Information for Collectors

Detail of “Ole Worm’s cabinet of curiosities” from Museum Wormianum, 1655; Smithsonian Institution Library.

Getting Started

The Library is a great place to start researching your collection. We have many tools at your disposal including a knowledgeable staff of librarians, art historians, special collections librarians and studio artists. We also have a new Collectibles Neighborhood (est. 2012) and a vast reference collection, current art magazines and reference experts.

We appreciate how challenging it can be researching an heirloom, flea market find or estate sale discovery, but the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library staff are not authorized to assess the value of your collection, nor act as appraisers. We can, however, connect you with resources that will get you started off on the right foot.

Art Appraisals

An appraiser helps to assess the value of an object, be it a rare book, work of art, artifact or collectible. Many people seek out an appraisal for insurance purposes, while others do so with the intention to sell their work. Click here for a broad, downloadable list of professional appraisers located in northeast Kansas, as well as links to several major auction houses. You can also find an appraiser by region and area of focus using these handy links:

Conservation & Restoration

Dirty painting? Broken porcelain vase? If your artwork needs a face lift and you don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help find resources.

Restorers & Conservators in Topeka and the Kansas City Area

Conservators outside Kansas

Art Auction Sites

Searching current auction records for objects similar or identical to your own might give you a ballpark idea of current market value, but antiques, artworks, and other collectible items have such an individual nature that fixed values are difficult to establish. Prices asked and amounts offered are determined by personal interests of both the seller and the purchaser and by the trends in the market. TIP: To find an auction house in your area, search online for “fine art auction houses.”

The following pricing resources are provided solely for general interest. The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library staff are not auction professionals.