Recently, the Collection development services team within the library had a discussion about the value of dust jackets. Whilst some of the team thought the jackets should be retained, others were not in favour at all! Although this seems to be a rather minor concern, it is on closer inspection quite important in some instances.
For example, I recently received a donation ‘The Road to Maturity’ edited by Edward F. Griffith; the edition donated to the library is a small hardback book, published by Victor Gollancz Ltd in 1944. This book has a dust jacket, originally bright yellow- now a little faded with age- with 2 pink horizontal stripes and text detailing the names of the contributors. There is also a quote from Sir Richard Livingstone, which reads as follows
“It sees sex as a whole; as a purely natural phenomenon with definite physical facts and laws…it makes the problem clear, suggests definite methods for solving it, and should help effectively others besides parents and teachers to grasp a nettle, which unless grasped firmly, will continue to sting- sometimes to death”!
Without the dust jacket, the book gives no immediate indication of its subject matter – it is a cloth bound hardcover with gold lettering on the spine detailing the title and author. In this case – the dust jacket provides an immediate insight into the content, sex education for children.
The Board of Education had, at that time, recently produced a pamphlet on sex education and the forward by sir Richard Livingstone remarks on Griffith’s book as a timely and important resource for teachers.
Sex education has been a contentious issue in education. The IOE library has many and varied resources on this topic from the early origins of the introduction of the subject (including the Board Of Education pamphlet) right up to date.
If this is an area of interest to you, check our online library and archives catalogues to see the range of resources we hold, also see our LibGuides for more information about our collections.