By Bruce McKinney
The Americana Exchange Database of Auction records, bibliographical notices, important dealer and collector catalogues has reached three million full text records. Over the past year about 900,000 records have been added from original sources. Over the next year we expect to make headway toward the next intermediate goal of 4,000,000. The volume of records and their completeness are important factors in the AE strategy of providing clarity about frequency of appearance going back to the beginning of the 19th century. Rarity is a word that can be tested and confirmed.
Both confirmed AE members and visitors can use both our primary site [www.americanaexchange.com] and beta site [www.wikibiblio.com]. Americana Exchange continues to provide up-to-the minute auction results and to incorporate them into the AED every day or so. The beta site is a working version of new software that focuses on providing triangulated searches. In January we expect to add 'probability of reappearance' calculations to accompany our current value estimates.
With all the facts it is possible to have almost all the answers. Three million records is not yet all the facts but in comparison with other databases offering similar information the AED is now consistently providing about eight times the results. We believe six to seven million records are required to capture all book, manuscript, map and ephemera auction results for the past one hundred years.
On the beta site - www.wikibiblio.com - without signing in it is possible to run searches and see the number of results. Here are some examples:
An additional twenty searches are provided on page two.