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We have just inherited a slew of early NG that came from a library.  They have library card pockets on the back and some also have the spines covered with a brown colored tape and very neatly written on the tape, all the pertinent data.  So, my question is, how much does that affect the value?  Any ideas?

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Here is an unofficial grading standard I use:


Thank you. It was very helpful for existing item on a magazine, but it doesn't mention things that have been added to a magazine like a pocket for a library card on the back or a cover on the spine. Is there a standard for that?

1) Sometimes one must read between the lines and hope that experience guides you.

There are no approved standards, but (if you'd allow me to provide you some of my experience) I'd look at it like this:

Under "Very Good (VG)" you'll find "store marks, name stamps, et. al." This includes "library stamps" and/or "seals" embossed on pages and/or covers from a society's collection, or even a private collection.

I would consider a library pouch, glued to the inside and not otherwise detracting from the outward appearance of the magazine, to be included in this category.

In the end, it's in the eyes of the beholder, but I would consider a magazine that meets all the standards of VG and that also has a library pouch glued to the inside (the outside is problematic) of a cover to be VG in condition. If you are selling such a magazine, very clearly state this in the listing.

Then you have "autographed" issues. Those autographed by authors of articles within the magazine, and/or are "original" members of the society, and/or are famous people, i.e. Alexander Graham Bell would still be considered just VG, if all other criteria are met, but would, as a result of the autograph command a premium.

The covered spine falls under the definition of "tape." If the entire spine has been covered, the the magazine has seen considerable "taping" and would most likely be considered "Fair (Fa)". Tape over half the spine might be considered "Good (G)"; tape on just the top and bottom of the spine might be considered VG.

2) If the tape is opaque, the worst must be considered for the condition, i.e. material missing. If it is transparent, then the condition of the material under it might be determined, i.e. missing or present - which impacts the overall assessment of the magazine.

There are materials that can be used to remove tape, but I wouldn't try this myself. You'll still end up with a "stained" magazine. Professional restorers have the training and technology to do so, but this is a costly option.

3) I hope you've determined by now there is no simple answer to your question(s). There are a lot of variables at play.

Thank you very much!  That's covers my question.  Bottom line: an accurate description and good photos will allow the buyer to make an educated purchase.  Thanks again.

You've got it, good luck - and you're welcome.




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