Saturday, May 02, 2020

The Hunt for the Phantom Nancy Drew T-Shirt or How I found TWO Scarce Nancy Drew T-Shirts!


The 1970s Nancy Drew T-Shirt - Mystery Solved?

Yes and No. It's a tale of TWO - yes TWO t-shirts!


I present to you the first shirt above - the Sears, Roebuck and Co 1970s Pamela Sue Martin T-Shirt. It's snazzy yellow and features an illustration of 1970s Nancy Drew TV show actress Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy Drew sporting a hat next to a candle. I acquired this shirt last year on eBay. I've been on eBay since around 1997 and have never seen this shirt sold in 23 years other than last year's auction. It's incredibly scarce.

So scarce, I didn't even know it existed.

In fact I'd been on the hunt at the time I found this one for 22 years looking for ANOTHER Nancy Drew t-shirt that I've never seen. A real phantom! Or so I thought until this weekend. That mystery is now solved, though I don't have it in my hot little hands...yet! If anyone out there has the Pamela Sue Martin photo t-shirt where she's in the little tank top (see below for clues), please e-mail me at my website - nancydrewsleuth@aol.com


I'd been looking for the phantom-like Nancy Drew Fan Club t-shirt that isn't pictured in the ad above, but was for sale in the 1970s as part of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Fan Clubs. In all the ads I'd acquired, the shirt was never pictured, however I knew it existed for several reasons. The first, is that in the ads, you could send away for it as well as the Hardy Boys shirts pictured. Secondly, in the New York Public Library's Stratemeyer Syndicate archives, there exists correspondence from the Syndicate's owner, Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, to the company selling the shirts stating her displeasure at the image of Nancy Drew which she didn't approve of. She felt it was more about Pamela than Nancy Drew and not appropriate. I could never imagine why she didn't like it, but she was very strict about Nancy Drew's image.

So, when I saw the above yellow t-shirt from Sears on eBay - I didn't realize it was a Sears shirt at the time - I just assumed it was a Eureka moment and I'd found the one I was looking for all those years. After I got it, I realized that it was not the shirt I had hoped for, but it was a Sears, Roebuck and Co shirt as noted on the tag. Sears also sold Hardy Boys and Shaun Cassidy clothing in the 1970s, so it makes sense they had some for Nancy Drew. I don't know if they had anything besides this shirt or not, but it will be interesting to see if anything else surfaces in the future!

However you won't find it in a Sears Catalog. I did some late night sleuthing online at several sites that have scanned Sears catalogs and searched all the 1977 and 1978 and even 1979 catalogs - the only clothing to appear in those was some Shaun Cassidy jeans and a satin jacket and some shirts with his face more related to him and not the Hardy Boys. No Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys shirts. However, a Google search found four Hardy Boys t-shirts that were part of the Sears line--I'll add them below at the end of this blog posting. Two feature both of the Hardy Boys, Parker Stevenson and Shaun and two feature just Shaun. They are all the same style and texture as the Nancy Drew shirt and one of the Hardy Boys shirts you'll see has a similar tag to the yellow Nancy Drew shirt. Could there be a second Nancy Drew t-shirt? My guess is no, because there was often far more Hardy Boys 1970s merchandise than Nancy Drew as it seems the teenage girls were more into the boys! But, I'd certainly love for another to surface! Since they were not sold in the catalogs, they must have been only sold in stores and it's possible only in certain stores which could explain their scarcity too in addition to being clothes which become disposable over time unless you're a collector.


Back to the really seriously phantom 1970s t-shirt. I collect a lot of 1970s Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys TV show collectibles as part of my Nancy Drew collection. In fact I have a Pinterest board dedicated to these collectibles you'll find of interest. There are over 100 items on the board and it's always growing. I started noticing something that I should have noticed ages ago! I could have solved this mystery sooner. From the same fan club company, I had purchased the above Pamela Sue Martin poster of Pamela dressed in a little off the shoulder tank top. It wasn't very Nancy Drew-ish, but it was used for a fan club image - and the poster features the Nancy Drew show name and copyright info. 


I also managed to collect the ad shown above which featured this same poster for sale as well as two Hardy Boys posters that one could order. I thought that was so cool as I like to collect the behind the scenes ephemera to the merchandise items as well. It all tells a story. However for some reason, I had never paid attention to the fact that the two posters of the Hardy Boys are the SAME images used on the Hardy Boys t-shirts from the SAME fan club - the address on both the t-shirt and poster ads to send off for these things is the same as well. So another Eureka moment was when I realized that the little tank top Pamela Sue image was likely the same image used on the t-shirt! And that image would have definitely upset Harriet. 


