Encapsulating History, One Item at a Time4 min read

PSA is largely known for its authentication, grading and encapsulation of trading cards. Since its debut in 1991, the company has not only pioneered that aspect of the industry but has served as the benchmark against which all other grading companies are compared. But PSA also has a robust following with its autograph authentication and grading services.

Since 1998, its “DNA” (autograph) division has been authenticating signatures and providing peace of mind for collectors of sports, history, and entertainment memorabilia. PSA also offers original photograph authentication services for images ranging from Type I to Type IV Photo classifications. What’s more, PSA can encapsulate many of these precious keepsakes inside its tamper-evident, sonically sealed holders of varying sizes that offer a safe way to preserve and/or display one’s collection. The best of these worlds – sought-after signatures and original photographs – is now on display via an auction taking place through University Archives. There are more than 175 PSA-encapsulated items, complete with descriptive labels, up for bid and the wow factor behind each of these rare finds is simply off the charts.

“Significant” doesn’t begin to adequately describe some of the items. Perhaps “jaw-dropping” and “incredible” would be better descriptors. Signatures range from U.S. Presidents including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, to Civil Rights icons like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Original photographs include a Type I photo taken from NASA’s Apollo X (10) space mission in 1969 to a Type III publicity photo taken of the late Marilyn Monroe during the filming of her 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch.”

Just look at some of these fantastic items now looking for new homes:

Albert Einstein Signed Candid Photo

PSA/DNA Slabbed and Graded NM-MT 8

On Oct. 8, 1934, Albert Einstein received an honorary degree at the formal exercises of Yeshiva College in New York City for the 1934-35 academic year. Einstein is captured in profile in the photo and is among a group of fellow scholars in caps and gowns at the podium at Yeshiva College. The black-and-white photo measures 4.375” wide by 3.25” high and was signed in the bottom right corner “A. Einstein” in blue ink. It is encapsulated in a PSA slab measuring 7.25” wide by 4.25” high.

John Kennedy Signed 1959 Check

PSA/DNA Slabbed and Graded NM-MT 8

Here is a printed check, No. 2682, signed by the late U.S. President, with a payment of $311.36, made out to Cape & Islands Flight Service. The check, drawn on The First National City Bank of New York, is dated July 11, 1959, and was used to cover a trip to the Kennedy Compound on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the middle of his Presidential campaign. Ironically, nearly 40 years to the day (July 16, 1999), JFK’s son, John Jr., was killed when the single-engine aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard on his way to the Kennedy Compound. The check is boldly signed “John Kennedy” in blue ink. It is encapsulated in a PSA slab that measures 12.5” wide by 5.5” high.

Martin Luther King Jr. Signed Print

from ‘The March on Washington’

PSA/DNA Slabbed and Graded Mint 9

Pictured here is an autographed print of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taken after his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. King’s profound words were uttered following The March on Washington that day, when he stood proudly and called for an end to racism in the United States. Statistics show that more than 250,000 people attended the march and heard King’s words live. The black-and-white print, signed in blue ballpoint ink, measures 4.875” wide by 3.5” high, and is now encapsulated in a PSA slab that measures 7.25” wide by 4.25” high.

NASA Red Number Apollo 10 ‘Earthrise’ Photo

PSA/DNA Slabbed Authentic Type 1

Space, the final frontier. Shown here is an official NASA color 8”-by-10” photograph (dated May 1969) of planet Earth rising above the lunar horizon, photographed from the 1969 Apollo 10 Lunar Module “Snoopy.” At the time this photo was taken, the Lunar Module was located above the lunar far side highlands. Identified as red-numbered photo “AS10-27-3890,” it includes on its reverse a NASA caption and “This Paper Manufactured by Kodak” watermarks. Encapsulated and graded Authentic Type I by PSA/DNA, the overall slab measures 13.25” wide by 9.25” high.

The list of historical items up for bid goes on and on, but the takeaway here for astute collectors is that each of the aforementioned items has been authenticated and preserved by PSA. Call it encapsulating history. And for presentation purposes, the PSA encapsulations (a.k.a. “slabs”) provide terrific opportunities to display your collectibles, in your home or office. Even if your collection reaches beyond trading cards, PSA still has your back.


Posted by Terry Melia

Terry Melia is a hobby veteran who has served in various PR, marketing and content roles for industry movers and shakers including The Upper Deck Company and SCP Auctions and is currently working as PSA's Public Relations and Content Specialist.

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