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Exhibits EXHIBITS of rare and unusual items from the Univers ity's collections are displayed in the Library on a continuing basis. Display areas ar e located on the fourth floor of the main library building, both in the lobby and in the Special Collections reading room. Exhibits are changed quarterly. Current Exhibit: "The Dime Novel in America, 1860-1925." The dime novel, though often lacking in literary quality, was perhaps the most purely American fiction ever developed. For a time, it caught and expressed the crude vitality of an expanding nation. To a great extent the dime novel created and popula rized the romantic image of the American West. This exhibit traces the development of this colorful segment of American literature from its rise in 1860 to its de mise in the 1920's, using original specimens from USF's extensive dime novel collection. T he exhibit will be on display until March 14. Quarter III, 1979: "Of Plays & Players: Theater-related Items From Spe cial Collections." Among the many rare and unusual works housed in the USF Special Collections department are a diversity of items rel ating to actors, plays, and the theater in general. This exhibit will display a potpourri of o ur theater-related materials, with elements devoted to specific aspects of plays and p layers. Ranging in date from the 16th to the 20th centuries, the diverse items comprising the display will include early acting scripts, manuscript plays, and theatrical memorabil ia. An interesting portion of the exhibit will be a display of rare theatrical costum e books, many with beautiful handcolored plates. The exhibit will be on view from Ma rch 26 to June 6. Quarter IV, 1979: "The First Colony: Spanish Florida, 1513-1763." The first European colony in North America, Spanish Florida originally included most of the territory later incorporated in the traditional "13 colonies." By 1 763, however, it had shrunk to little more than the area occupied by Florida today. Using books, maps, and other materials from the Library's collection of early Floridiana, this exhibit will trace the presence of Imperial Spain in Florida from the age of discovery to the British occupation in 1763. It will be on view from June 11 through August 31. Contents Old Friends and Older Strangers: American Juvenile Series Books ..1 The Dime Novel in America, 1860-1925 5 The Chapbook and Toy Book in America. ..9 Collecting Children's Books in the Tampa Bay Area 13 Associates' Events & Activities .15 Notable Acquisitions ..16 Not printed at State expense. Programs, activities, and services of the Universit y of South Florida are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to ra ce, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The University is an affirmative action Equal Opportunity Employer.
Ex Libris Vol. 2, No. 3 Winter, 1979 Ex Libris is published quarterly by the USF Library Associates, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Please address suggestions and comments to J. B. Do bkin, Executive Secretary, USF Library Associates, USF Library, Tampa, Fla. 33620. Cover: Reflecting the naive arrogance of an earlier day, d ime novels like Young Glory were generated by the Spanish-American War (1898). They form an interesting element in the USF dime novel collection. All illustrations in this issue of Ex Libris are reproduced from works in the Special Collections Department of the University of South F lorida Library. Photography is by the photography department of USF's Division of Educati onal Resources.
Old Friends and Older Strangers: American Juvenile Series Books FOR MOST literate Americans of this century the har dcover series-type children's book has been a part of growing up. Recent generati ons of young readers have cut their literary teeth on the exploits of the Hardy Boys, N ancy Drew, and Tom Swift, Jr. Older readers recall the thrilling times of the Boy Aviat ors, Baseball Joe, and the Automobile Girls. Those who retain fond memories of these and other series will be pleased to hear that their old favorites are rapidly gaining intell ectual respectability. Long disdained by librarians and educators as hack-written literary p ablum, American juvenile series books are beginning to provide a fertile field for seriou s scholarship. During the past decade, students of the American historical and cultural ex perience have come increasingly to recognize the major role these immensely popular wo rks have played in forming the ideas and ideals of young Americans. In 1978 the University of South Florida Library completed acquisition of the personal juvenile seri es collection of noted collector H. K. Hudson. Consisting of approximately 4,000 volumes, the collection served as the primary resource for Mr. Hudson's extensive research toward a compre-hensive bibliography of American boys' series books. The result of Mr. Hudson's research, published as A Bibliography of Hard-Cover, Series Type Boys' Books, (Tampa, Data Print, 1977), is considered the definitive work in the field. Mr. Hudson began actively collecting boys' series books about 1952, and followed this hobby avidly for many years. His collecting activities ma de him painfully aware of the lack of bibliographic tools in his field of interest. In an attempt to im prove bibliographic control of boys' series books, he pub lished his first Bibliography of Hard-Cover Boys' Books in 1965. As time passed, Mr. Hudson realized increasingly the incomplete coverage of his first creation. Using his earlier work as a base, he bega n preparing the greatly expanded work completed in 1977 To date, Mr. Hudson's new bibliography is by far the most comprehensive and detailed body of information relative to American boys' series books ever compiled. Although not all of the items listed in Mr. Hudson' s bibliography are present in the Hudson Collection, holdings for most series are com plete. With very few exceptions, all recorded series are at least represented by one or more volumes. Overall, the Hudson Collection constitutes one of the most complete bod ies of this type of material in existence. The USF Library is currently seeking cop ies of those works not held and hopes eventually to attain the goal of completeness. During the period when juvenile series books were m ost popular (roughly 1900 to Publishers of boys series quite often issued complementary series for girls. An in depth collection of girls series is being developed to accompany the boys books already in the Hudson Collection.
