Collecting Delaware Books

Auction Prices 1987-2002

There are over 5,000 auction price records in this database collected between 1987 and 2002. Most were reported first in the Collecting Delaware Books print newsletter and later in two versions of Delaware Books Prices Realized, a software database sold commercially by the newsletter.

Caution and Disclaimer

Some of the auction prices reported here are nearly 30 or more years old. The prices for old Delaware books have declined in the last decade. The old collectors have retired or died, and the young people moving into the state are not interested. A few books have kept their value, but many can be bought for a fraction of the prices recorded here.

Caution: Read about the accuracy of price guides. To About Price Guides.

Click to go to auction record search

Hints for Users


hb = hardback
pb, sb, or wraps = paperback
dj = dust jacket present
sc = Smyrna/Clayton Heritage Assoc.
wa = Watson's Auction, Milford
wi = Wilson's Auction, Lincoln
WPF = William Penn Frank,
(pioneer Delaware Book collector)

One-Word Search

Enter a search word at the search box. Click the Search button. All records containing the search word will be displayed below.

For example, type in "reese" and click "Search." Approximately 14 records containing that author's name will be displayed.

DBPR searches ignore capitalization. Entering "Weslager" or "weslager" finds all instances of the word, regardless of capitalization in the records. DBPR searches search words within words. For example, enter "folk" and click "Search." Records with the words folk, folks, and folklore will be displayed.

To start a new search, enter a new search word and press Search again.

Reading a DBPR Record

Two typical records are shown here -

Penitentiary Movement In Delaware: 1776-1829. By Caldwell. $13 wi031687:55
Cooch: Battle of Cooch's Bridge, signed, $120. sc081699.

The author and title may appear in any order, depending on the auction catalog. Descriptive information such as "signed" may be present. The sale price is usually preceded by "$." Condition information is seldom given in auction catalogs. Where condition is especially good or bad, there may be a notation. Otherwise "collectible" condition is presumed. The final information in the record is usually the place and date of the auction. In the first record above, "wi" means Wilson Auction Sales, Lincoln DE. The numbers indicate March 16, 1987 lot 55. The second record is from a Smyrna/Clayton Heritage Association auction on August 16, 1999. These formats will vary.

Too Many records

Sometimes a search will result in too many finds (about 100). For example, type in "delaware" and click "Find." After displaying a number of records, the result window will show 'Too many finds to display". Choose a more restrictive search. Restrict the search by doing a multi-word search.

Multi-Word Search

If two words are entered in the "search words" window, the search will find all records that contain both words, regardless of where the words fall in the record. For example, Enter "weslager river" and click "find." Records containing both words will be displayed such as this one -

Delaware's Forgotten River - The Story of Christiana - C.A. Weslager (author signed) dj, $60 wi040190:564

If more than two words are entered, all must be present in the records found. For example "weslager river signed" would narrow the search to signed copies of Weslager's Delaware's Forgotten River.

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