Private Modern Library E-mail Group


As you know by now, collecting the Modern Library can get pretty complex. What with 12 kazillion dust jacket variations, vast anomalies in bindings, and the mind-boggling task of figuring out what the TRUE first edition dust jacket should be for a 1966 first edition book, the conscientious collector can go stark raving bonkers in short order.

Up to now, only a few consistent sources of help have existed -- smatterings of articles on the history of the Modern Library, Henry Toledano's Price Guide, Alan Oestreich's Modern Library Collector fanzine, and this Web site. But now you can get pretty fast answers to your ML questions by using the Modern Library Mailing List, an on-line ongoing e-mail-based discussion group for all matters relating to the Modern Library. The Mailing List provides immediate access to the combined ML knowledge of over 100 subscribers, including some of the world's foremost Modern Library experts.

What's a Mailing List?

A Mailing List is an automated group e-mail: After you've joined the mailing list (and only after you've joined), you send your e-mail about the Modern Library to a single address; your e-mail gets forwarded automatically to everyone else whose joined. Joining the list is easy, and getting off the list is just as easy. And your privacy is guaranteed -- the e-mail addresses of the members of the list remain confidential. When you quit the list, your e-mail address is removed from the database.

Thanks to the generosity of John Krygier who started and maintains it, the Modern Library Mailing List is free.

What can I ask or discuss?

  • You can post any question whose answer would add to your knowledge of Modern Library collecting.
  • You can post any information that adds to the knowledge of other Modern Library collectors -- heretofore unrecognized first issue points, new variations, history, whatever.
  • You can offer books for trade (but see the For Sale restrictions).
  • You can ask or offer information on how to locate any Modern Library book or piece of ephemera (but see the restriction on For Sale/For Auction items mentioned in the next section) or discuss the current value of a Modern Library title or piece of ephemera.
  • You can discuss any of these items, or anything else ML-ish, on any level you want, from rank beginner to extreme expert, shallowly or in-depth.
  • New collectors are more than welcome.

What's out-of-bounds?

  • Anything that personally attacks another member of the Mailing List (in other words, just use common sense and courtesy)
  • Anything that is NOT directly related to collecting the Modern Library series
  • Posting an advertisement for your own For Auction (eBay) items since that information is easy to obtain by searching Modern Library online -- but you can discuss how high an existing item may go, or whether the description seems accurate.
  • Posting For Sale, For Trade, or Want To Buy ads except as noted immediately below.

Can I sell and trade Modern Library books on the Mailing List?

Due to restrictions imposed by MODLIB's host institution, and the desires of the MODLIB membership, please do not post messages with specific titles for sale or trade. Messages such as these are OK:

  • "I have dozens of HC and some flex ML titles for sale and trade. e-mail me for a list:"
  • "I have some scarce HC ML titles I would like to trade for other scarce HC MLs, e-mail me for my list of wants and MLs for trade:"
  • "I have two B&L's in good DJ's I would like to trade. Contact me for more information:"

What happens to the material ultimately?

Everyone is welcome to save all the material that gets posted to the Mailing List. The basic material (including the rules) is added to the FAQ [list of Frequently Asked Questions] posted here at When a discussion has lasting merit, the information is collated and posted as a new article with the contributors listed as co-authors (unless they wish to remain anonymous), or is added to the BookNote for a specific title on the appropriate author's page. All the information is archived in raw form and continues to be available to anyone who cares to see it.

How do I sign up?

If you were a member of the old Modern Library ListServ before April 8 2007, you're already a member and need do nothing: You were transferred over to the new system automatically. If you're new, go to and follow the directions.

When you subscribe to MODLIB, you must wait to get e-mail confirmation that you are on the list before you can post.

If you have a problem, e-mail John Krygier and ask for help.

How do I send a message?

Create an e-mail message the way you usually would with an appropriate Subject line (such as "What's the proper 1st jacket for Pynchon?" or "Anybody know the titles in the 1929 Gift Set?," write the content as you normally would, and send it to:

Everyone signed up (including you) will get a copy.

How do I read previously posted e-mail messages?

You can read old messages month by month going back to March 2001 by clicking:

Additionally, you can search messages posted under the old ListServ system (March 2001 - March 2007) using keywords and other methods by clicking e-Mail Discussion Group archives.

To see the complete archives to the present day, use Google and enter this:


To focus the search, type another term, like this:

gatsby site:

For more information on using the Google search options, see the Google Search Page. If you get confused, send an email to the ModernLib Editor.

How do I cancel my membership?

Go to, scroll to the bottom of the page, and follow the simple instructions.

Spread the word!!!