All the puzzle pieces fell into place. Still circumstantial, but logical. And this weekend the final puzzle piece was found. Two members of our Nancy Drew Sleuths group happened to own this Nancy Drew fan club t-shirt with tank top Pamela on it back in the 1970s when they joined the club! So I created the above image of what the shirt possibly looked like, but it's just a mock up. I just placed the Pamela image over one of the Hardy Boys. It's possible the image is smaller on the actual shirt, but the point is that the t-shirt would feature this image. So, be on the lookout for it at those garage sales, tag sales, thrift stores, antique malls, flea markets and your mom or grandma's closets and see if you can find one. And if you do, and are willing to part with it, I and the Toledo Public Library, which now houses my extensive Nancy Drew Collection on display, would really appreciate it! If you happen to have a photo of it or of yourself back in the day wearing it, a photo would be great to see as well.

I love sleuthing for clues much like Nancy Drew. The hunt might not take me down dark alleys to tangle with sinister suspects, more like late night computer research in my comfy PJs, but it's still a thrill to solve a mystery that has baffled fans for so long. What went from a long-time search for a phantom t-shirt led to two t-shirts and the discovery of what the still-searched-for phantom t-shirt has looked like all this time. I may never find the actual t-shirt, but for a researcher or historian of something like Nancy Drew, this is a very exciting moment in the great puzzle that is the world of Nancy Drew.

 
 
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Secret of the Old Clock or the Mysterious Case of the Nancy Drew Holy Grail


The Secret of the Old Clock or the 
Mysterious Case of the Nancy Drew Holy Grail
The Ghostwriter's Copy of Old Clock 
or How Nancy Drew Goes to Court and Gets Butchered

What do most Nancy Drew Collectors consider the "Holy Grail" of Nancy Drew collecting? Many consider a 1930 first printing of The Secret of the Old Clock with its original dust jacket to be that "Holy Grail." My journey to have a copy of Old Clock in original dust jacket took 20 years from when I officially started collecting. Along the way before getting mine, I got to see in person the "granddaddy" of them all - the copy owned by its original ghostwriter, Mildred Wirt Benson. So, it's time that I share my story of how I came to get mine and also see Millie's copy. And no, I didn't end up in an antique mall and stumble upon Old Clock for less than a dollar, though I certainly hoped that could happen. 

When I first began to seriously collect Nancy Drew books to add to my childhood hodge podge of various styles and formats and spinoffs, it was 1997. I'd recently gotten a computer - an old ACER from Best Buy, for those of you who remember those in the 1990s, and got on the big AOL - America Online. On the sloooooooooooow dial up Internet. Man do we have it easy today! It opened up quite a world of Nancy Drew collecting to me! Back at that time, and it seems like centuries ago when you think of how far tech has come since then, but there wasn't a lot of Nancy Drew stuff on the Internet at the time. Many of us who have been at it from that time or before, sort of paved the way with various websites, discussion groups and then onto social media. At the time I got on, there was just several sites and some that just focused on various series, not just Nancy Drew. I  began my Nancy Drew website around 2000 using the old AOL web pages at the time and then it soon morphed into what it is now. Before the Internet, collectors shared stories and traded and sold books in series book publications like Yellowback Library and through those would form groups who would get together for series book conventions.


There was one collector who I met first, who has remained a friend to this day and helped me get into collecting and so generously shared the ropes with me - and that was Gayle. I soon met her friend Vicki and then started making friends with others in the collecting community. Gayle told me all about eBay and boy was I hooked! Gayle and I started the Nancy Drew Sleuths discussion group which then soon morphed into the current Nancy Drew Sleuths fan group.

The brief history of how I got into this aside, I was on a quest to get a lot of vintage Nancy Drews because I only had stuff from the 1970s and beyond for the most part. One thing I kept hearing about was the first printing of Old Clock. How rare and scarce it was and there were only so many known copies. Collector Jennifer White has been keeping track at her series book blog and here's a link where you can check those out if you want to see how many have sold since the late 1990s. Mine is the 9th one to surface that she blogged about.

At the time I started collecting and up until around the early to mid-2000s, Old Clock was always known to sell for around $10,000 or more at auction. Then the values started coming down - economic issues were to blame, but also more were surfacing too. Many that have sold have had condition issues but after all, these are very vintage and that's the norm for a vintage book. Some sold were bought by resellers and then resold at eBay. Some sold were more pristine and minty.


