Appraisals of books, manuscripts, prints, maps and more
I have been a full-time appraiser of books, manuscripts, and works of art since 1973. Since 1998, I have devoted my full resources, with few exceptions, to the appraisal of such material.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Yale University and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, I was appointed Acting Curator of Graphic Arts in the Princeton University Library, 1956-1957.
From 1957 to 1973 I was chief buyer for the Paul Mellon Collection, first housed in the National Gallery of Art and later at the private gallery and library which Mr. Mellon created in Upperville, Virginia. The bulk of this collection was donated to Yale University, where it forms the nucleus of the Yale Center for British Art and British Studies.
I have been a trustee of the Yale Library Associates; a Regent (appointed by the Governor of Virginia) of the James Monroe Memorial Library in Fredericksburg, Virginia; a member of the Advisory Committee of the Dumbarton Oaks Garden Library in Washington, D.C.; and agent for the sale of books owned by the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Alexander Graham Bell Association, to name a few.
One of my specialties is the appraisal of the papers and manuscripts of political, military, scientific, and literary figures; also to include notables in the musical and entertainment field. I have appraised material donated to or for the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, Boston University, the National Archives, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, the University of Texas, Howard University (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center), the University of Georgia, the University of Maryland, the Army Heritage Center at Carlisle Barracks (Pennsylvania ),and West Virginia University, among others.
Specifically, I have appraised the papers of W. Averell Harriman, Pamela Harriman, Harry Hopkins, General Alfred M. Gruenther, General William J. Donovan, General Billy Mitchell, Richard Helms, Martin Luther King, Jr., Irving Berlin, Joshua Logan, Roger Stevens, Margaret Mead, Armand Hammer, Ralph Ingersoll, Mary McGrory, Lawrence E. Spivak, Robert G. Spivack, Gabriella Mistral, Katherine Anne Porter, William Maxwell, Philip Roth, James Baldwin, William Kennedy, Terry Southern, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote (letters regarding his writing of "In Cold Blood"), Vladimir Nabokov (manuscript of his last, unpublished novel), Fulton Oursler, Jr., Teilhard de Chardin, Katherine Biddle, Anthony Hecht, and Harry A. Sylvester; also to include partial papers and individual letters and documents relating to a host of other noted personages. Privacy concerns preclude me from including a complete listing.
I have appraised the considerable collection of manuscripts relating to the Apollo spacecraft program. That important archive records the progress and setbacks of President Kennedy's mission to get a man on the Moon within ten years. It resides at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
I have appraised papers of noted judicial figures, including Watergate papers of Judge John J. Sirica; also the papers of Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr., and the papers of Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., Alabama federal judge, whose rulings on school desegregation, voting rights, and access to public facilities, helped to change the social and political fabric of the country.
I have appraised the papers of Senator Edmund S. Muskie, Senator J. Glenn Beall, Jr., and Senator Edward W. Brooke; also the papers of various members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 2007, I was appointed a member of the Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education Faculty, teaching the valuation of American manuscripts and, as the course description noted, "to illustrate effective techniques in the handling of charitable contributions of manuscripts under IRS scrutiny...." New regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department were made available to students and were discussed.
The Library of Congress (1996) defines "papers", in the broadest sense, to include correspondence, diaries, research notes, production materials for publications, photographs, and biographical data.
To the above, I would add related printed ephemera and artifacts, if the latter are related directly to the person's career.
I have been an expert witness in court cases not related to my appraisals. In every instance my testimony has been decisive.
My usual fee is based upon an hourly rate and never on the value of the material. I do not appraise material in which I have a past, present, or future financial interest. I fully recognize the obligation conferred on me to be fair, impartial, and accurate to the best of my ability; and I understand that a substantial or gross valuation misstatement resulting from an appraisal of the value of property that the appraiser knows, or reasonably should have known, would be used in connection with a return or claim for refund, may subject the appraiser to a civil penalty.