Burt’s Pocket Edition of Standard Classics

burtspocket_logoA. L. Burt Company (New York, US)
Series dates: 1920-1937
Size: 4.5″ x 6.75″

Burt published numerous reprint series including many gift and juvenile series from 1883 until the company was sold in 1937. A few, such as the Cornell Series, Burt’s Home Library and Burt’s Pocket Edition of Standard Classics included titles by standard authors, copyright-free and often seemingly printed with older plates (thus the type is often uneven and broken in places) purchased from other publishers.

Burt’s Pocket Edition of Standard Classics with its 150 titles was a scaled down (in size), faux-leather covered series Burt began to sell in the 1920s. The series name is not included in the books, nor is a catalog of titles listed in the books (thus the jackets are important for series details).

There are typically no dates in the book, besides an occasional dated introduction. The Browning book’s introduction is dated 1872, indicating these are very old plates for a book published after 1920.

Given differences among the catalogs on the dust jackets on the seven copies of this series I have with jackets, there are three different jacket and book combinations.

The oldest (with the shortest catalog) have grey jackets with a very simple design. The front jacket flap continues the series titles from the rear jacket cover. The series name is not on the jacket spine.


The series title list and price ($1) are on the back of the jacket.


The binding is faux-leatherette with plain endpapers.


The jacket on this Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam has the same list of titles on the back of the jacket and front flap but adds a list of new titles to the rear jacket flap. This style of this series is, then, newer than the previous example. The jackets are redesigned, a bit more elaborate in design. The series name is added to the jacket spine.


The new titles are on the rear dust jacket flap.


A cheaper looking, thinner faux-leatherette replaces the more substantial faux-leatherette on the earlier copies.


The latest variation jacket resets the list of series titles, incorporating the titles from the previous version in alphabetical order, and spreading them over the back of the jacket and both jacket flaps. The type on the front of the jacket is changed to something more frilly from the previous jacket.



The binding material is now balloon cloth, sturdier and cheaper than the faux-leather. The book spine is also redesigned.