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Books of the Month 1896-1943

A unique archive of books published in the first part of the 20th Century

Books of the Month is a complete 50-year run of bookstore catalogs originally published by The Dial , the foremost literary journal of the day founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1840. Spanning 1896-1943, often referred to as the golden years of American book publishing, Books of the Month was harvested from 500 monthly issues bound in 42 annual catalogs that passed into the public domain in the 1970s. Imprinted with the name of individual booksellers who paid The Dial to produce announcements of recently published and forthcoming books to give to their best customers, this time capsule of trade publishing and popular culture contains listings for some 100,000 books published in the U.S. by the most important commercial book publishers, and include brief descriptions arranged by subject category, author notes and photos, bestseller lists, review snippets, Christmas gift recommendations, and original art and advertisements.

With Books of the Month you can discover forgotten titles and track their popularity over time, rediscover the rise of now classic works, and analyze social issues and literary themes of the time through the prism of an evolving and increasingly dynamic trade publishing industry as it markets the pre-war American catalog.

  • 100,000 trade book titles for adults
    and children
  • 60,000 brief descriptions
  • 3,000 review snippets
  • 17,000 bestsellers
  • 6,000 forthcoming books
  • 14,000 original ads
  • 2,500 author photos
  • 3,700 author notes
  • Scans of over 500 original monthly
    issues in their entirety