What is the Dime Novel Bibliography?
The Dime Novel Bibliography project aims to create a comprehensive online database of dime novels, story papers, reprint libraries and related materials. This is currently a work in progress.
What is a Dime Novel?
For an overview of dime novels and other popular literature, see the Paper for the People online exhibit at Villanova University's Falvey Memorial Library.
Who was Edward T. LeBlanc?
Edward T. LeBlanc was the editor of Dime Novel Round-Up from 1952 to 1994, and he devoted many years of his life to compiling extensive lists of dime novels and related materials. With the permission of the LeBlanc family, we are using his research as a foundation for this project, while also incorporating information from various other sources.
How much work has been completed?
See the Progress Report page.
How accurate is the data?
LeBlanc built his bibliographies from a variety of sources. While actual copies of the books were his first authorities, there are many titles that he never saw. Thus, his listings also had to rely on publisher advertising, secondary sources, and notes from other collectors. This means that some of the data here may be speculative in nature, and it is very likely that some of the listings are "phantoms" that never actually existed. As in any large data set, there is also likely some small percentage of error in transcription, etc.
This site is designed to be a guide and a discovery tool to help find more data and explore relationships between books and authors; it is not necessarily intended to be a final authority on every detail of every book. For the reasons listed above, additional fact-checking may sometimes be necessary. When possible, links are provided to digitized copies of books, enabling first-hand verification of details. When there are known discrepancies or outstanding questions, these are described in detail on the series-level records. If you have any questions about an individual title, checking the record for the associated series may provide answers. The series records also indicate which listings are not yet fully entered -- they will always include a note saying "This listing is a work in progress."
Who is responsible for the project?
This project is hosted and coordinated by Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University. Several other institutions have shared raw data and/or contributed data entry labor to help build the site, including Northern Illinois University, the University of South Florida, Stanford University, Bowling Green State University, Oberlin College, and the Library of Congress. Significant work on the listings related to Beadle and Adams was funded through a CLIR Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant. Significant work on the listings related to Street & Smith was funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For a full list of individuals who have directly participated in the project, see the Credits page.
How can I help?
There are many ways you can help with the project:
- Contribute corrections and additions - as discussed above, much of the data in this site comes from the LeBlanc bibliographies. These are an incredibly valuable resource, but they do contain some errors, omissions, and best guesses. In some cases, the recent availability of digitized books and library catalog records makes it possible to expand upon LeBlanc's original research and to resolve some of the questions he was unable to easily answer. If you notice an error in the database, please let us know. If you spot an omission, first check the PDF-format LeBlanc bibliographies in case we have not yet had time to enter the relevant listing into the database; if the listing has already been entered, then we are very interested in receiving data about missing titles. If the listing has not been entered, see "data entry" below for ways you can help.
- Volunteer to help with data entry - Due to the huge scope of the LeBlanc bibliographies, the process of building this database takes a great deal of time. We welcome volunteers willing to help with the entry process, either by transcribing data from LeBlanc's work or by indexing digitized periodicals to enrich LeBlanc's existing indexes. To gain access to data entry tools, you will have to contact us and receive some training; for a preview of what the process looks like, see our training manual.
- Submit reviews and/or collection lists - by registering for an account, you will be able to write reviews of books, comment on entire series, and manage a list of books in your own collection. This is a useful way to share your insights and document the survival of existing copies of rare titles.
If you are interested in getting involved in these or other ways, please contact Demian Katz for more details.