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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

If you have a question about Altemus books that you'd like answered please click on the Questions link at the bottom left of this page.

We recommend that those inquiring about the identification of a particular book format send pictures along with their question.

 

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
01 Jun 2014 202

Young People's Library, Format 1

Q:  Rarity? Value? Thank you. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

A:  I am asked about the Altemus versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass frequently.

All of Altemus' formats are reprints and there are quite a number of them. All are described here: ../alice/alice.htm.

These titles are very collectible. The value of course is in the eyes of the beholder. Of interest is that the format that frequently sells (and is listed) for significant money is extremely common. That cover is from the Young People's Library Format 2 and 3. This book is listed with the copyright of 1897 but most copies advertised for sale were actually published in the teens.

The very common cover 1898-1923 version here

Your book is from the first format of the Young People's Library. It is scarcer than the book with the queen on the cover.


31 May 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Found this book (Balzac's Shorter Stories) and cannot find any information on it. Curiosity has gotten the best of me.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1901. See ../vademecum.htm

In 1901 this series was published in at least seven cover colors. More than 43 paste-ons (appliqués) have been seen. For more information see the website noted above.


28 May 2014 91

Gem Series

Q:  I was wondering if you could tell me anything about this book. I bought it several years ago, put it away and pretty much forgot about it. The Song of Hiawatha

A:  Your book is part of the Gem Series. It was published between 1910 and 1912. Originally it came in a labeled box. An example is shown here.

It is a reprint. In this condition it has no value.


27 May 2014 99

Golden Treasury Series

Q:  I am curious about this book I've found (The Prince of the House of David), I couldn't find any info on your website about it. I look forward to your reply.

A:  Your book is part of the Golden Treasury Series.

It was published either in 1899 or 1900.

It is a reprint and has only nominal value.


26 May 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a Black Beauty Book by Sewell that I rescued from a trash dumpster that a brand store threw out. It has no copyright date in it. In the back of the book is a listing of all books your company published so I am assuming you published this one also.

I did look on your site but couldn’t find a Black Beauty book that looked like this one. I am just wanting to know a publishing date for this book, please.

I have attached a picture.


A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published between 1909 and 1912. All of the titles in this series are reprints. This format was originally published within a labeled red box. See picture.


25 May 2014 37

Altemus Library

Q:  Hopefully this will be a quick one for you: can you help me identify this copy of Cranford?

I spent some time on your fantastic site and figure that it's part of the Altemus Series, but I would be so grateful if you could confirm this and give me even a ballpark estimate of its value. I have looked around all the usual book selling sites, but every copy I've found seems to be dated a few years later than mine.


A:  Great book. It is part of the Altemus Library. This is the first Altemus edition of this title although still a late reprint.

The Altemus Library was the first of the Altemus publisher's series. What makes it a bit more interesting than some is that each title has its own unique cover. These books came in dust jackets although the jackets are quite hard to find. Some are pictured on the website.

I think it is a nice book but that is because I am into Altemus stuff. Price can be pretty tough to predict. It will either not sell at all or go for less than $20. But you never know…

A picture of another Cranford and an example of a dust jacket are shown on the series page.


19 May 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I found an old book in my grandmothers home title is Black Rock Tale of the Selkirks. It has a leather type of dust cover says Whittier, There is an inscription inside Lucy E. Swisher, Meadville, PA Dec 25th 1901. I believe Lucy was my grandmothers sister, this may have been a Christmas gift, my great grandfather was a traveling preacher. I have attached pictures. Any information would be appreciated. There is not any dates as of printing it just says Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1901.

During this year the more than 40 different appliqué pictures have been seen on at least 7 different color covers.

The jacket is not an original one. This book came within a labeled box. The author is Ralph Connor. Whittier has no relationship to this book.

It is a reprint and only has nominal value.

For more information see ../vademecum.htm


18 May 2014 185

Wee Books for Wee Folks Series

Q:  Curious as to the value of this book? Three Little Pigs

A:  This book is part of the Wee Books for Wee Folks Series.

It is a first Altemus edition published in 1904. It originally was published within a box that included the Robber Kitten. It was only published in this format for a short time. Later in 1904 the format changed to a more familiar one (Three pigs walking next to the brick wall).

Despite its scarcity it has limited value, especially in poor shape.


17 May 2014 57

Boys and Girls Classics Series

Q:  I was wondering if you could help me identify what year my copy of Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There was published in. I check EVERYTHING on your site, but there was nothing at all that could identify this book. I got it from a antique store yesterday, just because I wanted to read it, but I'd still like to know what year it was published in. Also, I don't have a picture of the cover of the book right now, but I can get one later.

First off, the ads at the back of the book to advertise other books all say Altemus on the pages. They do say Henry Altemus Company, so it was made from 1900 or later according to your site. The ads are for Attemus' New Illustrated Young People's Library, Altemus' Stories from History Series, Altemus's Illustrated Mother Goose Series, Altemus' Illustrated Little Men and Women Series, Altemus' Illustrated Wee Books for Wee Folks, Children's gift Series, One-Syllable Series for Young Readers, Altemus' Illustrated Dainty Series of Choice Gift Books, Altemus's Young Folks Puzzle Picture's Series, Altemus' Illustrated Mother Stories Series, The Motor Boat Club Series, The Range and Grange Hustlers, Submarine Boys Series, The Square Dollar Boys Series, The College Girls Series, Dave Darrin Series, Pony Rider Boys Series, The Boys of Steel Series, The Madge Morton Books, High School Boys Series, Grammar School Boys Series, High School Boys Vacation Series, Boys of the Army Series, Battleship Boys Series, The Meadow-Brook Girls Series.

There was no copyright page or anything with years or editions in this book at either the front or the back. There was no Jacket or Box. It seems like at one point in time there was a label on the spine, but most of it is gone now, and you can't make out any words. There was no title on the cover, and NONE of the covers or spines match your pictures on your site because Alice isn't even on the cover!

The cover contains a boy with 2 or 3 dogs, a lady with an umbrella and pink sun hat, on the back is someone driving a buggy with a donkey pulling it. It a hard cover... I think.

The only way I knew this was Through the Looking Glass is because of the contents inside. The Table of contents lists chapters such as Looking-Glass House, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and Queen Alice. Plus it has Dinah for a cat.


A:  I have included a copy of the cover which I think you are describing. Your book is part of the Boys and Girls Classics Series. This series was published between 1908 and 1926.

The covers are cut from large pictorial linen swatches. These swatches are bigger than are needed to cover a book, so some covers may appear to be unrelated but are still from the same large picture. Examples are shown on the website.

These books originally were published within floral decorated boxes.

Based on the ads in the back of your book, I suspect a 1913-1914 publication.


15 May 2014 202

Young People's Library Format 1

Q:  A friend has a what seems to be a Late 1895 Edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. We are interested in the current value. Can you help her or suggest who can? Please see the attach photos.

A:  Your book is part of the first format of the Young People's Library. It was clearly published in 1895 as is noted at the base of the title page. The earlier 1895 books have a different list of books in the front advertisements. It list six books not eight as in the later 1895 ad (shown here).

There is no price guide and "experts on price" are suspect. I have seen this book sell for as much as $125 and for as little as $10 (in similar conditions). No rhyme or reason.


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