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Big Blue Book collection: Finding Aid
605986  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Big Blue Book collection
    Dates (inclusive): 1927-1951
    Bulk dates: 1947-1951
    Collection Number: 605986
    Creator: Haldeman-Julius, E. (Emanuel), 1888-1951, editor
    Extent: 81 items in 4 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Rare Books Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains 81 booklets from the popular Big Blue Book series edited by American social reformer and writer E. Haldeman-Julius and published by the Haldeman-Julius Company of Girard, Kansas. The collection includes booklets dating from 1927 to 1951, with the bulk from 1947 to 1951. The titles in the collection are primarily on topics related to free thought, humanism, religion, sex, health, self-improvement, and history. More than thirty different authors are represented, including sexologist David O. Cauldwell and freethought writer Joseph McCabe.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on January 12, 2015.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Big Blue Book Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Gift of Merle R. Bobzien, January 2014.

    Historical Note

    Emanuel Haldeman-Julius (1889-1951) was an American social reformer, writer, and publisher. Haldeman-Julius was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1889, and became a member of the Socialist part in the early 1910s. In 1915, he moved to Girard, Kansas, to edit the socialist paper The Appeal to Reason. Four years later, Haldeman-Julius, his wife, and Louis Kopelin purchased the Appeal's printing plant and formed the Appeal Publishing Company. That year, the company began producing a small, inexpensive booklet series titled The Appeal's Pocket Series. In 1922, the company became the Haldeman-Julius Company.
    The booklets expanded into multiple series in the early 1920s, including the People's Pocket Series, Ten Cent Pocket Series, Five Cent Pocket Series, and Pocket Series; the most commonly issued pocket series, the "Little Blue Books," was begun in 1923. Little Blue Books were published from 1923 until 1978 in a uniform 3.5 x 5 inch format with color paper wrappers and a 15,000-word limit. The booklets were aimed at providing inexpensive educational resources to the working class and typically included reprints of classic literary works, socialist writings, original essays, often by liberal and radical writers, and self-improvement manuals.
    In 1925, the company also began publishing "Big Blue Books," which were 8.5 x 5.5 inches and more expensive than the Little Blue Books. More than 300 million copies of the Big and Little Blue Books were sold before their discontinuation in 1964.
    Haldeman-Julius died in 1951. Under the management of Haldeman-Julius's son Henry J. Haldeman, the company continued to produce pamphlets until the Girard plant was destroyed by fire in 1978.
    Source:

    Bushnell, Judith. "Haldeman-Julius Company," in The Dictionary of Literary Biography: Volume 46: American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980 (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1986).

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains 81 booklets from the Big Blue Book series edited by American social reformer and writer E. Haldeman-Julius and published by the Haldeman-Julius Company of Girard, Kansas. The collection includes booklets dating from 1927 to 1951, with the bulk from 1947 to 1951. The titles in the collection are primarily on topics related to free thought, superstition, humanism, religion, sex, psychology, health, relationships, self-improvement, and history. More than thirty different authors are represented, including a number by sexologist Dr. David O. Cauldwell and freethought writer Joseph McCabe.
    The booklets are 8.5 x 5.5 inches, with colored paper wrappers; many have the name "Leo Rosenthal" stamped on the inside front cover. Entries for each imprint in the contents list contain the following information (when known): publisher's number; title; date; and author(s).

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    Arrangement

    The books are arranged numerically according to the publisher's title number, often with a "B" prefix, printed on the front cover.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Big blue book
    Catholic Church -- Controversial literature
    Free thought
    Humanism
    Psychology
    Religion
    Sex
    Sex customs
    Superstition
    World history

    Added Entries

    Barrett, T. D.
    Blank, Nell
    Blank, Sarge
    Bristol, Richard R.
    Cauldwell, David O. (David Oliver), 1896-
    Crapsey, Algernon Sidney, 1847-1927
    Draper, William R.
    Dulaure, J.-A. (Jacques-Antoine), 1755-1835
    Eastman, Rex R.
    Eldridge, Paul, 1888-1982
    Fulks, Clay
    Gould, F. J. (Floyd Jerome), 1936-
    Haldeman-Julius, E. (Emanuel), 1888-1951
    Haldeman-Julius, E. (Emanuel), 1888-1951, editor
    Leigh, W. R.
    Liber, B. (Benzion), 1875-
    Mangasarian, M. M. (Mangasar Mugurditch), 1859-1943
    McCabe, Joseph, 1867-1955
    McGee, John Edwin, 1893-
    Niemoeller, A. F. (Adolph Fredrick), 1903-
    Reiser, Oliver Leslie, 1895-1974
    Ries, Estelle H.
    Robertson, J. M. (John Mackinnon), 1856-1933
    Sessions, Alanson E.
    Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950
    Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968
    Stiles, Henry Reed, 1832-1909
    Strachstein, Abraham, 1881-
    Swancara, Frank
    Weaver, George Russell
    Wolbarst, A. L. (Abraham Leo), 1872-
    Woodford, Jack, 1894-1971
    Yarros, Victor S.
    Haldeman-Julius Company, publisher