Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2006 Issue

A Review of Bill McBride's E-First Edition Guide

Circle

Useful software for identifying first editions from publisher Bill McBride.


by Renée Magriel Roberts

Having reviewed Bill McBride's latest edition of A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions in book form in AE Monthly, I was pleased to see a new version (taken from the Sixth Revised Edition) of the Guide in software format. Since I am glued to my computer whenever I'm doing data entry, it seemed useful to have the Guide in its own window, ready to answer questions about whether or not a particular book is indeed a first edition.

Like its paper cousin, the E-First Edition Guide is organized around an alphabetical listing of publishers. As software, this publisher list is searchable by typing all or part of its name. The E-Guide uses the same abbreviation scheme as the printed book, which does take getting used to; however, by mousing over the definition, the full explanation is revealed. Since each publisher not only comes up with its own scheme for defining its first editions (and sometimes no scheme at all), and is not consistent within its own publishing history, a guide such as this is invaluable for figuring out when a book is actually a first.

The search function will also pick out a string of letters within a name. Searching for "Wood," for example, will display a list of publishers starting with that word, such as Wood & Holbrook, but then will also find the same string within a word, such as "Arrowood Press". It's important to note that this publisher list (in both the book and the E-Guide) is not comprehensive. So if you are in doubt you may have to do further research by looking at cues within the book itself, such as the typography of the number or letter line of printings, dated introductions and prefaces correlated with publication dates, advertisements of other works which can place the book after others are published, peculiarities of the dustjacket (understanding that a jacket and book may be "married" from different sources), reliable bibliographies, and of course the collected wisdom of fellow dealers on other antiquarian sites.

First issue points, the subject of McBride's other work (still in print form), can also pinpoint a first edition in major nineteenth- and twentieth-century authors. To McBride's credit, he actively solicits corrections and additions to the work, which is why it is now in its sixth edition, both in print form and in the E-Guide. We would all benefit from active collaboration in this work, so as you explore some of the smaller publishers who have not made it into the E-Guide I encourage you to contact McBride with information to update his work. An online suggestion form on McBride's site would benefit everybody -- such as the one Amazon is now using to create Marketplace listings, as well as to amend them.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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