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Collections & Donations
Frequently Asked Questions

We often get questions at the museum related to Coke collectibles, family Bibles, and related items. While we are happy to help you identify your materials and share our resources, please keep in mind that research in historical collectibles is often changing and updating as new information comes to light.

We are actively soliciting donations of documents, photos, personal notes, etc. related to the Biedenharn Family in North Louisiana, historical Coca-Cola materials (particularly those related to bottling in North Louisiana and the Biedenharn family), and Biblical texts significant to printing/publishing history or containing notable inscriptions.

Q: How do I donate items to the museum?

A: Please call or email our curator BEFORE bringing items to the museum – be prepared with a rough estimate of type and quantity of items (if emailing, feel free to attach photographs). If the items are determined to be appropriate for our collection, our curator will set-up a drop-off time and prepare donation paperwork.

Nicole Norelli

(318)-807-3215

NNorelli@bmuseum.org

 

Q: What kind of items is the Museum most interested in?

A: We would be interested in viewing the following items in very good to near fine condition, but by no means guarantee acquisition:

  • Documents, photos, personal notes, etc. related to the Biedenharn family in North Louisiana.

  • Coca-Cola bottles produced before 1945

  • 6.5 oz Coke Bottles with cities listed on the bottom of the bottle

  • Unauthorized or rare commemorative bottles

  • Original Coca-Cola advertising trays (check the edges of your tray for reproduction marks)

  • Bibles or Biblical leaves of particular significance in illumination, printing or publishing history

  • Bibles or Biblical leaves with inscriptions related to significant people, particularly in the local community.

 

Q: Can the museum help identify items for me?

A: Yes – with a few guidelines:

  • Materials are appropriate to Museum research and collecting priorities.

  • Materials are to be assessed for identification purposes only, see next question on policy for appraisals.

  • Identification is limited to a small selection of curated materials and the timeline for research can be widely variable – we only have one curator and Museum needs will be prioritized first.

 

Q: Can the museum appraise items for me?

A: We are unable to provide appraisals of any kind. In some cases, we may be able to help collectors identify an item and locate comparable listings, but it is the responsibility of the owner to pursue appropriate avenues for a formal appraisal.

From the American Association of Museums, “Code of Ethics for Curators” (2009):

“Curators who become involved in establishing the monetary value of objects or authenticating objects expose themselves and their institution to conflicts of interest and legal risks. Therefore, curators must not prepare appraisals for any reason.”

Q: Does the museum ever BUY collectibles or books?

A: We are a non-profit foundation and it is our standard practice to acquire items chiefly through donation – however, we do make RARE exceptions for particular items in excellent condition within our scope of collecting.

 

Q: How do I identify my glass Coca-Cola bottles?

A: Glass Coke bottles are chiefly identified by one of three key features:

  1. Shape of the bottle

  2. Labeling method (embossed, painted, paper/plastic)

  3. Glass marks (embossed symbols, numbers, or letters, usually found around the waist or foot of the bottle)

See the links below under “RESOURCES” to see more about matching your bottle’s identifying features with specific time periods, geographical regions, and glass makers.

 

Q: What is a “leaf” in the context of Bibles and Biblical documents?

A: A leaf or leaves refers to individual pages removed from a Bible or similar text. It has been common throughout history for dealers to “break” books or disassemble extremely damaged copies, selling pages individually. Though book breaking is considered chiefly taboo in today’s collecting world, many of these historical “leaves” still circulate among institutional and private collections and provide insight into texts that otherwise may be lost.

 

Q: Is my family Bible worth anything?

A: While some editions/printings of the Bible and related texts can be quite valuable to the right collector – the truth is that MOST are very common and not of significant historical or monetary value. When researching your family Bible, be sure you are looking for comparable copies with the same publisher, publication date, format, and overall condition.

Q: Can I donate my family Bible(s) to the museum?

A: We are happy to accept Bibles with pertinent local history (family trees, inscriptions, etc.) or with significant printing/publication history in Very Good to Near Fine/Fine condition. Unfortunately, the bulk of family Bibles are very common, in poor condition, and are not appropriate for our collection.

No matter the manner or method you choose to discard or donate an old Bible, be sure to take a moment to check it for papers and notes that may have been written or placed inside over the years.

Please see the following for recommendations of how to dispose of Bibles responsibly and respectfully:

  • Donate: if your Bible is still in good condition, considering donating it to your local church, mission organization, or a Bible collection/redistribution center (http://www.bf.org/Bibledrive/cc.htm)

  • Burn or Bury: it is common in Christian and Jewish practices to burn or bury damaged religious documents in private ceremony. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so yourself, check with your local church for guidelines and assistance on this option.

 

Q: I saw a comparable bottle/collectible/book listed for $[X] amount online/in a catalog. Can I sell my item for the same amount?

A: Listed prices can be a complicated topic and vary entirely depending on the type of seller and what the item is. If you are researching a potential sale value for your item, keep in mind that a listed price is NOT the same as a sold price and condition is EVERYTHING. Always check how long the item has been on the market, look for previous confirmed sale records, and carefully determine condition for more accurate prices. Also keep in mind that auction prices – both online and from established auction houses – are typically ¼ - ½ of private dealer or retail prices.

RESOURCES

*the following listed resources are not comprehensive nor are they affiliated with the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens

 

Coca-Cola Bottles & Collectibles

There are a broad range of Coca-Cola collectible reference books available on the market. While these texts can be extremely helpful, please keep in mind what edition you are using (later editions may have corrections for earlier editions) and listed values may not accurately reflect the current collectible market.

 

Bibles & Biblical Texts

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