Rare Book Hub: into the great beyond: 10,000,551 full text records

- by Bruce E. McKinney

B87b114d-b9bf-4a8c-93f0-cdd24e8a4429

Rare Book Hub, nee Americana Exchange on September 3, 2002, began its journey into building a complete record of auction appearances and outcomes of collectible books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera, with no clear idea how far or high this project would extend.   Today we know, and celebrate as the Transaction Database crosses into the never before scale of documentation that scholars, students, dealers, collectors and auction houses have come to rely upon.  In fact, many houses are aggregating their records as a convenience to their customers.

 

What’s different at the Hub is that we focus on all sources both of collectible books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera in the present while simultaneously continuing to document auction lots going back to 1840 – our goal to in time provide a complete record of auction appearances for assessing rarity, importance, and value, leaving the greatest intangible for owners and sellers to wrestle with – condition.

 

As to what this means in terms of scale for the future database we leave this to the imagination.