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Finding the Value of Old Encyclopedia Sets

June 5, 2020

I have the Student's Encyclopedia with atlas. It is a 6 volume set published by Estes & Lauriat 1883. Does anyone have an idea how much this set is worth in fair to good condition?


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
June 5, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

These books are collectable because they are over 100 years old. Often encyclopedias come up for sale, but are not offered much because they are under 100 years. This set can start at $20 per book and ranging up into the $100's -www.ebay.com/.../bn_55472753

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
June 6, 20200 found this helpful
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Can you please share photos of the set, along with photos of the cover of one, the spine, the edges of the sides, and the inside page of one of them which shows all of the publishing info and details.

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It is almost impossible to give a value without seeing exactly what you have.

Can you also please elaborate on the condition: are the pages all intact? Is there any cracking in the spine or covers? Are the pages tanned/yellowed/brittle? Are there any ripped or missing pages? Any ink/pencil/dirt marks/stains or water damage? Are there any smells (even if it is just the old paper smell)? Condition is VERY subjective and buyers are looking for very specific details that help determine condition. Your fair may be my poor and your good may be my excellent. It is just hard to use words like that especially about old books.

Unfortunately age has very little do with value as there are old books that are worthless and newer items that have huge value. It is all about what people collect and want, if there are many on the market or few, and most importantly about condition.

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Hopefully with more info, I can point you to some sold items so we can figure out an average value in today's crazy marketplace!

Thanks!!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
June 7, 20200 found this helpful
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If the books are actually the age you are saying they are then it is advisable to go to an antique book shop to sell the books. Auction houses are also a good way to sell them because collectors are interested in buying them. I would not just take a price from online and try to sell them yourself. As long as they are in good condition allow a professional to examine them and help you sell them.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
June 14, 20200 found this helpful
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By apology for the belated response. These are really neat and look to be in good shape.

I have done a lot of digging and I am surprised there is not more about this set, which has me intrigued.

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I did find this article which looks like it has some info about the original values:
books.google.com/books?id=sks-AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA22-PP11...

Because of the unusual nature of this find, I have a suggestion based on what I (as a long time book seller and general reseller) would do to learn more.

There are a number of book stores in Boston, where these were published that may be able to guide you to find market value or if there is perhaps any value in donating these to a place where they could be displayed. There may be some historical significance in this set.

I am offering two places in Boston which may or may not be able to help, but are where I would start:

www.brattlebookshop.com/ t


www.ravencambridge.com/

Brattle is open (or at least it appears to be). Raven appears to be still closed, although you could try an email inquiry.

Please post back what you learn. These are fascinating pieces!

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I will tell you one thing if there is not a value for them as books, there are a number of junk journal artists who would love to have a set like this to cut up and use and scan for their journals. Because of the age of the books, it is most likely out of the realm of copyright (which they would need to confirm with their lawyer of course) and if it is, they could freely use images and illustrations in their pieces.

Looking forward to hearing what an expert tells you! Thanks for sharing!

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337 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 13, 2019

I have a complete set of Canadian 1967 Centennial encyclopedias in excellent condition. What would it be worth and what is the best way to market the set?


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
December 13, 20190 found this helpful
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Any type of books like this are considered outdated and not worth much at all. Collectors seek books that are over 100 years old.

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Normally you should try to sell them locally and you are looking around $15 to $25 for the set.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 13, 20190 found this helpful
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Unless the set is complete and over 100 years old, it is virtually worthless. Donate it and take a tax deduction.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
December 16, 20190 found this helpful
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Can you please post a photo of the set, tell me how many volumes, and also show the inside of one of the books where it gives all of the publishing info?

I have asked around to some Canadian friends and they are not sure what you mean by encyclopedia related to the Centennial.

There were a lot of things published for the Centennial and related Worlds Fair events so they are curious what you have, as some still do have value among collectors.

Without seeing it or knowing more about what you have I don't want to comment on value or how to sell it.

Looking forward to learning more.

Thanks!

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February 11, 2020

From what I gather these are the first edition Century Dictionary in 10 Volumes 1889 De Vinne Press and the Cyclopedia of Names 1894. I have looked countless hours and have never seen this style leather binding.

Do I have something special here? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

A collection of old encyclopedia.
 
A collection of old encyclopedias.
 
The copyright page of an old encyclopedia.
 
The title page of The Century Cyclopedia of Names.
 
A copyright page of a encyclopedia.
 

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
February 11, 20200 found this helpful
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I found on Ebay, Century dictionary/ encyclopedias year 1897, going for $675.00 in fair condition. Yours should be around that or a little more. A collector may pay you a premium if you advertise or do auction/bid!

