Academy Classics

aka/Academy Series of English Classics
aka/Academy Series

Allyn & Bacon (New York, US)
Series dates: 1891-1970
Size: 4.25″ x 6.75″

A long-running series published in the US by Allyn and Bacon, the Academy Classics were directly aimed at the educational market (high school and college) and titles were imbued with background information and notes to assist in the teaching of these classics. A significant number of these titles survive. A catalog from the late 1920s (shown at the end of this page) explicitly shows how titles are tied into educational requirements.

I am 99% confident these books were not typically issued with a dust jacket, as they were purchased in bulk by teachers or schools (and thus did not need the jacket for protection in stores, or for advertising). The copy shown below, Shakespeare’s Macbeth (with a 1922 copyright, and likely late 1920s or early 1930s) does have a custom dust jacket, an Atlas Book Cover No. 2, which has printed instructions for folding and covering the book. The front of the Atlas Book Cover folded over the copy of Macbeth. The scan below shows the front and back covers and spine. The cover, when instructions are followed, results in a globe in each of the four exposed corners.

The inside of the Atlas Book Cover (No. 2) with printed instructions for folding and fitting over the book. I’ve not fully unfolded the jacket as it is glued together. I cannot find any information on the Atlas Book Cover or who manufactured it.

Academy Classics titles do have a few binding variations over time, but the vast majority have this simple design with some variations in the binding color (blue, green, red). A few titles have an illustrated cover. The series name is on th efront of the book.

Blank end-papers with an original owner’s name and notes.

An illustration faces the title page:

The copyright year (1922) and printer information: “Norwood Press. J.S. Cushing Co. – Berwick and Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A”

The catalog below is likely from the late 1920s and contains information on the series titles and how they can be incorporated into required teaching standards. The entire catalog is reproduced here, along with a mimeographed order form and page of lauditory comments about the series from users (shown at the end).

The order form and laudatory comments: