Collecting dolls, specifically black dolls to recreate a black-doll-less childhood, has been my passion for two decades. It began as a hunt and chase for black versions of dolls made during my childhood with artist dolls and other modern dolls added to my collection during this process.
Shortly after its publication, I became aware of the book, Black Dolls: An Identification and Value Guide 1820-1991 by Myla Perkins (Collector Books 1993). Read a few years after I began collecting dolls in 1991, this book opened up the world of black-doll collecting to me. It was my collector's bible for at least a decade. Before reading it, I had been in the black-and-white doll collecting world of "Kansas" (as was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz). The black-doll identification, value, and history contained within this title placed me in the Technicolor world of vintage black dolls. I had no idea that so many delightful black dolls were marketed during my 1950s-1960s childhood. This book caused my immediate one-woman, uninterrupted mission to obtain as many as possible of the dolls it identifies. Thanks to Ms. Perkins' book and its followup, Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide Book II (Collectors Books 1995), that mission has been accomplished ... almost. There's always that one additional doll that needs to join the others.
Post publication of Perkins' books, there was a several-year absence of other black-doll references. The dearth of black-doll information was felt by fellow collectors who encouraged me to write my first black-doll reference, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls (Hobby House Press, 2003) and later, a followup, Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion (2008). My first book was published 8 years after Ms. Perkins' second book. My second book was published 5 years after my first.
In December 2010, I published my third book, The Doll Blogs: When Dolls Speak, I Listen, as an electronic book, sold only in America initially, through the Google eBook store. The eBook is now available in some global markets, still through Google eBook store. Because the demand for a hard copy of The Doll Blogs was vocalized by fellow collectors, in early 2011, I published an ultra-limited numbered paperback edition. The Doll Blogs is the first book to feature a variety of dolls that blog their experience over a two-year period.
I have been told by readers of my books, that these have provided formerly unknown black-doll information. The newfound information of a doll's existence has incited readers to hunt and chase for vintage and modern dolls. I hope my books will also influence others to take the baton of black-doll research and document their findings in black-doll reference book form. Even in our electronic age of eBooks and digital image sharing via social networking, the need continues for bound printed matter on all subjects, including dolls.
Doll reference books are useful in identifying and placing a value on the three-dimensional inanimate objects that represent humans. These 3D objects have the ability to warm the hearts of collectors. Vintage forms allow collectors to recapture the days of their youth. Indeed, additional references inclusive of black dolls and dolls representing other ethnicities, such as mixed race peoples, are needed for collectors who thirst for information about dolls that reflect their image.