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A Passion For Autographs

Updated on January 15, 2015
Imprints outside of Graumann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California.
Imprints outside of Graumann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. | Source

California Here We Come!

Each summer we traveled by car from our home in Vancouver, Canada to Los Angeles where we would vacation. Packed in my suitcase, I was excited about the possibility of filling the book with signatures of movie and television stars. We always enjoyed strolling Hollywood Boulevard and the handprints and autographs at Graumann's Chinese Theatre, visiting the sets at both Burbank and Universal Studios and driving through Beverly Hills as admiring the homes of celebrities and stars. I was sure that pages between the covers of my autograph book would be full before the end of our two-week holiday!

The task was not quite as easy as I imagined it would be, although over the years I did manage to fill quite a few pages with the likes of Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr., George Burns, and even Liberace's mother! Forty years have since passed and when I recollect it was that little autograph book and the quest to fill it that led to many of my fondest memories.

Getting Started

Across the globe hundreds of thousands of philographists enjoy adding signatures and autographs to their ever-expanding collections. While some may have a passion for famous people in general, there are many categories and subcategories that others prefer to specialize in.

While Hollywood celebrities are a popular subject for hobbyists, many hobbyists, further specialities include athletes, authors, musicians, scientists, historical figures, politicians, and even criminals!

The first step that you will take in beginning your collection is to decide which signature categories best suit your interests. Once decided you can move forward with a plan of action towards building your collection.

Follow Your Heroes!

Marvel Comic action hero Captain America autographs a copy of the new armed forces comic book while Spiderman meets with children at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C
Marvel Comic action hero Captain America autographs a copy of the new armed forces comic book while Spiderman meets with children at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C | Source

Building Your Autograph Collection

While it is exciting to spend a minute or two with the celebrity in person, this is not the only method of growing your collection. You can obtain autographs by mail, you can purchase them, or you can acquire them through someone else. Surely it is more fun to obtain them yourself because each signature will come with your personal backstory of the moment.

Why do you collect autographs?

Video - Matt Raymond

Matt Raymond, of Autograph University shares his personal story and tips about collecting autographs.

Autograph Friendly Methods

Quite often, celebrities will provide autographs at concerts, sporting events, book signings, conventions and other special events. Others may respond to written requests via snail mail, providing you include a stamped self-addressed envelope with your request. Mailing addresses may be discovered through agents, agencies, fan clubs, recording labels, and publishers.

Collecting At Sporting Events

Jonny Wilkinson signing autographys September, 2007
Jonny Wilkinson signing autographys September, 2007 | Source

Collecting - Your Style

Which method do you prefer for obtaining autographs?

See results

Purchasing Autographs

Purchasing autographs from a dealer is another method for building your collection. Specialized dealers can be located online, at traditional or online auction sites such as eBay, at flea markets, collectible or fan events, or by mail-order. Each item can range in value from $10 to $1000 or more. When you are spending this much of your budget purchasing autographs it is worthwhile to do your research and are sure that you are buying from a respected dealer and that what you purchase is genuiine.

The values of autographs varies depending on who the celebrity is, the condition of the signature, and its age. Historical signed photographs are usually considered to me more valuable that modern versions.

What's It Worth?

Who
What
How Much
George Washington
Signed Act of Congress
$9,800,000
Abraham Lincoln
Signed Emancipation Proclamation
$3,700,000
Mark Chapman - John Lennon Murderer
Signed Double Fantasy LP
$525,000
Babe Ruth
Signed Baseball
$388,375
Jimi Hendrix
Signed Contract
$200,000
Source - The Richest.com - http://www.therichest.com/

Get in the Game!

Sports balls are popular collectibles.
Sports balls are popular collectibles. | Source

Eclectic Collectibles

Autographs and signatures on pieces of paper and in autograph books and publications are not the only way to collect. Clothing, collectible cards, sports balls and other objects are just a few possibilities for your collection as well!

As your collection grows you will acquire your own style of acquiring autographs. You will most likely enjoy the hobby more fully by building an eclectic collection of all sorts!

The World's Greatest!

At Amazon

How to Get Celebrity Autographs in the Mail! (Over a Thousand  Addresses)
How to Get Celebrity Autographs in the Mail! (Over a Thousand Addresses)

Discover the secret to obtaining the autographs of your desire through the mail.

 

Bibliography

101 Collectibles for Kids

by Diane Oswald

Antique Trader Books

Dubuque, Iowa, 1997

What Do You Think?

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      This is the first time I have heard this, also buying autographs. What an interesting hobby. I hope you get more autographs on your vacation. Happy days autograph hunting.