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Berrien Book Bindery


National Geographic Magazines are notoriously difficult to part with.  Even people who don’t want them, don’t want to throw them away.  Through the years a number of people interested in a particular topic would save only the issues containing an article related to that topic.  To save space, they would have the articles they wanted removed from the magazines and then have them bound, either together in a book, or individually, mimicking article reprints.  I would not be surprised, by the number of Berrien bound articles on Abe Books, that some entrepreneurs figured they could make more money selling several separate articles than one used magazine.

Berrien Book Bindery seems to be the most popular bindery for National Geographic articles.  I had resisted buying any of these items for some time, suspecting that they were destructively produced, but I recently pulled the trigger on a set that had been advertised on eBay for years.  As suspected, they are original articles lifted from the magazine; the prove being that some contained the last page of the preceding article or the first page of the following article.  Article reprints blank those pages.

The set I purchased contains fourteen bound articles, all related to Central Asia.  I don’t believe I’ll be purchasing any more of these items, but if I do, I’ll have this Album to put them in.


Yours in collecting,

Tom Wilson

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Replies to This Discussion


Interesting . . . what do you think of the quality of the cover boards? And do they open nicely (eg, hinges), and lay flat for viewing? I have often had it on my far back burner to pick up a couple of these -- just for "reference" if nothing else. 

I think it speaks well of the "old days" when people valued the information in NGM enough to make the effort to do bindings, and along with breaking up issues into thematic-bound volumes.

- Scott 


looks like your batch are all single-article editions.


These articles are truly bound.  Except maybe for the thinnest one, they all have a flat spine.  They are not hinged.  The cardboard covers are bound with a green, buckram tape.  Since the tape is on top of the covers, that side is thicker than the other.  It is really only noticeable when you have several stacked.  The title label is also attached to the front cover, but a lot thinner than the green binding.  All in all, though, they are professionally done, although one seems to be an afterthought, with a blank title label with info typed on it.  It is the very thin one I spoke of.

Yours in collecting,




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