The Rare Book Hub is a resource for information pertaining to rare, antiquarian, and collectible books and related ephemeral material – manuscripts, letters, maps, posters, broadsides, photographs, and prints (works on paper). It is based on the principle that “knowledge is power.” Here are some of the services offered.
Unified Search. At the top of most pages is a search bar. It provides access to three separate databases (click the name of the database displayed to reveal the other two).
- Upcoming Auctions. This searches listings in the books and paper field at over 150 worldwide auction houses offered for sale right now. This is the only place where you can search for lots in the field across a broad spectrum of auctions from one location. Most offer online bidding. Free Service.
- Books For Sale. This searches listings offered by booksellers of collectible grade material in the field (rather than reading copies of out-of-print books). Free Service.
- Rare Book Transaction History. This searches a database of 5,637,678 records pertaining to books and related material. The vast majority are priced records from auction houses, though some notable bibliographies and classic bookseller catalogues are included. New records are added almost daily. Complete lot descriptions are provided. It includes a current value estimator for older records, a likely frequency of appearance estimator for rare items, and a “Get Keywords” function that displays the most commonly used words in the listings. There is no other database of records in the books and paper field even close to being this comprehensive. Subscriber (paid) Service.
Matchmaker. Provides daily automated matching of new listings posted at auction and in Books For Sale based on your keywords. Subscriber (free or paid) Service. Matching also available for listings in the field posted on eBay. Subscriber (paid at Octavo or Folio level) Service.
Records Tracking. Enables you to save records found at auction, in Books for Sale, and the RB Database for later viewing, or in the case of auction lots, to check sales price after the auction takes place. Subscriber (free or paid) Service.
Rare Book Monthly. A monthly online publication of news, opinions, and analyses in the books and paper field, including separate sections reviewing bookseller catalogues and providing links to electronic catalogues. Issued the first of each month. Free Service. Subscribers (free or paid) may post comments and contributions.
Auction Calendar. A calendar displaying auctions during the current, past, and future months. Click the date on small calendar seen on home and auction home pages to reveal larger calendar. Clicking on auction name displays lots in future auctions and results on past auctions once those have been posted. Free Service.
Weekly Auction Updates. A weekly e-mail update (mailed Sunday night) of results at auctions during the previous week and listings of auctions for the coming week. Receiving is optional. Subscriber (free or paid) Service.
Recent Reported Auction Results. Spreadsheet presentation of detailed information about recent auctions. Past 7 days - Free Service. Older results – Subscriber (paid) Service.
Types of Memberships. Free memberships are free and of unlimited duration. Most paid memberships are for one year, and can be paid annually (cheapest) or monthly. Visitor memberships can be purchased for 10 days or one month. All paid memberships include unlimited 24/7 access to the Rare Book Transaction History database as well as other benefits. Research memberships provide access to the RB Transaction History for one user (device) at a time. Octavo memberships provide for up to two users at a time, plus the right to list up to 10,000 items in Books For Sale (commission free) and automatically search eBay listings in Matchmaker. Folio memberships provide for up to five users at one time, plus the right to list an unlimited number of items in Books For Sale (commission free) and automatically search eBay listings in Matchmaker. Institutional memberships are also available to libraries and others allowing access to an unlimited number of users at any time based on IP recognition.
Who Uses the Rare Book Hub? The website is designed to assist collectors, booksellers, libraries, auction houses, appraisers, educators, researchers, prospective collectors, and the curious.
Our History and Philosophy. The Rare Book Hub was founded in 2002 by San Francisco collector Bruce McKinney as Americana Exchange. The name was changed to eliminate confusion over the scope of material covered, which includes all types in the books and paper field. The service was created to provide information and clarity to the field, particularly with respect to values. The absence of clarity in values, as is readily available in other fields of collecting such as stamps and coins, made rational book collecting decisions problematic, discouraging new collectors while making buying and selling choices difficult for collectors and dealers. Information offered by the Rare Book Hub has provided the field with the knowledge needed for a healthy and vibrant book trade.