Friday, May 4, 2012

Dave Arneson's Personal Game Collection

This was a great way to start my morning (no sarcasm intended at all). Apparently, Dave Arneson's personal collection of games and notes from his days as a designer were left in a storage unit after his death. Eventually, they were put up for auction, and found their way to The Dragon's Trove, which specializes in auctioning exactly that sort of material. From their website:
In early 2011, The Dragon's Trove had to chance to buy what is arguably one of the two most important collections of gaming materials every offered for sale, the one belonging to the late Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons. In my opinion, the only other more important collection would be the one owned by the late Gary Gygax that is currently being sold off by his widow, Gail. When I was contacted by the owner Dave's collection, it was immediately apparent how lucky all gamers were that this collection was not lost forever. Because it purchased at a storage locker auction (that's right, just like on TV) and it was by pure chance that the new owner attempted to find the meaning of some of the boxes of paper rather than deciding that there was no gold or jewelry to be found, and just tossing it all into the nearest dumpster.

Now, after nearly a year of careful cataloging and research by Paul Stormberg of The Collector's Trove, we are proud to offer this once in a lifetime collection to the public. Paul Stormberg is probably the foremost expert of this type of esoteric collection, and will be holding a series of auctions over the coming months to allow the vast assortment of items to find a home. You can follow this on his site here:

The Collector's Trove's Web Site

I'm very pleased that things worked out the way they did, and am looking forward to seeing some of the hitherto-unknown material come to light.

The Collector's Trove will also be auctioning a portion of the collection starting this Sunday:
The auction will include nearly 200 items including several rare wargames, Call of Cthulhu, Empire of the Petal Throne, Blackmoor, Dungeons & Dragons, and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Highlights of the auction will include inscribed and autographed copies, editorial and review copies, author's and comp copies, Dave Arneson library copies, and personal play copies! Among many special items are a series of Empire of the Petal Throne books and journals autographed by the late M.A.R. Barker.


The Degenerate Elite said...

While it is great that these items were all saved, i firmly believe that any design notes/gaming notes should be donated to one of the game research libraries that are popping up.

That way they can collated and published for all to enjoy and not saved as a personal memento.

Buy his old games, fine, but the notes, come on.

Joseph Bloch said...

TDE: If you read through the links carefully, the original works are being scanned to be preserved just as you mention.