NCL Series Four


Previous Series Next Series


Series Four Collage

Series Four Collage

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 Design

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

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

Book CoverBook TitleAuthor
New Canadian Library A Bird in the House Book CoverA Bird in the HouseMargaret Laurence
New Canadian Library A Choice of Enemies Book CoverA Choice of EnemiesMordecai Richler
New Canadian Library A Jest of God Book CoverA Jest of GodMargaret Laurence
New Canadian Library A Search For America Book CoverA Search for AmericaFrederick Philip Grove
New Canadian Library Across the Bridge Book CoverAcross the BridgeMavis Gallant
New Canadian Library Anne of Green Gables Book CoverAnne of Green GablesL. M. Montgomery
New Canadian Library Any Time at All and Other Stories Book CoverAny Time at All and Other StoriesJoyce Marshall
New Canadian Library Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich Book CoverArcadian Adventures with the Idle RichStephen Leacock
New Canadian Library As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories Book CoverAs Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other StoriesAlistair MacLeod
New Canadian Library As For Me and My House Book CoverAs for Me and My HouseSinclair Ross
New Canadian Library Barometer Rising Book CoverBarometer RisingHugh MacLennan
New Canadian Library Bear Book CoverBearMarian Engel
New Canadian Library Beautiful Losers Book CoverBeautiful LosersLeonard Cohen
New Canadian Library Blood Ties Book CoverBlood TiesDavid Adams Richards
New Canadian Library Cocksure Book CoverCocksureMordecai Richler
New Canadian Library Crackpot Book CoverCrackpotAdele Wiseman
New Canadian Library Emily Climbs Book CoverEmily ClimbsL. M. Montgomery
New Canadian Library Emily of New Moon Book CoverEmily of New MoonL. M. Montgomery
New Canadian Library Emily's Quest Book CoverEmily’s QuestL. M. Montgomery
New Canadian Library Fruits of the Earth Book CoverFruits of the EarthFrederick Philip Grove
New Canadian Library Garden in the Wind Book CoverGarden in the WindGabrielle Roy
New Canadian Library Good Bones Book CoverGood BonesMargaret Atwood
New Canadian Library Hetty Dorval Book CoverHetty DorvalEthel Wilson
New Canadian Library In the Village of Viger Book CoverIn the Village of VigerDuncan Campbell Scott
New Canadian Library Judth Hearne Book CoverJudith HearneBrian Moore
New Canadian Library Life in the Clearings Versus the Bush Book CoverLife in the Clearings Versus the BushSusanna Moodie
New Canadian Library Literary Lapses Book CoverLiterary LapsesStephen Leacock
New Canadian Library Love and Salt Water Book CoverLove and Salt WaterEthel Wilson
New Canadian Library Mrs. Golightly and Other Stories Book CoverMrs. Golightly and Other StoriesEthel Wilson
New Canadian Library Murder in the Dark Book CoverMurder in the DarkMargaret Atwood
New Canadian Library My Financial Career and Other Follies Book CoverMy Financial Career and Other FolliesStephen Leacock
New Canadian Library My Remarkable Uncle Book CoverMy Remarkable UncleStephen Leacock
New Canadian Library Over Prairie Trails Book CoverOver Prairie TrailsFrederick Philip Grove
New Canadian Library Roughing It in the Bush Book CoverRoughing It in the BushSusanna Moodie
New Canadian Library Running in the Family Book CoverRunning in the FamilyMichael Ondaatje
New Canadian Library St. Urbain's Horseman Book CoverSt. Urbain’s HorsemanMordecai Richler
New Canadian Library Sarah Binks Book CoverSarah BinksPaul Hiebert
New Canadian Library Settlers of the Marsh Book CoverSettlers of the MarshFrederick Philip Grove
New Canadian Library Street of Riches Book CoverStreet of RichesGabrielle Roy
New Canadian Library Such a Long Journey Book CoverSuch a Long JourneyRohinton Mistry
New Canadian Library Such Is My Beloved Book CoverSuch Is My BelovedMorley Callaghan
New Canadian Library Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town Book CoverSunshine Sketches of a Little TownStephen Leacock