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
February 11, 20200 found this helpful
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On E-Bay they have sets of enyclopedias from 899.00 to 20.00 dollars.You can go on E-Bay and give your e-mail and they will contact you if they get a set in.Then you can see what they are worth.Usually there not worth anything because of technology people don't want them.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
February 12, 20200 found this helpful
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Books like this in great condition should be sold through an auction house that specializes in these types of sales. There are a lot of book collectors out there that would more than likely be interested in books like this. Please do yourself a favor and contact a book autction house and speak with them. Pricing on eBay or other places like this is not the true value of these books. The only way to get a fair price for these is in an auction.

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August 20, 2011

I have a set of 1961 encyclopedias from " The American Educator " and I'm wondering how much they are worth.

By Nancy R.


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August 20, 20111 found this helpful

The place I always start with to try to find somethings resale value, is looking on ebay, it may not be very accurate, as some things never sell, but it is free, and usually fast. If not, you can probably search for that name and year, and in the list of sites, find someone that sells that very same thing, with a price they want for theirs.
Best of luck to you in valuing your books!

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February 18, 2022

What is my 18 volume set of, The World Book Encyclopedia? (1959 edition), including 2 volume set Dictionary, "OUR 50th YEAR", (1966 edition), and including "THE WORLD BOOK, YEAR BOOK" (edition 1973).

I have many photos.

A collection of encyclopedias.
 
The side of a book.
 
The front of two dictionaries.
 
The spine of a book.
 
Two World Book dictionaries.
 
The side of a book.
 
The cover of a book.
 
The side of a book.
 
The spine of a book.
 
The cover of a book.
 
The spine of a book.
 
The spine of a book.
 
The front of a World Book.
 
The spine of a book.
 
The front of a book.
 
The copyright page of a book.
 
An open book.
 
An open book.
 
The copyright page of a book.
 
The title page of a book.
 
An open book.
 
An open book.
 
A page in an old book.
 
The copyright page of an old book.
 
The title page of a book.
 
A map in an old book.
 
A map in an old book.
 
A map in an old book.
 
A book open to printed pictures.
 
Value of Old Books?
 
Value of Old Books?
 
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October 2, 2020

I have a complete set of Odhams Encyclopedia, printed 1966 in English. Are they worth anything?


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March 15, 2017

I have an encyclopedia that says Werner Encyclopedia, but it doesn't say Britannica. It is dated 1909 and was published in Akron, Ohio.

I was hoping to get some information on that encyclopedia.

Information on 1909 Werner Encyclopedia- cover page
 
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February 14, 2022

1948 set of these books, good condition, rough estimate on value? Thanks Donna

A Universal World Reference Encyclopedia.
 

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March 23, 2018

Any ideas on the value of a 16 volume, 2nd edition 1875, of the American Cyclopaedia?


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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
March 23, 20180 found this helpful
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The value of any book lies in the publication date and overall condition as well as how many publications are available and most importantly "does anybody want it?".

  • A short history of this set of books:
  • The cyclopaedia was revived under the title American Cyclopaedia in 1873-6. A final edition was issued in 1883-4, which added supplements to each volume of the 1873 edition. Two analytical indexes were published separately in 1878 and 1884.
  • It just happens that your set of cyclopaedias is on the rare side and still in demand but you do not state the overall condition or the area where books are located.
  • The condition is very important and can mean the difference in value of several hundred dollars (maybe thousand) but most important it might make the difference in whether the set ever sells.
  • After all, value means nothing if an item never sells.
  • You have 16 volumes so you must be missing the index as most sets have 17 volumes.
  • You are saying "2nd edition" but I found several 1979 sets and they all state "2nd Edition" so maybe there were several years of the 2nd edition?.
  • The prices on the sets currently listed run from $400 to several thousand. From what I have read the contents of the different years remains about the same but the bindings changed.
  • I am going to list several sets presently up for sale (3/2018) so you can review the descriptions/prices and compare them to the set you have. This may give you an idea as to what a ballpark figure for your set might be. These may not be your year but they are close enough to review as I cannot find very much difference in the 1873-1879 sets but the bindings may make a difference.
  • www.etsy.com/.../1873-american-cyclopaedia-in-premium...
  • www.ebay.com/.../112861332279?hash=item1a470f4337...
  • www.ebay.com/.../142693927640?hash=item2139388ad8...
  • You may want to have your set appraised so you will know for sure what they may be worth.
  • You can Google antique book appraisals with your zip code and maybe find some shops/auctions in your area. You should take several books with you and they should be the best and the worst (more of the worst).
  • You can also ask for an appraisal from places on the Internet. Here are a couple of links for you to check - they may say "free" but check it out to be sure.
  • antiques.lovetoknow.com/Free_Book_Appraisals
  • www.whatsellsbest.com/.../books.html
  • Your local librarian may have a list of sites that offer appraisals also.
  • You will probably need photos of your set (some up close photos also) if you ask for an appraisal.
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September 4, 2020

I have a set of 1911 United Editors Perpetual Encyclopedia 40 volumes (I am missing 1 volume). All 39 volumes are in excellent condition.

Are they worth anything? I hate to just throw them out.

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