I was goofing off as usual and was using my copy of Blatchley’s 1910 “An Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of the Coleoptera or Beetles (Exclusive of the Rhynchophora) Known to Occur in Indiana”. It’s an original printing that I bought online back in 2007. Despite a little water damage, it’s a very clean copy with no writing. However, “512” is hand written in black ink at the bottom of page 95.
I checked all the other copies I could find (see attached) and all of them have numbers written at the bottom of page 95: 5, 362, 576, 961. All different and all below 1000.
Was each copy individually numbered? And, how many copies were printed?
There is some discrepancy about how many copies were printed.
Based on the front material of the book (see attached), it seems like only 1000 copies were printed at cost of $3,800 (or less).
However Mallis (1971) says: “Because the state refused to publish this as part of the Geological Survey, it was paid for out of other State funds. Blatchley personally paid for a private edition of 1,000 copies.”
Marché (2010) says: “Two printings of the volume were made: one funded by the State of Indiana and another private edition (of 1,000 copies) by Blatchley himself.”
All the copies I’ve looked at say “(Date of issue of this volume, September 20, 1910.)” at the bottom of page 1386. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Were there really two printings?
So check page 95 of your copy and report back! You might have number 1!
Marché, J. D. 2010. A classic tome turns 100: W. S. Blatchley's Coleoptera in Indiana. The Coleopterists Bulletin 64(2): 157–159.
Mallis, A. 1971. American Entomologists. Rutgers University Press, NJ.