How reliable are the back-of-book catalogs?
kamins at dogeared.com
Tue Apr 24 18:25:55 EDT 2001
In a recent e-mail, BooksetcSF at aol.com said (in part):
>I don't think it is question of the reliability of the catalogues in the
>but whether the djs were switched or later ones put on by the publisher. The
>addition of new dust jackets by the publisher I believe was not particularly
Right. But I'm speaking now specifically of the book itself in terms of
its binding (and the dates we attribute to the use of that binding) and
the titles that appear in the catalog at the back of the book.
An example would be the catalog at the back of a number 7 binding,
reputedly out of existence by 1940, listing a copy of Babbit (162.2)
which didn't start until 1942.
A more common case would be a later book with an earlier catalog. For
example, let's say you had a Babbit (first published in 1942) and the
catalog's latest listing was for a Lewisohn.
Choose your own examples -- the real question is: Were the catalogs
reliably up to date, such that they can be used as valid dating tools?
`\|||/ Scot Kamins
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