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Author Signatures
Book Fairs / Sales
Book Software
Britannica / Search
Children's books
Currency converter
Dog Books
Dust Jackets
Essentials (Lucas)
Forgotten Books
Haldeman-Julius Series
Metric converter
Modern Library
More Search Forms
News Groups
Roman # Converter
Search Services

BLPC (Br.Lib.)
Internet Public
L.O. Congress
NY Public
Online Libraries
U. Hawaii

Bookseller Lists and Associations

Antiquarian Book Shops and Associations on the WWW - over 200 sites with a web presence. (Marcus Williamson's)
Antiquarian & Used Book Shop Navigator A searchable database for Antiquarian and Used Book Shops in the United States and Canada.
Used Book Lover's Guides
International Electronic Directory of Second-Hand Bookshops (France)

ABA Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (UK).
ABAA Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America.
ABAC / ALAC Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada (ABAC)/ Association de la Librairie Ancienne du Canada (ALAC)
ABF The Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association / Den Danske Antikvarboghandlerforening
ABNJ Antiquarian Booksellers of New Jersey
ANZAAB Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers Limited
CABA Connecticut Antiquarian Booksellers Association
FABA Florida Antiquarian Booksellers' Association
GABA Georgia Antiquarian Booksellers' Association
ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers
IOBA Independent Online Booksellers Association
LIABDA Long Island Antiquarian Book Dealers Association
MABA Maine Antiquarian Booksellers Association
NAN Netherlands Antiquarian Bookseller's Network
NCIBA Northern California Independent Booksellers Association
NHABA New Hampshire Antiquarian Booksellers Association
NVvA Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren, The Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers' Association.
PADA Professional Autograph Dealers Association, Inc.
RMABA Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Association.
SAF Svenska Antikvariatföreningen (Sweden).
SLAM Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (France).
VABA Vermont Antiquarian Booksellers Association
WABA Washington Antiquarian Booksellers Association


A New Books and Book Collecting Blog by Filip de Waard
Rare Book News by Lee Jay Stoltzfus


In the age of Google, Amazon, eBay and spam... An idea whose time has passed.
Setmaker has been discontinued.


Mail-Lists differ from News Groups, in that you must subscribe, and messages are posted to all other members via e-mail, rather than "bulletin-board style" on a web page. When you send a message it goes to each subscriber on the list. Similarly, you receive all messages posted by other list members. Most mail-lists provide a "digest" form, which groups many messages together, and sends them to use as a single e-mail.

Biblio: The Bibliophile Mailing List

Book PictureIf you like browsing the shelves of used-book stores, here's an electronic substitute, complete with conversations with owners and collectors about various aspects of books, collecting, etc: Lynn DeWeese-Parkinson's Bibliophile mailing list, familiarly known as Biblio (started by Michael Medlin, and then run by Shoshana Edwards of Books from Bree, Oregon).
To join the list, send e-mail to with SUBSCRIBE in the body of your email message. For the digest version, which packs all the postings into a few per day, send the SUBSCRIBE message to (That will still result in a lot of mail in your mailbox daily, so make sure to unsubscribe before leaving town for a while.) Read the Guidlines for details!

"The automatic choice of email service for booksellers in the British Isles"

"The UKBooks service is an email sales, wants and news service for the British and Irish antiquarian and secondhand booktrade. Subscribers send a single email to UKBooks of what they want to say or advertise for sale or wanted; the service copies this email and sends it automatically and immediately to all UKBooks subscribers, clearly labelling it so that everyone knows it is an email sent through the service.
Only booktrade members and book collectors resident in Britain or Ireland may send information to UKBooks subscribers. UKBooks operates a dual subscription system: a subscription to RECEIVE emails (free of charge); and a subscription to SEND emails (£20, including VAT, per year). These two subscriptions run independently of each other. You can subscribe to one, or the other, or both.
To subscribe, Send email to: with subscribe ukbooks on the first line of the message, and end on the second, or subscribe ukbooks-digest (and end on the second line) for the digest version. To unsubscribe, send the message unsubscribe ukbooks or unsubscribe ukbooks-digest for the digest version.
In either case, put the word "end" on the second line, leave the subject matter blank if your mailer allows you to and preferably omit any automatic signature.

