From the FAQ:

What is a Toledano number?

Modern Library assigned numbers to all volumes in the series through 1975. These numbers appeared on the spines of dust jackets and buckram editions.

No two books in the catalog had the same number at the same time. But the number was reassigned when a title was pulled from the catalog or when ML wanted to use the number on a different volume for marketing reasons.

For example, the number 88 appeared on five titles through the history of the series:

  • Latzko, Men in War (1920 - Spring 1928)
  • Apuleius, Golden Ass (Fall 1928 - Spring 1937)
  • Dos Passos, 42nd Parallel (Fall, 1937 - Spring 1940)
  • Porter, Flowering Judas (Fall 1940 - Spring 1950)
  • Faulkner, Light in August (Fall 1950 - 1975)

The Faulkner actually came out in two editions, the first with an introduction (1950 - Spring 1963) and a later one with the introduction removed (Fall 1963 - 1975).

Henry Toledano, who wrote and privately published The Modern Library Price Guide (essentially the ML collector's bible), uses the same numbers as ML to identify titles in the series. But he adds a dot and a sequential suffix number (88.1, 88.2, etc.) to distinguish between titles and editions—the higher the number, the later in time the book appeared. Thus there are six distinct Toledano numbers for these five books:

  • 88.1 -- Latzko, Men in War
  • 88.2 -- Apuleius, Golden Ass
  • 88.3 -- Dos Passos, 42nd Parallel
  • 88.4 -- Porter, Flowering Judas
  • 88.5 -- Faulkner, Light in August (with the introduction)
  • 88.6 -- Faulkner, Light in August (no introduction)

Nearly all serious collectors own a copy of the Guide and use Toledano numbers to specify the volumes they're talking about in order to avoid confusion.

Contributors to this FAQ answer include:

Scot Kamins

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