Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2010 Issue

A Page from the Future

Dante

A step toward appealing electronic catalogues


By Bruce McKinney

For years, the changing economics of booksellers’ catalogues have caused headaches for booksellers. In decades past, such catalogues were often substantial; the number of items listed sometimes running into the thousands, the descriptions minimal, the prices low. Today much of the material that was once the backbone of such catalogues is online. What's left for cataloguers are focused offerings of the hard to find, highly desirable and often valuable items. When combined with the rising cost of printed catalogues, and their generally declining efficiency, catalogue extinction becomes possible.

However, when you break the cataloguing challenge down into its basic elements: content, physical production, and distribution - new possibilities emerge for creating better, more flexible catalogues that work well if the audience will move beyond paper presentations to embrace their electronic cousins. The technology for interesting, email-able, presentations already exists and continues to improve. The e-catalogue also has the added benefits of being available instantly around the world, and allowing for real-time update and additions.

To engage this challenge, and to encourage the transition, this month we are adding a third section to AE Monthly to provide a venue for electronic catalogues to be organized and displayed. Such catalogues may be publications created in AE's Books for Sale, catalogues created as PDFs elsewhere and even PDFs converted into realistic book-like presentations by eMagCreator. The alternatives for online book catalogue presentation are flexible and inexpensive and continue to evolve. The fundamental idea of a catalogue is to create a focus that acquirers can efficiently browse. In time such presentations will be almost exclusively electronic so it's a good idea to become familiar with the options.

In this section, Section III, AE research [and higher] members can post descriptions of their catalogues along with their contents as PDFs or as links to specific catalogues on their site. To do so a contributing dealer simply writes a catalogue introduction and links it to their catalogue source. [The links for this will appear on member home pages in a few weeks]. For sellers submitting PDFs it's also possible to employ software provided by eMagCreator to convert PDFs into sophisticated catalogues that turn page by page.

For AE premium members it's even easier to create unique catalogues gathered from a member's Books for Sale inventory.

This month we provide two iterations. The first is a catalogue prepared by Book Hunter's Holiday of San Mateo, California that was submitted as a PDF and converted by eMagCreator's presentation. The same catalogue is also available as a PDF and can be searched and scrolled in the standard way. The second presentation is a catalogue prepared from inventory posted in AE's Web Catalogue.

The book-like presentation is visually appealing but potentially awkward to navigate, while the PDF is easier to use but more conventional. In converting the PDF into the book-like form it becomes a finished publication. No further changes can be made until or unless the text is recast into a new finished form. The cost for converting a catalogue into this format is $25 and is permanent. The other catalogue, from de Orbe Novo, was created in AE's Web Catalogue, can be revised and is free for Premium members. It remains editable even after issuance.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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…
  • <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>

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