This is a draft post. I’m not concerned with the financial value of these copies, unless I’m trying to buy one. They are interesting to me for their publication history. But if monetary value is your interest, see the note to booksellers and collectors at end of post.
I am preparing a census of known copies of the Edition for the Million! (1852/1853) version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Below is an in-progress snap-shot of the search, which lists those copies of which I am currently aware. No system of ordering or arranging the copies is yet settled upon, though the post concludes with a reflection on what such a system would require, if built as a database.
Personal Copy I
Title page slug has 193,000 copies sold. Printed title paper present. Rear end papers are missing. Spine absent. Text block fair to good. Untrimmed.
Personal Copy II
Title page slug has 153,000 copies, 306,000 volumes. Paper wrappers, both title and end papers, are missing. Spine absent. Text block fair to poor. Trimmed very close, sometimes edging text block.
Personal Copy III
Title page slug has 183,000 copies. Paper wrappers present. Spine absent. Text block good. Trimmed but with wide margin. Some pencil markings.
University of Miami, Ohio, Special Collections
Reported in online catalog. OCLC No. 1107483. 153,000 COPIES, Rebound, paper cover missing, advertisements present. Free endpapers. Prominent waterstain from front wrapper to page nineteen. Many discolored pages, including four leaf pressings.
University of Miami, Ohio
Bound with Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Institutional copy not held by Special Collections. No LOC record.
University of Chicago Library, Lincoln Collection
Reported in online catalog. No number statement. (OCLC 26297218, Call No. PS2954.U5 1853)
Three hundred and fifth thousand. Bound with A Key. (OCLC 1107483)
Stowe-Day Foundation Library
810.016 S892, bound with Key. No number statement. (OCLC 03796420)
Rare Books 810 S892, (1852), 163,000 copies — 326,000 volumes. (OCLC 29289660)
Rare Books 810 S892, (1852), 153,000 copies — 306,000 volumes. (OCLC 17762356)
Rare Books 810 S892, (1852) “203,000 copies already published in America. / Two hundred and thirty-third thousand.” (OCLC 29289787)
Rare Books 810 S892, (1852) “223,000 copies already published in America. / Two hundred and thirteenth thousand.” (OCLC 29289700)
3 Copies, no number statement in catalog (OCLC 26297218)
Hartford – Connecticut Historical Society Library
1 Copy, no number statement in catalog (OCLC 26297218)
Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
Reported in online catalog. Bound with A Key, Boston, 1853. (OCLC 79203208)
Reported on OCLC, 1107483. But copy does not appear in online catalog. Query made to librarians in January. No response.
Seton Hill University, Reeves
Reported in online catalog. Bound with A Key, Boston, 1853. Two hundred and thirteenth thousand. (OCLC 1107483)
Georgetown University, Lauinger.
Reported in online catalog. Bound with A Key, Boston, 1853. No number statement. (OCLC 26297218)
University of Iowa
Reported in online catalog. Bound with A Key, Boston, 1853. No number statement. (Listed in OCLC 26297218, but link to WorldCat broken. See System Number 000598815)
University of Virginia, Small Special Collections
Reported in online catalog. 245th Thousand, 1853. Publisher’s advertisements. (OCLC 1107483)
Reported under same OCLC Number 1107483
Chicago History Museum
Hamilton College Library
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Western Illinois University
Missouri History Museum
Brandeis University Library
Atlantic School of Theology
Miami-Dade Public Library System
University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center
California State University, Long Beach
Note: It is unlikely that all would be marked 245th thousand. Not mis-cataloged, exactly, but further investigation is needed of each individual copy.
OCLC No. 9158851
Case Western Reserve (2 copies)
OCLC No. 32937105
Wittenberg University (bound with Key, two hundred seventy-fifth thousand)
OCLC No. 1107483
State Library of Ohio (Bound with Key, Three hundred and fifth thousand)
University of Miami, Ohio, Special Collections
OCLC No. 3796420 (Bound with Key, no number statement)
Notice the variety of OCLC WorldCat numbers for bindings and number sold statements on this “edition”:
Search So Far
The search is based primarily on OCLC WorldCat. I have also consulted Parfait, for which notes below.
Claire Parfait in The Publishing History of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852–2002 (2007) reports the following printing slugs on title pages, some based on Margaret Hildreth in Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Bibliography (1975), designated MH: 153,000, 163,000 (MH), 173,000, 193,000, 203,000 (MH), 213,000, 223,000, 230,000 (MH), 233,000, 245,000 (NUC). According to Parfait, cover and title pages after 213,000 bear different imprint dates (1852 or 1853). After 295,000, volumes bear date 1853.
I am cautious about Parfait’s results. Parfait appears to base some work on personal examination, but her statement on sources does not distinguish those slugs based on personal examination and those based on catalogs. Also, the work relies in part on the National Union Catalog, which has been superseded by WorldCat. I also hesitate to trust Hildreth’s biography.
For the original census, I believe that the most thorough system is the arrangement by OCLC catalog number. However, such a system will not serve for what I need to do, to examine multiple printings. In choosing those, I need to be certain of what the title page slug says about the number printed. Librarians may not necessarily group same printing slug under same catalog number, so this temporary system will need to be revised. I believe that this will require something closer to a database record. And these will be the fields:
Print Date (1852, 1853, or other?)
No Printed Slug
Number of Pages
Bound with Key
Bibliographic State (1, 2, 3, etc., if applicable)
Available for ILL
OCLC Catalog No.
Damage Level (Bookseller Categories, supplemented by text field?)
Note to Booksellers and Collectors: If you have a copy of the John P. Jewett’s paperback printing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin dated 1852 or 1853, booksellers often sell it as an “affordable alternative” to the two-volume edition. This work is preliminary, but it seems clear that libraries hold 40-plus copies of the paperback printing. Affordable is relative, as prices at present moment (early 2009) range from $40 or $50 to upwards of $300, depending on condition. Booksellers seem not to distinguish between early and late printings in assigning values. But if you’d like to, my belief is that the title slug 153,000 probably represent the early printings of paperback. I’m curious about paperback printings later than 245th thousand, and I’d welcome queries about privately held copies.