home Blog WHAT’S IT WORTH? The Library Can Help!

WHAT’S IT WORTH? The Library Can Help!

Like many people, I enjoy poking around flea markets, antique shows, and book fairs.

Michael Sparks does, also. In 2006 he was browsing through a thrift store in Nashville, Tennessee, and purchased an old print of the Declaration of Independence for $2.48; on March 22, 2007, he sold that “old print” at auction for $477,650.

Did he know what he had? Perhaps not. I wonder if he contacted his local library and asked the reference librarian, “What’s it worth?”

Yes! The library has a rich collection of resources that can help you determine the value of your flea market find or that dusty antique in grandma’s attic.

Three of the best general guidebooks are:


“Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price List 2008”


“Schroeder’s Antiques Price Guide”


“Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2009”


Reference staff can also guide you to books that cover very specific areas of collecting, such as coins, dolls, guns, pottery, and toys—even Civil War memorabilia.

Stop by the library in Cambridge and browse the extensive collection of reference books we have on display near the magazine shelves. These materials can be used freely within the library. If you need something to check out, staff may be able to locate circulating copies for you.

And keep an eye out for that one-of-a-kind treasure. If Michael Sparks can find it, perhaps you can, too.

I’m still looking!

Bob Gray
Reference and Adult Services Librarian

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