Excerpt from the Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies - 2010

Fellow appraiser and antique/appraisal book reviewer Jerry Sampson, ASA wrote an article that is near and dear to almost every appraisers heart.  The Appraisal Library.  No appraiser can be without one, and in all honesty many appraisers border on bibliomania.  I think Nicholas Basbanes book title on bibliophiles is very appropriate, A Gentle Madness.

Jerry Sampson touches on most of the important topics involved with accumulating and managing a useful appraisal reference library.  I also recommend Jerry's blog on Antique Reference Book Reviews, a site dedicated to the review of old and new reference materials regarding antiques, books, collectibles and personal property appraisal.

Next weeks excerpt will be by Brian Kathenes, ISA CAPP on appraising coins and stamps.

Jerry Sampson writes in the Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies:

We appraisers know that there is no substitute for being in a fresh, current market. But there is something else for which there is no substitute either and that is our library. Your library will be a source of comfort and enjoyment to you. It will be a place for you to turn when you are confused, lost or unsure about an object. Yes, your library, if you develop it correctly, will quickly become a major focal point of your appraisal career.

It sounds “old fashioned” in this day of technology, but there is really nothing like having a well-developed, accessible library. Oftentimes I talk with other appraisers who might not have as much experience as I do, and the one thing that I hear so often is “ I don’t have much of a library; I use the computer.” Well, that may be true and, of course, I do the same thing to some extent. But you will never be able to grasp and understand a subject just by reading about it on the Internet.

This article will be broken down into several chapters so it can be easier to absorb. I’ll cover topics like...

• How to acquire books for your library
• Proper shelving and filing
• Magazines and other periodicals
• Hard back or soft back books
• Price guides
• Local books and papers
• The importance of small papers
• Databases and printed auction catalogs
• When it’s time to dispose of a library

Essentials In Your Library: Shelving and Filing

You can have the greatest library in the world, but, if you can't find that particular volume then your library is worthless. The number one thing you must have when starting this business is some type of strong shelving and proper storage.

You might be starting your appraisal career with a dozen volumes, or you might be established and have a library of thousands of titles. Either way, you've got to have proper storage/shelving.

Your ultimate goal is to have your own place. I understand this is not always possible. The author Virginia Wolfe is quoted as saying she “hoped in the future that all women would have a room of their own." That's what we as appraisers should strive for - our own room, our own place, to store our work and materials.
All proceeds from the sale of the Journal support the educational initiatives and scholarships of the Foundation for Appraisal Education. The cost of the journal is only $55.00, a bargain for the amount of content supplied, and for a short time shipping is free.  For more information visit www.appraisaljournal.org to order your copy.

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