How To Start an Autograph Collection
Our How To Start an Autograph Collection guide should help you on your way to enjoying one of the most rewarding of hobbies.
Get out there: If you don’t mind hanging around stage doors or outside players’ entrances this is the best place to start. There is nothing like getting an autograph in person. Not only does it ensure that the autograph you receive is completely genuine, it also provides your autograph with that extra, personal connection.
Get writing: Writing letters to the famous names you would like to receive an autograph from is a great and inexpensive way to obtain a number of autographs quickly. There are several online groups you can join which provide mailing/”care of” addresses for celebrities. Handwritten letters are best as it shows you have taken the time to sit down and write. This is important as often secretaries will screen letters, only passing the most worthwhile to the celebrity for their attention. Explain why you are a fan of the person who are writing to, and then politely request an autograph. Include a photo or item of memorabilia you would like them to sign, so you’re not relying on them having a stock of their own. Make sure to include a large self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Attend signings: Many celebrities will attend special signing events. For example, space conventions will often include opportunities to have items of memorabilia signed by famous astronauts – usually for a sizeable fee. Celebrities who have recently written a book will often conduct book signings – a far cheaper way to obtain an autograph.
Buy through a reputable auctioneer or dealer: For autographs of the departed you’ll need to buy through an auctioneer or dealer. It’s a regrettable fact of the hobby that many forgeries do exist. Purchasing through a dealer or auctioneer who provides you with a lifetime guarantee gives you the confidence that the autographs you are buying are genuine.
Storage: Many collectors store their autographs in large binders with plastic sleeves. This enables you to keep your collection safe and still visible. For the more important, valuable autographs, it is be best to give them special attention. Again, plastic sleeves are a good idea, although acid-free paper jackets are another option. Then place them in an acid-free archival box for safe keeping. Store the box in a clean, cool, dry and dark place.
Tell your family and friends: Once your loved ones know you’re a budding autograph hunter you may well find you receive items of interest at Christmas and on birthdays.
Be patient: Collectors with an eye on investment should be willing to sit tight for several years in order to obtain a good profit.
Learn the terms: The jargon can be confusing for the novice. Our list of philographic terms will help.
Get together: There’s a large community - both physical and online - out there able to give you tips and encouragement.
Subscribe: A subscription to an autograph magazine will also boost your knowledge and passion for the hobby.
Inventory Tracking: LignUp Multi Collector Free - good free application to manage inventory of autographs.