Series Book Magazine Index

A subject index of hobby journals which feature articles on juvenile series books.

©1995, 2000, 2004 by James D. Keeline

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Dime Novel Round-Up
Newsboy
Tutter Bugle
Boys' Book Collector
Boy's Book Buff
Mystery & Adventure Series Review
Yellowback Library
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Format: Bibliography Table

Thousands of children have read series books and hundreds of adults remember them and collect them today.  As these collectors found each other, they began to produce newsletters and magazines to share information about their books and to trade them.  Some of these publications were produced on slick paper and contained photos of scarce series books, while others were typewritten and photocopied.

These magazines contain articles which describe series, identify scarce books, reprint scarce articles from other sources, identify ghostwriters and pseudonyms used, and give biographical information about the authors and illustrators of series books.  In short, they are a gold mine of information for both new and seasoned collectors and researchers.  Although the articles were generally written by fans of a series rather than by professional or academic scholars, the articles often contain information which is more accurate than other sources or simply unfindable elsewhere.

Until recently, children's literature has been largely ignored in academic circles.  Slowly, over the past two decades it has received greater attention and respect.  However, the subject of juvenile series books is still not covered thoroughly in standard library resources and much of the information which can be found in those sources is notorious for inaccuracies and outright falsehoods, repropagating myths which have been convincingly disproven by dilligent researchers.

Many series books were produced under pseudonyms which disguised the true author's name.  In nearly every case, the first published information identifying the authorship of these books has appeared in one of these amateur publications.  For example, Mildred A. Wirt Benson, the principal ghostwriter for the Nancy Drew series was known to collectors long before she was featured on National television news programs which covered the 1993 Nancy Drew Conference at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Despite the quality of information, these publications are carried by few libraries; the subscribers were mainly collectors and booksellers who were interested in this genre.  As a result, academic researchers looking into these series now are generally unaware of the previous scholarship which was published in these magazines.

These publications were also only occasionally indexed which makes access to this information difficult.  This index was first prepared in 1994 as a printed Excel spreadsheet to address this access situation.  As more and more people use the Internet to gain information on these books, an online version of the information is the obvious solution.  Below is a list of the publications which are indexed, arranged in chronological order from the publication date of each magazine's first issue.

Most of the issues indexed are in my personal collection either as an original issue or a photocopy.  If you find an article of interest, you should first try to contact the editor of that publication to see if a back issue or photocopy of the article can be acquired.  Some editors will not honor your request unless you are a subscriber or accompany your request with an offer to subscribe.  If you have exhausted all reasonable efforts to get the publication from your library, through inter-library loan, or from the editor of the magazine, please contact me and I will see if the issue in question is in my collection.

It is also important to note that the index is not complete.  Little work has been done on this index since 1994 so recent issues are not covered thoroughly.  Many of the early issues of the oldest publication featuring some series book articles, The Dime Novel Round-Up, remain unindexed as well.  I hope to rectify this in the near future as I obtain missing issues and use time to extract the desired information from them.

My initial purpose in creating this index was to make the random bits of knowledge spread across approximately 1,000 issues of these publications and transform it into organized information which could be readily accessed.  In addition to writing articles on series books and participating in Internet listservs and usenet groups on the topic, I am also the current area chair for a section in the Popular Culture Association which specializes in dime novels, pulp magazines, and juvenile series books.  I also have two book-length projects on series books which are in various degrees of completion.  One of these will be a self-published booklet of approximately 100 pages which will provide information on The Stratemeyer Syndicate Ghostwriters, hence its title.  The other, larger, project is my Series Book Encyclopedia which will feature around 500 pages of alphabetic entries for major and minor fiction series and the people who created them.  This book will be published by a library-oriented publisher so that if it is successful in that marketplace, we can finally begin to reverse the spread of misinformation on this highly influential area of children's literature.  If you would like to see a sample of the Encyclopedia, follow the link to the Adobe Acrobat document with sample entries from the "A" section.


©1995, 2000, 2004 by James D. Keeline All Rights Reserved.