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My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:15 am
by brendangcarroll
Dear all

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, so forgive me if it's not.

I own a large and varied collection of movie ephemera dating from circa 1905 until the 1950s, including entire runs of such magazines as Picturegoer and Film Weekly, as well as significant examples of Pathe News, Kinematograph weekly. MPH, Motion Picture Magazine and similar publications.

My problem is that I no longer have the space to store all this material and I would really like to sell it as a complete collection to keep it together.

I thought about Ebay but the prospect of scanning and uploading literally thousands of items is rather daunting.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:50 am
by silentfilm
You can certainly post it here under "The Exchange".

If you truly want to keep it together, about the only types of people who would want to purchase the whole collection would be someone representing a museum (for their collection) or a dealer who is just going to turn around and sell it off piece by piece.

Another option would be to get a booth at a film convention like Cinecon or Cinevent, where there are plenty of collectors who would be interested in your memorabilia. This would save you from having to list and photograph each item, but it would split up your collection.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:59 am
by brendangcarroll
Thanks Bruce for your advice. I'm UK based so those events you ssuggest would not be possible for me to attend and exhibit. I have never come across dealers for this kind of movie memorabilia in the UK as yet.

I shall keep looking.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:07 pm
by silentfilm
I also have a large collection of memorabilia, although not primary magazines. When I pass on it is going to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, where I went to school. I'm sure that the BFI or the Cinema Museum would be interested in your collection, although they would not be able to give you what you feels the magazines are worth. A donation would give you a tax break.

You could also contact an auction house, but again they would break up your collection. They would get you a good price, but then take a cut for their fees. It would be a minimal amount of work on your part though.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:22 pm
by brendangcarroll
Thanks for the advice.

I did approach the BFi some years ago but they were not interested in the collection, only certain specific items to fill in gaps in their existing holdings. I should also point out that unlike in the USA, the government would not give a tax break for such a donation. This kind of "break" only applies where one gives a valuable work of art in lieu of death duties.

So, I guess a private deal is the way to go.

Thanks again!

Brendan Carroll

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:03 pm
by Brooksie
In my experience, it is very difficult to get an institution to agree with you about the importance of keeping a collection intact.

Some years ago, I bought a collection of theatre programs from the 1950s-1970s from a street market. It's not an era I generally collect, but given the market was about to close and they were all in excellent condition, I stumped up $20 for the box. I would not be surprised if it had all ended up in the bin had I not done so.

When I got it home, I discovered it was the life's collection of a reasonably well known stage actor, and included such things as his personal scrapbook for the first Australian production of Oliver!, in which he appeared, signed by all the cast. After a bit of research, I found out this fellow was quite a well known theatre expert and collector in his later years.

I contacted a number of different institutions, but they could hardly have been less interested. Those who did not reject it outright said that they would cherry-pick items to complete their collection, but would not take the whole thing. The box is now gathering dust in my parents' attic, where it is of absolutely no use to researchers.

I wonder if you might go smaller - offer it to a local library, for example? That's what I was thinking of doing. It depends on whether your preference is to make a bit of money or to keep the collection intact, but it might be one way of doing the latter.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:28 pm
by brendangcarroll
Your experience sounds awfully familiar. Regarding a local library, the difficulty is the subject. Local libraries tend to want items that have local interest. My collection has no local connection whatsoever. Besides, I have never come across a UK library (other than the BFI in London) that had a film memorabilia collection. It's an area of archival study that hasn't really taken off.

In wishing to keep the collection intact my motive is to preserve the complete magazine runs more than anything else. For example, a full set of "Pictures and Picturegoer" from 1912-17 must be pretty rare I would think.

Thanks for your thoughts.


Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:24 pm
by Bor Enots
Email me at [email protected]" target="_blank.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:12 am
by chrisdr
Another suggestion is try the Margaret Herrick Library...They might accept donations of the like.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:30 pm
by MaryGH
Try ephemera shows - you have them in the UK?

I attended a local one last weekend where I live which was small but saw all kinds of ephemera especially film-related.

I very much like attending ephemera shows as you never know what you might find - it is where I purchased my first small batch of arcade/exhibit cards of Tom Tyler.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:04 pm
by Darren Nemeth
Scan and upload to

That way everyone can see them. Sell them afterwards.

Re: My Collection - a quick question

Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:22 pm
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
OP, if you do end up donating and want the collection kept together, make sure you put it I the deed of gift. I've dealt with a lot of special collection libraries and museums. They prefer unrestricted gifts so then can dispose of as they like.