Autographed Memorabilia: How to Start Collecting

Having an extensive, interesting collection of autographed memorabilia from popular celebrities and people from history to share with your friends and family is a fun and satisfying  hobby. To begin collecting autographs, you should first decide which autographs you're interested in collecting.

Do Your Homework

You don't have to perform extensive research, but have an idea of what you'd like. You shouldn't just collect autographs because it's something to do; you should be sure that you're genuinely interested in the hobby before you start it. The autograph collecting community can offer you a lot of tips and can help you figure out what's hot, so talk to other people who collect autographs as well as reading online resources. By talking to people who already know all about autograph collecting might inform you that Tiger Woods never signs golf balls, so that's an item that you shouldn't bother looking for. If you ever happen to come across one on sale, you'd be wise to question whether or not it's an actual signature. Learn all about the hottest items in the autograph collecting world and understand what might become hot in the coming months or years, and how much certain autographs cost.

Know Your Options

You can find autographs on most every possible item, from sports cards to menus, baseballs and footballs - anything can be and has been signed. Even business letters typically end with signatures that can be collected. It's even better to find a letter that has been signed which also has important historical information in it. Most commonly, autographed collectibles will include paper items like postcards, letters and other correspondence, contracts, checks and other documents, in addition to manuscripts, film and television scripts, art, books, magazines, photographs and even sheet music.

Store and Protect Your Collection

It's crucial to store your collected autographs properly, whether you're displaying them, framing them or just putting them into storage. All autographs should be displayed in a manner that allows you to control their exposure to humidity, temperature and light. Open bookshelves can harbor parasites that feed on anything made out of paper, like silverfish and lice, so be careful about this meethod of storage. Autographs are quickly devalued when they are exposed to tape or glue, or are laminated, as these things are considered damage.

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Todd Helton Autographed Baseball Colorado Rockies W COA Sweet Spot Steiner MLB
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Carlos Beltran New York Mets Autographed 8x10 (Steiner Cert)
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Walt "Clyde" Frazier New York Knicks Autographed 8x10 (Steiner Cert)
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Earl Monroe New York Knicks Autographed 8x10 (Steiner Cert)
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Carmelo Anthony Denver Nuggets Autographed 16x20 (Steiner Cert)
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Ike Davis Signed Autographed Baseball Mets Steiner JSA

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Mike Smeth is the CEO and Founder of The Cardboard Connection. After collecting baseball cards as a child, he took a 12-year hiatus from the hobby. One muggy summer day in 2006 he unexpectedly came across his childhood card collection while packing up for a move. He began sorting through them so he could sell them on Craigslist. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th box, he rediscovered his passion for collecting and hasn't looked back since. You can find Mike on Google+ and Twitter @mikesmethcc.

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