An electronic news and discussion group for those interested in rare books and special collections

" ExLibris provides an environment for discussing matters related to rare book and manuscript librarianship, including special collections and related issues. It is not intended to be a primary medium for the sale and purchase of books. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to subscribe. ExLibris welcomes booksellers and others to the list, but they should recognize the broad consensus that this list should not be a locus for the posting of want lists or items for sale. Brief announcements of sale catalogue availability are welcome. Otherwise, the Biblio List, Interloc, and the rec.arts.books.marketplace newsgroup are more appropriate."
To subscribe send e-mail to with SUBSCRIBE EXLIBRIS your_full_name in the body of the message. (Capitalization is unimportant. Be sure the message is contained in a single line. If you are willing, it is helpful to include institutional identification on the same line, as: SUBSCRIBE EXLIBRIS your_full_name, institution_name [note the use of the comma]). You may leave the list at any time by sending a "SIGNOFF EXLIBRIS" command to

a mailing list for the exchange of information and books

"ANTIQBOOK An international mailing list, offering opportunies for buying and selling books, as well as the exchange of book related information."

Tools: Currency / Metric / Roman / ISBN

Xenon Labs: The Universal Currency Converter™



Click here for information on the Universal Currency Converter™.

Metric Converter

Enter inches or centimeters and click Convert

in. cm.

Roman Numeral Converter

Enter a number (like 14) or a Roman numeral (like XIV), and click Convert:

(by Arik Segal.)

ISBN Validator

ISBN will change in 2007
  1. The ISBN will change from 10 to 13 digits on 1 January 2007
  2. Existing ISBNs will be prefixed by 978
  3. The resulting 13-digit number will be identical with the EAN-13 number that is currently encoded in the bar code
  4. The 979 prefix will be introduced when the current stock of numbers is exhausted
  5. Publishers' identifier prefixes are not likely to remain the same for ISBNs using the 979 prefix
  6. Bar codes will carry the 13-digit ISBN with hyphenation above the barcode and the EAN-13, the identical number without hyphens or spaces, below the bar code.
If your browser can handle JavaScript, this should work. A discussion on Biblio uncovered the formula for validating ISBNs -- which some people do to verify data entry. I put this together as an exercise in JavaScripting -- Feel free to validate your questionable ISBNs here. It's tolerant of spaces and hyphens:

Enter an ISBN:

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a system of numerical identification for books, pamphlets, educational kits, microforms, CD-ROM and braille publications. By assigning a unique ten-digit number to each published title, the system provides that title with its own, unduplicated, internationally recognized "identity." Publishers, booksellers, libraries and other participants in the book industry use ISBN to identify publications in order to expedite their handling and retrieval. ISBN ensures that ordering, inventory control and accounting are executed more efficiently.
The International Standard Book Numbering (ISBN) system was introduced into the United Kingdom by J. Whitaker & Sons Ltd., in 1967 and into the United States in 1968 by the R. R. Bowker Company. The ISBN is part of the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), which was prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization; delegates adopted the numbering system in 1969. Its numbers are assigned by publishers and administered by designated national standard book numbering agencies--e.g., R.R. Bowker Company in the United States, Standard Book Numbering Agency Ltd. in the United Kingdom, National Library in Brazil, the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian State Library) in Germany, and the Research Library on African Affairs in Ghana. Each ISBN is identical with the Standard Book Number, originally devised in the United Kingdom, with the addition of a preceding national group identifier.
Individual titles in a multi-volume set are each given a unique ISBN and the entire set is given a unique ISBN as well.
(Bowker's "Distributors and Wholesalers of the United States" has a 500 page section where they list publisher prefixes in order - a handy tool if all you have is an ISBN and want to know who the publisher is. Bowker page, US ISBN Agency.)

Consider an ISBN like:

The first digit, 0, is the group identifier: national, geographic, language, or other convenient group; in this case, English-speaking countries. (Sometimes 1 appears on US books.)
The next three (in this case three, but not necessarily -- 2 or 3 for major publishers, longer for minor publishers with just a few books), 395, are the publisher's id number, in this case, Houghlin Mifflin. (When a publisher runs out of "room" for new book numbers, they receive a new publisher number.)
The next 5 (or however many are left to make up the first 9, depending on the length of the publisher number) are the "book number" for that publisher, which apparently come out sequentially as books are issued, and may indicate different editions, paperbacks, reprints, bindings, etc., though there may be gaps. (So it's unlikely that "The Pledge" was actually Houghlin Mifflin's 48,308th book since the introudction of the ISBN system.)
The last number is a check digit, used to validate whether the ISBN is correctly formed. (An x or X in that position = 10.) Take each digit, starting from the left, and multiply it by it's position from the right. Add those together, and if the result divides evenly by 11, it checks.

