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The fourth version or series of the library began publishing around 1988. The titles sold in the $6.95 to $8.95 range depending on size and date the book was issued. The numbering system that was dropped from the back covers during the publication history of Series Three was totally abandoned for Series Four. When you couldn’t find the number on the backs of Series Three books, you could still find it on the copyright page inside, but this practice was also removed from Series Four as well.
The philosophy changed at M&S over the years since the NCL’s first publication back in 1958. Where under Sinclair Ross’ editorship, the library balanced the contemporary authors with ones from the beginnings of Canada’s creation, and included titles that were popular with titles that where more significant for historical reasons, after the departure of Ross, the library gravitated more toward sales and the perceived popularity of new additions. By Series Four this new philosophy was in full maturation. Titles that were unpopular were dropped. With so many titles that were traditionally re-issued going the way of the Dodo, maintaining the numbering system seemed both antiquated and possibly confusing for new readers/collectors of the library. So it was abandoned. From Series Four on, books would stand on their own merit, new titles were issued with no numbering and sales would be the major factor on whether books included in the library would continue to be published.
The overall design of the books was either greyish-blue or peach in colour. Artwork continued to be used on the front cover but now it dominated the space. Supplementary coloring was use to augment the peach or greyish-blue with oranges, reds and blues being the most popular. A new NCL logo was used that used black as its base color with the NCL lettering printed in cursive capitals.
The Front Cover
The front cover used paintings as its dominant feature. The painting covered 75% of the central area of the cover with the author’s name above and the book title below. The author’s first name was given a bright colour and printed in cursive font. Both the last name and title of the book were in a normal printed font in black. Along the left edge the NCL logo was printed in three black boxes each with one of the three letters (N, C, L) inside in cursive and matching the color of the author’s first name. At the top left edge the price of the book and its ISBN number is printed in tiny font running perpendicularly. At the bottom of the cover there is the identification of the afterword author and below it a thin rectangular line matching the colour of the author’s first name starting from right side edge and running left until 75% of the width is reached. The left edge of the painting, the title, the afterword mention, and the rectangle line up horizontally to show a clean neat design.
The Back Cover
The back cover included a synopsis of the book, the identification of the artist and ownership of the front cover painting, one or more quotes from various literary publications, the bar code identifying the book, and the M&S “open book” logo. All this information is enclosed in a rectangular box with its edge in black. The box covered 75% with its right edge flowing into the spine. At the top of the box there is a black stripe with “New Canadian Library” printed in cursive inside with its colour matching the colour used for the author’s first name. At the bottom of the box is the same colored rectangle as is shown on the front cover. Both the top and the bottom of the box continue onto the spine.
The spine contains at the top a black stripe continued from the back cover. Inside the stripe is “NCL” in cursive font matching the colour of the author’s first name. At the bottom is the colored stripe also continued from the back cover. Above it is the M&S “open book” logo. Running at the center of the spine is the author’s name followed by the book title, both in black printed font.
NCL Series Four in my Collection
NCL Series Four Originals in my Collection
|Book Cover||Book Title||Author|
|Canadian Poetry: From the Beginnings Through the First World War||Various Editors|
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