Books, Inc. collection Edit


MSS 435 large


  • 1944 – 1961 (Publication)


  • 11 Linear Feet (Whole)
    11 boxes

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  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item, Folder number and/or title, Box number, Books, Inc. collection, MSS 435, Special Collections, MSU Libraries, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The collection was donated by Tom Nicely, year unknown.

  • Processing Information

    Leslie M. Behm processed this collection in 2016.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Books, Inc. was owned by Andrew Hamming. Books, Inc. was Mr. Hamming's second and more successful publishing venture. It came into being as the Depression was ending. At the time The Colonial Press in Worcester, Mass., owned by Lewis M. Adams, needed work for their press hands. The arrangement was made that Hamming would sell the books and Lewis M. Adams would publish the books.

    Mr. Adams came back from England with permission to publish an abridged version of an enclcyopedia which was quickly followed by a Bible, dictionary, juvenile literature, mysteries, and literary classics that were in the public domain.

    Andy Hamming was not interested in new authors or selling small quanitities of books. He was a pioneer of selling inexpensive books. He introduced the 25 cent paperback books to G.C. Murphy's variety store customers. He was the first publisher to place books in Philadelphia's American Stores (later Acme). They were not sure where to put the books in the store. American Stores declared "The New American Cookbook" was paper therefore belonged with paper towels and toilet paper.

    Many companies such as movie houses, Kennel-Ration Company, and door-to-door salesmen bought them to use as premiums for selling their products.

    Mr. Hamming considered himself to be the Henry Ford of book publishing. In 1961 at the age of 81 years, he sold the company to Publisher's Company, Inc.

  • Scope and Contents

    The collection comprises some of the titles that Books, Inc. sold.

  • Arrangement

    The arrangement is alphabetic by author.