HistoryForSale Autographs
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Who we Are
History for Salesm is a division of The Gallery of History, Inc.sm, the largest dealer in the world with an available inventory which exceeds 200,000 autographs and manuscripts collected over a 47-year period by Todd M. Axelrod, President, respected authority in the field. Mr. Axelrod is the author of three books on the subject (click here to view his latest work). The Gallery of History was founded in 1981, is a long-standing UACC Registered Dealer and is a long-standing member of the Manuscript Society.
Gallery of History Location
3601 West Sahara Avenue (Promenade Suite)
Las Vegas, Nevada 89102-5822
1-800-GALLERY (1-800-425-5379) or (702) 364-1000
Fax: (702) 364-1285
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PST) Monday - Friday
International Callers: (702) 364-1000
Document Authenticity
Every document at History for Sale has been authenticated and is accompanied by our Certificate of Authenticity. The Certificate is issued by our parent company, Gallery of History, Inc. We financially stand behind our COA. We have an outstanding reputation for the thoroughness of our research, for our business integrity and for our service to our clients.
How values are determined in the world of historical documents
There are four variables that define value in historical documents:
Content: When the content of a document is directly linked to the deed for which the individual is known, or when its content gives insight into his persona
Condition: Is a key factor. A document in better condition will be more valuable than a comparable one in poor condition. Documents done en masse and signed by the same person are subject to price differentiation where condition is concerned. For example, compare two military appointments or land grants signed by a particular president. Rarity may take precedence over condition in certain situations.
Rarity: Rarity means that there are not a lot of documents where a particular personality is concerned, and/or the content of what you want of that personality is very scarce.
Demand and Investment Grade Material: Demand means that there are certain personalities more sought after than others: History makers as presidents are very much in demand. Your military and aviation heroes are in demand, so too are founding fathers. There are personalities in every category that are in demand and usually they address a very important investment question: Who in 5, 10 and 100 years from now is going to be in our history books? This question tests who is most investment worthy in historical documents, and usually the investment worthy individuals are the individuals most in demand because they are classics
Autographs and manuscripts as investments
The hobby of collecting historical documents is an active one. It behaves similarly to that of stamps and coins where people buy and trade them. There are two major associations for collectors of historical documents; The UACC (The Universal Autograph Collectors Club) and The Manuscript Society. From an investment perspective, the investment grade personalities (see point 4, “Demand” in the above discussion) can be considered intermediate to long-term investments. You must expect to hold onto them for a minimum period of three to five years before you can start to see a return on your investment. From an accounting standpoint, historical documents may be treated as appreciating assets. They cannot be depreciated.
Why many historical documents are in the private hands and not owned by the U.S. Government
We’re going to answer that by giving you two shocking facts:
  • The National Archives was established in 1932. Its doors were opened in 1935. Our country was born in 1776. So there were a lot of years for documents to be floating around.
  • Prior to the National Archives was the Library of Congress as a repository for historical documents, but that was established in 1800.Therefore, we had from 1776 to 1800 to have documents floating around. This means that for 24 years, some very significant pieces of history were in private hands. The bottom line is that our government came very late in realizing the need for preserving and procuring our nation’s history. Much of this has to do with the fact of our being a democracy and because the organization of democracy works on a decentralized level. By virtue of working on a decentralized basis, preserving and curating U.S. history was not filtered through to the top as a national priority.
The preconception of most Americans that our documents are locked up comes from the European historical experience which is much longer-lived than American history. Europe was organized by monarchies. Monarchy implies the centralization of power and information and, therefore, it follows that Europe's significant documents were maintained by the governments.
Preserving history documents
It’s organic acid and the ultraviolet rays of light that destroy paper and make ink fade. Your purchase comes to you appropriately protected. Our unframed items are sent to you in either archival acid-free MylarŪ sleeves or in Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene clear envelopes (which are archival and acid-free) or are encapsulated in acid-free Mylar. Our framed items are encapsulated in Mylar to guard against organic acids, mounted in an acid-free environment and are framed behind UF3-AR Plexiglas which blocks approximately 94% of the ultraviolet light.
Learning Resources
Recommended Reading and Collectors' Associations:
  1. The Handbook of Historical Documents, A Guide to Owning History by Todd M. Axelrod (click here to learn more).
  2. http://www.uacc.org, the official website of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club. This website will introduce you to one of the oldest autograph and manuscript societies and familiarize you with more recommended reading about the hobby.
  3. http://www.manuscript.org, the official website of The Manuscript Society. This website will introduce you to one of the oldest autograph and manuscript societies and familiarize you with more recommended reading about the hobby.

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