Spotting 1st editions
One common question about Ladybirds is "how do I know if it's a first edition?". Many bookshops look at th "first published 1960" and (wrongly) assume that is a 1st ed. Several enthusiasts on the ladybirdbooks egroup have started to compare volumes in an attempt to indentify key features of 1st editions. The results may well end up on this site. Series Numbers indicate when the first book in that series was published. i.e. Series 474 - the first book was published in April (4th month of 1947). The dates given in our lists is the year the title eras first published. Most later books only carried this date and lacked reprint information.

All early Ladybirds came with a colour dust jacket. The hard-back bindings were plain with the tide printed on, and a colour plate pasted into the centre panel. Later this was dropped, and the covers carried a simple line-drawing. Dust-wrappers were dropped in 1965 and the books then changed to having the cover design printed directly onto the card binding. Later still the covers were given a glossy finish. During the eighties the books began to replace illustrations with photographs in all but the children's story and cartoon books.

I've put together a series of "Robinson Codes" for logging these features in a database, which has been amended & expanded by the Internet group. Note that for many books, they are not all necessary to identify editions. In addition, there are some codes for logging the condition of books for swapping. They take some getting used to, but should (in theory!) make life easier in the long run. Let me have any additions or comments.

 

Codes for ascertaining edition

code meaning

TAL?

tally number eg TAL(120)

TALN

no tally number

SPD

spine lettering down

SPU

spine lettering up

SPE

spine empty - no lettering

BLC

inside cover has blue closed logo

BLW

inside cover has blue winged logo

BRW

inside cover brown winged logo

ICDR?

inside cover line drawing (plus colour)

ICTX

inside written text

CT?

cover text colour/s eg CT(blue/white)

NIS?

number in series eg NIS(5). Can be used to reference other series numbers: NIS(532-2)

NOP

number of pages

PRP?

Price pre-decimal eg PPR(2/6)

PRD?

price decimal eg. PRD(30p)

PRB

price both decimal & predecimal

PRN

no price given

COB

cover buff colour under DJ

COG

cover grey colour under DJ

COP

cover features a picture under DJ

CLM

cover matt laminated

CLG cover gloss laminated

WH/LB

publisher

DJ? DJ colour eg DJ(light green)

general condition codes

ED?

stated edition eg ED2

DJ?

jacket condition eg DJVG, DJEX

SP?

spine condition eg SPVG, SPEX

DJM

jacket missing

SC1-5

degree of "scribbles" inside

SCX

ex-libris


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