The aggregate print runs of these 64 items total 78,270 and average 1,223. The question next is how many of these specific items and how many copies of each are found in libraries, the assumed safest and most logical place for such material to be found. To find out I searched for each in the OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center database of books et al held by about 40,000 participating libraries. For 34 of the 64 items I find at least one example in the OCLC. For the other 30 no examples are identified. For the 34 with at least one copy a total of 324 copies are found. Therefore, for about half [47%] of Munsell's early production, there are no examples in the OCLC and for the other half an average of nine. For 14 of these items 10 or more copies are found representing 255 of the 324 examples identified in the OCLC. For the other 20 items there are only 69 copies. There is the distinct impression of feast and famine.
|Publications & Copies||Present||Absent||Total *||OCLC Copies|
|400 or less Copies||6||16||22 / 4,445||11|
|401 to 1000||17||13||30 / 22,375||190|
|1,001 to 4,000||9||0||9 / 19,450||74|
|4000+||2||1||3 / 32,000||49|
* Number of Munsell print jobs and total copies printed
The size of the print run and the number of pages provide some clues about survival rates. For the 64 items in Munselliana with specified print runs the total of all copies printed is 78,270 and the 34 items for which at least one example is present 53,585 or 68.5% of the total. Thirty items representing 31.5% that were printed in an aggregate quantity of 24,685 are not found in the OCLC. It's apparent some items survive in disproportionate numbers and others perish disproportionately. For the items that are found in the OCLC their holdings comprise 6/10ths of 1% of the original print runs and the average print run is 1,576. For the 30 items for which no examples are located in the OCLC the average print run is smaller: 823 but this doesn't explain why some items are held by many libraries and other items have not a single copy. Not surprisingly the number of copies printed is a complicated variable involving judgments, preferences and luck or lack of it.