Vintage Russian Library

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (1960); Random House (1960-1966)

Years: 1960-1966

Related Series: Modern Library Paperbacks, Vintage Books

Alfred A. Knopf inaugurated the The Vintage Russian Library mere months before Random House acquired Knopf in mid-1960. The first Knopf VRL titles, published May 16, 1960, bore series numbers R-1001 through R-1005. Titles V-707 through V-712, the first to reflect the new V-series numbering, were released as part of the Random House Fall 1960 offerings, as were V-718 and V-719, two titles originally solicited as Modern Library Paperbacks before the Knopf sale.

The earlier Knopf VRL titles were evidently reissued that fall with V- numbers, from V-701 to V-706. After the Knopf sale, Random House also reissued Russian titles from the Modern Library Paperbacks line with the numbers V-713 through V-717 (fall 1960) as well as V-721 & V-722 (spring 1961). A single title of Russian interest that had been released by Knopf in the pre-sale Vintage Books line was also reissued with a V-series number, V-720.

Vintage Books to Publish Series of Russian Studies, Publishers Weekly, June 22, 1959, at 43:

Vintage Books will begin publication early in 1960 of a new series called Vintage Russian Studies. The series will make available in paperback format both popular and scholarly material concerning historical Russia and the contemporary Soviet Union. Books by American and European authors and translations from the Russian, some of which previously have been inaccessible, will be published in the series.

The books will be priced between $1.10 and $1.65. A group of American authorities on Russian cultural and political history will constitute the advisory committee for the Vintage Russian Studies.

Ad, PW, Feb. 22, 1960, at 12 (listing R-1001a through R-1005 for publication May 16, 1960).

Special Discount Offer, PW, June 20, 1960, at 72 (indicating there were 5 new Vintage Russian Library titles to be published in October, including these four: “The Soviets in World Affairs” by Louis Fischer, $1.65 [V-707]; “Years of Childhood” by Sergey Aksakov, $1.45 [V-708]; “Early Joys” by Konstantin Fedin, $1.45 [V-709]; “Pan-Slavism” by Hans Kohn, $1.45 [V-710].

Vintage Books Absorbing Modern Library Paperbacks, PW, July 18, 1960, at 46 (explaining the new combined series will use V-numbers and specifying the change will start with new five Vintage Books published in September and six Vintage Russian Library and nine Modern Library Paperbacks titled issued in August and September).

Ad, PW, Aug. 22, 1960, at 19 (Fall 1960 offerings, including V-707 through V-712, as well as titles V-718 and V-719 branded as Fall 1960 Modern Library paperbacks).