As the 2018 Fall/Winter season begins, let’s take a moment to see what UNP was publishing fifty years ago.
Compared to the more contemporary catalogs of recent years, the 1968 catalog is slim—only thirty-three pages of books—many of the titles are reprints of classic material and criticism. However, there were a few unique books debuting from the Press half a century ago.
The first page of the catalog showcases the work of Bill Nye (although not the science guy, who would have been thirteen years old at the time). Instead, it’s showcasing the work of turn-of-the-century Midwestern humorist Bill Nye—real name Edgar Wilson Nye—whose columns were published in newspapers throughout the Great Plains in the 1880s and 1890s. While little of his work is available online, Nye’s most lasting cultural contribution was founding the Laramie Boomerang in 1881, a newspaper still publishing today.
Today, Bison Books is recognized internationally for publishing Black Elk Speaks and other pivotal pieces of Native literature and while these books were still being published in 1968, more populist cowboy literature was representative of the imprint’s offerings. The above image is a small selection of the titles available at the time.
The Prairie Schooner was also in the 1968 catalog. Today you can buy the latest issue for $9.00.