The Rare Book Transaction Database: Now on Your Phone

- by Thomas C. McKinney

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We live in a world increasingly dominated by databases and cell phones. Prices, for better or worse, now move in real time, and both buyers and sellers benefit from awareness. Rare books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera, once a stodgy field, move fluidly. Everything is in motion.

To keep RBH members up to date, we have introduced a mobile version of the Rare Book Transaction Database portion of the site: mobile.rarebookhub.com

Because the mobile site is dedicated to the Rare Book Transaction Database, a paid service, only paid members will be able to take advantage of the new mobility.

Development is a work in progress, and we look forward to user feedback which will guide our adjustments.

Here’s how it works.

 

Getting to the Mobile Site and Logging In

1. Enter mobile.rarebookhub.com in your phone’s web browser.

2. Once entered, your phone will remember the address when you enter the first few characters. Now let’s go there.

3. In the upper left corner is Menu. Tap there.

4. Directly below is a link to Login. Note that logging out will work the same way.

5. Enter your regular login and password in this screen. You’ll need to tap to the right of “User Name” and “Password” to input those. It can take a few tries to get the hang of it.

 

Searching the Rare Book Transaction Database

  1. Once logged in, look for the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner or “Start a new search” (which may require you scroll down, depending on the size of your phone’s screen). We recommend using the magnifying glass because once you’re looking at search results, if you want to do a new search, the magnifying glass will always remain in the top right corner of every page.
  2. The search page that opens is a combination of keyword and advanced search fields. You can enter information in fields simply by tapping to the right of the field name. Once your search parameters are entered, click the Search button in the top right corner to get results.

For speed and simplicity, we suggest using the keyword and date range (Year Printed…) fields but use as many or few as you like. If the results are too many, add additional terms to narrow results. Common books will have hundreds of results.

As a test search, I typed in “Bevier” and used a Year Printed range of 1846 and 1846. What comes up are RBH Database records. Clicking the heading of any record (in blue) opens it. To go back, you can use your browser’s back button or the “<-BACK” button on the site.

 

Using Current Estimates

With search results being displayed, current estimates can also be acquired.

  1. Tap on Current Estimate in the header. This adds check boxes to the left of each record.
  2. Next, select some relevant records by tapping anywhere in the relevant record other than on blue text.
  3. Once you have made your desired selections, tap the circular brown button in the bottom right corner to access the Estimate Result that includes two pieces of information: 1) Average Current Estimate and 2) Probability of Reappearance.

Note: the goal is to compare similar copies for comparison. That requires your judgment in selecting relevant records.

 

Initially the process will be a bit unfamiliar. In time it becomes easier.

So, give it a go. More than eight million records are now in your pocket or pocketbook.