From: Frankfurt, Germany
ORIGINAL: KG Erwin
I've been collecting military history books for well over 30 years, and some of it is pretty rare. I've priced some of these through what's been offered on E-Bay, and was frankly surprised.
As it stands, I may want to consider insuring the collection. Not to be morbid, but my family can make some money once I'm gone, so my wife needs to know that I actually do own some "junk" that's worth something.
Who else is in this category? Is a collection of several hundred military books something to be considered an heirloom, or simply "stuff" to be sold at an estate sale?
You mentioned planning to insure these books. I´ve worked in the insurance business for some years (though I no longer do now), and based on my experience, with the price levels you´re talking about, I do not think special insurance is necessary. Still it might be a good idea to ask your household insurance company if they can point you towards some expert for appraising these types of books, just to be on the same side. Unlike money, jewelry, stamps and the like, books like yours are not the kind of high-value goods that burglars like to steal. Unless they really are rare signed first editions or something.
However, it might be a good idea to keep a list of these books in a separate place (such as in a bank safe, or with relatives), where it cannot be destroyed along with the books, should anything happen to them - maybe include a picture of the bookshelf for additional evidence as well. This way you can prove which books you had, in case something bad happens.
ETA: I should add, all my experience is here in Germany. Practices regarding high-value objects might be different where you live; when in doubt, read the household insurance contract and/or consult your insurance company.
< Message edited by SireChaos -- 2/25/2008 7:25:56 PM >