Hutchinson University Library

Hutchinson & Co. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1947-1998
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

The Hutchinson University Library series consisted of over 150 academic tomes, most written for the series but most likely including some reprints. The series began in 1947 and was probably intended to capture part of the rapidly growing post-WW2 market for specialized college texts. Most of the books were relatively succinct overviews of a specialized field in the natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities. There were some sub-series (“Senior Series”) and categories (English Literature, History, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, etc.)

Jackets for the series varied in the first decade or so. Most common seems to be the style on this copy of A.L.F. Rivet’s Town and Country in Roman Britain. The book is dated 1958. Another style jacket from the era is red with a band of text across the front which includes the series category. Some jackets are also white with text.

The jacket below is common through the late 1950s and early 1960s. Colors vary (green, red, teal, grey, blue, etc.) – possibly coded to the series category for the book. The series name is included on the jacket spine, along with the series category and its editor. The jacket front also includes the series name and the colophon for Hutchinson. A brief description of the book and its price are on the front jacket flap.

A brief biography of the author is included on the rear jacket flap. The back of the jacket advertises related titles in the series and includes their price. Prices varied for books in the series.

The books are bound in sturdy black cloth with a red and silver title/author area on the spine. The series name is also included at the base of the book’s spine.

The half-title page includes the series category and its editor.

An illustration faces the title page.

The copyright page indicates the date of publication and the copyright to the author.

Jackets are redesigned in the early 1960s. This copy of The Morphology of Gymnosperms by K.R. Sporne is dated 1965. Black bands at the top and bottom of the spine and jacket front indicate the series name, a colophon, and the series category (only on the spine). The center band varies in color, again possibly coded to the series category the particular book falls within. The book is summarized on the front flap of the jacket. Price was also included on the front jacket flap (here removed).

The rear jacket flap includes related books, these all in the biology section of the series. The jacket indicates “nearly 150 other titles.” The series continued to issue new and reprinted titles in large numbers particularly in the 1960s. The number of books seems to drop off but surge again in the early 1980s.

The binding of this 1965 title remains unchanged from the 1958 binding shown above.

The half title page, again with the series category and it’s editor:

The title page:

The copyright page: