Showing posts from July, 2008

Publisher's review label
Jerome Holtzman, R.I.P.

Here's a review copy label for Holt & Rinehart's publication of No Cheering in the Press Box , edited by Jerome Holtzman, who passed away last week at age 81. Holtzman was a long-time baseball writer for Chicago newspapers and was baseball's first historian. He also introduced a new statistic to baseball--the Save. This book was a review copy and contained the label and also a press release about the book. A favored icon of many booksellers, the owl, is the only graphic for this publisher's review copy ephemera.

LSU Honor Court label

From a 1937 college textbook, here is a label, or sticker, from a university Honor Court. The University of Louisiana State (LSU) Honor Court to be exact. Looking like an over-sized bookplate, it is affixed to the front pastedown endpaper (inside cover) of the book. The apparent intent of this label was to track the transactions of this book between all buyers and sellers. It is also apparent that any such attempts to do so with this particular book were unsuccessful. The label is blank. Honor Systems and Honor Courts exist, in general, to deal with students who lie, cheat or steal. The history of such institutions in this country (America) goes back to the founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson created the first Honor System--for his alma mater, the College of William and Mary. Honor Systems and Honor Courts are still around today--some are taken seriously, others not. The primary use for these courts is to deal with cheating and other moral infractions. So why was such a label needed fo

E.P. Dutton billhead, 1871

Click anywhere on the photos for an enlarged view Think of E.P. Dutton and you probably think big publishing company. But this major publishing house got its start as a retail bookseller. Edward Payson Dutton started the company in Boston, as a retail bookseller, in 1852. In 1864, Dutton branched out to New York (in the building depicted by the billhead graphic), where they also started publishing books. Their focus in the beginning was religious titles. If the billhead above is any indication, it appears that religious titles were still a strong suit into the 1870s. 1864 was a busy year for Dutton. As mentioned, he opened the new branch in New York and introduced a publishing segment to the business. But back in Boston he also purchased Ticknor & Field's retail business, which was located in the Old Corner Bookstore. There, the mantle of a fine literary tradition passed to Dutton. Ticknor & Fields had occupied the building for some 20 years and had published the works of a

L. Barma in Nice, France - book shop trade label

From the same book (Corneille's Polyeucte ) that contained the Scofield Thayer bookplate (previous entry on this blog), here is a nice old book shop trade label affixed to the front cover. As the title implies, bookseller L. Barma (of whom, I can find nothing) sold classical literature, among other things. Having learned a bit about the book's owner, Scofield Thayer, in the previous post, this was a fitting purchase for him because of his academic interests in philosophy and the classics in his post-graduate studies. A bit of chronology will help date the bookseller and his trade label. Thayer matriculated Harvard in 1913. After graduation, he went to Oxford, which would be about 1917 or 1918. Thayer likely journeyed to France around that time and found this book shop in Nice. So I think the label dates circa 1918. An interesting side note: The book was published by Hachette in Paris, 1906. So Thayer, with all his money, bought a used book from a rather inexpensive series. The

Sidney L. Smith bookplate for Scofield Thayer

This bookplate is significant for its designer and owner. Sidney L. Smith (pictured left) was a well-known engraver of the late 19th and early 20th centuries whose prolific work with bookplates warranted the book, Bookplates by Sidney L. Smith with a Check-list of the Bookplates , by Gardner Teall, published by Alfred Fowler, 1921. The bookplate's owner, Scofield Thayer, was a poet, editor, publisher, and important art collector. He came from wealth, was educated at Harvard and Oxford, and his literary lineage included an uncle, Ernest Thayer, who was famous for his beloved baseball poem, Casey at the Bat . But Thayer was probably best known for his art collection and for transforming The Dial , with his wealthy inheritance, into a premiere publication for literature and the arts in the 1920s. Much of the art featured in the magazine was from Thayer's personal collection, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Thayer associated with a Who's Who of lite