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Book-of-the-Month Club records

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 278

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of proofs and "first reader reports" that document a component of the selection process for titles that became Book-of-the-Month Club recommendations. The proofs are pre-publication copies of manuscripts, used by Book-of-the-Month Club judges to select titles. They can be located in Series I and Series III.

The reports comprise reviews by in-house editors and outside readers of manuscripts under consideration for publication. They were written by a wide variety of individuals including Rosemary Benet, Basil Davenport, Elizabeth Wynne Easton, Roger Pippett, John Sherry, Russell Thacher, Ralph Thompson, and Leon Wilson.

Dates

  • 1946 - 1979

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Book-of-the-Month Club Records is 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

Gift of Book-of-the-Month Club, circa 1978 and 2000.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Manuscripts, circa 1959-1978. II. First-reader Reports, circa 1946-1962. III. Additional Manuscripts (July 2000 Acquisition), circa 1951-1979.

Extent

39.94 Linear Feet (70 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.bomc

Overview

The collection consists of proofs and "first reader reports" that document a component of the selection process for titles that became Book-of-the-Month Club selections. The proofs are pre-publication copies of manuscripts, used by Book-of-the-Month Club judges to select titles. The reports comprise reviews by in-house editors and outside readers of manuscripts under consideration for publication. They were written by a wide variety of individuals including Rosemary Benet, Basil Davenport, Elizabeth Wynne Easton, Roger Pippett, John Sherry, Russell Thacher, Ralph Thompson, and Leon Wilson.

History

The Book-of-the-Month Club (BOMC) was founded in 1926 by Harry Scherman (1887-1969) in partnership with Maxwell Sackheim (1890-1982) and Robert K. Haas (1890-1964). Created to satisfy a perceived demand for quality literature that could not be met outside of urban centers, it was one of a number of direct-mail clubs developed in the 1920s, including the Literary Guild and Dollar Book Club. The BOMC went public in 1947, though the Scherman family maintained a controlling interest until sale of their shares in 1977 to Time Inc.

The BOMC sold new releases to its membership through recommendations published in a monthly catalog. Pre-publication manuscripts were submitted to the BOMC for review and were considered through a tiered system of in-house and outside editors culminating in an editorial board, referred to as judges in BOMC literature, that met monthly to consider vetted submissions.

Processing Information

This collection includes materials that previously used the call numbers Za BOMC, Uncat MSS 170, and Uncat MSS 1023.
Title
Guide to the Book-of-the-Month Club Records
Author
by Christopher Geissler, Tom Hyry, and Beinecke staff
Date
March 2008
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

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

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

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.