In a world of constrained library budgets, your best option is cash up front.
Individuals with old books in their possession often wonder how to ascertain the value of such material. The value of a book is affected by a variety of factors, including the intrinsic importance of the work, its scarcity, and collectors’ interest in it. In general, the books most sought after are the great works in the humanities and the sciences, usually in the first editions. Unfortunately, there is no single reference work or “price guide” which can be relied upon to provide the current values of antiquarian books or book value, nor is there any simple way to explain in a few words how such values are determined.
The value of a particular copy of any given book will be further affected by many other factors: its condition, its binding, its provenance, and the significance of any inscriptions it may contain. The evaluation of manuscript material, including letters and signatures of well-known people, involves still other considerations.
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