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I am considering starting a collection of Article Reprints from the National Geographic Magazine.  Using the following resources:

Buxbaum, Edwin C., “Collector’s Guide to the National Geographic Magazine, 3rd Edition” @ 1971.

Nathan, Roger E., “Collectibles of the National Geographic Society,” @ 1978.

De Vilbiss, Melvin L., "A Guide to the National Geographic Magazine Reprints" @ 2013.

 Buxbaum's classifications are a bit confusing with his "Type 2" article reprints without covers and "Type 3" article reprints with covers. These two types only cover a handful of reprints from the early to mid 1890's.

Later in his book he lists 40 Article Reprints from 1936 through 1968.  He states that "Other titles probably exist."   These are not tied back to the reprint types mentioned above and are treated as something completely different.

Nathan provides a PARTIAL list of over 350 of these Article Reprints from 1889 through 1979.   He incorporates Buxbaum's two types within this list, but even this isn't a complete accounting.

In his guide, Mel mentions that the type 3 Article Reprints "may or may not have had the same cover as the magazine, i.e. 'red brick' color."  It was remembering that comment which peaked my interest when I saw a 1954 Article Reprint that looked eerily similar to my Map indexes from that time.  It has the yellow and oak leak border and an "uncolored" globe similar to the Map Index variants with that feature.

Now I already had one Article Reprint for several years now.  the 1964 JFK tribute, "The Last Full Measure".  This was near and dear to me for obvious reasons.

Since finding, and getting, the 1954 pamphlet, I have purchased one more.  This one from 1937.  It also has the yellow and oak leaf border but without a globe.  It looks like the Map Indexes from the early 1960's.

I have included photos of all three.

Anyway, enough rambling.  Does anyone collect these items?  If so, please share your knowledge on these collectibles.

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Replies to This Discussion

Here are three more of them. I'm still not sure if I'll actively collect these but I did want a sampling to look over. Note: These three dated 1950 to 1951 fall between the two Yellow/Oak Leaf ones from 1937 and 1954 but have a plain, rather drab, grey cover.

And here they are...



Just a few thoughts.. Weren't the reprints issued due to a demand from certain groups for more copies of article they had an interest in. Therefore  the number of article reprints would only reach a small group.  I have a Kennedy reprint from  1964 on the President's death.There was an order form right in the magazine to get that. Some reprints were randomly sent to prospective new members to show what was in the magazine. I have a Nile river reprint  from a nonmember . I wonder how  other groups got theirs ?



Thanks for the reply.  I know next to nothing about these items other than what's in Nathan & Buxbaum.  These last 3 I posted do seem to be part of a set though.  Here is the inside back cover of the Feb. 1951 item.  Notice that all 3 are listed as are 3 other article reprint.  Also listed is the "Insignia and Decorations of the U. S. Armed Forces" which is a combination of articles from the June, October & December 1944 issues as well as additional materials; and "The Round Earth on Flat Paper", which Nathan documents as a Book.




As a teacher I butchered many magazines to get the art and daily life in ancient times prints to use in  my history classes as a history major in college. It was easier to use magazines than ordering reprints of the same pics (and cheaper to a poor college student). I do remember most of the reprints listed in your attached article reprint ad.



It strikes me that the article reprints would be one of the hardest sub-category of Nat Geo items to get into with any serious desire or intention to "get em all".

As you know from the outline of them from Buxbaum, Nathan, many of the reprints were never advertised for general sale to members (via the Magazine), since such were solely done in limited and inconsistent basis, for the author's or as when a group, college, other society/group, or government agency wanted a particular article reprinted for their own members, employees, staff and etc.

In the early era, even NGS didn't keep meticulous or (even consistent) track of what was being reprinted when, and for what qty. count of copies. These constitute what I call the vaporous "insider" article reprints.

Then, there were the more widely produced reprints, essentially starting with/around that time of the 3 you've scanned and shared. These were announced but rarely, and the best place to even find detailed, precise info. of them is in fact in the Map Index booklets themselves! you discovered already.

These are what we could perhaps call the first generation of "popular" article reprints -- for the Membership in general, rather than individuals. Now, some collector's sort of think of some of these (like Vienna Treasures) as being in the "pictorial" category of collectibles. I am not one of those folk for these.

I too noticed that for a stretch of time (mostly the 50's), the article reprints bore the same covers and appearance of the Map Indices . . . I wish they had not done that. I prefer the distinct difference in appearance for what are completely different types of material: vis-a-vis an Index pertaining to cartography vs. a reprint booklet of a specific article from NGM itself.

It seems once the more mass produced article reprints were in full-swing, they quickly moved on to a new design for the articles and for a while the Map Index style remained in that classic yellow border with (usually) shaded globe. You are right that the the 1940's and earlier 1950's reprints were drab, boring, non-descript. But then again, so were the dust jacket covers for the 1939 Book of Birds, the 1st printing of the "Everyday Life in Ancient Times" book, and a few other items.

