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Collecting Nancy Drew: Formats 101

Selling Nancy Drew Books? Scroll below for clues on how to sell and describe your books with the collector in mind...

The Case of the Confused Collector? The Mystery of the Mysterious Nancy Drew Formats? The Clue in the Vintage Nancy Drew Book?

Since 1930, when Nancy Drew books debuted on the market, the books have gone through many printings which included a multitude of format changes--enough to make the whole matter a real mystery to decipher! Authors like David Farah, who wrote Farah's Guide, which breaks down the formats and each printing's formats, have made it a lot easier for us to find the clues to solve our little mystery of formats. For more information on ordering Farah's Guide and other sources, visit the Books About Nancy Drew section. If you would like me to help identify what you have and give a value estimate, please click here!

Volume #1, The Secret of the Old Clock, for instance, as David Farah notes in his guide, has over 116 printings to date. Imagine trying to collect them all! This formats section is a guide not to each printing and its components like Farah's Guide, but to each part that makes up a Nancy Drew book--the dust jackets, the boards, the endpapers, the picture covers, the internal illustrations, and more. It is truly an anatomy 101 on a Nancy Drew series book.

Solving the Puzzling Formats Mystery!

Below are the different chapter links to the various formats of your Nancy Drew collection - The Dust Jacket, The Picture Cover, The Boards, The Endpapers, The Illustrators for Dust Jackets and Picture Covers, The Internal Illustrations, and The Texts & Authors. Hopefully these will provide the clues to discovering what you have, what you are looking for, and what you should know to build your unique collection!

Also, you will find collecting and selling tips--things to look for and avoid when buying and selling. Following that is a quick format guide to the various decades of Nancy Drew to spot what you have quickly. Use the following sections to narrow down further what you have and get an understanding of all the different kinds of formats and styles this series has been produced in.

Currently, I am writing a book which focuses on the mysterious history of Nancy Drew. While this website is a good introduction into the world of Nancy Drew, you will find further analysis in my upcoming book.


The Dust Jacket:

The Boards:

The Picture Cover:

The Endpapers:

The Dust Jacket and Picture Cover Illustrations:

The Internal Illustrations:

The Texts, Authors, & Originals v. Revisions:

Collecting & Selling Tips:


Nancy Drew Formats in a Nutshell:

Below you'll find a quick guide to formats--but be sure to check out the above sections to really learn more about what you have and what books come in what formats. You'll also find lots of handy charts and checklists in those sections as well.


White Spine Dust Jacket Format:

Volumes: 1-22
Dates: 1930 - 1961


Wrap Spine Dust Jacket Format:

Volumes: 1-9, 11, 23-38
Dates: 1946 - 1961


Matte Yellow Spine Picture Cover (YSPC) Format:

Volumes: 1-56
Dates: 1962-1986


Glossy Flashlight Yellow Spine Picture Cover Format:

Volumes: 1-56
Dates: 1986-Present Day

Sources used for the above formatting information include my own vast research regarding my growing collection, David Farah's 11th Guide regarding information on some of the dates for the various endpapers and authors names, and Betsy Caprio's Girl Sleuth on the Couch for some revised text information--noted in that section above.



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