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Brickset Document Library LEGO treasures

by admin on January 23, 2018

in Useful Resources

Brickset.com and BrickLink.com are two of the most useful and helpful resources for LEGO fans who want to delve deeply into the hobby. BrickLink is known as the unofficial online LEGO marketplace, and it is definitely the best place for buying and selling anything related to the LEGO hobby. BrickLink also has the most comprehensive database of all LEGO sets, parts, minifigures, instructions, accessories and other items ever released by the company. In addition, BrickLink got some other very cool features and tools we talked about here: BrickLink New LEGO Design & Build Features. 🙂

Brickset’s primary function is also to be a database, and a place where you can track your own LEGO collection (you can achieve this on BrickLink as well, but in a more roundabout way). However, Brickset’s database is focused on modern sets, and their database is lacking on older releases. And, because Brickset pulls data from LEGO’s own servers, the parts lists for each set are not as accurate as on BrickLink, where database admins manually check the accuracy of set inventories. Still, Brickset is the most convenient website to track and share most of your LEGO collection.

Fortunately, Brickset and BrickLink works together and shares information, so you can use either websites as your primary resource, and can find links to the data of the other site on every page where it’s relevant. (It’s always nice to see LEGO fan sites and resources cooperating like this).

Besides being a database, Brickset also got some unique features that may not be as obvious to new users. We have talked about the BrickList, which list the sets your favorite LEGO designers worked on (see: Who Designed Your Favorite LEGO Set?), and we also discussed Brickset’s integration with Rebrickable.com, allowing you to check what other official LEGO sets and custom models you can build with the pieces you already own (see: Brickset & Rebrickable Alternate LEGO Builds).

Today, I wanted to show you another feature of Brickset that you may find useful, this time under The Document Library section. The Catalogues page lists scans of UK, US, and European sales catalogs that were released between 1966 and 1999. You can click on any of the catalogs on the list, and flip through them page by page, or you can also download the PDF. I know this will be a trip down memory lane for many LEGO fans!

In addition, the catalogs are linked to Brickset’s main database. This enables you to see which catalogs a particular set appeared in, and to open them at the appropriate page. To see this in action, go to, for example, this page, then click on the Catalogues tab at the top. The feature is the result of the meticulous work of Huw Millington (the owner of Brickset) and his daughter, Alice, and is an immensely useful resource for research purposes, or just for nostalgia’s sake.

Also part of the Brickset Document Library, a new collection that was added recently is scans of the LEGO Ideas Books that were published in the 1970s and 1980s. The LEGO Ideas Books were a regular fixture in LEGO’s product lineup and provided a wealth of ideas and inspirations for young LEGO fans. Here, again, you can either flip through the pages of each issue, or download the PDF. Scanning the LEGO Ideas Books was done by Brickset member Xiaolong. Check them out, I’m sure they will brick back fond childhood memories!

There are some other interesting scans in the Brickset Document Library, like the UK LEGO Club Magazines from the 1970s and 1980s, and some other miscellaneous pieces. If you would like to save a link to the Brickset Document Library for further reference, log into your Brickset account (or create one), and add it to your personal menu found under the red tab in the navigation bar.

Brickset would like to build a library of LEGO-related documents with the aim of providing the most comprehensive and high quality repository on the internet. If you have printed materials that’s missing from the library that you would like to scan and share, get in touch using their contact form. The form is located at the bottom of every page on Brickset.

What do you think? Did you find some interesting documents in the Brickset Document Library? What else would you like to see added? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Huw January 23, 2018 at 11:05 AM

A great article, thank you!

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admin January 23, 2018 at 11:47 AM

Huw, always nice to have you over. Keep being awesome! 🙂

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DavidH January 23, 2018 at 12:10 PM

Those sales catalogs and ideas books almost make me cry. What wonderful memories!

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brickmaster January 23, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Do they still make ideas books like that? Those were great! Also, just a bit of feedback, I noticed that flipping the pages in the catalogs uses up lots of computing resources. My browser froze up. But it worked in another browser. It might be helpful to make a note somewhere alerting people that the feature may not work as well on smaller or older devices and browsers.

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admin January 23, 2018 at 3:14 PM

There is great transition to digital materials these days. We have talked about online resources for alternate builds and inspirations both directly from LEGO, LEGO’s partners, and also LEGO fans. But I agree, those Ideas Books were great, and I know I would still enjoy them.

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Håkan January 23, 2018 at 6:55 PM

If you download a PDF, I guess things should work better.

Requires some hard drive space, though…

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admin January 23, 2018 at 3:15 PM

Ahhh… yeah, I know the feeling! 😀

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LEGOJeff January 23, 2018 at 12:27 PM

It’s great that they are doing this. Other things I would like added are scans of the LEGO club magazines that were recently retired. They had a version for boys, one for girls and one for younger kids. I think they were only available in the US in paper form and the PDF was available on the LEGO club website. Wasn’t there someone here some time back who said they collect the PDFs?

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Hayato January 23, 2018 at 12:47 PM

I would like those too! My kids love them and flip through even the old ones. But some of the issues got lost or destroyed. The new lego life app is not nearly the same experience as reading those magazines.

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admin January 23, 2018 at 3:05 PM

The LEGO Club Magazines would be great to add! And, although there is a lot, the fact that they are discontinued makes them easier as there is a finite number of magazines. I think you might be talking about Fikko3107. He was really into collecting digital LEGO materials, and wrote a number of articles about them.

