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This past weekend I saw and bought a blue leather bound half year of NG (1957 vol 111). I've been subscribed to NG off and on since I was around 3 (1973) I'd never seen anything like this before.

What's the deal with these? Why do they exist/what are they for? I've searched the Internet trying to figure out why they were made or who got them or any info, but haven't been able to find anything but this site.

Please enlighten me!

Thank you

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The binding of National Geographic Magazines really has little to do with the National Geographic Society. People or institutions since the early days of the magazine would remove the covers and ads and bind the magazine into a collection of each volume (typically 6 months) after 1910. Before 1910 the yearly collection of the magazine was bound together. Binding services offered a variety of covers. The most recognizable one is what is known as the Albrecht Globe and Airplane cover. Libraries bound their copies of the magazine as a standard practice. The National Geographic Society has never offered a bound version of the original magazine. Bound magazines have considerably less value than the original loose magazines...especially to collectors.

Hope this helps.
Interesting, thanks, yes, that's what I was curious about. I'm surprised there's so little info about these on the net. I guess it's mostly because the normal NG individual issues are so much more prevalent.

Thank you
If no library or institutional stamps, likely privastyely bound by a member around that time. Prior to late 1970s as binderies started folding or greatly specializing, many collectors would bind in a variety of materials depending upon taste and price they could bear. I was offered both volumes of 1917 bound in beautiful tanned alligator of all materials. Most popular of the standard covers is Albrecht airplane-and-globe, on which topic there are several posts on this site

Happy collecting and hope this helps

I will disagree with Charlie on one point, throughout the teens and probably back to 1897 or 1898, back issue were bound in house at the Society for Society officials, important board members or public servants and were available (on a limited bases and usually only for a couple years after the printing) to members for I think $6 ppd for most of those years. Some years seem to have had more offered, other years 1903-1905 may have had none available to regular members or the general public

For instance while later naughts andf teens were routinely advertised in the magazine, I have never seen and so far as I remember having seen in those years' issues or otherwise hearing of, any Society-bound 1903-1905. Also some Founders or other early members bequeathed their bound sets back to the Society, and decades ago Bob Finch laid his hands on some. If recollection is right, he offered us a set of about 20 years continuous run and then a couple of more years in a different binding from nobody important's estate he bought from the Society for probably less than $1000 and possible in the $200-$300 range. He quoted the premium for Society bound issues and wanted something like $4000, which in 1970s money was above our resources. It was my father doing the negotiations, so I am not certain on the details, but it disappeared from his price list in three or four quarterly mailings, so he likely got much of what he was asking.

I do not think there is a particular premium on Society bound volumes, unless it was for a Grosvenor, Bell or someone like John Wesley Powell who conveys value in the owners own right, rather than some nobody either was given or bought a Society bound set. I have seen and passed on a couple of such sets, as like Charlie, single intact issues are what I wanted. However, I also vaguely recall some Congressman's or Justice's complimentary set on Koopmann's website at some point. Maybe that deserves some premium, but not a large one if at all.

Also, with the exception of Grosvenors' outside the DC-Baltimore area, I would think it would be rare to come up with Society bound other than on the East Coast, unless a dealer bought them from the Society and relocated them.
Wow, you guys are great. I've gotten a lot more info than I expected.



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