Monday, December 24, 2012

One Thing That's Hard to Find

Once in a while, I need to search something that's hard to search. Usually it's something with a generic name, so too many results come up. I keep meaning to start of list of examples when this occurs, but I haven't managed to yet.

But one thing I know is hard to find are books based on their illustrators, rather than authors, especially if you don't know the illustrator's name. I first noticed this because there's a copy of The Night Before Christmas that we had when I was a kid (probably published around 1960) that I've never been able to track down using the usual modern methods.

Covers of four different versions of The Night Before Christmas
Books like this, where there are numerous illustrated copies of a public-domain text, are one of the worst things to look for. There's probably a rare book dealer somewhere who knows what book I'm talking about, but there's no IMDB for illustrators, especially not one cross referenced by title.

If anyone has a suggestion of a way to go about finding this book, let me know.


Barbara said...

I feel silly asking, but did you try doing a google image search for "night before christmas 1960's"? I got some interesting images--you might see the illustrations that you remember.

Michael Leddy said...

If you have access to WorldCat: do a search for author and title, and limit the years covered. I just tried 1955-1965 and got 95 books, incl. one illustrated by Grandma Moses.

If you don't have access to WorldCat, I can send you the screenshots.

Daughter Number Three said...

Hmmm... neither of those angles seems to turn up any images that match what's in my memory.

Michael, I can see WorldCat, but most of the listings don't show images, so possibly I'm not seeing everything you are. I can see the Grandma Moses listing, for instance, but not the cover art.

Michael Leddy said...

I can’t see the art either — I just thought of it as a way to gather names to check on. Oh well.

Daughter Number Three said...

Oh, I see -- yes, it definitely offers up some names to look into. I was hoping for the lazy woman's way out!