New Canadian Library Surfacing Book CoverSurfacingMargaret Atwood
New Canadian Library Swamp Angel Book CoverSwamp AngelEthel Wilson
New Canadian Library Tales from Firozsha Baag Book CoverTales from Firozsha BaagRohinton Mistry
New Canadian Library Tay John Book CoverTay JohnHoward O’Hagan
New Canadian Library The Afterlife of George Cartwright Book CoverThe Afterlife of George CartwrightJohn Steffler
New Canadian Library The Alley Cat Book CoverThe Alley CatYves Beauchemin
New Canadian Library The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Book Cover The Apprenticeship of Duddy KravitzMordecai Richler
New Canadian Library The Backwoods of Canada Book CoverThe Backwoods of CanadaCatharine Parr Traill
New Canadian Library The Blue Mountains of China Book CoverThe Blue Mountains of ChinaRudy Henry Wiebe
New Canadian Library The Cashier Book CoverThe CashierGabrielle Roy
New Canadian Library The Clockmaker Book CoverThe ClockmakerThomas C. Haliburton
New Canadian Library The Coming of Winter Book CoverThe Coming of WinterDavid Adams Richards
New Canadian Library The Diviners Book CoverThe DivinersMargaret Laurence
New Canadian Library The Edible Woman Book CoverThe Edible WomanMargaret Atwood
New Canadian Library The Equations of Love Book CoverThe Equations of LoveEthel Wilson
New Canadian Library The Favourite Game Book CoverThe Favourite GameLeonard Cohen
New Canadian Library The Fire-Dwellers Book CoverThe Fire-DwellersMargaret Laurence
New Canadian Library The Imperialist Book CoverThe ImperialistSara Jeannette Duncan
New Canadian Library The Incomparable Atuk Book CoverThe Incomparable AtukMordecai Richler
New Canadian Library The Innocent Traveller Book CoverThe Innocent TravellerEthel Wilson
New Canadian Library The Invention of the World Book CoverThe Invention of the WorldJack Hodgins
New Canadian Library The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories Book CoverThe Lamp at Noon and Other StoriesSinclair Ross
New Canadian Library The Lost Salt Gift of Blood Book CoverThe Lost Salt Gift of BloodAlistair MacLeod
New Canadian Library The Luck of Ginger Coffey Book CoverThe Luck of Ginger CoffeyBrian Moore
New Canadian Library The Man from Glengarry Book CoverThe Man From GlengarryRalph Connor
New Canadian Library The Moslem Wife and Other Stories Book CoverThe Moslem Wife and Other StoriesMavis Gallant
New Canadian Library The Mountain and the Valley Book CoverThe Mountain and the ValleyErnest Buckler
New Canadian Library The Prophet's Camel Bell Book CoverThe Prophet’s Camel BellMargaret Laurence
New Canadian Library The Sacrifice Book CoverThe SacrificeAdele Wiseman
New Canadian Library The Second Scroll front coverThe Second ScrollA. M. Klein
New Canadian Library The Stone Angel Book CoverThe Stone AngelMargaret Laurence
New Canadian Library The Temptations of Big Bear Book CoverThe Temptations of Big BearRudy Henry Wiebe
New Canadian Library The Tin Flute Book CoverThe Tin FluteGabrielle Roy
New Canadian Library The Tomorrow-Tamer Book CoverThe Tomorrow-TamerMargaret Laurence
New Canadian Library Thirty Acres book coverThirty AcresRinguet
New Canadian Library Under the Ribs of Death Book CoverUnder the Ribs of DeathJohn Marlyn
New Canadian Library Wacousta Book CoverWacoustaJohn Richardson
New Canadian Library Where Nests the Water Hen Book CoverWhere Nests the Water HenGabrielle Roy
New Canadian Library Wild Animals I Have Known Book CoverWild Animals I Have KnownErnest Thompson Seton
New Canadian Library Wild Geese Book CoverWild GeeseMartha Ostenso
New Canadian Library Windflower Book CoverWindflowerGabrielle Roy
New Canadian Library Woodsmen of the West Book CoverWoodsmen of the WestM. Allerdale Grainger

NCL Series Four Originals in my Collection

Book CoverBook TitleAuthor
New Canadian Library Canadian Poetry: From the Beginnings Through the First World War Book CoverCanadian Poetry: From the Beginnings Through the First World WarVarious Editors

Previous Series Next Series


Leave a Reply