I receive many emails from people wanting to sell Australian Theatre History Memorabilia. I appreciate these emails, but of course I cannot afford to buy everything, in fact at times I cannot afford to buy anything.
Australian Theatrical history is studied by a limited number of people in Australia. Some of them are also collectors. Not many items of memorabilia are worth anything to people outside this limited few. Therefore, unless your item is from a very famous name, such as Nellie Melba or Harry Houdini, it is unlikely that the item will pay your mortgage or fund your retirement.
So what to do with that precious or not so precious heirloom from Great great grandmother Iris who was on the stage?
Well, the first step is to try and get an idea of its value. State libraries are a good place to start. Mitchell Library in Sydney has a field librarian who will occasionally visit people who have memorabilia and value it. You can contact them through Mitchell Library in Sydney.
Other State Libraries probably have a similar service.
Secondly you can try Ebay or another on line or off line auction service.
Or you can contact a theatre historian, like me. Remember I am not a professional valuer, but I will try and give you an honest opinion. But usually I will recommend going to the State Library for a valuation.
So before you throw out grannie's or grandie's old theatrical store, have a good look. You might find an unusual letter from Houdini or an old autograph of W C Fields. (Yes he did come to Australia) Most importantly, please remember that the old programme or postcard may not be worth a lot financially, but it is a part of our nation's cultural heritage and should be placed in safe hands, not thrown in the scrap heap.
After all, one person's trash is another person's treasure.