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Covers – 1926-1947

13 January 2016

From The New York Public Library Digital Collections:

Despite the fact that dust jackets often include useful information about a book and its author, including biographical notes and often a portrait, it has long been Research Libraries practice to remove the jackets from new books during processing for their permanent place in the stacks. However, from 1926 to 1947, anonymous librarians selected and saved interesting jackets from books of all sorts. Arranged roughly by date published/acquired, these paper covers eventually filled the 22 large scrapbooks presented here. This digital collection offers, first, a view of each jacket’s front, spine, and inside flap; jacket backs and flaps may be viewed by clicking the “View Verso” button on the “image details” pages.

The jackets in the collection are from books published in the United States and Europe during two turbulent decades.

Link to the rest at The New York Public Library

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Covers, Libraries

11 Comments to “Covers – 1926-1947”

  1. The “Journey to a War” cover is confusing. I do not know what those creatures are. I’m guessing they’re from folktales or something?

    I like the text-font in “Hiroshima.”

    For the most part it looks like this era followed the “Keep It Simple Stupid” philosophy for covers. So I may have been wrong to think that publishers were just cheaping out when they use that aesthetic today.

  2. Same error as on the last one trying to subscribe without commenting. (did something get updated?)

  3. Interesting. Not the covers so much (I agree with Jamie), but the books. I plan to try and track one of them down. Plot bunnies galore!

    Thanks, PG!

  4. I took a slightly different tack and looked at the publishers on the spines. Publishers “are forever” — or should be, per Parnassus (I love Piers Anthony’s sarcastic name for the BPH monolith). Yet how many of these publishers whose right it was to safeguard culture are still around?

  5. Love the Black River font. That has aged well.

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