Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2003 Issue

The Collaborative Project Part II Using Databases and the New “Wants List” Software

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By Michael Stillman

Knowledge is power. That observation is as true today as it was when Sir Francis Bacon wrote it over four centuries ago. However, what there is to know has increased at least a thousand fold since Bacon was signing his books at Borders. What there is to know today is so vast that not only is it impossible to remember it all, it’s almost impossible to keep it well enough organized to locate it when you need it.

Hence the database. When the information you need becomes so great that locating it in books is no longer feasible, the database becomes the only practical way to store this material. The database can search countless reams of material in mere fractions of a second. As a book collector or dealer, you can no longer find the knowledge you must have to make rational collecting, buying and selling decisions without the assistance of a searchable database. You are powerless.

Last month, we began publishing what we call “The Collaborative Project,” (or TCP for short.) It consists of explanations by members of our staff of how they use the Americana Exchange Database(ÆD) in their collecting of printed Americana. The ÆD is one of tens of thousands of extant databases, but the only one filled with bibliographical, auction, and catalogue records pertaining to printed Americana. You are simply at an enormous disadvantage to other collectors and dealers if you don’t have access to this information.

We recognize that using new technology such as online databases can be intimidating to those who grew up with older technologies. Our purpose in presenting these articles is to show just how easy the ÆD is to use, and just how much you can accomplish once you are familiar with it. Don’t be afraid. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that you thought sending an email was difficult too.

This month we offer four new articles in this series. Julie Carlton describes how she is using the ÆD to build a collection of women’s western travel narratives. Æ President Bruce McKinney, a collector of local imprints, shows how he has used the ÆD to find obscure and very reasonably priced imprints. This writer discusses using the ÆD to locate titles pertaining to the Oregon Trail. Finally, our Managing Editor, Abby Tallmer, writes about her search for 19th century anti-slavery materials either written by or for women.

The “Wants List” Software

Within these articles, you will see mention of something called the “Wants List” Software. This is some amazing new software currently in development here at the Æ. It is not yet ready for general release, but we thought you’d be interested in hearing about it as we test the trial version. It should be released in about a month, first to current ÆD subscribers, and then to everyone.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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