Sunday, March 25, 2018

Nancy Drew Collecting Tips




This lack of information in auctions causes buyers to have to ask many questions of many different sellers.  This process quickly becomes tiring.  It does help, though, if the buyer is aware of certain facts so that the buyer can avoid having to ask certain questions. 

What I have noticed is that many buyers are not aware of which books were printed with the glossy illustrations or with the original text.  The purpose of this guide is to eliminate some of the confusion experienced by buyers.  Additionally, this guide can help sellers determine what they have.

Prices: 

The purpose of this guide is to provide a starting place for buyers and sellers who are attempting to discover the age of a Nancy Drew book and to give buyers a better idea of what to seek.  This guide does not attempt to give the value of the different Nancy Drew books.  The values are constantly changing based on supply and demand.  If I were to attempt to give values, they would soon be meaningless.  There are way too many factors to consider when valuing Nancy Drew books.
If you are planning to sell some Nancy Drew books and need to get an idea of the current pricing, search the completed Nancy Drew auctions on eBay to get an idea of the selling prices.  If you are planning to buy Nancy Drew books, you should also search the completed auctions to see what the selling prices are. 

If you wish to collect Nancy Drew books, the only way you will get a firm grip on current values is to invest in a Farah's Guide to the Nancy Drew books.  David Farah almost always has his guide up for sale on eBay.

Original text: 

The original text books have 25 chapters while the revised text books have 20 chapters.  Only volumes 1 through 34 were ever printed in the original text books.  Volumes 35 and up never had the 25 chapter texts.  Volumes 35 and up each had the 20 chapter text in the very first printings and still are printed with the original 20 chapter texts to this day. 

It is only necessary to ask sellers how many chapters are present for the first 34 books, since these are the only volumes that were ever revised.  Thus, #37 The Clue in the Old Stagecoach is impossible to find in the 25 chapter text since it was never printed with a 25 chapter text.

The illustrations: 

Only volumes 1 through 13 were printed with the four glossy illustrations during the 1930s.  Volumes 14 through 17 were printed with one glossy illustration during the late 1930s and early 1940s, and during the same time period, volumes 1 through 13 were reprinted with only one glossy illustration.  Volumes 18 and up never had glossy illustrations; these volumes had the plain paper frontispiece illustration.

First printings: 

The copyright page is the last place to look when you are trying to discover the age of a Nancy Drew book.  Grosset and Dunlap very rarely made changes to the copyright page.  All copies of The Secret of the Old Clock printed from 1930 through early 1959 have 1930 as the only year listed on the copyright page.  From 1959 and on, The Secret of the Old Clock was printed with 1959 as the year on the copyright page.  Clearly, the copyright page does not narrow down the year of printing very well.
The two easiest places to look in order to determine the age of a Nancy Drew book are on the dust jacket’s front flap, if the book still has its dust jacket, and on an interior list of titles.  The last title present in the list of Nancy Drew titles will tell you what the age of the book is.  For instance, if the dust jacket's front flap lists to The Clue in the Crumbling Wall, then the book was printed in 1945, which is the year of publication for The Clue in the Crumbling Wall.  Or, if the dust jacket's front flap lists to The Hidden Window Mystery, then the book was printed in 1956, which is the year of publication for The Hidden Window Mystery

When the book is missing its dust jacket, refer to the interior list of titles, if present.  The earlier books from the 1930s and early 1940s have post-text ad pages with lists of titles.  The later Nancy Drew books will usually have a pre-text list of titles which will give you the same information. 

Important:  When I refer to a pre-text list of titles, I do not mean a list that may appear on the copyright page.  Since Grosset and Dunlap rarely updated the copyright page, any list of titles that appears on the copyright page will almost always not be accurate.  If there is a pre-text list of titles that can be used to date a book, it will appear on a separate page from the copyright and title page, usually right after the endpapers.
   
Note:  The dust jacket and interior book lists do not always match.  In fact, it is quite common for the dust jacket to list one or two additional titles than what is listed inside the book.  The vast majority of dust-jacketed Nancy Drew books that come up for sale are mated with the correct dust jacket.  When there is a mismatch, it is usually very obvious, such as a dust jacket that lists to #35 while the book lists only to #19.  The 1950s printing history of Nancy's Mysterious Letter is an exception.  The books all list only to #30 while the dust jackets list from #30 up through #38.  These books are not mismatched.

