ML Sources (and rare 8's again)

j b krygier jbkrygie at
Thu Apr 19 10:16:12 EDT 2001

RSCCONOVE at wrote:

> What other
> sources would an avid ML collector use?

Some useful ML 'Sources':

eBay is a useful source for ML collectors - even
if you are not bidding.  Some of the regular ML
sellers on eBay have great descriptions and photos
of ML editions: even if you can't afford that
particular early ML in DJ, you at least know what
it looks like, and might get a bit of history
regarding the book and its author.  Some seller
descriptions even include a brief review of the
book itself - useful if you actually read your MLs.

Other curious ML ephemera show up on eBay -
matchbooks, yearly advertising catalogs, printing
dies, baseball caps (just kidding)....

Some additional ML sources:  all of the following
provide a thumping good read for the ML diehard.
Scot should probably put these on the WWW site:

George M. Andes and Helen Kelly.  "Texts of
Choice: The Books of the Modern Library."

Gordon B. Neavill.  1979.  "The Modern Library
Series: Format and Design, 1917-1977.  Printing
History, vol. 1, no. 1.  pp. 26-37.

Gordon B. Neavill.  1981.  "The Modern Library
Series and American Cultural Life."  Journal of
Library History, vol. 16, no. 2.  pp. 242-252.

Gordon B. Neavill.  1984.  "The Modern Library
Series."  PhD Dissertation, University of Chicago
(Graduate Library School).

Jay Satterfield.  1999.  "The World's Best Books:
Taste, Culture, and the Modern Library." PhD
Dissertation, University of Iowa (American

Satterfield's dissertation will be published as a
book, "The World's Best Books: Taste, Culture, and
the Modern Library," in late spring or early
summer of 2002 (part of the University of
Massachusetts "Studies in Print Culture & the
History of the Book" series) (info from Jay
Satterfield, jsatterf at  I am
not sure if he is on this list or not.

Most University libraries and some public
libraries can acquire dissertations and academic
journal articles (such as those noted above) via the
Inter-library Loan system.  Ask your favorite
librarian about it.

> What are the hard to find type 8
> spine ML editions?

As for difficult to find binding 8 MLs - this was
discussed on ModLIb a few weeks back.  The values
in Henry's Guide are a good indication of
obscurity except in a few cases.  Some MLs, such
as Salinger, are highly valued due to interest in
the author by non-ML collectors.  "Catcher in the
Rye" is not difficult to find (I have 4 copies in
DJ, all found in Columbus for a few bucks each).

On the other hand, a few titles - such as Morley's
Human Being, Godden's Black Narcissus, Hamsun's
Growth of the Soil, Hemon's Maria Chapelaine,
Hersey's Bell for Adano - are not valued very
highly but are not so easy to find anymore.  My basic
rule of thumb is that any ML discontinued in the
late 40s or early 50s is going to be relatively scarce
in decent shape with a DJ - regardless of its value in
the Guide.

John K.

j   b   k r y g i e r

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