I am a brand new member, although I probably have been here in spirit for a long time. I've been collecting Tolkien books for as long as I can remember, and although no one piece is extremely rare, it would be difficult to replace everything if calamity struck. I currently have homeowners insurance to cover all of my household items, including books, but am considering adding a rider to cover amounts above and beyond what the insurance will pay. (Note: I live in the US - not sure if our insurance laws are different from the rest of the world)

How does one go about finding a knowledgeable appraiser? I think that my most valuable pieces are a group of those academic pamphlets that were a part of Tolkien's library. Of the six I have two have Tolkien's handwritten notes, and the other four are addressed to him in some fashion or another. I have the original detailed receipt from the seller (Ulysses Books, London) although I suspect they are no longer in business.

I also have a number of books that are in the US$50 range. Again, nothing is particularly valuable, but I've done quite a bit of shopping over the years. My insurance rep is of no help, and just tells me that they will pay "replacement value" for any lost items. She can't tell me however, just how they determine what replacement value is.

How do others handle this? Do you have any advice for me?

Thanks in advance...