Finding the Value of Old Encyclopedia Sets

Category Books
This page is great place to look for the value of old encyclopedias. Look below for feedback shared about the value of various encyclopedia sets. If you don't see your set listing, feel free to post a question.
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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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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Any type of books like this are considered outdated and not worth much at all.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. Normally you should try to sell them locally and you are looking around $15 to $25 for the set.

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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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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?

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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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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.

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Best of luck to you in valuing your books!

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August 22, 20110 found this helpful

Nothing. Look at all that has happened and been invented since 1961. None of that is in your encyclopedias. Yet, all that is in your encyclopedias is in the new ones which are actually on CD and take up less space. You are better off throwing them out and making more room in your home.

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August 22, 20110 found this helpful

If the covers are attractive, you may find someone who wants to use them for a craft, such as decorated books or a lampstand. I don't think they have a value otherwise.

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August 22, 20110 found this helpful

They are worth 00000000. Sorry to say and no one will take them.

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Goodwill does not want them either. If they are of value to you, keep them, otherwise recycle.

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October 23, 20130 found this helpful

I am actually looking for some vintage encyclopedias in great shape. I like the Brown and Gold, Burgundy and Gold, and Black and Red (typically Collier) sets. I think the craftsmanship and overall looks are beautiful.

This same travesty that is happening with encyclopedias is happening with other lovely books like the older Reader's Digest Condensed books, the ones with the awesome patterned covers. Book Stores won't take them, and folks almost can't give them away.

Right now I make shelves out of these books, as well as hollow book stashes. I understand some of you may think that is horrible, and that I am destroying these books. In my mind, this is one of the only ways to save these books so people of this generation can still enjoy them in some way, rather than just throwing them away.

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Email me here (smartdesign at live.com), or at my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/.../FunEclecticHF) if you are interested in selling, or donating. Honestly I can't pay much (typically less than a dollar a book), and only have enough storage room for one or two sets at a time. I will consider partial sets as well, depending on price and condition. Thanks so much.

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January 25, 20140 found this helpful

I have a complete 24 set of Collier 1987 encyclopedias in excellent continue willing to donate to anyone who can use them just cover shipping cost from NJ nice condition for anyone using to make crafts, etc.

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

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I was hoping to get some information on that encyclopedia.

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April 16, 2018

I have a 1958 set of the World Encyclopedia in good condition. Do they have any value/

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April 16, 20180 found this helpful
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Different years/editions of encyclopedias are valued for different reasons so occasionally a set will be of value.

  • The 1958 set was not a "stand out" set but there have been several sets sold on eBay this year which is a little unusual. The sets did not sell for a lot of money but still - money is money.
  • Here is the link to the sets that sold so you can see if one is similar to your set. There are two different bindings (you did not say which binding your have) but it looks like both are selling. The sets sold for $12 - $80 but packing and shipping is a real job.
  • www.ebay.com/.../263546295290?hash=item3d5c9553fa...
  • You may want to think about trying to sell them on your local Craigslist as the price may be close to the same and there would be no shipping involved.
  • Craigslist is easy to use (they show instructions) and usually free but you would need several photos and a good description.
  • eBay is more difficult and unless you list the set as "pick up only" you would have to pack and ship and shipping cost only adds to what the buyer is paying but no more money to you.
  • You can start higher and lower if no one shows an interest.
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October 4, 2017

What is the value of a Modern World Encyclopedia set? It was published by Hazel, Watson & Viney, 1935.

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October 4, 20170 found this helpful
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About $20 or $30. You can wait until they're 100 years old to reach more value or find someone who will buy them for more for repurposing efforts.

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How much is a complete collection of World Scope encyclopedia worth?

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April 3, 20181 found this helpful
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$15-$25 unless it is from before 1918

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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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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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February 22, 2018

I have a set of Richard's Cyclopedias Vol 1-24. It is the complete set in an attractive binding with embossed ship design on the front. Published 1933. Any ideas on the value?

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February 22, 20180 found this helpful
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Wait to sell until they are 100 years old. They will be considered antique then.

