Little Blue Books Bibliography Published

We learned via the Exlibris list earlier this week that a Little Blue Books bibliography, in the making for more than fifteen years, has been published online by Jake Gibbs. Along the way, Gibbs amassed a collection of 20,000 Little Blue Books, according to the bibliography's preface. He also examined collections at more than twenty college and university libraries.   

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 1.35.41 PM.pngAs some readers may recall, Steven Cox, the curator of special collections and university archives at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in Pittsburg, Kansas, where the Haldeman-Julius Collection is located, wrote a short history of the Little Blue Books in our summer 2018 issue. Like Cox, Gibbs was inspired by G. Thomas Tanselle to study this once ubiquitous series founded by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius.

Little Blue Books appeal to book collectors for many reasons, including affordability. Indeed, upon hearing of the new bibliography, Andy Foster, a California-based bookseller, replied to Gibbs, "Your work allows ordinary people with limited resources to enter the book collecting world on a solid footing, creating collections of lasting value."

Other booksellers chimed in to applaud Gibbs' work, calling it "fabulous" and "awesome." Kevin Mac Donnell of Mac Donnell Rare Books wrote, "My five inches of Mark Twain LBBs (all different states, imprints, colors, etc.) has been more confounding than my three feet of Twain Tauchnitz publications. It will be fun to sit down with them and see if I had them all sorted out correctly over the years. Wading into a five inch stack of Twain LBBs in the past felt dangerous, but now I'll have some bibliographic water-wings."

Image via the Little Blue Books Bibliography site