How It All Started
Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC had its beginnings in 1995 when I started making a few facsimiles solely for my own use. I had already been collecting books for some time, and found it discouraging that I would never be able to acquire many of the books I wanted in jacket. While building my own library, I had met many fellow collectors and was amazed at the remarkable jacket art I saw on their books. Because I had access to their collections, the idea of making my own jackets was conceived. Putting my computer and printing skills to use, I slowly began building a small assortment of jackets. Eventually, the results of my labor became popular enough to begin offering these facsimiles to others.
By 1998, Black and White Books offered to sell my facsimiles on AbeBooks. Originally, I only intended to share whatever jackets I had already made for myself. However, it soon became obvious how important the archiving of these dust jacket images was for bibliographic and historical reasons. Therefore, my focus shifted to archiving images of dust jackets and the Dust Jacket Archives was born. Since 1999, I've been traveling and scanning interesting collections all over North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. During my travels, I've made numerous new friends and have had access to tremendous collections and thus, continue to add to the Dust Jacket Archives. Without the generosity of these contacts, the Archives would not be possible. I am grateful and thank all of you who have contributed to this project.
Because I had spent over twenty years in commercial printing (working with images in traditional and digital pre-press departments and manipulating film and computer files for printing on offset presses), I had developed particular skills that were a huge asset in achieving the results I wanted with the facsimiles. Eventually, I left the company I was working for in order to focus full time on these jackets and in the fall of 2002, I established my own web site and asked Black and White Books to remove my listings from AbeBooks.
By 2009, my Archive had grown so large that I could no longer adequately keep up with the scanning, restoring, updating, and managing of all the other facets needed to run a business. So I asked my sister, Gail, to join me in archiving these dust jackets. Her job has been to organize, research, and list new scans, and between the two of us, we are now able to upload new jackets to the website on a regular basis. Gail has become an important asset to our project.
Since 2021, my son, Seth, has been in charge of the entire printing and shipping division of Facsimile Dust Jackets. With Seth proficiently managing this part of the business, I am now free to concentrate on restorations and growing the Dust Jacket Archives. Upon my retirement, it is Seth’s goal to take over the entire business.
As of January 2022, I have scanned almost 60,000 unique titles. If variants and duplicates are included, there are well over 75,000 jackets. Many of these will never make it onto my website, as they are either too damaged to restore or they are so common that it is not logical to restore them. However, these jackets are still an important component to the Dust Jacket Archives.
Offering facsimiles dust jackets is how I support the Dust Jacket Archives project and is a way that everyone can have access to these great jackets. Clients order jackets for a variety of reasons. They’ve been used as props in plays or movies and for bibliographic resources. Occasionally, family members of the authors or artists have purchased them as well as publishers who wish to produce or reissue a book. I have had magazines order them to use in the stories they are running. However, these jackets are most commonly purchased by collectors who wish to protect their books with a quality facsimile, allowing them to enjoy the artwork they might otherwise never see.