Book Terms / Glossaries / Binding

Robert F. Lucas's
The Essentials of Book Collecting - An Essay in Parts, originally at his originally from the Robert F. Lucas, Antiquarian Books site, contains a wealth of useful information, as well as a glossary of terms.

For more book-related terms, you can look up most of the jargon in on-line glossaries at Carl Noe's A Book Collector's Glossary (posted Aug. 23, 1996 to rec.collecting.books).

The most extensive, an illustrated dictionary of terms related to bookbinding and book conservation can be found in the on-line version of Bookbinding and the Conservation of books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, by Matt T. Roberts and Don Etherington, with drawings by Margaret R. Brown.


Visit Paul Thomson's fine iBookBinding! for free book binding resources and tutorials - updated weekly!
Check out Denis Gouey's Bookbinding Studio, for an illustrated site of fine bookbinding and restoration... (also in French) and other bookbinding links.
And here's a link to a bookbinding mailing list subscription site.
Want to get that old family bible or other large book repaired? Ann and Tom Bellino's Bookmenders repairs bibles, testaments, cookbooks, dictionaries and encyclopedias.
And... Krep's Bookbinding.

A question posted to rec.collecting books, answered in detail from Webster's III. A similarly detailed description can be found in the book sizes article from Roberts' Dictionary (above), which includes British sizes.

Dust Jackets

Take care of that dust jacket! In the case of modern books, which is to say virtually anything in the late 19th or 20th century, the value of the dust jacket to a collector may actually be many times the value of the same book without a jacket. While three times the price is not unusual, for many books the ratio can go as high as ten times or more. As with the first editions themselves, condition is the major factor.

Sources for Mylar Dust Jacket Covers,
Conservation and Repair Supplies:

To give a representative example, I searched the November, 1997 records at Interloc (now part of Alibris) for first editions of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. On that list, a first edition, represented as "good" could be bought for as little as $7.95, though the going price was more like $25 - $30 for nice copies... without dust jackets. For copies with 2nd state dust jackets, that is, not the very first issue, the prices jumped to closer to $100 for copies described as "good" with an overall range of $35 - $350. But for copies with the first state dust jacket, with the exception of one "in tatters," the range was $100 - $350, with the majority of the better looking ones at over $200, and many at over $300. For the full list and descriptions, click here.

There are various opinions about when the first dust jacket (or "dust-wrapper," not to be confused with "wrappers" or "wraps" which are today's paperbacks) appeared. According to John Carter's ABC for Books Collectors (1995 ed.), "The earliest recorded dust jacket dates from 1832 (many decades earlier than most people would guess). But its history till the end of the century is only beginning to be explored, and surviving examples earlier than the mid-eighties are very uncommon indeed."
Page A. Thomas reported in an ExLibris posting that "Milestones in Publishing and Printing, compiled by Decherd Turner, former director of Bridwell Library's list has the earliest known American dustwrapper appearing on The poetical works of the late Richard S. Gedney ... second edition, edited by James Ogden. N. Y. : Appleton, 1857."
Michael Zinman reported in another posting that "the earliest dust jackets in America seem to have been made by a circulating library in Maine in 1828. There are several examples of this jacket around. It has a large, circular design on the front cover with all particulars regarding the terms and conditions. Similar examples c. 1840's and 1850's exist. A "do it yourself" jacket, adjustable to fit various size books was developed in the 1880's. At least two sizes, A and B of this jacket are known."
And Gene Freeman's reply: "One of the problems with research on the history of dust jackets is trying to decide on definitions. One would expect that individuals would protect their books with paper covers and examples would survive from any age. I think the usual question is: "When did publishers first sell books in dust jackets?" The circulating library example is a borderline case, the printed jacket is certainly historically important, and could have motivated a publisher, but the books were not (an assumption) purchased by that library in dust jackets. I have an 1824, seven volume set of Scott's Poetical Works published by R. W. Pomeroy of Philadelphia, with remnants of dust wrappers made of paper that is clearly contemporary with the books. I have no way to determine if they were originally sold in dust jackets or added by the buyer. However, the books, are bound in paper covered boards with paper labels and are in good enough condition to believe the jackets were added very early in their life..."
Gabriel Zita adds: In the Ken Leach collection of 19th century American books with dust jackets, the earliest was one printed by the American Art Union in 1849, (auctioned at Oinonen in 1990 or earlier) a special issue of one of their albums by Darley (either Rip Van Winkle or the story about Ichabod Crane). It is clearly a printed DJ, and it notes that this copy of the book has inserted plates on tissue.
And this from Christopher Handy, posted to Biblio: "A good place to read about the development of the modern jacket is Tanselle's Book-Jackets, Blurbs, and Bibliographers, which appeared in The Library some years ago (June 1971, I think). It's a fun article, and very informative."