1950), many of the leading boys' series were comple mented by similar books written for girls. One had, for instance, the Automobile Girls to match the Motor Boys, and Nancy Drew to balance the Hardy Boys. Due to extensive us e of publisher-owned psuedonyms, quite often the same contract writers wrote both gi rls' and boys' series books. Though Mr. Hudson was interested primarily in boys' books, the re were a few representative girls' series volumes in his collection when it was acquir ed by the University. It was decided by the Library to develop the nucleus into an in-depth collection of girls' books comparable to the boys' series holdings. To date nearly 1,000 volumes of American girls' series works have been gathered. Together, the two elements of t he Hudson Collection will form a truly comprehensive resource for the study of Ameri can series-type juvenile literature. AMERICAN books for boys issued in series date back at least to Jacob Abbot and his famous Rollo books. First appearing in 1834, Abbot' s Rollo series proved very successful and were reissued many times. The series eventually totaled 28 volumes. Abbot also created a successful series for girls based on the activities of Rollo's Cousin Lucy. All of Abbot's series were very didactic, reflecting the 1 9th Century American view that all childrens literature had to be primarily "improvin g." The series genre picked up steam with the writings of William Taylor Adams, better k nown as "Oliver Optic." Beginning around 1854, his books in series like the "Onward a nd Upward Series" and the "Young American Abroad Series" captured the reading fancie s of America's entertainmentstarved youth. The best known and by far most popul ar creator of boys' series books in the pre-1900 period was, however, Horatio Alger. Be ginning about 1867 his classic ragsto-riches novels appeared in a range of series, the most famous being the "Ragged Dick Series." With a level of readership hardly ever equ alled, Alger's 130 boys' books have sold an estimated 20,000,000 copies. Before 1860 and even as late as the 1890s productio n methods were such that most hardcover books were relatively expensive. The less affluent, especially the young, were unable to afford large quantities of fiction at har dcover prices. After 1860 the dime novel and its variants provided cheap popular literature in vast quantities to Americans of all ages. As the century progressed, the dime novel bec ame increasingly aimed at the youth market, providing much the same type of stories tha t later formed the staple of the boys' series book. The decline of the dime novel after 19 00 to a great degree opened the door for the proliferation of inexpensive hardbound juve nile books. In the introduction to his bibliography Mr. Hudson terms the period 1900 to 19 35 the "golden age" of the boys' series book. If any single person could be considered the "Fathe r of the Juvenile Series Book," the title would have to go to Edward Stratemeyer. A pro lific writer of boys' books under his own name and under the pseudonyms of "Arthur M. Win field" and "Captain Ralph Bonehill," he created an organization known as the Stratemeyer Syndicate that was responsible for a remarkable number of boys' book s eries. Basically, Stratemeyer conceived series, outlined c haracters, and worked out plots. He then assigned the skeleton stories to profession al writers who would do the actual writing under contract. The stories were then issue d under one of the fictitious "author" names owned by the syndicate. All stories were laid out, paid for, and owned by the syndicate, not the writer who happened to execute t he task of "fleshing out" the skeleton novel. Some of the favorite "authors" of several ge nerations of young Americans were in fact "house names" created by the Stratemeyer Syndi cate rather than real people. These
bylines included such famous names as Franklin W. D ixon ("author" of the Hardy Boys), Victor Appleton (Tom Swift), and Carolyn Keene (Nan cy Drew). The Syndicate did not function as a publisher, but was rather a story and series creating agency, the finished products of which were sold to publishers like Gros sett and Dunlap for issue. For most of the "golden age" of the series book the Stratemeyer Syndicate dominated the field with such series as the Rover Boys, the M otor Boys, Tom Swift, and the Bobbsey Twins. In spite of the decline of series bo oks as a genre, a world war, television, and increasingly sophisticated generations of boys, the syndicate has managed to stay in business at its old stand. The continuing publication of such old friends as Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey, Twins, and the half-century old Hardy Boys testify to the durability of Edward Stratemeyer's creation. The traumatic years of the 1930s brought down most of the series that had flourished in the early years of the century. The paper shortage of World War II that followed came close to being a deathblow to the genre, while many series perished under the impact of tele vision in the post-war years. Though some hardy series endured and new ones sprang up to exploit changing interests, the "golden age" was over with the war. In our age of m ass media and physical mobility American youths simply have too many forms of enter tainment on tap to be avidly interested in the ink-and-paper exploits of the lik es of Baseball Joe or Dave Dashaway. WITH THE immense range of material comprising the H udson Collection it is not possible to more than mention one or two of the man y series held. Perhaps the most famous, however, is the Stratemeyer Syndicate's bes t-paying creation, the Hardy Boys. The first three Hardy titles were published by Gros sett and Dunlap in 1927. Since then, the astute brothers have solved scores of mysteries in locations throughout the world. During their half-century of brilliant detecting an d somewhat stilted dialogue their adventures have remained continuously in print, mak ing them second in longevity only to the Bobbsey Twins (1904). With earlier titles rewri tten to suit the times, the Hardys are still going strong. The immortal duo have even inva ded the rival field of television. In the 1950s their exploits were serialized for the Mickey Mouse Club, while the current Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew television mysteries can be seen Su nday evenings. As a side note, both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew have been featur ed in issues of Playboy magazine. If Franklin W Dixon really existed, he'd doubtlessl y be impressed. Almost rivaling the Hardy Boys' adventures in fame and durability are the Tom Swift books. Another Stratemeyer creation, the series beg an in 1910 with Tom Swift and His Motorcycle. The original Swift books totaled forty volumes, the last appearing in 1941. During this time the boy inventor created airships, tanks, electric rifles, and Two of the 4,000 boys series books comprising USF s Hudson Collection. Particularly notable are the fragile or ignal dust jackets, often much rarer than the books themselves
