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This paper proposes a methodology for compiling internationally comparable estimates of investor holdings of sovereign debt.

Based on this methodology, it introduces a dataset for 24 major advanced economies that can be used to track US trillion of sovereign debt holdings on a quarterly basis over 2004-11.

For instance, Doubleday has been in business since 1897 but has only been calling itself “Doubleday & Co.” since 1946. One helpful site I’ve found which presents this type of information is Newport Vintage Books Publishers Histories. Sometimes other books are advertised in the back pages of 19th & early-20th century books.

By learning the dates of their publications one might get a rough estimate of the range of years the book in question may have been published.

Check the end of each, as some authors include a date after their name here.

Though this date doesn’t mean that the book was published at the same time, it can certainly be a good clue. I have an undated two-volume history of the French Revolution, which also give a year-by-year account the years afterward.

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.

A reader asks, “I have some really old books, but there is no copyright date or publishing date.

What is the best way to determine the age of the book? Modern books have all sorts of information on the copyright page – the edition/printing, copyright date, and probably the date of publication, making dating quite simple.

This is kind of a murky area which really requires some digging.

However, if there are illustrations, especially if they were created just for the book in question, it may be helpful to find out what dates the illustrator lived & was active.