Friday, February 25, 2011

An Old Dana Girls Library Binding

I noticed a Dana Girls library binding in an eBay listing recently.  It was in with some Nancy Drew books.  I hesitated in part because library editions always come in lots with regular edition books that are in awful shape, so I end up with books that are difficult to sell.  It is much harder to sell extra books than it once was.  Finally, I decided to buy the lot since the price was low. In short, I couldn't resist another library binding.

Once I received the books, I was very pleased with the library binding.  The book is thick, so it was rebound from one of the purple Dana Girls books with good quality paper and a glossy frontispiece illustration.  Both the original green endpapers and the glossy frontispiece illustration survived the rebinding process.  Since the book is thick, this means that the library binding is probably pretty old, since the thick books would likely have been rebound at least 50 to 60 years ago.

Next, I noticed that the book is from a Meridian, Mississippi library.  This is interesting to me since my paternal grandparents lived in Meridian.

I then found some evidence as to how old this binding is.  Many libraries write information sideways in the hinge area, usually on the title page.

This one mentions 1942, and 1942 is not the copyright of The Mystery of the Locked Room.  I already have my answer, but I look around for more information.  Usually, the date in the hinge area is the most that I can hope to find.  This was not the case with this book.

One date is still visible on the rear free endpaper, and it looks like either 1942 or 1943.

The last piece of information that I found inside this book is usually never present, and it is the most exciting.  Library editions very seldom have the exact date that the book was rebound, but this one does.

The date is partially hidden underneath the library pocket.  The book was rebound on December 31, 1941 by Stappenbeck & Craig of Bloomington, Indiana.

The importance of library editions cannot be overstated.  This book was rebound right after the United States entered World War II.  Many families would have been unable to purchase new books for their children, but they could go to the public library.  By rebinding books, libraries were able to offer good series books in durable bindings that would last for many years. 


Rachael said...

this isn't a girl series but recently I found a 1930 pulp fiction: Branded outlaw by L Ron Hubbard; have you heard of those book?

Jennifer said...

I know that L. Ron Hubbard was a successful writer of pulp fiction. Later, he founded the Church of Scientology. I don't know anything in particular about his stories and how good they are.

stratomiker said...

That's very interesting. I have never run across a Dana Girls library binding. They must be very scarce.

A friend of mine in Toronto worked as a library edition binder at a library. He would re-bind books for circulation. He made himself complete sets of PC Drews and Hardys with original texts in the first PC edition boards. As we know, there are several that do not come with the original texts, so he put original texts in those books, replacing the revised. To look at the books you'd never know that they had been re-done.

A few years ago I bought at a local store a rebound version of the Nancy Drew Scrapbook in lovely hardback boards with the original paperback cover as an insert. The store owner told me that this particular collector had a lot of her personal books rebound, right there at the store, which is also a bindery.


sequesterednooks said...

Are there any current library bindings for Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books? Our library has flashlight editions and several of the recent paperbacks, but I noticed that they tend to get a lot of wear.

Miranda said...

I'm surprised to see a Dana Girl in a library during this period. My mom grew up not being able to read Nancy Drews as librarians wouldn't have them in the libraries...this practice went on well into the 1960's. So my mom wasn't able to read any Nancy's as she couldn't afford to buy them as she grew up. It was only as an adult that she got to read them.

Jennifer said...

I am sure that there are current library editions of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. As recent as the last 10 years, this is what most Nancy Drew library editions look like. The Hardy Boys have the same style except that the books are blue.

It all comes down to which books are donated to a library. Library editions tend to be very scarce for most series books outside of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Many versions are also scarce for those series as well.

I do have some other Dana Girls library editions, and I believe that I have two books that are thick. It is very unusual to find a thick library edition so many years later. I may have one thick Nancy Drew library edition. Perhaps a discussion of the thick library editions would be a good topic for a future post.

Lian said...

I am drawn to library copies but have tried not to start collecting them. You have to draw the line somewhere! However, I just purchased a library Judy Bolton edition just because I don't normally see too many of those. I probably would have liked to have the Dana Girls too since they were my favorite series growing up. Maybe because they were so much harder to collect than Nancy.

My mother said that the only way she was able to read Nancy Drews was when the affluent children in her grade got them, and they would let the others in the room borrow them. She said she doesn't remember any of them having dust jackets. Probably the moms removed them when told they would be lent out. This was in the forties.

I like the library editions because my favorite memories of my childhood was visiting the library and gazing at all those children book spines. So to me, most books should have library identification marks on the spine to make it authentic! However, I am more choosy about my series collecting.

On a side note, how in the world do you all keep your house in tidy order? Everywhere I look I have a stack of books pushed behind a dark chair or open a closet and a bag of books pours out. I am listing as fast as I can but selling is slow. And that's only the ones I'm trying to sell. We should talk sometimes about what all we collect! Do you all display everything? I've had to fight my poor hubby for more shelf space and his David Balachios and James Pattersons are being dragged to back bedroom closets so I can put up my new sets of Applewoods, Lenora Weber or Phyllis Whitneys. My Happy Hollisters, Dana Girls, two sets of Nancy's, Judy Bolton's and Trixie Beldens were already there.

Sorry for the long post. I would love to hear you guys comments.

I enjoy all of you immensely!

Jennifer said...

My books are not in tidy order. At the moment, many of them are a mess and stored in containers. I had to remove a bunch of books from lower shelves months ago because of young kittens, who are now young cats and even more dangerous to the books. I am hoping by summer to have my books in some type of order.

My books for sale are partly on shelves and partly stacked, for the same reasons as above, except that I make sure that they are in an even safer location.

I just bought a huge quantity of books yesterday at the library book sale, so now I have an even bigger mess. It's going to take me awhile to dig my way out of it.

I have had problems with too many books for sale ever since I switched to Bonanza. Actually, I believe I would still have the same problems on eBay, because the market for series books seems to be rather weak right now.

I seemed to be the only person going after the series books last night, except for a preteen girl selecting Nancy Drew books for herself. The adults were ignoring them. By the way, I did not take any of the books that the preteen girl was looking at. Someone who is currently reading the books gets first pick. Perhaps she will be a Nancy Drew collector someday. :)

Jennifer said...

I have gotten rid of at least some of my more generic library editions because they take up so much space. This was also why I hesitated on the Dana Girls books. I have at least 700 library editions, and they take up a lot of space.