phototelephones to the delight of his loyal readers In 1954 a series was created featuring 18 year old Tom Swift, Jr. More fantastic in tone t han the original series, young Tom's adventures centered around things like the "ultraso nic cycloplane" and "atomic earth smasher." The last of this series of 33 books, Tom Swift and the Galaxy Ghosts, was issued in 1971. The Swift saga was very popular, th e original series alone having sold in excess of 6,500,000 copies. Both series are present in the Hudson Collection. Particularly notable are the fragile original dustjackets of the early Swift volumes. In some cases these dustjackets are the only known copies survivi ng and are much rarer than the books themselves. Among the more esoteric series in the Collection is H. Irving Hancock's "Conquest of the United States Series." Hancock was the creator of several popular series tracing the exploits of a group of friends through school and i nto adult life. Deeply concerned about America's grave military weakness, in 1916 he built a four volume series around his characters chronicling a hypothetical 1920 near-con quest of the United States by Imperial Germany. After three volumes of disastrous defeats, the nation rallied in the final volume to defeat the invaders through inventions such as a dvanced submarines, new bombs, and airborne infantry tactics. Quickly outdated by Amer ica's 1918 entry into World War I, the series did not sell well and few copies were printe d. Highly imaginative and well written, the four volumes of the Conquest series are among t he rarest and most highly sought after American boys' series books. They are avidly sought by science fiction buffs as well, making copies even more difficult to acquire. The H udson Collection is fortunate in having the full series, complete with the original dustjackets depicting spike-helmeted German troops marching past Independence Hall. The Harry K. Hudson Collection of American Juvenile Series Books is housed in the Special Collections Department of the USF Library. Books in the collection are available for use by interested persons in the departmental r eading room. Whether you are a serious student of American juvenile fiction or would just like to visit a few friends from your youth, you'll find a visit to the Hudson Collection a rewarding experience.
The Dime Novel in America, 1860-1925 by Paul Eugen Camp BANG! BANG! BANG! Another redskin bit the dust! Alt hough of questionable taste in a socially-conscious modern America, these words comprise perhaps the most frequently used single phrase in American literatur e. Between 1860 and the 1920s a dynasty of heroes like Buffalo Bill, Deadwood Dick, and Young Wild West blasted "redskins" tribe by tribe. This was the era of the "dime novel," an outpouring of cheap blood-and-thunder tales that in sheer quantity over shadows anything else in American fiction. For over five decades prolific dime noveli sts ground out fast-paced tales of romance and adventure for a readership ranging from statesmen to small boys. In its cutrate final form, the "nickel library," and dime nov el survived well into our own century. Castigated by clergymen, teachers, and librarians a s "...a devil-trap to captivate a child," the dime novel has also been termed by lite rary historians like Ralph D. Gardner "...our first genuinely native form of literature." In terms of sales and number of readers, the works of such literary titans as Hawthorne, Mel ville, and even Twain pale to insignificance beside those of dime novelists like Prentiss Ingraham. While Americans admired the likes of Moby Dick, for actual reading millions opted for gems like Deadwood Dick on Deck. Like the dinosaur, the dime novel dominated its wor ld in flourishing numbers; and like the great reptiles it perished in a changing environment. The fragile literary fossils that survive give litt le hint of the immense vitality and popularity dime novels once had. The typical "dime novel" story existed long before the dime novel itself. In a time before movies and tele vision Victorian Americans of all classes relied on readin g for entertainment to a degree media-oriented moderns mi ght find difficult to credit. Melodramatic novels were the "soap operas" of their day. Responding to heavy dem and for light fiction, popular writers of antebellum Am erica combined in their works the key elements of the dim e novel story: cliche plots, stock scenes and charact ers, and lots of melodramatic action. By the late 1850s all the components were present; only a suitably cheap form at was needed to start the flood. New York publisher Erastus F. Beadle was the man who opened the floodgates. In June 1860 his Beadle & Adams publishing house issued the grandmother of al l dime novels, Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter. A physically unimpressive volume roughly the size o f a modern paperback (though not as thick), Malaeska was a smashing success. People used to relatively expensi ve hardcover novels were enthralled by the idea of a whole novel for only a dime. Dime novels sold by the bale, and a silver tide of dimes flowed back to the coffers of Beadle & Adams. Beadle's aim in creating the dime novel was to fill much the same niche as the modern paperback. Far from sensational "wild and wo oly" juvenile adventure tales, Beadle's early dime novels were full-length stories for adults written by respectable For nearly 20 years, Tip Top Weekly chronicled the exploits of Frank Merriwell, pattern for the image of the All-American Boy.
