My Article Reprint Collection
After completing my National Geographic Magazine collection, I moved on to Indices. First, I collected volume and/or annual indices, and, once I had completed them, I moved on to Map Indices. These have proved much harder than the volume indices, but I have amassed a respectable collection. To keep my collecting bug satisfied, I decided to start collecting Article Reprints, not as actively as I did with my other collections, only passively, mainly eBay.
In his book, Collectibles of the National Geographic Society (1982, Serendipity Press), Roger E. Nathan lists a large, but admittedly incomplete, number of article reprints dating back to July 1889, “The Rivers and Valleys of Pennsylvania”. He also states that:
“[Article] Reprints were virtually discontinued in September 1977 because of the transferal of printing operations from R. R. Donnelley in Chicago to W. F. Hall Printing Company in Corinth, Mississippi. With the letterpress process at Donnelley, it was possible to produce reprints as a by-product of magazine production, but this procedure was not possible with Hall’s gravure printing. Only two reprints have been produced since the move to Mississippi – the Aluminum article (August 1978 issue) and the entire National Parks issue (July 1979), which was bound separately with a new cover and without advertising for the National Parks Service.”
Over ten years later, in October 1989, the Society produce another reprint, “La Ruta Maya” that was well known to collectors. Other than this one, well known issues, I had only found one other more recent issue (discussed below).
My article reprint collection now stands at 68, with three being foreign, and one being a third-party reprint in 1961 of the December 1915 article, “Alaska’s New Railway.” The oldest reprint I have is the third one on Nathan’s list – the October 1889 article, “Across Nicaragua with Transit and Machete:”
As mentioned above, the newest reprint in my possession is for the January 1991 article, “The Disease Detectives:”
More recently the Society has started to produce retro article reprints for special occasions – the Apollo articles from December 1969 for the fiftieth anniversary (2019), and the Disney article from August 1963 most recently for the D23 Expo (2022).
My collection spanned more than a century, with 1991 being what seemed to be the end of article reprints – until now. I have just received an article reprint dated November 2022 and titled “A Pacific Rebirth.”
Hopefully, I will find more “new” article reprints as I casually acquire these collectibles.
As for my collection, I have scanned the covers of all 68 and have placed them in an ALBUM for your viewing pleasure. Note: I have included images of two article reprint covers not in my collection. They were sent to me by the late Jeffrey Persons for an article I was writing. All 70 images were added to the album chronologically, but any additions will be tacked on the end.
Yours in Collecting,
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