The 1964 "Last Full Measure" reprint is by itself an entirely different breed, both in intent and scope. Even in the context of 1964, that booklet cover is completely unique against the other article reprints. Also, as Mel mentioned, they went out of their way to really announce the availability option for the membership to obtain that - it was designed and expected to be a "keepsake" a la "souvenir" edition.

Actually for a long time I never felt the 'need' to get one, since I had the article in the 1964 issue anyway. But finally the sentiment of last fall being the big 50th anniversary of the incident, I felt nostalgic and so got it back in November, on the 22nd as it happened.

Then you get into the latter reprints of articles. Also we can keep in mind the special reprint of the July 1977 issue that was done for the National Park Service (qty. of copies unknown to me at this time). This is basically the entire issue, sans any advertisements, a slightly re-worked cover [i.e., same image and headline, but no month/issue # indicated] ; it also lacked the last 3 un-related articles. I would also confidently surmise that this copy included something like a special foreword or greeting message from either-or-both Editor Grosvenor, President Doyle. I have long wanted a copy of this reprint.

For "popular" article reprints --again, for the Society Membership", the heyday peaked in the 70's & early 80's. We can be fairly assured they still did the "insider" reprints throughout the duration of the 80's and likely into the 90's. It wouldn't take much imagination to guess even this practice has ceased since the 1999-2002 timeframe. It'd be interesting to know if they still do this (upon request, and for a fee) presently.

There's one other pseudo-category of article reprint I'd like to mention. In 1996 for example, for the NGS book "Orbit ~ NASA Astronauts photograph the Earth" the very welcome supplement was a reprint (of the article reprint) of the June 1962 article "John Glenn's 3 Orbits of the Earth" and nicely used the original cover, that being the cover of the June '62 NGM itself. The only thing that distinguished this article reprint was a small print line along the bottom margin akin to "Reprint of the June 1962 article, c. NGS 1996).

Now, I've noticed that most or just about any copy of this "Orbit" book on eBay lacks this supplement. This could be for several reasons. Many sellers are unaware of it at all; I'm sure they were separated or withheld by owners originally as a keepsake or were sold separately in a rare instance, though I've never seen a solo c. 1996 copy of this being proffered online -- and I've been monitoring this. I DO have a copy of this article reprint, c. '96. I do not have the original 1962 reprint of said article. I also have a hypothesis based on experience and observation that it is likely that only the first batch of ORBIT (the book) was even issued w/ the article-as-supplement; or perhaps only the first X-qty. off the presses were to have one. It could also be that only the *deluxe (leather) edition of ORBIT was given this extra.

**It happened this way with "The 20th Century" in 1999 for example. The deluxe copies had reprints (dare I say surplus) copies of the 1988 Centennial poster of all the NGM covers, whereas the regular edition did not. I also have this supplement.

Which, or how many other NGS books in the 1990's perhaps included an article reprint that pertained to the books' subject matter is anybody's guess I suppose! It'd be neat to hear from others if they've come across any.

    ~ Scott


Thanks for the wealth of information.  I wouldn't dare try to "collect them all" since neither Buxbaum nor Nathan were able to get a handle on what would constitute a complete set.  I am also leery of third-party produced "reprints" where old issues would be dissected into articles that were then bound in some fashion or another.

These "popular" article reprints, however, might be worth collecting at some future date but for now I think I'll wait.


Actually, I made a few quick corrections/edits to that right after I posted (in the "15 minutes left to edit" option) and then when I went to re-save, the page error-ed out and I lost it, and was not in a good moment to re-do it. I was going to add a few more comments...


I also don't think one can come up with a full listing of the reprints.  I have a very large selection of the reprints and will get my computer back next week (I hope).  When that occurs I should be able to let you know what I have if your interested.

I also have 1000's of the disbound articles that have been put together by various binderies; Berrian comes to mind, and in some cases they are in slipcases of covering varying topics.  I don't believe they are doing that anymore and they are very common in churches, schools, swapmeets, etc.  I don't know if they will ever be collectible and the "complete" list will be every article ever published in the magazine!


1) meant to say July 1979 (not '77) issue -- this negates my text saying the reprint was minus 3 articles. The July '79 was entirely devoted to this "National Parks" theme. However it's worth mentioning that April 1916, July 1966, and July '77, October 1994, were also predominantly 'national parks' issues ; 

2) my comment about the heyday era of the so-called popular article reprints should have said the 1960's and 70's, (not 1970's and into 80's) ; 

3) there's another kind of reprinting (re-issuing) of specific articles that should be delineated in a separate post, because everything I mentioned and Tom mentions is not the extent of certain articles making an encore appearance at latter times...

Tom, and All, 

I forgot about this snippet from R. Nathan when we first typed our discussion replies ---> 

pg. 16 of "Collectibles of the National Geographic Society" (c. 1982) , attached page scan. FYI as I said, I do have that 1977 Aluminum article reprint (because of the SCA and Shuttle on the cover!).


Got them yesterday.  Thanks!

And here they are:




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