archives and manuscripts for sale on Ebay

Ever come across archives and manuscripts for sale on Ebay or other auction sites and thought, 'that should be publicly accessible to everyone rather than being sold privately and never seen again?'

I've set up a database of interesting items for sale which might become useful for historical research. It's:


I keep an eye out for anything interesting relating to my own research, and have realised that sellers and dealers on ebay have done us researchers a service - essentially digitising a whole load of archives that are unavailable publicly. So this site will hopefully help to collate a small fraction of them for future use.

I hope it will also mitigate against that impression researchers sometimes get when they've 'finished' looking through an archive at a record office or local studies library, and think that they've seen everything relating to a particular place or topic. One look at Ebay suggests that there's a huge load of unseen material out there in private hands.

e.g. with the current interest in the home, consumption and everyday life, there are loads of inventories on ebay. Collection at:

Do let me know if you spot anything interesting and I'll add it to the database.


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