Residents of Berkeley Heights need not wait for the Antiques Roadshow to come to town to get real market-based information about their antiques, artwork and family treasures. The Berkeley Heights Public Library has subscribed to the p4A Antiques Reference database and it is available free of charge at the library and from home computers or other remote locations. BHPL card holders may go to the library web site and log in to all of the “Remote Databases” offered by BHPL by entering their barcode and pin.
The p4A Antiques Reference database is used by leading personal property appraisers throughout the United States (including many Antiques Roadshow appraisers), antiques dealers, museums, and agencies like the Internal Revenue Service to evaluate almost every kind of antique in today’s collections.
Unlike other reference tools, the p4A Antiques Reference database is focused on the American regional marketplace and does not include the top-scale New York and London art and antiques markets. This means BHPL patrons using the database have a better opportunity to find the types of material seen locally and regionally at auction and retail outlets. These antiques are organized into 1,280 different classifications or subjects including furniture, glass, pottery and porcelain, paintings, prints, clocks, toys, dolls, advertising collectibles, books, autographs, lamps, silver, firearms and historical documents. Each record includes information on when and where the item was sold as well as the price realized. Pricing information ranges from ten dollars into the millions.
The p4A Antiques Reference database is also unique in having at least one color picture for every record - over 250,000 at the present time (and more are added every day.) Library patrons can actually see if the item they are researching closely matches the one described in the database. In addition each record carries a text description and many have extensive reference notes attached to provide background and context information to the user.