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Dial Press records

Call Number: YCAL MSS 253

Description of the Papers

The Dial Press Records document the workings of this twentieth-century press and consist primarily of publicity files. Author biographies, bibliographies, and book synopses reveal the way in which Dial Press publicized its authors and titles. Also included are catalogs listing all Dial Press publications. The Records span the years 1924 to 1984.


  • 1924-1983


Information about Access

This collection is open for research.

Ownership & Copyright

The Dial Press Records are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Donna A. Schrader, 1987.


The Dial Press Records are organized into two Series: Publicity Files and Catalogs.


9.5 Linear Feet (19 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The Dial Press Records contain publicity files, catalogs, photographs, and other materials that document the workings of this twentieth-century press.

Dial Press

Founded in 1923, the Dial Press was a distinctly separate entity from the Dial Magazine although they were housed in the same building and Scofield Thayer worked with both. Many accounts state 1924 as the founding date, but this was the year of the Press's first imprint. The Dial Press logo design was based on the signet ring of founder Lincoln MacVeagh. Early ads were headlined "At the sign of the cupid and the Lion" and later just the logo was used. Early authors included Elizabeth Bowen, W.R. Burnett and Glenway Wescott. After MacVeagh sold the Press in 1933, it was fairly inactive until 1938, when it changed ownership again. Under B.C. Hoffman, the character of the firm changed to include books of more popular appeal. In 1945, two popular titles were Gladys Schmitt's David, The King and Frank Yerby's The Foxes of Harrow. Between 1963 and 1965, the Press published several popular books, including James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, Herbert Gold's Salt, Thomas Berger's Little Big Man, and Norman Mailer's An American Dream.

The following chronology provides dates for key events:

1923: The Dial Press was founded by Lincoln MacVeagh at 461 Park Avenue South in Manhattan. Scofield Thayer, publisher of the Dial Magazine, was the its first editor.

1933: MacVeagh sold Dial Press to Max Solap.

1938: Max Solap sold Dial Press to B.C. Hoffman.

1961: Dial Press Books for Young Readers was created.

1963: Dell Publishing Company acquired 60% of the Dial Press stock but the Press remained an independent subsidiary.

1964: Dial Press moved to 750 Third Avenue.

1969: The Dial Press became wholly owned by Dell Publishing Company.

1973: Dial Press made another move to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.

1976: Doubleday bought Dell Publishing .

1985: Doubleday dissolved Dial Press on April 16.

Guide to the Dial Press Records
by Molly Wheeler
April 20, 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.