On-Line Sites with Dust-Jacket Scans
There are now many on-line sites with full-color scans of first edition dustjackets. Dan Gregory's Between the Covers, Rare Books site has one of the most extensive collections of modern first-edition dust-jacket images I've seen on-line. For Modern Library editions, visit Scot Kamins' Collecting the Modern Library. And my own Howard Fast site has small scans of almost all the Fast first-edition djs, and many of the pamphlets, etc.
Jill Morgan's lovely Laura Ingalls Wilder page has scans of jackets, books and pages from the early "Little House" series.
Richard Polt's The Keeler Dust Jacket Vault with many full-size scans of Harry Stephen Keeler djs.

Collector's Resources / References

I've gathered together various suggested readings and reference works on book collecting, added some additional ones, and summarized them here. (The original source was John Dinsmore's Bibliophile list, but there have been numerous subsequent contributions.)

James D. Keeline has written a fascinating article on juvenile series books, Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonyms: Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, which I've posted here.


An impressive collection of Book Collecting links can be found at Rebecca Hanneman - your Guide to: Book Collecting .

Ron Lieberman's Rarity of the Day website has fascinating historical descriptions of hundreds of rare and interesting books from his stock, which have been posted to Biblio and newslists in his on-going Rarities of the Day feature.

For Modern Library editions, Scot Kamins' Collecting the Modern Library site is loaded with information, and includes descriptions of copies for sale.

Book Fair Calendar from Used Book Lover's Guides.

Antiquarian Book Fairs in the U.S. from Bruce Gventer.

Book Sales Scout... to find library used book sales.

Book Sales in America... "Here is everything you want to know about book sales and bookstores run by libraries and other non-profit groups across the nation. Some sales have a few hundred books - some have hundreds of thousands..."

Association of College and Research Libraries' Rare Books and Manuscripts Section's YOUR OLD BOOKS -- Frequently asked questions about rare books and book values.

Author signatures? Susan Burgher's Autograph Sites at BookSeller Central...

Children's Books Central by Eleanor's Books, "a directory of directories for sites related to children's books. A place to start for writers, readers, collectors, illustrators, librarians, teachers, parents, publishers, storytellers and kids. Many links, well laid-out index, a wealth of resources even for the general Web surfer."

Helen & Mark Younger's Aleph-Bet Books' Aleph-Bet-College: "Informative articles for collectors -- An education in collecting children's and illustrated books."

Bern Marcowitz's Dog Lover's Bookshop in New York City, is the site for new, used, out-of-print and rare books about... dogs! (The owners of Dog Lovers Bookshop have written a book about the advice they give their customers. It is "The Care and Feeding of Books Old and New - A Simple Repair Manual for Book Lovers," St. Martin's Press, Oct. '02. "We have tried to make the book humorous and informative, encouraging people to appreciate that books need care. We describe simple repairs, and go off on all kinds of tangents about book collecting, libraries, and of course dogs.")

Cookbooks? Janet Jarvits' Cook Books with "15,000+ Used and Rare Cook Books".

+ Book Collecting Software. The major shareware and commercial packages available for book collectors and dealers, with descriptions and links to their sites with downloadable software.

