The Collaborative Project Part IV New Tools for Collectors and Researchers
By Mike Stillman
This month we present our fourth installment of “The Collaborative Project.” Four associates of the Americana Exchange write about their experiences researching old books and building their collections. These articles discuss some of the tools we have found, both within the Americana Exchange services and outside of them. Our aim is to help our readers discover some of the very helpful resources that now are available to all of us thanks to the internet.
This month several of our articles explain functions of the new MatchMaker Software introduced by the Æ a few weeks ago. MatchMaker is such a revolutionary development within the field of book collecting that it demands the attention. Briefly, it allows users to locate collectible printed Americana both on the internet and at auction quickly and with minimal effort. Combined with the Æ Database, it allows you to discover new titles in your field of collecting you may never have known existed, and then locate where they are being sold. Then, it continues its search into the future, day after day, so it will find books not for sale today as soon as they become available.
This month, Julie Carleton focuses on the auction functions of MatchMaker. In particular, she discusses the auction keyword search, which lets you research what’s coming up for sale at auction not just by title, but by subject matter. It is the only resource available that allows you to search the dozens of auctions that offer printed Americana just for items within your particular field of collecting.
From Abby Tallmer, we have an article on searching for titles not listed in the Æ Database through MatchMaker. Most people use the Æ Database to create the “Wants List” of titles they will have MatchMaker scour the internet and auctions to find. However, some titles are either too obscure, too new, or too unrelated to Americana to appear in the Æ Database. No problem. MatchMaker can look for these too, and Abby shows us how.
Finally, I write about using the Æ Database to learn more about the rarity and value of older titles as well as finding copies for sale. My examples come from the early 19th century when much of the heartland of America was under French influence.
We hope our efforts will help you with your research and collecting. We know from experience that they can not only help you find new material, but be sure that when you do buy or sell, you will not be paying too much or receiving too little for your books.