Oestreich's Modern Library Collector

 Published each October and April since 1981, Alan eMiL Oestreich's eight-page Modern Library Collector was the only regular printed publication for Modern Library collectors. It ceased publication with Issue 55, Spring 2008.

To quote from Issue # 1:

This newsletter addresses the collecting of the Modern Library, as a service and a forum. We hope our readers can contribute to the lore of the ML, the history of the ML, and the culture of ML with articles in future issues.

Articles in this charming and useful little newsletter covered all books in the Modern Library series from 1917 to the present including the main and giant series, paperbacks, short-lived miniature series, and the ubiquitous college editions. (Oestreich also included information about the Viking Portable series, comprising about 10% of each issue - the formal name of the newsletter was actually "The Modern Library and Viking Portable Collector" with "Viking Portable" in very small letters.)

Contents varied from issue to issue. But regular features included the following:



  • News about the latest ML releases from Random House
  • Photos of older dust jackets
  • Articles by Gordon B. Neavill, the noted Modern Library bibliographer, on both historical and bibliographical issues
  • Article fragments dealing with ML from old newspapers and trade magazines such as Publisher's Weekly
  • Tips for identifying first editions
  • An area for posting ML-related ads ($2 for each entry)
  • An on-going series that lists each ML number (about 10 numbers/issue) followed by each title that had that number and its first year of ML publication
  • Other sundry and various really good stuff

In format, the Modern Library Collector was much like a fanzine. Each issue was made up of eight photocopied and stapled pages of historic article fragments, hand-cut-and-pasted new articles written on old Remington typewriters, photographs, tables, and anything else that might interest the Modern Library fanatic:

Obviously a labor of love, this was not a fancy magazine: ruler lines were purposely left in, sometimes the articles didn't line up perfectly, editing marks were visible, and bunches of marginal notes were hand-drawn. This newsletter never met a word processor or layout program - and personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.

The entire collection of back issues (55 in all) is available for $112 including priority mail postage. If that's too much for you, Alan being a reasonable man is willing to accept other offers. He also has lot of "archives" of xeroxed excerpts from Publishers Weekly that he accumulated while working on MLC. 25 pages for $5 while it lasts. e-mail Alan to order or to ask questions.

    A. Oestreich
    Modern Library Collector
    340 Warren Avenue
    Cincinnati, OH 45220-1135