popular authors. Malaeska herself was the creation of Anne Sophia Winterbotha m Stephens, a leading literary diva with dozens of co nventional romances to her credit. A Fenimore Cooperish tale of the colonial frontier (a nd painfully sentimental, to boot) the story was originally serialized in The Ladies' Companion. It typifies Beadle's original intent: to provide "quality" popular fiction in the smallest, cheapest format possible. His creation was certainly small and cheap; literary qu ality, however, soon proved to be expendable. WITH THE reading public's eager acceptance of Malaeska Beadle & Adams began issuing ten-cent romances on a weekly basis. By 186 3 the firm had sold over 2,500,000 dime novels, and this at a time when a sale of 20,0 00 copies made a novel a best seller. Slightingly referred to as "yellow-backs" (a term B eadle indignantly denied; they were, he said, salmon), the classic dime novels were smal l paperbound volumes, usually with highly imaginative illustrations on their covers to provide the only visual appeal. Inside each dime novel was a story from 20,000 to 40,000 w ords closely printed in small type. For thirty years Beadle & Adams rode the wave unlea shed by Malaeska, grinding out literally tons of cheap fiction that became cheaper as time went on. Though some of its competitors surpassed it in quantity of titles and sales, Beadle & Adams became and is still remembered as the most famous of all the dime novel publishing houses. Other publishers were quick to note the way Beadle was raking in the public's dimes. In short order imitators began cranking out ten-cen t fiction identical to Beadle's in all but name. The most successful competitor was English-bo rn George P. Munro, who had once worked for Beadle tying up packages of dime novels. Fierce competition (including some from candy interests who also angled for the public 's dimes) soon brought prices down to a nickel a novel, driving the higher priced dime pu blication from the field. This brought about the curious situation that for most of its ca reer the "dime novel" actually sold for 5¢. The original term had, however, indelibly imprint ed itself on the American language. It remained in use as a generic term for the type o f fiction regardless of actual selling price. Price wasn't the only thing brought down by cutthro at competition. As rival firms fought to outdo each other in blood-and-thunder fic tion, dime novel literature entered the period of rampant sensationalism that came to chara cterize the genre, the era of the prolific hack writer. Earning as little as $75 for even a best seller, dime novel kings like Colonel Prentiss Ingraham were known on occasion to whip out a 30,000-word novel in one day. The literary quality of such instant maste rpieces was about what you'd expect. There were a lot of them, however, and the public w asn't any more critical than most TV viewers are today. The dimes and nickels kept rolli ng in, and that's what counted. The staple of the dime novel from the beginning was the "western." Starting with tales of colonial long-rifles and woodsrunners, as the frontier moved towards the far west so did the dime novel story. Slaughtering Indians a nd buffalo alike, dime novelists chronicled the thrilling "adventures" of Buffalo Bi ll, Jesse James, and Calamity Jane, creating fantastic folk heroes from real people. Sl ightly less real were pure fantasies like Young Wild West, and Diamond Dick, Jr. (a rugged la d whose given name was "Bertie"). Under resounding titles like Double Dan the Dastard, or the Pirates of the Pecos rustlers were foiled, villains confounded, and damsels saved from fates worse than death, while "redskins" became an endangered species. Historical ly these "journals of border history" are decidedly suspect to a great extent, however, t hey created and popularized the
romantic image of the American West. IN THE COURSE of the 1870s and 1880s additional types of heroes and stories found their way into the dime novel. With the appearance of Old Cap Collier in 1883, the master detective joined the wild riders of the plains in the dime novel pantheon. In these ten cent thrillers, unlike the modern detective story from page one neither the reader nor the intrepid dime novel detective had any doubt as to "who done it." The whole question was whether the astute investigator would manage to catch the master criminal, or instead fall victim to the scoundrel's diabolical wiles. Most famous of all the dime novel detectives was the renowned Nick Carter, whose hair-raising adventures held public interest from 1886 into the 1930s. Other varieties of settings and characters entered dime novel plots as writers responded to the interests of an increasingly urbanized, technology-conscious America. Perhaps the most influential pre-1900 American science fiction stories were the dime novels written by Luis P. Senarens. In 1876 Senaren s created a Tom Swift-like boy inventor named Frank Reade, Jr. Writing as "Noname, Senarens studded his stories with a fantastic array of scientific marvels from airshi ps to submarines. Jules Verne himself wrote Senarens a congratulatory letter, and more si gnificantly, "borrowed" some of Senarens' ideas. Frank Reade's adventures appeared in various formats from the 1870s to the demise of Frank Reade Weekly Magazine in 1904. The most noticeable trend as the century neared its close was the change from adult characters like Buffalo Bill and Nick Carter to you ths and boys as dime novel heroes. From the first action-packed dime novels appealed s trongly to boys. As time went on, publishers catered more and more to the interests o f the youth market. Stories of schoolground and sports field joined the dime novel lineup. With the introduction of clean-living young supermen like Fred Fearnot and Y oung Wide Awake (that's his name, not his state of consciousness) it became more impo rtant that a hero pitch an unhitable baseball than pot the ubiquitous "redskin" at a tho usand yards. Gradually the adult dime novel became the juvenile "nickel library." The ultimate incarnation of the new "nickel library hero was Tip Top Weekly's incomparable Frank Merriwell, whose saga covered ne arly twenty years (1896-1914) and totaled in sale over 20,000,000 copies. Created by veteran dime novelist Gilbert Patten (writing as "Burt L. Standish"), Frank was the peer less athlete and scholar every turn-ofthe-century American boy wanted to be. A far cry fr om the blood-and-guts likes of Deadwood Dick, he neither smoked, gambled, or drank spiritous beverages. "Don't you know," he once exclaimed, "you can't drink that stu ff and play good baseball?" Fearless Boy inventor Frank Reades adventures appeared from 1876 to 1904. Jules Verne himself borrowed ideas from Franks futuristic inventions.
