Chapter XII: Autograph Education.
Dont leave all the work up to your professional autograph
dealer. Most of the fun collecting is doing your own research.
The dealer can only put so much time into each piece that they
sell. Many interesting bits of information can be found about
an item by doing your own research. In fact, more research can
make your piece more valuable. If you have a letter from a notable
look at the name of the person he is writing. Do some research
on that person. See if you can find a connection? Look at the
date of the letter, did something historically important happen
on that day? Can your letter be one of the last the celebrity
Building your own autograph reference library will be very rewarding.
You would be surprised how many sellers of autographs barely
have one. With a little effort you can build a good library by
purchasing many of the books on collecting autographs and numerous
signature studies that have been published. Some of the earlier
reference books go back to the early 1800's. Reference books
can be found in used book stores and on different websites on
the internet such as www.abebooks.com www.biblio.com or www.alibris.com
. Type in the name of the author and hopefully if you know the
title and see what is being offered. Some real bargains can be
found on these sites especially for the newer titles. A favorite
with many collectors is trying to accumulate as many autograph
reference books and signature studies as possible, signed or
inscribed by the author.
Eventually you will discover the more you learn, the more there
is to learn in this wonderful hobby of ours!
- Chapter XIII: Conclusion (Contiuned)