Seminars & Bookseller Workshops: Gregor Books ABAA

News Groups

News groups are essentially electronic bulletin boards. Unlike mail-lists, most groups require no registration. You can just visit the group, read the posted notices, and respond or post your own. Postings remain for a limited time, and are replaced by new ones. New group archives can be searched using Google.

Book-related news groups on the WWW include:


Others appear from time to time. You'll need a newsreader, such as Forte's Free Agent, or just click on the link if your browser is set up with a news reader.


NYPL There are many excellent on-line libraries with WWW search forms. To access Subject, Keyword, or other search forms, click the Library Name:

Cleveland Public Library


British Library Public Catalog. This service provides simple searching and ordering of documents from the British Library's extensive collections.


COPAC Unified access to the catalogues of some of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland.


New York Public Library, has CATNYP, the catalog of its research libraries searchable online with a Web interface.

OhioLink online catalog of 30+ libraries in the state of Ohio.

UH Library (University of Hawaii) for Pacific material

Library of Congress Home Page.
Z39.50 Gateway to other library catalogs -- A WWW forms interface to numerous library catalogs!
Duplication Service

ABAA's Online Research Tools for the Dealer and Collector.

Libdex The Library Index provides an extensive list of worldwide libraries with Web sites as well.

European and Middle Eastern Libraries on the WWW - a large alphabetical list by country.

And there are thousands of titles on-line on the Web, indexed at Books-On-Line. These are full-texts, downloadable or readable on line.

And the Internet Public Library, includes a good reference section.

Author Bibliographies

Pages with author bibliographies I've compiled, which include information about the various editions the titles were published in. The Maigret list is for English titles, linked to the French originals. The comprehensive Howard Fast list (updated regularly) includes clickable links to dust-jacket blurbs, full texts of articles, and other features:
Significant Author Bibliographies on-line:

+ J. Larry Voyer's Graphical Bibliographies - Pirates and Privateering, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Mutiny on the Bounty, Horatio Nelson.
+ Ernest Bramah - Mike Berro's Books by Ernest Bramah; an example of an especially nicely done online bibliography.
+ Jules Verne - The Complete Jules Verne Bibliography by Volker Dehs, Zvi Har'El & Jean-Michel Margot, at Zvi Har'El's Jules Verne Collection.
+ Lew Wallace - Lew Wallace Bibliography - by Roger C. Adams.

Forgotten Books
I've just discovered Forgotten Books, an amazing online resource, claiming over 1,000,000 titles accessible in the original format (scanned). Most of these seem to be library copies, gems from the past, long out of copyright... but not only are they available in a variety of formats - read online, download pdfs, mobile apps, Kindle, etc. - they're extensively analyzed, with charts and statistics of words in the books, frequency within the Forgotten Books collection... even the images! The books are searchable - they've all been OCR'ed, so this is an amazing resource. I've just begun to look through their holdings, but so far it's like having access to a giant library (of old books) - pick a topic and search and an astonishing number of volumes are found. It's not free, but relatively inexpensive, with a sliding scale depending on the number of titles accessed. And it is free for looking around in any books, though an occassional page has their ad instead of the page... Take a look at

+ Encyclopædia Britannica

The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was issued between 1768 and 1771 in 100 parts, finally comprising 3 volumes -- 2,391 pages, four folded leaves of unnumbered tables, and 160 copperplates. The famous 1911 11th edition was the first to be issued at one time as a single set. (The first volumes were published in late 1910; the remainder in 1911.) It comprised 29 volumes, including an index (a feature which had become standard since the 7th edition of 1830-42, by which time the EB had grown to 21 volumes, 17,101 pages, and 506 plates). With the 24-volume 14th edition, first issued in 1929, Britannica began its policy of continual revision, and no new numbered editions appeared until 1974, when the "Britannica III," with its new format of Propædia, Micropædia and Macropædia, appeared in 30 volumes as the 15th edition. A two-volume index, missing from the earlier Britannica III, appeared in the last in-print version, a 32-volume set.

Now the Britannica has migrated to CD-ROM and further. Britannica Online includes a free search service. The significant feature, besides being able to save what you want to disk, is that it searches all the articles, not just the index. Both Britannica Online and the CD version now include about 4,000 images -- and additional images are planned to be included in the next release of each. There's a demo, and subscription info online.


Books and Book Collecting