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PREFACE - 1983

Map collecting is a fascinating but little-known hobby.  Many would-be collectors become discouraged because they find that useful advice on collecting is difficult to obtain.  The market in old maps and charts is fragmented among specialists, rare book establishments, antique dealers, and print dealers.  As a result, the beginner may be confused or intimidated.  This book provides practical advice for collectors, as well as serving as a price guide.

Although primarily intended for map dealers and collectors, this book will also be useful to those who encounter maps occasionally, such as rare and used book dealers, antique dealers, print dealers, and appraisers.  Statistical information on prices and rarity has been compiled for the investment minded.  Libraries and historical museums acquiring loose maps can use the price information and may find the title index useful in identifying loose maps.  This book is a long-needed companion to American Book Prices Current and Bookman's Price Index on the reference shelf.

Price information on old maps and charts is not easily obtained without maintaining an extensive file of dealer catalogs.  This is often not practical for the beginning or casual collector.  Even with such a file, locating the desired information can be tedious.  Stamp and coin collectors have long enjoyed standard price catalogs, and people are able to take up stamp or coin collecting with confidence that they are paying fair prices.  It is hoped that this work will similarly encourage persons to take up the fascinating hobby of map collecting.

This is the first issue of the guide, and it is to some degree experimental.  If the response warrants, this guide will be published annually.  Suggestions for additional features are welcome, as are suggestions for making the guide more convenient to use.  One possible addition would be a list of map clubs and societies.  Officers should submit the names and addresses of their organizations, and information on the scope of their activities.  Copies of books published in 1983 will be briefly noted and reviewed in the 1984 edition, if published, provided copies are received before approximately December 1, 1983.

David C. Jolly
Appeared in Volume 1 (1983).

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