I have always tried to not spend a lot on my Nancy Drew collection - with a few exceptions. In part because early on, I just couldn't afford to and also because it's fun to hunt for bargains too. But in more recent years I've been willing to spend a little more to get something I've looked for ages for. It's a matter of making it worth my time. The hunt is so much fun, but after 20 years, sometimes it's time! I recently purchased the Nancy Drew datebook and homework planner and I've only seen one sell in 20 years, it's very scarce and it will add to and enhance the Nancy Drew collection I donated to the Toledo Public Library and make it more complete, so I was willing to make that happen. The most I've ever spent on a collectible was my Rudy Nappi Hidden Staircase cover art painting and that's not a common thing for me to do. For me, getting a copy of Old Clock in dust jacket was always considered out of my reach due to how much it has always sold for. And how many times can one get it for the Super Sleuth-tacular Buy it now price of $100 like one of our Nancy Drew discussion group members did back in the early 2000s on eBay. I think many of us were crushed that day who didn't see it listed first, but she was able to sell it - for over $10,000 we think - to help fund some of her college, so that was a good ending to it. I have never heard who purchased that copy, by the way...

First printing Old Clocks with original dust jackets have been mired in secrecy sometimes. Yes, not all collectors have admitted to what they have and I can understand that. It took me awhile to post about mine. Not because I didn't want anyone to know, but more that life has just gotten in the way since then for me in a lot of ways.



But let's jump back just a little further into history before I tell you about my journey to get mine in 2017. All the way back to 1930. Picture it. Cleveland, OH, 1930. You're the first Carolyn Keene, Mildred Wirt Benson. The first book in a series you were hired by Edward Stratemeyer to write has just been published along with the second and third volumes. Soon after, you have in your hand a copy of it and you can see for the first time how Nancy Drew has come to life - thanks to the beautiful and sophisticated artwork by Russell H. Tandy. From Stratemeyer's brainchild to Millie's writing from the outline to the beautiful Nancy Drew, illustrated so aptly on the cover. You're 24 years old. You have no idea what this is going to mean 10 years from now, 50 years from now, 90 years from now. It's a book you take pride in, but you park it on your shelves in your writing room that you begin to fill with many more volumes in the series, books from other similar Syndicate series you're contracted to write and lots of other books you write under your own name and various pseudonyms, and the pile of books grows around you as you plug away on your trusty Underwood typewriter. No one had a clue what this would become, especially not Edward Stratemeyer, and certainly not Millie at the time. By 1980, it was more than clear what it had become. Mildred would be involved in a lawsuit between the two Nancy Drew publishers - Grosset & Dunlap and Simon and Schuster with the Stratemeyer Syndicate. She would get to testify for G&D and the lawyers for the trial would cut up her dust jacket for her first printing Old Clock which she had quite a time getting back from them after the trial. I do declare I feel all y'all's pain, at hearing that story of the cutting up of the dust jacket. It's possibly more titillating than a spine-tingling Nancy Drew cliffhanger! Read more about the biography I'm writing about Millie at this link to my website.


 

I'd heard stories about this dust jacket. I'd seen letters from Millie and references post-1980 trial, but I'd never seen it in person. Not until after her daughter Peggy passed away and all of Millie's authors copies were donated to the University of Iowa and are now housed in the Iowa Women's Archive there. If you want to read about how we came to help get a neat book case built to house the books - check out this blog posting I made about it.

I visited there soon after while planning our three mini conventions based on the 85th anniversary - one of which took place in Iowa City in 2015. I'm including pictures of Millie's copy above with the photos - you can see where she wrote inside it, "This was the first book ever written in the Nancy Drew series for Edward Stratemeyer by me." And signed it, "Mildred Augustine Wirt (Benson)." I also include pictures of the post-text ads to show this is a first - the first printing lists 8 Hardy Boys books on the first page of advertising after the text ends in the back of the book. You can also see where the spine is cut away, but the majority of the jacket is present. It was incredible to see this copy that was owned by Millie and that it's still preserved today for historians and for the fans.