and ever-successful, Frank became the heroic ideal of several generations of young American males. As the early dime novels shaped the image of the American West, so Frank Merriwell gave us the lasting figure of the All-American boy." DEBATE on the influence of "media violence" predate s television and movies by a good many decades. The dime novel almost from the b eginning was flayed by moralists as a corrupter of youth. Often gruesomely gory in t heir lurid details, dime novels were, however, chaste where ladies were concerned. Maurau ding Indians might burn the heroine at the stake or force her to marry the chie f, but however dark the villainy she could count on meeting her fate with virtue intact. Franklin K. Mathiews, Chief Scout Librarian for the Boy Scou ts of America launched repeated polemics against the sini ster nickel libraries, calling them "...vile five-cent s torypapers." Pretty strong language for the likes of Fred Fearnot's Newsboy Friend, or a Hero in Rags. It is obvious from their comments that few leaders in the fight against the dime novel peril had ever bothered to r ead one. The nickel library was the dime novel's last stand against competition by newer, more innovative forms of entertainment, most notably the easily-assimilated sensationalism of the movie industry. When the nick el library lost its grip on the pocket money of Americ an boys in the early years of this century, the dime novel era was over. Though neither great literature nor high art, the d ime novel fills a unique and significant niche in Ameri can history. Chronicling the great westward movement an d the rise of a modern, industrialized nation, it was per haps the most distinctively American fiction ever produced. Though long dismissed as the ultimate in "trashy" writing, dime novels played an important role in forming the way generations of Americans looked at their world. Perhaps the dime novel, in view of the wider public it reached, did more to shape the popular attitudes of the nation than the great classics of American lite rature. The USF Library is fortunate in having an extensive collection of dime novels and nickel libraries. Although concentration is in the area of the nickel library, the earlier formats are also well represented. Containing nearl y 8,000 items, the USF dime novel collection is housed in the rare books section of t he Library's Special Collections Department. It provides an invaluable resource for the study of this too often neglected segment of America's literary heritage. The staple of the dime novel was the western. Blood-and-thunder sagas like this one played a major role in shaping the romantic myth of the American West.
The Chapbook and Toy Book in America THESE SLIM BITS of our literary history, like so mu ch of early American culture, largely derive from British examples. The road of t his commerce was not always a oneway street, but certainly the great majority of our literature in this genre appeared earlier in British editions. The Chapbook as popular litera ture dates back at least as far as the 17th Century in England and the 18th Century in Ame rica. We, however, have chosen to limit our collecting to 19th Century examples. In m aking purchases we are seeking important American examples, realizing that we cann ot hope to build an exhaustive collection of both British and American titles. The itinerant vendor from at least as early as the 16th Century was known as a chapman. This name was derived from the same source as "cheap." It is certain that the books among the other goods that he hawked were che ap in the modern sense of the word. The term "chapbooks" was not used as descriptive of these items until the 19th Century. In general the subject matter of the chapbooks was of an extremely popular nature. Tales, ballads, and occasionally religious tracts were the staples of the trade. The majority of the chapbooks concentrated on the sensational rather than the edifying, though morals were drawn from the most unlikely of tales. This was a type of publication which was obviously "made" for the presentation of material for children, and chapbooks play an important, if minor, role in this branch of literature. The Oxford Companion to American Literature indicates the change that took place in the chapboo k as it crossed the Atlantic. The following is a condensed paraphrase: Chapbooks, pamphlet editions of popular literature widely distributed in the early United States, particularly during the first decade s of the 19th Century. Like the English publications of the same type they included various material such as ballads, jokes, fables, biographies, moral stories, and orations. M ason Weems (Parson Weems of the Washington Cherry Tree fable) was an author and peddlar of chapbooks. Chap books shared with newspapers and almanacs the most import ant place in the dissemination of popular literature in their time. PERHAPS THE MOST evident change in the chapbook in its transatlantic passage was an increased interest in the didactic role of t hese little pamphlets. Both in the field of religion and as pure instruction in the nursery our American heritage of Puritanism gleams brightly. The sensational and sometimes bawd y British chapbook was little seen on this side of the water. The English chapbook imported into America was wide ly copied by American publishers. A large number of businesses specialize d, at least for a time, in this form of juvenile literature. In point of sheer numbers the American chapbook or toy book, and we are using the terms as roughly synonomous, reached its zenith between 1820 and 1850. These pre-Victorian toy books should not be confuse d with the harlequinade, the toy The Protestant ethic shines brightly in this circa 1800 story, illustrating the heavy didactic tone of American chapbooks.
stage, the flowery-bowery foldout in tri-dimensiona l form, and other types of Victorian era toy books. Such firms as the Babcocks in New Ha ven, Connecticut, Grout in Worcester, Massachusetts, Kiggins and Kellogg in Ne w York City, and Rufus Merrill in Concord, New Hampshire, ground out huge quantities of these little books. In physical size they range from the 2 x 3 of Merrill's to ys to the 4 x 7 1/4 of a Cinderella printed by Sprague in Albany, or a Little Red Riding Hood published by Preble in New York City. The covers of these little paperbound bo oks were usually decorated with a woodcut that may, or may not, have had some relevan ce to the subject. On many of those items that did not have illustrated covers a decora tive border was used. The illustrations of those items produced in the earliest years of th e 19th Century are often most naive in their execution and only the untutored eyes of earl y youth in a rural society could have taken them seriously. Despite the crude execution o f the pictures, they were a bright spot in what was a drab world of reading for the youth o f the time. The best of the toy books have reasonably well executed hand-colored cuts that lend much to the total effect of the little book. It is easy to see how some of the items in our collection might have been the prized posses-sion of some child of a time long since gone. Many of the chapbooks had only eight leaves and taking out space for the pictures there was little room left for text. What text there was usually was extremely simple and brief. The approach was direct and little attempt at subtlety was made. One of the best known illustrators of the toy books of the early 19th Century was a New York physician by the name of Alexander Anderso n. Much of Anderson's woodcut work was done for Samuel Wood of New York but he st ill found time to engrave for publishers in other cities. His illustrations are t o be found in toy books printed in Boston and Philadelphia as well as in the publications of Sidney Babcock of New Haven, Connecticut. The best of Anderson's work coincided with the years of Babcock's most prolific output of children's books, between 1805 a nd 1840. In style, the greater part of Anderson's work is derived from the wood engravings of Thomas Bewick and while no match for Bewick, it remains creditable work. There are several types of chapbooks which were rep eatedly printed by a large number of publishers apparently in response to heav y sales. One of the most common of these was the ABC or primer. While vast numbers of these were printed only a relatively small number persist to this day. With material of this kind which at best is most fragile, the repeated handling by generations of children in sures the disappearance of most The two classic toybooks at right illustrate the ea rly American tendency to borrow from popular English editions, even down to the cover illustrations. At left is a similar Ameri can toybook telling the rather grim original version of Little Red Rid ing Hood.
