About Collectors Corner

So where does the interested collector begin to look for Geographic items? For starters, check the Dealers Directory for contacts who can help you locate those hard-to-find items, and use the Collectors' Corner to exchange information with other like-minded individuals. Some back issues of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine are still in print and may be purchased through the NGS Store.

NGM Cover

Older friends and family members may have back issues of the magazines or other items they wish to dispose of. Browsing second-hand book stores, yard sales, etc. as well as online sources such as e-Bay, Craigslist, or Freecycle, just to name a few options. Even if you mistakenly acquire a duplicate item, you can use it to swap with another collector for something you want.

It is relatively easy to collect all of the NGMs published in the last few decades and possible to collect back through the 1920s. Beyond that it gets increasingly difficult. Serious collectors prize the magazines from the first twenty-five years of the Society's history. There are many "special issues" which are highly regarded as well. The Society has been publishing its famous journal since its founding in 1888, and you can learn more about the history at nationalgeographic.com.

Maps produced by the Society have served U.S. Presidents, guided Allied forces in World War II, and given thousands of members the means to follow world events. Nearly all maps were originally issued as supplements to the magazine and are a rewarding object of collection in themselves as well as a superb historical resource.

The Society's atlases and globes are also popular items. As you track down each edition, you may want to study the changes that have taken place in the interim. There is no better way to visualize the interplay between history and geography.

National Geographic has been publishing books for over a century now, and some of the earliest volumes are among the most difficult of all Society collectibles to locate. Until the mid-1900s, many books were compilations of articles from the magazine, but in the late 1950s the Geographic began to publish originally conceived books on a regular basis. A number of them sold as many copies as modern bestsellers, and though out-of-print now should still be relatively easy to find.

The list of possible collectibles is nearly inexhaustible, and serious collectors don't stop with the published products of the Society, but eagerly seek memorabilia and ephemera of all kinds: illustrated lecture brochures, promotional packets, programs of important Society events and anniversaries, and the like.

Note: The National Geographic Society does not endorse any sales arrangements between collectors and/or dealers nor does it appraise the value of collections or specific items.