Book Collecting

Alfred A. Knopf

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. was founded in 1915 and incorporated in 1918 with Alfred Knopf as president; his wife, Blanche Knopf, as vice president; and his father, Samuel Knopf, as treasurer. Alfred and Blanche traveled abroad regularly and became known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to American writers. In 1923, Knopf also started publishing periodicals, beginning with The American Mercury. Knopf also produced a quarterly, The Borzoi Quarterly, for the purpose of promoting new books. At least 17 Nobel Prize and 47 Pulitzer Prize winning authors have been published by Knopf. The company was acquired by Random House in 1960 and published textbooks until 1988, when Random House’s schools and colleges division was sold to McGraw-Hill. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House, which is owned by the German private media corporation Bertelsmann.

First Edition Identification

Until about 1933, first editions from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. had the same date on the title page and the copyright page or had no additional printings indicated on the copyright page. Around this time, first editions also sometimes stated “Published (Month or Year)” on the copyright page. Since about 1934, first editions have consistently stated “First Edition” with no additional printings indicated on the copyright page. Some 1970s titles, particularly children’s books, have a sequence of numbers appears on the last printed page with “1” present in first editions.