Emanuel Haldeman-Julius Big Blue Books and Larger Books Collection, 1922-1955 | Special Collections & Archives
The Big Blue Books and Larger Books are part of the Library's Emanuel Haldeman-Julius collections. While many Haldeman-Julius publications are numbered, varying schemes were in use over time. Haldeman-Julius occasionally reissued earlier B numbered titles without a number or assigned a new B number (e.g. B-471 was originally numbered B-26). Items in may have a B number and a series number, such as Joseph McCabe's History of Human Morals. When the earlier B number could be determined it is recorded in brackets as "originally issued as …." or "reissued as…." In some cases duplicate titles are included that display physical differences such as different color covers or numbering distinctions. Where the number suddenly jumps to 5000, the size also increases to over 9." Advertisements refer to these as the "larger books." Two exceptions are B-5004 and B-5500 which are the same size as the other Big Blue Books. The collection is divided into two major series: Unnumbered and Numbered Titles (1923-1951) and Publisher's Series (1922-1951).
Series I, Unnumbered and Numbered Titles, consists of two subseries: Unnumbered Titles (1927-1949) and Numbered Titles (1923-1951). Unnumbered Titles have no B or catalog number, nor are they part of a publisher's series. They are included here because their size and printing format conforms to the numbered Big Blue Books. These are arranged alphabetically by author. Numbered Titles include the B series numbers (called Big Blue Books in Haldeman-Julius advertisements). It also includes numbered titles found in our copy of the publisher's Big Blue Books Catalog (61 pages, no date), or confirmed against the finding guide for the Haldeman-Julius Publications, Mid-Sized Books, 1905-1951 prepared by Dyani Scheuerman at Kent State University Library's Department of Special Collections and Archives. Numbers from these last two sources are bracketed.
Series II, Publisher's Series, consists of seventeen subseries: Subseries A, The ABC Library of Living Knowledge (1937-1938), was authored by Joseph McCabe (1867-1955), a former Franciscan monk and outspoken English rationalist. They cover astronomy, fascism, Nazism, the Spanish Civil War, imperial Japan, American politics, health, economics, and anthropology. Subseries B, Appeal to Reason Library (1935), consists of articles on Catholicism and contemporary world politics. Subseries C, Black International (1941-1942), consists of writings linking fascism and the Catholic Church. Subseries D, Book of Life (1922), consists of works by Upton Sinclair. Subseries E, Digest (1944-1945), consists of condensed versions of works by Charles Dickens, Daniel Defoe, Richard Wagner, Sir Thomas Moore, and other well-known authors, many with new introductions by Miriam Allen deFord. Subseries F, Freethinker's Library (1944-1945), consists of ten 15,000 word essays on rationalism, God, and religion. Subseries G, History of Human Morals, consists of essays on morality from ancient to modern times in European, Middle Eastern, and Asian civilizations. Subseries H, Key to Culture, consists of a series by McCabe on varied topics including science, literature, education, philosophy, psychology, and art and architecture. Subseries I, Key to Evolution, consists of materials written by Maynard Shipley, co-founder with his wife Miriam Allen deFord, of the Science League of America during the anti-evolution movement of the 1920s.
Subseries J, Key to Love and Sex, consists of writings on the philosophy and history of sex, and sexual morals in American and European civilization. Subseries K, Notes and Comments (1950-1951), consists of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius reflections on a variety of subjects such as religion, sex, politics, and famous persons. Subseries L, One Hundred Men Who Moved the World (1931), consists of character sketches about individuals the author considers the greatest creative forces in history. Subseries M, Questions and Answers (1935-1950), consists of Haldeman-Julius’ responses to reader questions. The series aimed to help the reader solve difficult problems in government, science, and economics. Subseries N, Reviewer's Library (1936), consists of short biographies of notable contemporaries such and Jane Addams, George Gershwin, and Benito Mussolini. Subseries O, Story of the Human Race (1931), consists of biographies of historical persons. Subseries P, Views & Reviews, consists of opinions, criticisms, comments, character sketches, jokes and wisecracks. Subseries Q, Wisdom of Life (1947-1949), consists of works focused on the intellectual contributions of various authors and exotic locales including Emerson and India.