In the following lists of novels, published by Irwin P. Beadle, Irwin P. Beadle & Co., Irwin & Co., Beadle & Adams, Frank Starr & Co., Adams, Victor & Co., and Adams & Co., the various series are generally arranged in the order of appearance of their first numbers. The only exceptions are that Beadle's Dime Library follows immediately after Frank Starr's New York Library, of which it was a direct continuation, and that the octavo editions of the Waverley Library and the Boy's Library follow their respective quarto editions, which they succeeded. Except for the Ivers continuations of the Dime Library and the Half-Dime Library, which showed no break in the numbers, no reprints by other publishers have been listed. To have listed all of the late reprints by Ivers, Westbrook, and the many English publishers would have served no useful purpose. After all, this is a book of the House of Beadle. The English reprints by the London branch of Beadle & Co., of course are included, as is also the continuation of the American Library by Routledge.
The novels are listed below, under each series, in their proper numerical sequence. Following each number appears the author's name as it is given on the title page, regardless of whether it is a true name or a nom-de-plume. Possible exceptions are the use of the true name instead of such well-known sobriquets as "Buffalo Bill," "Texas Jack," etc. † The true name is also used where the title page bears the words 'By the author of So-and-So,' and where the name of the author can be found in the Index of Titles in the back of Volume II of this work. Then follows the complete title of the novel and the date of publication. Since very few of the novels before April 1, 1879, were dated, these dates were obtained either from announcements in preceding numbers, or from newspaper advertisements which stated that the novel was "Ready today," or "To be issued" on such and such a date. In some cases the "to be issued" and the "ready" dates differed by a few days. In such cases, when the novels came out at regular intervals, the proper date is interpolated. A few dates are given with question marks after them, indicating that no announcements were found, and that the novels were being issued at irregular intervals.
Following the dates in the lists are symbols indicating the various preceding and succeeding printings of the same novel. These are arranged in every case in the order of appearance, so that, in any list, the original issue appears first. In certain cases there are comments such as "Preceded by No. —," or "Followed by No. —." These refer to companion stories or stories in sequence, and should not be mistaken for the reprints of the same story such as have just been mentioned. Finally, there is given under the first Beadle printing of a novel, except when the title is self-explanatory, but not under reprints, a very brief synopsis giving the date of the story if it could be determined, and the locale. Most of the undated stories have their action contemporaneous with the time of writing.
It would have been useless to have given, under each novel, a collation of advertisements, etc., that characterize a first edition. Such an attempt would have necessitated the comparison of many copies of each number, but since the novels are in many cases extremely rare, this could not have been accomplished. Collectors should be glad to obtain copies of any edition. In general, however, it may be said that first editions, as well as early printings, contain advertisements of no more than one or two books of the series in advance of the number of the book itself. It was Beadle's custom, in most cases, when reprinting a novel, to bring the catalogue or list of titles up to date; consequently in later editions there may be listed from half a dozen to hundreds of titles of succeeding issues.
The Dime Novels, New Dime Novels, Pocket Novels, Half-Dime Library, Boy's Library, Pocket Library, etc., contain approximately 35,000 words each, while the Dime Library and the Twenty Cent Novels contain about 70,000. The stories in the Saturday Journal and the Banner Weekly were of different lengths, suitable for reprinting in one or the other of the two groups. Occasionally stories reprinted from other publications were of such lengths that more than the normal number of pages was required. In such cases the size of the type was reduced, or an additional number of pages was used. Rarely was the price increased and a double number issued. Reprints from earlier Beadle series were in some cases printed from the old plates, cut and patched to fill the required size of the new pages. In other cases the stories were entirely reset.
In the following lists, wrappers and headings which were altered, and consequently are different types of the novels in a series, are designated by Roman numerals and letters, the latter indicating the series to which the novel belongs. These are shown in the illustrations. Thus, Type I-DN is the first type of the Dime Novel, Type III-DBL is the third type of the Dime Biographical Library, and so on. To have used one series of type numbers for all the booklets from first to last would have been confusing. Where interesting illustrations on the wrappers serve the purpose as well as those on first numbers, they have been given the preference as examples of types.
It is possible that some errors may be found in the lists because they were begun before my own collection was large, and titles were in some cases taken from lists in the backs of other novels. In certain cases the advertised titles differ somewhat from those on the novels themselves. These I have tried to correct in all cases as my own collection grew, but some may have been overlooked. Let us hope, not many. It is also possible that a title may have been advertised under the author's true name, when it was a well-known one, such as Ellis or Mrs. Victor, instead of the pseudonym under which it was published. I hope that I have verified all, although some may have slipped through. For such errors I hope to be forgiven— and corrected.