One of my favorite books to stumble upon is a nice first edition of the “Rivers of America” series. Who wouldn’t like to make a collection of all sixty-five books in this fine series?
It all began in 1937 with Kennebec: Cradle of Americans by Robert P. Tristram Coffin, published by Farrar & Rinehart. The last book, The American: River of El Dorado, by Margaret Sanborn was published in 1974 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. In all, four publishers were involved with the continuation of the series over a 37-year period. Excellent writers, illustrators and editors were utilized in producing high quality books which have become very collectible in their original editions, and continue to be reprinted to this day.
Here are some highlights (courtesy of Wikipedia):
The series includes the first book illustrated by Andrew Wyeth, The Brandywine; Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ The Everglades: River of Grass which successfully focused public attention on the plight of the Everglades; Paul Horgan’s Great River: The Rio Grande in America History, considered the definitive study of the early Southwest; and poet Edgar Lee Masters’ The Sangamon.
The series represents one of the finest long-term efforts by a publisher to blend the talents of both writers and artists to present a tribute to the rivers that played such a vital role in the development of America. A testament to the editors’ outstanding work is the fact that many of these volumes continue to be reprinted and the original editions are now considered highly collectible. On April 9 and 10, 1997, a group of Rivers of America authors and illustrators were brought together by the Library of Congress to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the series. The Library of Congress published an Information Bulletin highlighting the celebration on June 7, 1997. 1
A set of War Editions was published between 1942-1945 and also a series of paperback Armed Services Editions, which are also collectible.
All books pictured above are first editions. To view “Rivers of America” titles currently available at Old Scrolls Book Shop, click HERE.
1Wikipedia, Rivers of America Series.