Collecting matchcovers is somewhat unique in that millions upon millions of different matchbooks have been produced over the years. While some collectors have collections that number over a million, most collectors prefer to specialize in certain categories that they prefer. These collectors over the years have produced lists of the known covers that are available in their categories. While a list of US restaurants would not be feasible, lists of covers from a certain manufacturer from the 1930s or a list of covers issued by Disney, or a list of covers from a certain city are certainly possible.
As a collector, it enhances my experience to know what is available in a category. It allows me to set a goal to collect all the covers in that category, and lets me know how complete my collection is compared to what is available. Lists are commonplace for other collectibles. Coins, stamps, figurines, among many other collectibles have detailed lists and often price guides for each available item. Matchcovers have no such list. Price guides have been issued in the past, but were far from comprehensive and the prices were generally arbitrary and inflated.
But where are those matchcover lists that have been compiled over the years? The question has always been… how do you find them? This has long been a problem with our hobby. Sometimes you can obtain a list when you join a specialty club for that category (e.g. girlies, jewelites). This is an excellent option if you are serious about that category. However, numerous other categories do not have their own niche club. These lists may be in the hands of collectors who are less than anxious to take the time to share. Sometimes the lists are lost when the collector who maintained the list leaves the hobby. Some lists have never been computerized and are only available on paper, if you can find them at all. Whatever the reason, the hobby needs to change this to encourage new collectors to pursue those categories. Why collect Group I sports covers if you have no idea that they were issued in sets and don’t realize how many are available?
Well the Rocky Mountain Matchcover Club website is going to do its part to change that. Recently a new option was added to provide a free download link to any matchcover lists that are available. So far, there is one list available for casino covers listed by the Casino Club. While this list is still in development, it provides a lot of information on what covers are available from the various US casinos. The list has been developed from an existing list that provides a search vehicle linking the covers to the Casino Club newsletter where it is pictured. So if you look at this list, you will find some duplicate entries and some missing or minimal descriptions of the cover. Over time, the list will be improved and updated with new covers. If you find any issues with the list, please drop an email to the club so we can fix the problems you find.
Other lists will be added as they become available. If you have a list and are willing to provide a spreadsheet, please email it so we can add it. Any list that is added to the website will be revised when an update is available along with the date of update. The objective is to disseminate the information so collectors everywhere can use it to enhance their collecting experience. Here’s hoping we can create something special together for the hobby.