So This Is Day One In The World Of Book Collecting...
I understand this because I’m building the Database myself and I know that although it is already, and by far, the largest resource of its kind, it will triple in size over the next two years. I have both a professional and personal curiosity about how new material impacts the Database. It seems be very effective. As a kid I used to go to auctions with a copy of Howes’ USiana, with its 11,620 references, under my arm. The ÆD is already 32 times the size of Howes and will reach a hundred times Howes down the road. I know that I can base a collection on the ÆD and know that the ÆD will continue to incorporate more resources to make both my searches and my pursuit of a collection increasingly effective. As a book collector this is akin to having “died and gone to heaven.”
I’ve still getting used to both the "Internet Matches" and the "Auction Matches". Through the "Internet Matches" I found a nice copy (original boards, a little water staining and containing a pasted-down newspaper clipping from 1905 about Smallpox) of “A Review of the Diseases of Dutchess County, From 1809 to 1825;...” printed in New York in 1826. It’s a fascinating, in scary kind of way, picture of medical health during the first twenty-five years of the 19th century in Dutchess County. When I ran a follow-up check on ABE by printer (3rd field in the advanced screen) I found many titles in the medical field for J. Seymour, Printer thereby opening a backdoor to yet more titles tying back to the Hudson Valley. There are many ways for this Database to work for me. My limits are my imagination and my willingness to think.
I’m also starting to use the "Auction Matches" part of the new MatchMaker software and I find that I want there to be more auctions and I want every auction to have more material. This is because the new MatchMaker software makes it possible to identify interesting material very easily. The same list of titles that are searched against net listings are also searched against upcoming auctions. That is very good but it doesn’t begin to be as interesting as using "Keyword" searches against upcoming auctions. These searches are absolutely wild. If I know what "Keywords" to use I can find almost anything in the Americana field when it comes up at auction. When you are simply using place names this is relatively straightforward although, as I found with Fishkill, there is always more to know. I know that "Keywords" are going to become an addiction for many collectors.
To look for material about the Hudson Valley I’m currently using 10 "Keywords": Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Rondout, Catskill, Kingston, Dutchess, Ulster, Fishkill, Hudson and Paraclette + Potter. And I’ve already seen enough "Matches" to tell me this will transform my interest in auctions. For a focused collector this is heroin. And then there is more.
Once an auction has taken place we enter the realized prices. Once these prices are entered the color on lots in the "Auction Matches" and "Auction Keyword Matches" change to orange to alert you that the results are now posted.
I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in book collecting to try out these new MatchMaker software capabilities. They are effective. Access is free until August 1st to those who are signed up for the Database and Auction Notices Membership (still $74.50). If you are already signed up simply sign-in and you’ll see the new options displayed on your personal home page. If you aren’t yet a member now is the time to join. These new options represent an extraordinary advance for dealers to build inventory, collectors to build collections and libraries to acquire needed titles.
I find I’m now checking my "matches" several times a day. The future is now.