[ModLib] The Metropolitan Opera Guide

Gordon B. Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Mon Jun 14 22:25:20 EDT 2010

By an odd coincidence I was just reviewing the entry for the Metropolitan Opera Guide in my forthcoming ML bibliography when this inquiry popped up in my email.

The Metropolitan Opera Guide was in ML Giants from 1939 to 1970. I don't know how many printings there were, but there had to be significantly more than six. The listing of the first five printings between November 1939 and November 1943 and on the verso of the title page. The ML stopped reprinting Giants during the last two years of World War II because of paper shortages, so the Sixth Printing in Feb. 1946 is almost certainly what it claimed.  The content of the 1946 printing is different from the first 5 printings in that it omits the list of suggested recordings on pp. 497-511 of the first 5 printings.  The list had never been updated and was next to useless by 1946: many of the recordings listed were out of print, for those that remained available the 1939 prices given were grotesquely out of date, and 78 rpm records were about to be superseded by the introduction of the LP in 1948.  The Metropolitan Opera Guide sold very well: Cerf stated that 30,000 copies were sold between 1939 and 1942. I don't know how many printings there were between 1946 and the late 1960s.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian LeMasters" <brianlemasters at gmail.com>
To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 14, 2010 8:23:46 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [ModLib] The Metropolitan Opera Guide

I have a Met. Opera Guide that is the stated 5th edition, 1943, with the 
full print history listed.  I have a second copy from the 60s that is 
undated, but I assume it is a reprint of the last revision.  Where there 
actually 5 different editions of the Met Opera Guide in the Modern 
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Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Wayne State University
106 Kresge Library
Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507; 313-577-7563 (fax)

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