Back to 2017. I was contacted in the fall by a man whose relative had passed away. He sent me some random photos of tubs filled with all sorts of Nancy Drew books. I didn't know who had passed away nor what was in those tubs to a great extent. The man was in the San Diego area and so I referred him to another area collector for help. As it turned out, there were tons of books and the biggest stack of blank endpaper format 1 Nancy Drew books I've ever seen in one place. This format was the original format of the books without the familiar orange silhouette in print from 1930 to 1932 and only the first seven books came in this format. Not all were first printings, but there were stacks of them! Many without dust jackets, some with reproduction dust jackets. Some are still being sold to this day on eBay.

 
  

There were some neat books that this collector had acquired. The story of my little misfit Old Clock, which has been through quite a journey, makes it kind of like those toys on the Island of Misfit Toys from the old Rudolph Christmas story. The book was in pretty darn good shape when it surfaced at eBay originally. But the seller's child - who I hope is still grounded to this day - tore the dust jacket. Then, once the collector purchased it from the reseller who originally bought it, he had a fire in his home. And some of his books had fire damage, including this book. It must have been heart breaking for him. I've shared an image that shows the spine of the book where you can see the darkening due to the fire. I've also included two pictures from the auction that were saved and posted in Jennifer White's series book blog of how it looked pre-fire. The collector had recreated the spine and had laid over the original dust jacket the recreated piece for it to look more pristine - he thankfully had not glued this piece on the original or I wouldn't have purchased it. It displays nicely and it's now got a home.

I went to the relative's house to check out other books that were for sale - some book club editions I was missing, library editions, two Harold Hill UK editions in dust jacket and some other UK editions, coloring books and the activity book and also some other dust jacketed editions. The collector had stacks of books with dust jackets - some dozens of the same. I didn't purchase a ton of books - around 40 books. I acquired some neat formats I was looking for. And then there was the Old Clock book. I really had no intention of purchasing that book when I headed to San Diego, but it was on my mind. But really, I kept telling myself, there's just no way...

Then I had the book in my hands, and well, the rest was history, I just couldn't leave it there. How many times do you come across your Holy Grail? Not very many. It wasn't in the pristine shape I'd prefer, however it can always be upgraded. So, after some going back and forth in my mind, it was decided. It's well protected in a beautiful slip case that a collector friend so generously sent me and it looks so pretty in its special box on the shelves.

  

Some of you may be wondering what I did with this book when I donated my entire collection to the Toledo Public Library last year. I kept it for now. I couldn't let it go - well I let part of it go. To explain, for nearly 20 years I had a version of this Holy Grail in my collection. I had the book itself without the dust jacket. I acquired it on eBay and was able to take it with me to Toledo in 2001 for our first unofficial convention where we met Millie. And I visited her at the Toledo Blade offices the day before the group's visit to meet her. I got to sit with her at her desk and she interviewed me for an article she was writing and I interviewed her for one I was writing. She signed several of my books including my Old Clock book. Gayle, who has a first printing of Old Clock, made me a wonderful repro dust jacket which remained on my book until 2017. Because they are a match, once I purchased my 2017 Old Clock, I took the book that was with that dust jacket and put the laser dust jacket on it and that book went to Toledo with the rest of my collection. I matched my signed Old Clock with the vintage dust jacket and that's what I have today in my much more meager collection of Nancy Drews. If you missed hearing about how that donation came to be and what's happening with the collection here's a link to my blog posting on it. 

 


So that wraps up how I came to find what I consider to be my Holy Grail of Nancy Drew collecting after 20 years of serious collecting. I didn't stumble across it in an antique mall or used book store, didn't find it for a song on eBay, though I dreamed of that happening. It came about sadly, due to the passing of a very mysterious and eccentric collector in the community and after a series of mishaps (wayward kids, fires) along the way. I'd love to know who owned it originally and how it lived it's life up until that time, but there aren't any real clues to determine that, except for an inscription in the book that is now in Toledo - "Bernice Jr, From Mother, Xmas 1930." If anyone has a few clues to the mysterious identity of Bernice, I'd love to hear from you. Mysterious history aside, I have given it a nice home and one that hopefully will preserve it for many years to come with me and then eventually Toledo with the rest of my collection.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Curating a Nancy Drew Collection - The Jennifer Fisher Nancy Drew Collection


The Missing Nancy Drew Collection 
or How to Get a Clue at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library
The Jennifer Fisher Nancy Drew Collection


Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of The Sleuth - this essay is interspersed below with a lot of images of the collection with more clues in the captions at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library - Main library in downtown Toledo - click on images to view larger versions - the images shown here were taken during phases of the collection being set up for various displays and it's still an ongoing process to get it all processed and set up for the official grand opening of the collection in July 2020

The rain gods danced a merry dance until the sun crashed the party as daylight broke over downtown Toledo on the morning of September 28, 2019. This day was a year in the making as the Main Library would be re-opening after a year of renovation had closed its doors to the public. What changes were in store for the patrons was a coveted secret that only its inner worker bees buzzed about.

