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The "yellow-back" was a Victorian innovation, an inexpensive reprint edition of a popular work of the day. It is readily identifiable by its cover, usually of bright yellow glazed paper over boards, with a striking illustration printed on the front and advertisements on the back. The British reading public, greatly expanded by the spread of education, had begun to demand cheap popular literature, and these eye-catching volumes, priced from sixpence to a shilling, satisfied the demand for over sixty years. These books, which are now scarce in fine condition, provide an important research resource in the history of publishing and illustration.
Princeton's holdings are scattered in the Parrish Collection and General Rare Book Collection. A collection of 69 volumes came as the gift of Anthony Newnham; all are catalogued and findable under the subject heading "Yellowbacks" in the Library's online catalog. See Chester W. Topp. Victorian Yellowbacks & Paperbacks, 1849-1905 under George Routledge [vol. 1] (Denver : Hermitage Antiquarian Bookshop, 1993- ) [(F) Z2014.P79 T66 1993].