Professor Harold Hill whipped decent Iowans into a frenzy with his warning about wayward youth. One of the telltale signs of corruption? A dime novel hidden in the corn crib. Ooooh, we’ve got trouble!
Precursors to pulp fiction, dime novels were popular, affordable, sensational, and sadly ephemeral reading material for the masses in the later 1800’s and early 1900’s. Youthful plucky heroes, slit-eyed gunslingers, rugged frontiersmen, and plucky New York girls being pursued by urban wolves crowded the pages of these novels and serial magazines in stories that were almost always double-titled. Fred Fearnot’s War Canoe or Beating The Indian Champions was a typical title that lured buyers and subscribers. Collectible dime novels are hard to find and afford today. You could spend more than $1,000 for just one installment of Denver Doll the Detective Queen’s harrowing adventures.
So avoid the uncomfortable corn crib and save a grand by joining Matthew Short, digital collections and metadata librarian at Northern Illinois University as he reveals the dime novel’s history and tells the tale of how NIU’s and Villanova’s libraries are collaborating to save their content.
May 10 Luncheon: Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Boulevard. Buffet opens at 11:30 am; program 12:30-1:30. Luncheon is $35. Program free but please let us know you’re coming. Reservations or cancellations for lunch by noon Wednesday the week of the luncheon. Reserve at caxtonclub.org, call 312-255-3710, or e-mail email@example.com.
c/o The Newberry Library60 W. Walton StreetChicago, IL 60610
Tel: +1 (312) 255-3710