As finishing touches were being made there was one particularly mysterious room located around the corner from The Mystery Wall, aptly named The Mystery Room. Manager of the local history and genealogy department, Jill Clever and her team were fast at work loading beautiful wooden cases with books and collectibles dedicated to an infamous character. One whose bold and independent adventures have inspired millions of kids including our ladies of the US Supreme Court.

Minutes to opening they finished with a flourish and the doors opened. Patrons armed with treasure maps in hand worked their way through the library to find The Mystery Room and all the secrets it might behold.

The Mystery Room features beautiful wood paneling - original to the 1940 opening of the library - and sports a view of the downtown and striking original copper chandeliers. The ambiance of the room is one of a cozy library collection all nestled into what used to be two rooms including an old office. Two large open rooms are connected by a seating area replete with an original fireplace, comfy wing back chairs and carpet reminiscent of tweed that is so appropriately vintage in style. Display cases have glass doors with secure closures for some and others keys to the clues they behold. One set of cases has a series of 12 large enclosed pull out drawers at the bottom at kid friendly height to discover all the fun memorabilia housed in each drawer. Atop some cases are rows of Nancy Drew books from the library's circulation with signs enticing patrons to check them out. Just outside the room is a sign naming the collection the Jennifer Fisher Nancy Drew Collection and underneath is the Literary Landmark plaque that was  dedicated in 2015 to the original Carolyn Keene, Mildred Wirt Benson, whose writing career spanned 135 published books and an over 50 year career as a journalist in Toledo.

A portion of the original collection before it was donated to the library.


As you enter the Children's Library you find many neat interactive elements to this amazing section of the main branch including cars you can climb into, ships, giant books, dioramas including Nancy Drew from her infamous cover of The Secret of the Old Clock, a giant interactive mystery wall sporting the cover to Old Clock, and a whole section of Dr. Seuss and so much more waiting to be discovered - an aquarium, a giant light bright set, play areas, tiny doors leading to exciting adventures, a whole gallery of original children's book cover art - it's truly a child's playground of the imagination just waiting to be discovered.








Just around the corner of the Mystery Wall you'll find The Mystery Room 
which houses The Jennifer Fisher Nancy Drew Collection


Hanging under the collection plaque, is the Literary Landmark dedicated to author and journalist Mildred Wirt Benson, and her 135 published books and numerous news articles from decades as an author and journalist - this was dedicated in 2015 and sponsored by 
the Nancy Drew Sleuths, The Toledo Blade, and the Library Legacy Foundation. 
I was honored that the landmark is located there by my collection.

View into the Mystery Room with its outer room, inner space and then inner room housing various cases and interactive pull out drawers.


The front room features 2 cases on the left and right of the room. At the time these photos were taken, the cases held some initial books and collectibles sent for the September 2019 opening of the Main Library - before the bulk of the collection was sent off. 

CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley was in town in December 2019 to film the collection and interview me for an upcoming special on the 90th anniversary of Nancy Drew, so the cases were opened up and a some of the collection sent after the opening was brought up to fill them in. 



The right side features a large case. Spots above the cases where you see wood paneling now will also be filled in with framed items from the collection soon.





The middle section of the two rooms features two chairs, and a case on the left and a fireplace and mantel with short display case on the left of the fireplace and the
Nancy Drew Tandy painting for The Secret at Shadow Ranch.
I was really humbled to have this painting hang in the room with my collection.


Above the fireplace mantel hangs a striking painting - one of the library's prized original art paintings for the original 1931 cover of The Secret at Shadow Ranch, volume five in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, illustrated by commercial artist Russell H. Tandy. America's teenage sleuth Nancy Drew sits atop her trusty steed sporting a bright red riding blazer and brandishing a riding crop as she observes a villainous woman engaging in dastardly deeds. Nancy's steely eyes are watchful and we want to dive right into the scene to see what course of action Nancy Drew might take to save the day and right a clearly grievous wrong.