copies. The ABC books usually gave a page to capita l letters, a page to lower case letters, and the balance of the text to an illustration and perhaps a rhyme for each of the 26 letters. Some of the more ambitious examples contai ned lessons utilizing the letters in simple sentences. Rarely did these little primers a ttempt the inclusion of stories. IN THE UNIVERSITY of South Florida chapbook collect ion are found a large number of books about beasts or birds. Of course th e zoological or ornithological information is of the most elementary kind, but non e the less the pictures go a long way toward making up for what the text may lack. The hu man expression placed on the face of a smirking leopard or other beast might have hel ped little John or Mary to relate to the jungle, but only brings a smile to our face today. A particularly amusing piece of work in the animal category is one that bears the cover title Natural History of Animals published in Worcester, Massachusetts by J. Grout, Jr. This fragile pamphlet of 24 pages in bri ght yellow paper covers dates from circa 1840. In addit ion to having a full page devoted to the alphabet in upper and lower case together with the arabic numerals there are about a dozen delightful wood engravings of camels, goats, wolves, wild boars, and other beasts; not th e least of which is a representation of a smugly happy Cony (sic) with her equally happy offspring. Perhaps a n ot too enlightening but thoroughly delightful production. The moral tale or fable played a very large role in the total output of American Chapbooks. The single larg est publisher was the American Sunday School Union whic h kept hundreds of titles in print for half a century Both the union and the American Tract Society as well as commercial publishers brought out masses of childre n's material. Much of what appeared was designed specifically to bring the youth into a happy accept ance of Christian doctrine. At the same time the social att itudes of American society stand revealed in relation to such questions as minorities, the poor and deference to authority. While the message carried in many of the commercially published items is somewhat more subtl e it still displayed a clearcut and unequivocal moral. A typical chapbook published abo ut 1850 by the American Sunday School Union is Mossetse, the African Orphan Boy. In this story the orphan survives many perils in heathen ignorance for some ten pages and the truth is brought home to him in four pages of doctrinal writing. A sentence from the final page reveals the level of appeal: "The African Orphan would not have known who had saved him in all his dangers if the missionaries had not been sent to preach the gospel in his land." A great number of small poetry collections appeared in the toy book format in the 1830's through 1850's. In reading many of them the selection of verses to be included is most puzzling to modern eyes. Kiggins and Kellogg i n New York City published a typical little book around 1850 with the title Little Poems for Little Children. This 16page toy book begins with the Lord's Prayer and end s with a poem in ten stanzas titled Santaclaw and other childhood fantasies are, according to this little tract, downright reprehensible. It was first issued by New York publisher Samuel Wood in 1814.
The Tempest, from which we quote in hope of conveying to you the incongruity of so much of this writing: "Hark! 'tis the tempest's hollow sound The bursting thunder and the rain; While dark and heavy clouds unbound, In torrents fall upon the plain. And does this tempest rage in vain? Ah yes! a Power indeed presides; The flash, unloosed from out his hand Proclaims in thunder-God is there!" THIS OLD TESTAMENT vision of a vengeful almighty al so includes drowning sailors shrieking and moaning before arriving at th e final verse. Hardly the sort of thing we think of as little poems for little children. One final class of material published in the chapbo oks may be called the practical or factual type. This includes description of various trades, travelogues, biographies of the famous and somewhat surprisingly attempts at debunk ing. An example of the debunking chapbook is False Stories Corrected, a tiny item of 24 thin pages printed in New York City by Samuel Wood in 1814. "The work opens with an essay on the reprehensiblen ess of impressing the infant mind with wrong ideas, and The Fakenham Ghost by Robert Bloomfield is quoted in full to illustrate the effect of fear on the imagination "The terrible effects of an improper education in o ur treatment of our less fortunate neighbours is then shown, and finally, the folly of believing in Mermaids, Fairies, harpies, griffons, that salamanders live in fire, i n the phoenix, centaurs, Jack Frost, and Santaclaw (sic): 'such a creature as Jack Frost nev er existed, any more than old Santaclaw, of whom so often little children hear su ch foolish stories; and once in the year are encouraged to hang their stockings in the chimn ey at night, and when they arise in the morning, they find in them cakes, nuts, money, &c. placed there by some of the family, which they are told Old Santaclaw has come down chi mney in the night and put in. Thus the little innocents are imposed on by those who ar e older than they, and improper ideas take possession which are not by any means profitab le."' How very far we have come since those days in our a ttitudes toward children and their literature. This brief excursion into chapbook literature hardl y reveals the wealth of insight that can be gained by a more leisurely perusal of these toys of 150 years ago. We welcome you to examine the growing collection at the USF Li brary. -J.B.Dobkin
Collecting Children's Books in the Tampa Bay Area by J. B. Dobkin WHILE THE TAMPA BAY area is a poor hunting ground f or most antiquarian books, it is possible to develop a children's book collection of reasonable quality using local resources. If the collector is interested in new material, tha t is, currently "in print" books, then any bookseller can obtain whatever titles may be of interest. We will discuss types of collections in detail below. When the collector decides that his interests lie o utside the scope of current publications then it is important to know what is a vailable in the area. Although both paperback books and comics are legitimate areas of collecting, we are not knowledgeable in this aspect of the book trade and thus cannot gi ve advice on building such collections. In hardcover children's books that are considered o ut of print and therefore form a part of antiquarian book trade, there are many aven ues of collecting that can be followed. Some of the types of books you may seek, if the cat egory piques your interest and curiosity, are as follows. Individual author or illustrator collections. There have been a number of prolific authors who wrote children's books. Whether you are interested in 19th Century figures such as Louisa Mae Alcott and Frances Hodgson Burne tt or such a popular author as Horatio Alger, or