ML College Editions

Tue Oct 11 22:42:23 EDT 2005

The College Editions began in 1950 with 41 titles from the
regular ML with the addition of new introductions by
distinguished academics to enhance their usefulness for
classroom use.  Jess Stein, who came to Random House after
World War II to work on the American College Dictionary, was
in charge of the series.  The series was launched in response
to competition from Rinehart Editions, a paperbound series
launched by Rinehart & Co. late in 1948 and aimed at the
college market.  The college market had become far more
important than it had been before the war, as enrollments
swelled with students whose education had been interrupted by
the war and students who had not previously aspired to higher
education entering college under the GI Bill.  Regular ML
editions were more expensive than the paperbound Rinehart
Editions, and many were inferior textually to their new rivals. 
ML College Editions marked the beginning of ML introductions
aimed at the college market instead of the general reader as
well as greater attention to the quality of translations and
the source of texts chosen for reprinting.  New introductions
and other improvements made initially for ML College Editions
soon found their way into regular ML editions.  Most ML
collectors have little interest in ML College Editions, but
many ML books printed after 1950 contain content that was
first created for the College Editions.

For more on College Editions, see my column in the fiftieth
issue of Modern Library Collector, which will be available
within the next week or so from Alan Oestreich, 340 Warren
Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220.


Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
106 Kresge Library
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507 (tel); 313-577-7563 (fax)
aa3401 at

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