Rare or Reproduction?

February 22, 2012 at 7:00 am 1 comment

In the large glass case in the center of the 3rd floor of Cook Library is a new exhibit: Rare or Reproduction? Adventures in Book Appraisal

Some old books are actually quite common and some recent reproductions are surprisingly rare. In very general terms the value of a book boils down to the economic principle of supply and demand. Appraisal, or assigning value to a book, is the process by which both physical and intrinsic characteristics are analyzed to gain a better understanding of its value (or lack thereof).

This exhibit, created by the staff of Special Collections and Archives, presents a series of case studies to explore how we can use contents, context, age, and physical characteristics to assess the value and importance of a book. Each exhibit label provides information highlighting certain features and is concluded with a value assessment of Collectable; Collectable, Possibly Rare; or Rare. Every book has at least some market value, and value is somewhat subjective, but there are some books that are truly priceless.

Rare or Reproduction will be on display through the spring semester.


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