authors of the G. A. Henty, Harry Castlemon, or Edward S. Ellis era, any of these individuals would present a collecting challenge and the number of items available are difficult to comprehend. Many later f igures, particularly in boys and girls series books, from the Tom Swift days up to World W ar II are collectible and gaining rapidly in value. Books of authors who live in Flor ida or books with Florida locales are also possible starting points. Books with illustrations by an artist you admire ma ke lovely collections, whether it is Rackham, Maxfield Parrish, Randolph Caldecott, or s omeone still working such as Maurice Sendak. Children's books on a given subject area such as na tural history or a portion of that general area such as birds, flowers, or animals mak e an impressive grouping. The field of history in the literature of youth with emphasis on a place, period, or event is also a possibility. BOOKS ON ANY of these fields and many more besides can be found in area bookstores and flea markets. We are not attempting to advertise for any dealer and thus can only suggest some of the places you might look for books. In Tampa a number of books can be found at Ybor Square, the Book Shack a t the Top Value Flea Market, and local thrift shops such as Goodwill and Salvation A rmy. St. Petersburg has Haslams, Lighthouse, and other bookstores as well as its fle a markets and thrift shops. Garage sales and auctions also reveal occasional treasures among the trash. Most antique dealers have a few books lying around and sometimes they are rea sonable in price. There is literally an avalanche of children's books being published today. In the two decades of the 1950's and 1960's more children's bo oks appeared in the U.S. than in the preceding fifty years. We suggest that a trip to yo ur public library and a scanning of your booksellers shelves might be a good starting place for the fledgling collector of current
books to begin. In collecting children's books no less than any oth er type of literature it is most necessary to become really expert in the field you choose to collect. There are bibliographies and other aids as well as the expert ise of seasoned collectors that the neophyte can rely on. Any field of collecting pursu ed over a long period of time represents a large investment both in terms of time and money. To avoid wasting these it is necessary that you learn well the scope and intr icacies of your chosen field. (There are sure to be more than enough intricacies and unanswe red questions to make the most avid and alert student realize the magnitude of the task ahead.) As you become more aware of current market values f or individual items it will become possible for you to receive catalogs and quo tations from specialist dealers both in America and abroad. You may even wish to have a dea ler or other representative bid on an item or items coming up for sale at one of the m any auctions of books being held periodically in a number of major cities. The game of collecting can become exciting and it is a game that literally has no end. We do not wish to belabor the obvious, but it is pe rhaps wise to write a final word on the importance of condition in establishing the val ue of books. Complete in all parts including dust jacket, if originally issued with on e, is the minimum to strive for. Beyond that the various gradations such as mint, fine, ver y good, good, fair, reading copy, etc., must be learned by experience in conjunction with s omeone who is already initiated in the art of book collecting. We would be happy to advise collectors and help in any way that might prove of use to you in this worthwhile and often exciting pursui t.
Associates' Events & Activities Second Annual Library Associates Book Sale: As many Bay area book-lovers are aware, the second annual USF Library Associates Book Sale was held on November 5-7, 1978, in the ba llroom of the University Center building on the USF Tampa campus. The event began w ith a reception and sale preview for Associates members on the evening of the 5th, w ith the public portion of the sale opening on Monday, the 6th. At noon on November 7th the doors closed on a room full of virtually empty display tables. Most persons who stopped by the sale found at least a book or two worth picking up, while some found trea sures by the bagful. At prices ranging from 25¢ to $1 for most hardcover books, th e sale provided a rich hunting ground for Tampa's reading public as well as a major sourc e of funds for the Associates' programs. Staffing for the sale was provided by volunteers fr om the USF Department of Library, Media, and Information Studies, through the good of fices of Dr. Fred Pfister. In return for the splendid service rendered, the Associates Board has designated a portion of the proceeds to go to the Department to support its pro grams. Special mention must also be made of Mr. Horst Joost's invaluable contribution t o the sale's success. A professional bookseller and member of the Associates Board, Mr. Joost put in many hours in pricing the thousands of sale books. We also express our co ntinuing gratitude to the many Associates members and other friends whose generous donations of unwanted books provided the essential element of all successful book sales: books! In spite of the almost total sell out in November, we have already received many hundreds of books for the next one. We'll need the help of all our friends to make the next sale the best yet, so if you have unwanted books, please keep us in mind. For informa tion relative to donations, please call us at 974-2731. Book Evaluation Sessions: On the evening of January 25, 1979, the Associates sponsored what proved to be one of the most successful events we've held to date, a rare book evaluation session. Between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. a group of rare book expert s composed of USF Special Collections Librarian, J. B. Dobkin, and antiquaria n booksellers, Horst Joost and Michael Slicker, examined books brought in by Associates me mbers and the public. Although formal appraisals were not conducted, the expert bo okmen gave opinions as to the value and rarity of the items brought in. Due to time lim itations, persons attending the event were requested to bring only one or two books to be examined. Although no exact count was kept, in excess of 150 persons took advantage o f the opportunity to obtain an expert opinion on their treasured books. The evaluation se ssion was followed by a panel discussion about what makes books rare and valuable which was attended by more than eighty persons. There was no charge for either eval uation session or lecture for Associates members, though a token donation was acc epted by non-members. All three experts were surprised by the quantity and quality of the materials brought for evaluation. Included in the items examined were incunabula, val uable first editions, and original documents signed by figures ranging from Kaiser Fri edrich Wilhelm of Germany to American presidents.