List of Nancy Drew Titles with the 25 Chapter Texts:

  1.  The Secret of the Old Clock, 1930
  2.  The Hidden Staircase, 1930
  3. The Bungalow Mystery, 1930
  4. The Mystery at Lilac Inn, 1930
  5. The Secret at Shadow Ranch, 1931
  6. The Secret of Red Gate Farm, 1931
  7. The Clue in the Diary, 1932
  8. Nancy's Mysterious Letter, 1932
  9. The Sign of the Twisted Candles, 1933
10. The Password to Larkspur Lane, 1933
11. The Clue of the Broken Locket, 1934
12. The Message in the Hollow Oak, 1935
13. The Mystery of the Ivory Charm, 1936
14. The Whispering Statue, 1937
15. The Haunted Bridge, 1937
16. The Clue of the Tapping Heels, 1939
17. The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk, 1940
18. The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion, 1941
19. The Quest of the Missing Map, 1942
20. The Clue in the Jewel Box, 1943
21. The Secret in the Old Attic, 1944
22. The Clue in the Crumbling Wall, 1945
23. The Mystery of the Tolling Bell, 1946
24. The Clue in the Old Album, 1947
25. The Ghost of Blackwood Hall, 1948
26. The Clue of the Leaning Chimney, 1949
27. The Secret of the Wooden Lady, 1950
28. The Clue of the Black Keys, 1951
29. The Mystery at the Ski Jump, 1952
30. The Clue of the Velvet Mask, 1953
31. The Ringmaster's Secret, 1953
32. The Scarlet Slipper Mystery, 1954
33. The Witch Tree Symbol, 1955
34. The Hidden Window Mystery, 1956

List of Nancy Drew Titles with the 20 Chapter Texts:

  1. The Secret of the Old Clock, 1959
  2. The Hidden Staircase, 1959
  3. The Bungalow Mystery, 1960
  4. The Mystery at Lilac Inn, 1961
  5. The Secret of Shadow Ranch, 1965
  6. The Secret of Red Gate Farm, 1961
  7. The Clue in the Diary, 1962
  8. Nancy's Mysterious Letter, 1968
  9. The Sign of the Twisted Candles, 1968
10. The Password to Larkspur Lane, 1966
11. The Clue of the Broken Locket, 1965
12. The Message in the Hollow Oak, 1972
13. The Mystery of the Ivory Charm, 1974
14. The Whispering Statue, 1970
15. The Haunted Bridge, 1972
16. The Clue of the Tapping Heels, 1969
17. The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk, 1976
18. Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion, 1971
19. The Quest of the Missing Map, 1969
20. The Clue in the Jewel Box, 1972
21. The Secret in the Old Attic, 1970
22. The Clue in the Crumbling Wall, 1973
23. The Mystery of the Tolling Bell, 1973
24. The Clue in the Old Album, 1977
25. The Ghost of Blackwood Hall, 1967
26. The Clue of the Leaning Chimney, 1967
27. The Secret of the Wooden Lady, 1967
28. The Clue of the Black Keys, 1968
29. The Mystery at the Ski Jump, 1968
30. The Clue of the Velvet Mask, 1969
31. The Ringmaster's Secret, 1974
32. The Scarlet Slipper Mystery, 1974
33. The Witch Tree Symbol, 1975
34. The Hidden Window Mystery, 1975
35. The Haunted Showboat, 1957
36. The Secret of the Golden Pavilion, 1959
37. The Clue in the Old Stagecoach, 1960
38. The Mystery of the Fire Dragon, 1961
39. The Clue of the Dancing Puppet, 1962
40. The Moonstone Castle Mystery, 1963
41. The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes, 1964
42. The Phantom of Pine Hill, 1965
43. The Mystery of the 99 Steps, 1966
44. The Clue in the Crossword Cipher, 1967
45. The Spider Sapphire Mystery, 1968
46. The Invisible Intruder, 1969
47. The Mysterious Mannequin, 1970
48. The Crooked Banister, 1971
49. The Secret of Mirror Bay, 1972
50. The Double Jinx Mystery, 1973
51. Mystery of the Glowing Eye, 1974
52. The Secret of the Forgotten City, 1975
53. The Sky Phantom, 1976
54. The Strange Message in the Parchment, 1977
55. Mystery of Crocodile Island, 1978
56. The Thirteenth Pearl, 1979

Identifying the age of a book: 

It helps greatly to learn what the outside of a Nancy Drew book looks like for the different formats so that you can easily see by a seller’s picture how old the book likely is.  It can save time in having to ask a seller if a book has the glossy illustrations if you already know by the outside of the book that it is a type that never had the illustrations.

I have chosen not to add detailed pictures to this page since the number of pictures that eBay will allow on the guide is too restrictive for me to show you what you need to see.  I already have a very detailed formats page on my own website.  My formats page has pictures of all of the different types of Nancy Drew books from 1930 to the present day.  

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