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Beadle's New York Dime Library
The New York Dime Library

Beadle's New York Dime Library (Fig. 63) was generally spoken of in advertisements as Beadle''s Dime Library, or simply as the Dime Library, the words "New York" being considered of minor importance. This "library" had a beginning similar to Frank Starr's American Novels. It began, not with No. 1, but with No. 27. It was a successor to and replacement of Frank Starts New York Library which ended with No. 26 on February 7, 1878. It is true that Nos. 1 to 26 are found with the Beadle heading; in fact are very much more common in that form than they are with the original Starr heading, but they are all reprints. Very rarely a copy is found with the new Beadle heading pasted over the original Starr. Number 27, with the new name, appeared on February 19, 1878, twelve days after the appearance of the last Starr. Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street, was the publishers' imprint.

While the reprints with the Beadle heading were made from the same plates as the original Starr's New York Library, some of the early numbers suffered a reduction in the number of pages as well as the change in heading. Where the novels carried at the back an installment of a second tale, this was removed and a short story of fewer pages was substituted. The reprints were not made at any definite date, but whenever any of the earlier numbers of Frank Starr's New York Library was sold out, it was simply reprinted with the new heading. The running head in the reissues remained "The New York Library" since the old stereotype plates were used, and it was only with No. 27 that this became "Beadle's Dime Library." Even this running head was dropped after No. 64. That the first 26 issues with the Beadle heading are reprints is shown, furthermore, by the fact that the dime in the title of the series is dated 1878. It would have been 1877 had No. 1 been an original.

The dates of publication, from No. 27, February 19, 1878, to No. 37, April 30, 1878, were just a week apart. No. 38 came eight days after No. 37; the day of publication having been changed from Tuesday to Wednesday so that it would not appear on the newsstands on the same day as the recently begun Half-Dime Library. The Dime Library continued to appear at weekly intervals to No. 44, after which it was biweekly to No. 106, November 3, 1880. Thereafter it was again weekly until No. 1009 appeared on February 23, 1898. This was the last number bearing the imprint of Beadle & Adams. No. 1010, March, 1898, bore the name M. J. Ivers & Co., and with the change in publishers, the "library" was changed from a weekly at five dollars a year to a monthly at one dollar. The monthly intervals were continued by Ivers until the series finally ended with No. 1103, December, 1905. It thus had a life run of twenty-eight years and seven months, the longest of any novel series begun by Beadle. Even under the firm's own imprint, it ran twenty-one years and. ten and one-half months.

The heading on the front page of the Dime Library had only two major changes after No. 26, but there were numerous minor changes. Some of them were in the type-set date line, which, in reproductions as small as Figs. 64 to 71 would be hard to see, consequently are not illustrated by separate cuts. Briefly, the changes are as follows:
On No. 27 to No. 56 (December 4, 1878), the letters in the name "Beadle" in the heading are shaded, and the date line carries the words "Complete in One Number" and "Price Ten Cents" (Type I-Dime Library, Figs. 63 and 64). (Reprints of Nos. 1 to 26 of Starr's New York Library with the new Beadle heading, may or may not have the word Beadle shaded, indicating that they were reprinted at various times.(1))

In Nos. 57 to 64 (March 26, 1879) the name "Beadle" is in outline, but the remainder of the heading remains the same (Type II-Dime Library, Fig. 65). The copyright date, of course, was changed each year. Nos. 65 to 107 (November 10, 1880) have the same heading as the preceding except that the date line now reads "Published Every Two Weeks," and "Ten Cents a Copy. $2.50 a Year." Beginning with No. 65, the actual date of issue of each number also appeared. No. 108 is the same as the preceding except that "Published Every Two Weeks" has been changed to "Published Every Week." By oversight, the price per year was left at $2.50. Nos. 109 to 274 (January 23, 1894) repeat the same heading as the preceding except that the price has been corrected to read "Ten Cents a Copy. $5.00 a Year." Beginning with No. 275, the date line reads "Published Every Wednesday." With No. 519 the positions of the volume number, which had been at the left of the page, and the issue number which had been at the right, were reversed.

Beginning with No. 637 (Type III-Dime Library, Fig. 66) the word "Beadle" in the heading was again shaded, apparently printed from the original woodcut, but now the copyright line, which was formerly part of the engraved heading, has been removed and the words of the copyright notice have been typeset. With No. 648 the date of issue was removed from the line containing the volume and issue number, and was placed in the line with the copyright notice, just below the engraved head.

No. 830 (September 19, 1894) shows the effect of a ruling by the Treasury Department which made it illegal to publish cuts of coins (Type IV-Dime Library, Fig. 67). In this number the cut was routed out, leaving a blank space. Occasionally late reprints of early numbers show a similar blank where the cut of the coin was removed.