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Caleb January 23, 2018 at 4:05 PM

I have been subscribed to the Canadian LEGO Club magazines for a very long time. I have saved a ton of old magazines and catalogues, but the older ones are ripped and have missing pages and they will probably all end up being recycled at some point. :-/
It would be great if there were digital versions of all of them to go back through and look at…

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admin January 23, 2018 at 5:05 PM

Caleb, it might be worth contributing the ones you have. Others from the community can fill in the blanks. It is a community effort, so one person doesn’t have to necessarily do everything. 🙂

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Caleb January 23, 2018 at 5:56 PM

True, how would I potentially do that?

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admin January 23, 2018 at 8:54 PM

Contact Huw, the owner of Brickset through the contact form that is at the bottom of every page on the Brickset website. Let him know that you would like to add the Canadian LEGO Club Magazines to the Document Library, and you can also mention how many you could do. Wait for his response, and go from there. I assume you will just need to scan the pages in to your computer, and you can send them as a PDF to Huw. He will take care of the rest. If something is not clear let me know, and I can ask Huw to respond to your questions. 🙂

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Håkan January 23, 2018 at 9:34 PM

I’d guess, if you find it too complicated to create a PDF, you could even send them as a collection of image files. It might be best if you’d at least compress them as a zip file, though.

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Caleb January 24, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Okay, I know how to scan and make PDFs but I’m not sure I will have the time anytime soon to to do it, as I’m quite busy with school right now.
I might ask him anyway just to see if they’re interested.

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admin January 24, 2018 at 11:55 AM

Yeah, that’s the first step; ask first. Huw may even recruit others to fill in the blanks for you by posting on the Brickset main site or the Forum. Just do what you can when you can. 🙂

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Tony January 23, 2018 at 2:43 PM

Flipping through those pages is so satisfying! I could do this all day! Nice feature that on older sets you can go right into the magazine pages!

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admin January 23, 2018 at 3:02 PM

Yeah, isn’t it? I love to flip the pages too. Even makes page flipping noises! 😀

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Legostuff71 January 23, 2018 at 2:47 PM

That is so great to know. I have looked on Brickset . com ,but, not on the Bricklinks site. Now that I know what’s what I understand it better . I was wondering if you knew of another web site that I can write back and forth ( like this site). As much as I enjoy talking with you . I would like to broaden my horizon and get to talk to other people on other Web sites. ( keep in mind Admin you have been my first site I have been on). You got me involved to connect to others ( like JANGBRICKS ).

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admin January 23, 2018 at 3:01 PM

I don’t know of any other bloggers who talk as much as I do. LOL! I make it a priority to always respond to comments and questions, but most bloggers don’t have the time to respond to everyone. This is totally understandable as they have to spend time researching topics, writing articles, building and reviewing sets, keeping tab of social media accounts, and maintaining their website/server in the background. And this usually goes with also having a job, school or whatever. I work from home, so I’m more flexible in this regard.

I would suggest that you join a LEGO fan forum where you can interact with others in the hobby. If you prefer collecting, LEGO’s history, talking about new and upcoming sets, etc. I would recommend the Brickset Forum. If you prefer building MOCs, learning new techniques, collaborating with others, etc. I would recommend EuroBricks. There are also forums for LEGO investing, forums for buyers and sellers, forums for gossips and rumors, social media fan groups, etc. You just have to try them all and see which one you like the most.

My preference are the Brickset Forum, the BrickLink Forum, the LEGO fan community on flickr. I also really like Eurobricks, but I just don’t have the time to participate in such a vast forum. But it is a good community. You can let me know what kind of interactions you are looking for, and I can maybe be more specific with suggestions. 🙂

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Legostuff71 January 23, 2018 at 5:08 PM

Actually, I am just fine being on the Brickblogger and I’ll just keep my eye on the other web sites from time to time. Besides I like your honesty and it’s just so much fun ( even when my opinions are alittle on the harsh side). You call me on it and reel me in from time to time. I respect that in people . Also , you’re not mean about it. When you do redirect me in the right direction.

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admin January 23, 2018 at 5:21 PM

Thanks for sharing. And you are always very welcome to link to something interesting you find and you would like to talk about. I’m chill about allowing pretty much any discussion amongst our regular readers in the comment section, even if it is not entirely about the topic in the article, or even LEGO. And if there is a subject that requires a whole article, we can do that too, and then discuss it in more detail. I try to highlight other websites, resources and communities I ran across and like, but we can certainly do more. There is so much out there! More eyes and ears can definitely find more interesting things. 🙂

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Legostuff71 January 23, 2018 at 6:38 PM

Ok , off topic. I’m almost finished building NINJAGO city set. One last row of number bags left. ( yeah) I love every bit of it.the details are so cool. So, if you had a Choice between building a moisture farm or a Jawa’s work shop/ driod repair shop . What would you build?

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Håkan January 23, 2018 at 6:56 PM

What is a moisture farm?

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admin January 23, 2018 at 8:55 PM

I would go with the workshop. I always loved working on small spaces with lots of greebly things. 😀

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Legostuff71 January 23, 2018 at 7:46 PM

Tatooine is Luke Skywalker’s home planet and because it’s a Desert planet there are farmers that try and extract moister from the air to get water . So, they have moisture farms to do this. So, instead of crops they harvest water with moisture evaporator. ( I also from the ground as well but, I’m not sure).

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Håkan January 23, 2018 at 9:36 PM

Ah, okay… I guess I understand it roughly now…

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