The shelves of any collector should contain key reference books to help them in their quest. A good bibliography (a systematic list of books and other works) will guide the collector through their chosen subject pointing out new reading paths and helping to broaden their knowledge.
In his essential book Among the Gently Mad, Nicholas Basbanes (the renowned collector) says that the most successful collectors “become conversant with the literature...learn the rudiments of bibliography.”
As a book collector, your main resource should be books themselves and for this purpose we offer the following list of bibliographies as a primer.
Guide to Baseball Literature
by Anton Grobani
Grobani's standard work on baseball books is still considered an essential reference on the subject more than 25 years after its original publication. Approximately 2,000 books are covered.
by Allen J. Hubin
Hubin’s bibliography lists crime books from 1749 onwards. The second, third and fourth editions were issued in 1990, 1995, and 2000 respectively.
The books are a must-have for any serious collector of mysteries.
Horror: The 100 Best Books
by Stephen Jones
First published in 1988, this book covers the range of horror fiction from the 16th to the 20th century.
Collector's Guide to Cookbooks
by Frank Daniels
Over 600 color photos and 2,000 listings of cookbooks are presented, along with title, publisher, date, availability, and current value. The book is organized chronologically and a handy index is provided.
- Worldcat.org –This website describes itself as the world’s largest library catalog with 1.5 billion searchable items. You can research books by author, title and keyword and search results offer a publication history of each work. This can be very helpful in finding out the order of precedence of editions as well as an author’s lesser known works. Worldcat also contains foreign language editions.
- Loc.gov – America’s Library of Congress, located in Washington DC, is the largest library in the world with more than 30 million books. This is an invaluable resource and easily searchable.
- Blpc.bl.uk – The British Library, located in London, was founded in 1753 and contains more than 14 million books and hundreds of thousands of journal and newspaper titles.
- Oclc.org - The Online Computer Library Center was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center but expanded beyond state boundaries to become one of the better online repositories of bibliographic information.