In No. 831 the blank space was filled with the figure "10." The name "Beadle" is again in outline, but otherwise the heading is the same as the preceding (Type V-Dime Library, Fig. 68). With No. 916 the publishers' address was changed to their new location, 92 William Street. While this change was first shown in No. 916, May 13, 1896, actually Beadle and Adams had moved on the first of May. No. 915, May 6, had probably been printed before that time.

With No. 973 (June 16, 1897) the name "Beadle" disappeared from the title, and a new heading (Type VI-Dime Library, Fig. 69) was engraved. Beadle had been dead for three years, and William Adams, the last surviving member of the firm, for six months. The name of the firm, however, was still printed Beadle and Adams, until the business passed into Sullivan's hands, February 23, 1898. Some of the novels in this group (973 to 1009) have bluish-green outside wrappers on which, with the addition of a border around the whole, reappeared the heading, title, and illustration as it was on the first page. In cases where part of the story was printed on page one, the cut on the wrapper was odified to fit. These covers are blank on the inside but carry the usual Beadle advertisements on the back. Since these late numbers were all reprints of earlier stories and announcements of forthcoming numbers are not given, it is impossible to determine whether the first issues had covers or whether they were added only to the later printings. Apparently those with covers were earlier. Many of the numbers are found in both states.

No. 1010 (March, 1898) has no colored wrapper, but the first page has around it a box like that on the previous colored wrappers. The date line reads "Published Every Month" and "Ten Cents a Copy. $1.00 a Year," and the publishers are given as "M. J. Ivers & Co., (James Sullivan, Proprietor), 379 Pearl Street, New York." No. 1011 on (April, 1898) has the same heading as the preceding except that the border is gone, and there is only a double line across the top. Nos. 1012 to 1055 (December, 1901) have a double line box around the entire front page. The copyright line still reads the same as in the preceding numbers, "Entered as Second Class matter at the New York, N.Y. Post Office" (Type VII-Dime Library, Fig. 70). Nos. 1037, 1038, and 1039 have been seen with no box, Nos. 1056 (January, 1902) to 1067 (December, 1902) show a replacement of the words "Entered as Second Class Matter, etc." by a double wavy line (Type VIII-Dime Library, Fig. 71), and there is no box on the front page. Nos. 1068 (January, 1903) to 1103 (December, 1905), the final number, show a line of dots replacing the double wavy line of the preceding variety.

The stories in the Dime Library were usually first printings, and except for some serials from the story papers, were not reprinted from previous publications. They are of the same type as those in the earlier Beadle novels--stories of the West, of trappers and hunters, scouts and Indians, gold miners and cowboys, road agents and bad men generally, and, in the later issues, of detectives and criminals. Some are sea tales, but these are few and far between (except for the pirate stories of the two Ingrahams) and are rather unconvincing. The pirate had had his day.

The first twenty-six numbers of Beadles's Dime Library were simply reprints of Frank Starr's New York Library. They were issued on no regular dates, but were reprinted with the new heading when the stocks of original issues became exhausted, Some copies exist with the new heading pasted over the old.

Fig 63

Fig. 63. Beadle's New York Dime Library


Fig. 64. Type I-Dime Library, used on Nos. 27 to 56.


Fig. 65. Type II-Dime Library, used on Nos. 57 to 63.

fig. 66

Fig. 66. Type III-Dime Library. Used on Nos. 639 to 829.

fig. 67

Fig. 67. † Type IV— Dime Library. Except on reprints of some early numbers, this heading with the dime routed out was used only on No. 830.

Figs. 64 to 67. Variations in the heading of Beadles's New York Dime Library. See also Figs. 68 to 71. REDUCED

fig. 68

Fig. 68. Type V-Dime Library. Used on Nos. 831 to 972. The Figures '10' fill the blank of the preceding type.

fig. 69

Fig. 69. Type VI-Dime Library. Used on Nos. 973 to 1009. Beadle's name has been dropped from the heading.

fig. 70

Fig. 70. Type VII-Dime Library. Used on Nos. 1010 to 1055, with slight variations in Nos. 10101 and 1011. M. J. Ivers & Co., Publishers.

fig. 71

Fig. 71. Type VIII-Dime Library. Used on Nos. 1056 to 1103 (the end).

Figs. 68 to 71. Variations in the heading of Beadle's New York Library. See also Figs. 64 to 67. REDUCED

1. In my own set, the letters of the word Beadle in Nos. 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, and 24 are not shaded, but the numbers between 1 and 26 are.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.

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