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Dover Publications, also known as Dover Books, is an American book
publisher Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as book A ...

publisher
founded in 1941 by Hayward and Blanche Cirker. It primarily reissues books that are
out of print An out-of-print (OOP) or out-of-commerce item or work, is something that is no longer being published. The term applies to all types of printed matter, visual media, sound recordings, and video recordings. See also *Abandonware *Cut-out (re ...
from their original publishers. These are often, but not always, books in the
public domain The public domain consists of all the creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, wr ...

public domain
. The original published editions may be scarce or historically significant. Dover republishes these books, making them available at a significantly reduced cost.


Classic reprints

Dover reprints classic works of literature, classical
sheet music Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of musical notation Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instrument (music), instruments or singing, sung by the hum ...

sheet music
, and public-domain images from the 18th and 19th centuries. Dover also publishes an extensive collection of mathematical, scientific, and engineering texts. It often targets its reprints at a
niche market A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price A price is the (usually not negative) quantit ...
, such as
woodworking Woodworking is the skill of making items from wood, and includes cabinet making (cabinetry and furniture), wood carving, woodworking joints, joinery, carpentry, and woodturning. History Along with Rock (geology), stone, clay and animal parts, ...
. Starting in 2015, the company branched out into
graphic novel A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" normally refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. It is, at least in the Un ...

graphic novel
reprints, overseen by Dover acquisitions editor and former comics writer and editor
Drew Ford Drew may refer to: __NOTOC__ Places ;In the United States * Drew, Georgia, an unincorporated community * Drew, Mississippi, a city * Drew, Missouri, an unincorporated community * Drew, Oregon, an unincorporated community * Drew County, Arkansa ...
. Most Dover reprints are photo facsimiles of the originals, retaining the original pagination and typeset, sometimes with a new introduction. Dover will usually add new and more colorful cover art to its paper-bound editions. They retitle some books to reflect modern dialect and categories. For example, the book ''Woodward's National Architect'' was retitled ''A Victorian Housebuilder's Guide''.


History

The Cirkers started the business selling remaindered textbooks by mail. The company published its first book, ''Tables of Functions with Formulas and Curves'', when the German copyright was voided by the United States as a result of World War II. The book was an unexpected success and established the Dover business model of publishing esoteric works at a low price. One of Dover's best sellers was
Albert Einstein Albert Einstein ( ; ; 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. Einstein is known for developing the theory of relativity The theo ...

Albert Einstein
's ''
The Principle of Relativity In physics, the principle of relativity is the requirement that the equations describing the physical law, laws of physics have the same form in all admissible frames of reference. For example, in the framework of special relativity the Maxwell e ...

The Principle of Relativity
'', which Einstein reluctantly agreed to republish despite his concerns that it was outdated. Dover helped to transform the
paperback A paperback, also known as a softcover or softback, is a type of book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making p ...
book market. In 1951 it issued some of the earliest standard-sized paperbacks, a format that became known as a
trade paperbackTrade paperback may refer to: * Paperback#Trade, Trade paperback, a higher-quality softcover version of a book * Trade paperback (comics), a collection of previously published comic books {{Disambiguation Books by type ...
. Since the 1960s, the vast majority of Dover's titles have been paper-bound books of various sizes. Dover paperbacks had sewn pages, unlike most paperbacks which were held together with glue and subject to page drop-out. Beginning in the 1950s Dover also issued a series of ''Listen & Learn'' language courses prepared primarily using teachers from
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...

Columbia University
. For a time, Dover also published a catalog of LP phonograph records. Some, such as selected recordings of
Schubert Franz Peter Schubert (; 31 January 179719 November 1828) was an Austrian composer of the late Classical period (music), Classical and early Romantic music, Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, includin ...

Schubert
's solo and chamber works featuring pianist
Friedrich WührerFriedrich Wührer (June 29, 1900 – December 27, 1975) was an Austrians, Austrian-Germans, German pianist and piano pedagogue. He was a close associate and advocate of composer Franz Schmidt, whose music he edited and, in the case of the works for l ...
, were reissues of earlier monaural releases from other labels. Noteworthy among Dover's original issues was an extensive series documenting pianist
Beveridge Webster Beveridge Webster (May 13, 1908, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – June 30, 1999, Hanover, New Hampshire) was an American pianist and educator. Beveridge Webster studied with his father, initially, and in 1921, at age 14, he began five years of study in ...
in literature ranging from
Beethoven
Beethoven
's Hammerklavier sonata to the second piano sonata by
Roger Sessions Roger Huntington Sessions (December 28, 1896March 16, 1985) was an American composer, teacher and writer on music. Life Sessions was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a family that could trace its roots back to the American Revolution. His mother, ...
. In keeping with its thrifty philosophy, by using lower recording levels, leading to narrower grooves, Dover was able to include more minutes than usual on each LP; however, the lower recording levels meant more
noise Noise is unwanted sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In human physiology and psychology, sound is the ''reception'' of such waves and the ...
and more vulnerability to scratches. Dover's foray into recordings was not as successful as its core business of book republication, and the company eventually abandoned it. Starting in the 1990s Dover has published a specialized line of low-cost reprints of public domain literature known as " Dover Thrift Editions", which are generally priced at US$5 or less. They also have several lines of foreign language books. Hayward Cirker died in 2000 at the age of 82. In that same year, Dover Publications was acquired by Courier Corporation. Courier was acquired by
RR Donnelley R.R. Donnelley is an American Fortune 500 integrated communications company that provides marketing and business communications, commercial printing, and related services. Its corporate headquarters are located in Chicago, Illinois (''City ...
in 2015. RR Donnelly split into three in 2016; Dover became part of
LSC Communications LSC Communications is an United States, American commercial printing company based in Chicago, Illinois, and, as of December 2020, a fully-owned subsidiary of Atlas Holdings. The company was established in 2016 as part of a corporate spin-off from ...
.


References


External links

* {{Authority control Book publishing companies based in New York (state) Public domain Publishing companies established in 1941 American record labels Classical music record labels RR Donnelley