On the following Thursday, February 1, 1979, a seco nd evaluation session/panel discussion was held in the auditorium at the USF Ba yboro Campus in St. Petersburg. The evaluation team at this event was composed of Mr. D obkin, Mr. Slicker, and Mr. Chris Hartmann of Parker's Bookstore in Sarasota. Over on e hundred persons attended the St. Petersburg session, with many additional fine books turning up among those brought for examination. The two events were overwhelmingly successful, both from our point of view and from that of the many people who took advantage of the chance to find out something about their old books. Thanks are due to the profes sional bookmen who so generously donated their time and services to make the events memorable occasions. We look forward to making such evaluation seminars regular Associates events.
Notable Acquisitions DURING the past quarter the Library has been most f ortunate in receiving many useful additions to its research collections. Rangi ng from single items to sizeable collections, each of these generous gifts has in it s own way contributed towards our goal of a better Library for the University and its comm unity. Among the fine items contributed by our friends, two are of particular n ote. A major collection of fine books and other material s has been received from two of our long-time benefactors, Dr. and Mrs. David P. Wo llowick of Sarasota. Among the many items were additions to the Feliks Topolski wo rks the Wollowicks previously placed in our collection. Additionally, among the m aterials donated were many examples of fine printing, including books from the Kelmscot t, Doves, and Cranach presses. Accompanying the collection were two of the rarest volumes issued by the Limited Editions Club, the Picasso-illustrated edition of Joyc e's Ulysses signed by the artist, and Aristophanes' Lysistrata illustrated and signed by Henri Matisse. These and the other fine works comprising the donation are most valuable add itions to the USF rare books collection. One of the most exciting additions of this past qua rter was the donation by Mr. Frank Laumer of Dade City of the manuscript journal kept by Lt. Henry Prince during his U.S. Army service in Florida during the 2nd Seminole War s (1836-42). Later a Union general during the Civil War, Prince took part in many of i mportant actions of the war, including the Battle of the Withlacoochee and the recovery of bodies from the Dade Massacre site. His service included duty at Tampa's Fort Brooke. F ull of interesting details and incidents, the journal is well-written and makes fa scinating reading. Included are many fine sketches of Florida locales, including Fort Br ooke and Fort Foster in what is now Hillsborough River State Park. A document of statewide significance, the Prince drawing of Fort Foster has already caused one major revision in the reconstruction of the fort currently being built in the park. Although it may not be reproduced at present, the journal is available for examination by qualified s cholars in the Special Collections Department. In addition to these major acquisitions, we must ma ke mention of the many books that have been given to the Associates specifically for next year's annual book sale. Several large donations have been received, notably a large body of material donated by Book World of Tampa. Although there's still a numbe r of months to go until next November's sale, we urge our friends who have books they do not need that a donation for the sale is a good way to help the Library, not to mention the fringe benefit of getting good books to people who have a use for them. Don't wait, donate!
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARY ASSOCIATES BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mr. Michael Slicker, President Mr. J. B. Dobkin, Executive Secretar y Mrs. Dorothy Biel Mr. Horst K. Joost Mrs. Douglas Phillips Mr. Dudley Clendinen Mr. Arnold Kotler Dr. William Scheuerle Mrs. Barbara Dalby Mrs. Lee Leavengood Mr. Terry A Smiljanich Mr. Bruce Fleury Ms. Jane Little Mr. Richard Stei n Mrs. Nancy Ford Dr. Fred Pfister Mr. A. Bronson T hayer Mrs. Mary Lou Harkness Mrs. Ann Prevost Mr. Willia m Zewadski Any person who wishes to help in furthering the goa ls of the USF Library Associates is eligible to become a member. Regular, sustaining, p atron, corporate, and student memberships are available on an annual basis (Septe mber 1 to August 31). Student memberships are open only to regularly enrolled stu dents of the University of South Florida, and are valid only so long as the member r emains a regular USF student. Life memberships are also available to interested person s. Membership in the Associates includes a subscriptio n to Ex Libris, a journal of articles and news about Associates activities, libr ary developments, and other topics likely to be of interest to Bay area bibliophiles. The member is also entitled to attend all Associates functions and, in addition, is eligible for book loan privileges at the University Library, subject to prevailing library regulations. So, if you are interested in helping us to obtain a better library for the University and its community, and want to participate in the many services and activities offered to members by the Library Associates, please use the m embership blank below and become one of us today.
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Ex libris :
b journal of the USF Library Associates.
n Vol. 2, no. 3 (winter 1979).
p Winter, 1979
Tampa, Fla. :
USF Library Associates.
c winter 1979
Exhibits -- Old friends and older strangers : American juvenile series books -- The dime novel in America, 1860-1925 -- The chapbook and toy book in America -- Collecting children's books in the Tampa Bay area -- Associates events & activities -- Notable acquisitions.
University of South Florida.
USF Library Associates.
Ex Libris: Journal of the USF Library Associates