rare books research

Your basic guide in rare books research

As a book collector, you should never make any sudden decisions to get a new book to your collection. It is important for you to do a proper research before you buy books. Otherwise, you will not be able to invest your money in purchasing the best books available out there. Here is a comprehensive guide that you can follow to get the hold of the best rare books that are available out there for your book collection.

Take a look at the book

As the very first ting, you will need to take a look at the book. By taking a look at the book, you will be able to uncover lots of information about it. It is better if you can have a good background knowledge about the books. Then you will be able to use that background knowledge and make immediate decisions.

With the information you have, you will be able to take a look at the bibliographical details. Then you will be able take informed decisions. For example, the title pages of the book you go through will contain advertising methods of coloring plates and printing. Even the illustrations that you can see in the book will deliver lots of additional information to you. They include the printing method used and the names of the contributors of book.

It is better if you can do some detective work as well. Then you will be able to unlock lots of other information as well. For example, the term “del” refers to drawn by. Likewise, the term lith refers to lithographed by. You should also keep an eye on the term “imp”, which highlights the fact printed by. These facts will help you to learn more about the illustrations, which contribute a lot towards the overall value of the books.

Go through the catalogue records

As you do the rare books research, you should carefully go through the catalogue records as well. Then you will be able to get yourself exposed to indispensable resources that offer bibliographical details. Moreover, the catalogue records will also share information about provenance, production, and even additional contributors. You can carefully go through the local catalogue records. Then you can easily compare all the basic details with related to the copy and compare them along with the completeness of the book that you are about to buy as well.

In the meantime, you may also take a look at the auction catalogue records. That’s because they usually provide to offer information with related to the physical information. You can also understand about the known contributors and some additional information about the author.

It is important to take a look at the pricing estimate related information that you can see out there too. Then you can clearly see how the price changed along with time. This information can also help you to make the right decision and pay the right price as you purchase the book that is available.

Find the digitized versions of the book

It is also recommended for you to get your hands on the digitized versions of the books as well. By extending your research to the online repositories, you will be able to do it. In some of the instances, you might suspect that the version of the book you have along with you is incomplete. In such a situation, you just need to take a look at the digitized version of the book. Then you will be able to get hold of the missing information.

While you do the research, just check, and see whether you are doing the research on a book written by a well-known author or not. Then you will be able to figure out that there are numerous journal articles, a collection of books, and a website that will provide the information you want. Just take a look at the most trusted and informative sources out of them. Then you will be able to end up with finding all the important information you want.

Take a look at the secondary references

There are numerous sources that offer secondary references. You can take a look at them and figure out how to get maximum information that you want as well. This is where you will notice that the rare books are explained with specific terminology. Then you will be able to unlock some additional information as well.

You should get yourself familiar with the standard references with related to the books. You can do a bit of a research and learn more about the region and the subject area. This understanding will provide a lot of assistance to you as you go through the secondary references.

Be mindful about the wider context

You must have a good understanding about the wider context as you do more research as well. The research you do should be object oriented. Then you will be able to focus more on the type of research that you do. This will assist you to learn more about the specific pieces of information that you want to know. For example, you will be able to understand how the book was produced. This will help you to learn more about the context of the book as well.

Final words

Now you are aware about the steps that you should follow in order to do research on the books. Make sure that you always stick to these steps. Then you will be able to uncover lots of information with related to the books that you are keeping an eye on. Based on that, you will be able to understand what you are getting at the end of the day. You can refrain from committing expensive mistakes with this understanding. You will never regret about the time and effort that you spend on this research as well.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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