Appraisals

Qualifications and Experience

My qualifications to conduct responsible, credible, independent appraisals of bibliographica and musicalia derive firstly from my education, which includes earning two degrees relevant to this activity: a Masters of Library and Information Science (USC, 1977) and a Doctorate in Music History (Yale, 1970). Added to these degrees, I can offer  over twenty years' exerience as the administrative head of a large research branch library for the disciplines of music and dance at the Ohio State University, 1978-2000. In that capacity, as the manager of a 140,000-plus volume collection, I have had major responsibilities involving purchase decisions in the light of market trends:

  • Principal fund manager for the purchase of books, sound recordings, periodicals, and A-V media.
  • Responsible for annual acquisitions in the $100,000 range for over twenty years.
  • Developed a working knowledge of all aspects of the current and antiquarian markets for books, scores, and musicalia, both domestic and international.

As a professional in the field, I adhere strictly to the best practices in regard to valuation of used materials, as outlined in the latest edition of IRS Publication 561. It recommends using “sales of comparable property” as an “important method of determining the FMV (fair market value) of donated property.”  But it cautions not to rely too heavily on “catalogs, dealers’ price lists, and specialized hobby periodicals” because they are not always reliable, going out of date almost as quickly as they are printed. In today's fast-moving used book market, aggregator websites like abebooks.com represent hundreds of dealers and clearly post their competitive prices. My valuations draw heavily on such sites, and include international vendors when and where appropriate.

 

Examples of Professional Appraisals of Musicalia Completed   

Dec. 2008 — The P. C. collection of digital compact discs (3,455 music CDs) of vocal music and opera, donated in December 2008 to the Music Library of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Effective the end of December 2008, its appraised value was

$37,314

Apr. 2009 — Appraisal of keyboard instruments, flutes, and recorders in the estate of M. S. of Santa Barbara, CA.  Fair market value was

$9,600

Apr. 2014 — Appraisal of the W. M. Collection (in northern Ohio) of musicalia and publications relating to J. S. Bach and his world, commissioned by the Riemenschneider Bach Institute at Baldwin Wallace University. In April 2014 it was collectively valued at

$284, 816

 

Categorical overview of this extensive collection

 

Special collections material (rare books, scores)

$ 119,765

Monographs, post-1870

$ 98,241

Periodicals and serials (significant runs)

$ 50,323

Facsimile music scores

$ 9,521

Dictionary and Lexicon holdings

$ 6,966

Total valuation  

$  284,816

 

Dec. 2015 — Appraisal of the C. E. Collection of music scores, donated to the Special Collections Dept. of the Oviatt Library, California State University at Northridge.  At the end of December 2015, it was valued at:

$18,535.