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I have a 25 plus set of the "Fine Arts Edition" of The Universal Standard Encyclopedia by Wilford Funk. 1956, 1957, 1958. I can find many sets, but not one like these. I would like to sell them, but I have no idea of their value since I cannot find this set. They are leather bound cream colored with s shield on the cover. There are marbled inside cover pages, front and back. The shield features a unicorn on top. 1 x 5 3/4 x 8 1/2. Joseph Laffan Morse. Standard Reference Works Publishing Company.

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I have a complete set of the 15th edition of Britannica as well as a set of Britannica Great Books of the Western World. I also have a set of 1970 Compton's Encyclopedias. How do I evaluate the worth?

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December 7, 2015

I have the set of Arthur Mee children's encyclopedias volume 1-10 in perfect condition. They were printed, while he was still alive, in Great Britain by The Amalgamated Press, Ltd London. They are all original and in fantastic condition. I would like to know what they are worth.

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December 7, 20150 found this helpful

Many people have old books they think are valuable and would like to sell. Most old dictionaries, references etc., have very little value, a few dollars at most. Encyclopedias dated after 1923 are essentially worthless but crafters may be interested for the old pictures. Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc., receive donations of tons of old encyclopedias but send them to recycling centers or dumps as they cannot use or sell them. EBay has Mee sets for $25-$50.00.

You can check online for old book collectors, on EBay, Craigs List and other retail sites for possibilities. Everything is now online and updated constantly so old books are just that-old.

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July 26, 2012

I have a ten volume set collection of Grolier's "The Book of Art" 1965. They all have the original book jackets and are in great condition. What is it worth?

By Iris

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August 8, 20120 found this helpful
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They have some for sale on Amazon's seller market here:

www.amazon.com/.../ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition... (Affiliate Link)

Full sets are available from $40 to $80.

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February 13, 2017

What is the estimated value of a complete set of the encyclopedia Americana in perfect condition?

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December 29, 2016

How much is an entire set of Americana encyclopedia 1904 (16 volumes) worth? They are in pretty good shape considering their age! Where can I sell them?

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I am not finding this particular set either on eBay or elsewhere. Do you know what year these would be? The value?

Thanks

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August 25, 20161 found this helpful

Many people have old books they think are valuable and would like to sell. Most old dictionaries, references etc., have very little value, a few dollars at most. Encyclopedias dated after 1923 are essentially worthless but crafters may be interested for the old pictures. Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc., receive donations of tons of old encyclopedias, dictionaries and reference books but send them to recycling centers or dumps as they cannot use or sell them.
You can check online for old book collectors, on EBay, Craigs List and other retail sites for possibilities. Everything is now online and updated constantly so old books are just that-old.
*

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August 28, 20160 found this helpful

Copyright 1971

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January 12, 2017

I have a copy of The Children's Encyclopedia by Arthur Mee, volumes 1 to 10. They are in excellent condition. I would just like some information on this set, as well as, if they are worth anything.

I would be grateful for any information thank you

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October 28, 2013

I have a full set in excellent condition. It is a first edition. What is the value? I am looking to sell.

By Kat

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October 29, 20130 found this helpful

I see this question asked a lot. Usually, they are worthless except for craft projects, because they are so outdated with incorrect information. You might try selling them as a set online but shipping will be probably more than the encyclopedias are worth.

Encyclopedias that are over 100 years old or have some other historical significance might be worth something. In that case, I would take it to a bookstore that specializes in old or rare books.

Good luck, let us know what the outcome is?

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September 16, 2019

I have a complete set of Universal Standard Encyclopedias copyright 1954, can anyone tell me how much they sell for? I am looking to sell them as I have no use for them.

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July 25, 2018

I have a 21 volume encyclopedia set. Lexicon Universal Encyclopedia is the title. It was published in 1986. I had done research a couple of months back and someone was selling a set like mine for almost $800 used. I checked again today and I found 2 people selling them for barely $200 used. What are they really worth since I've only been able to find approximately 3 other sets on eBay. They are a deep green hard cover with gold lettering.

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June 17, 2018

What is the value of a Standard Education Society, Inc. Chicago 1964 encyclopedia set?

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May 23, 2018

Does anyone know the value of this 10 volume set? It is in excellent condition, published in 1958 by Angus & Robertson.

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