Bill Miller of Autograph Collector magazine
to begin his course “The Autograph Market: An Overview” September 1999

Kenneth W. Rendell having dinner with Paul Tibbets (Pilot of Enola Gay) before
Ken gave his educational course “Hitler, Mussolini, the Mormons and Now
Jack the Ripper: How Human Nature has Propelled Bad Forgeries into Great Hoaxes.”
Listed below were some of the collectors favorite courses. Each took approximately one hour or more.
  • Basic Course on Autograph Collecting. Instructed by Stephen Koschal, October 15, 1995.
  • Famous Fantasies and Fakes. Instructed by Kenneth Lawrence, March 17, 1996.
  • Purchasing From Dealers and Auctions. Instructed by Stephen Koschal, May 18, 1996.
  • What Collectors of Autographs Should Know. Instructed by Stephen Koschal, September 8, 1996.
  • Observations of the Autograph Industry. Instructed by Christopher Jaeckel, Walter Benjamin Autographs, Inc. November 10, 1996.
  • Themes In Collecting. Instructed by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History, October 31, 1997.
  • Signed Books and Autographs. Instructed by Bill Butts, Main Street Fine Books and Autographs, July 12, 1998.
  • Hitler, Mussolini, the Mormons and Now Jack the Ripper: How Human Nature has propelled Bad Forgeries into Great Hoaxes. Instructed by Kenneth W. Rendell, Kenneth W. Rendell, Inc., December 5, 1998.
  • Getting Write With Lincoln: The Forgers View. Instructed by Daniel R. Weinberg, Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc., August 15, 1999.
  • Buying and Selling Smart At Auction. Instructed by Gill Griggs, Signature House Auctions, May 16, 1999.
  • The Proper Use of an Autograph Price Guide. Instructed by Kevin Martin, Piece of the Past, Inc.,
    July 11, 1999.
  • The Autograph Market: An Overview. Instructed by Bill Miller, Autograph Collector Magazine, September 26, 1999.
These courses were very popular however they were mostly regional events. Unfortunately because of travel and expense it was not convenient for the International Autograph Community to benefit from one of these courses. Actually records indicate only three individuals were able to attend all fourteen courses. Everyone who took any one of these courses received a Certificate of Completion hand signed by the instructor.

The creation of these courses was the brainchild of Stephen Koschal. He also was the instructor for three different courses.

Recently, because of the strong demand for a basic autograph course, from both U.S. and International collectors, Stephen Koschal has created the first Internet Basic Course for Autograph Collectors. This course is a condensed version of the one he gave in October 1995 which has now been updated.

For those who read this course, Certificates of Completion, hand signed by Stephen Koschal are available. More information on receiving your certificate will be found at the end of this course.

Chapter II: Where and What to Collect (continued)