A. L. Burt Company (New York, US)
Series dates: 1880-1937
Size: 5″ x 7.25″
Burt published numerous reprint series including many gift and juvenile series from 1883 until the company was sold in 1937. A few, such as the Cornell Series, Burt’s Home Library and Burt’s Pocket Edition of Standard Classics included titles by standard authors, copyright-free and often seemingly printed with older plates (thus the type is often uneven and broken in places) purchased from other publishers.
Burt sold books under the Home Library name since the 1880s. The books here are from the late 1920s or early 1930s. The are somewhat larger in format than the Pocket Edition of Standard Classics. Earlier titles in the series were issued without jackets. Dust jackets list 350 to 450 titles in the series priced either $1.25 or $1.
Of the two jackets I have seen on this series, I believe the white jacket is the earlier one. It includes a rather elaborate logo for the series, but is otherwise commonly designed for the series.
An advertisement for the series is included on the rear of the jacket.
The bindings are cloth, maroon with gold stamping. The name of the series is included on the spine, but nowhere else in the book.
The series titles are printed on the back of the dust jacket (which can be enlarged here by clicking). 450 titles are listed at $1.25 per book.
While there are no dates to distinguish the chronology of the previous and next jacket, I believe the jacket below was used later. Probably published in the Depression, the jackets are redesigned to be more attractive and the price dropped to $1. This price drop happened with other series (such as the Borzoi Pocket Books) during the depression.
Both jacket flaps and the back of the jacket are used for series advertisement. A gentleman with his suit and tie and a stogie provide for an image of the ideal Burt’s Home Library reader.
The catalog loses about 50 or so titles. This was not unusual during the Depression when poorly selling titles were left to go out of print.
Burt and its imprints were sold to Reynal & Hitchcock (publisher of Blue Ribbon Books) in 1937. In 1939, Doubleday acquired Reynal & Hitchcock, along with the Blue Ribbon Books and Burt imprints. Doubleday would issue the New Home Library from 1943-1947. Few of the Burt’s Home Library titles were issued in this revamped series, however. Instead it was a series of newer fiction and non-fiction reprints.