Standing watch over the large Mystery Room, this timeless painting of Nancy Drew reflects a nostalgic era among a room full of similar mysterious scenes on Nancy Drew books spanning 1930 to present day plus collectibles and paper ephemera which all come together to tell  a story and are all pieces of the larger puzzle that is Mystery's IT Girl. Nancy Drew Sleuth reigns supreme in here.




The inner room features two very large sections of cases which house quite a few Nancy Drew collectibles from over the years related to the books, the movies and TV shows and the modern merchandise and collectibles from recent decades. Paper and advertising ephemera.





We began to fill in the case on the right with a lot of collectibles for the CBS filming




The classic Nancy Drew in cloche hats from the 1930s, to a 50s Bobby Soxer and then mod 60s sleuth with her titian-haired flip meets modern Nancy Drew from the 80s, 90s and 2000s, every decade reflecting that generation's style.  Shelves hold books filled with vintage and modern tales of a very daring and intelligent sleuth with a penchant for baffling mysteries, besting the local police force and always nabbing the villain in the end and restoring order to chaos. There are many exciting adventures to be had in Nancy Drew's world of lost wills, haunted houses, lost treasures, and musty old attics full of secrets and sinister suspects. There are also many stories to tell behind the scenes of Nancy Drew and her creators and this collection can provide the clues to unravel all these mysteries - real and fictional.

For over twenty years, I have curated a collection of over 4000 pieces of Nancy Drew books and memorabilia, connecting dots, weaving stories with historical background material and paper ephemera to finished books and collectibles. It was always more than just my Nancy Drew collection. It always had a greater purpose. To inspire, to educate and to reach new generations of Nancy Drew readers and fans. Collecting dust in my living room was never in the cards when I set out to find a perfect place to donate my collection in the future where a large portion would always be on display. I had mentioned to the library about donating it someday. Some Day. But the renovation gave the library and I the perfect opportunity to have the collection be accommodated, a room created just for it and the chance to help shape the manner in which it would be donated and displayed. Several months of shipping over 50 large boxes have resulted in a treasure trove of delights as boxes have been unpacked and pieces of the puzzle uncovered. The rich history behind Nancy Drew and those who created and wrote the books, including Benson, who wrote of the 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew books, some of them in Toledo, is a history that needs to be preserved. I am currently writing a biography of Benson, a real life Nancy Drew.



One of my favorite of many features, is the case on the right which will house a lot of neat display drawers at kid friendly height that pull out to show off so many neat collectibles and ephemera that are hard to display on a regular shelf.






These original copper light fixtures from decades ago add a great ambiance 
to the room and great vintage flair


On top of the two front room cases are some books from the library's circulation of Nancy Drew books with signs enticing patrons to "check me out!" and I love that they relocated some of these in this room with my collection. Books range from classic to modern which is great.


Issues of the Nancy Drew Sleuths' zine, The Sleuth are available for reference use while at the library and can be used for research which is great! There's even a clue from The Mystery Wall to be found in the collection room.....


My goal in giving the Jennifer Fisher Nancy Drew Collection to the people of Toledo and to the 500,000 annual visitors to the library, was threefold. I wanted a place where kids could be inspired as so many generations of Nancy Drew readers have been, so the series will stay alive in the hearts of our youth whose generation will continue to enjoy these treasured books and keep passing them down to future generations. It was also for the adults and fans who love to revisit happy childhood memories reading these wonderful mysteries and inspire people to collect the books and related ephemera and showcase what is out there to collect. And finally for scholars and researchers to have a  place where they can study the books and the stories behind the scenes and gain a richer perspective on this series and its publishing history. Nancy Drew is a pop culture icon and so many have been inspired by her to do more in their lives including nearly all of the women justices on the US Supreme Court. Nearby Bowling Green University has an entire department dedicated to studying Popular Culture and so this collection will serve as a great focus for academics near and far. Ultimately, I hope to inspire other collectors who have items in their collections that I don't, to donate to the library to enhance the collection and make it even more unique and add to the wealth of knowledge to be gleaned from this collection.

After CBS filmed, we began the process of loading more of the collection into the cases. And it's an ongoing process still yet as many of the boxes I shipped all through the fall and into December 2019 are being opened and catalogued



It has warmed my heart for the two decades that I've met other collectors and heard from many fans and school kids through my Nancy Drew website, nancydrewsleuth.com, to learn about their Nancy Drew connections. Most everyone has a Nancy Drew story or sentiment and I've loved being able to provide an organization like Nancy Drew Sleuths with online forums and social media for fans to gather and share, a nancydrewfans.com shop to treat yourself or a fellow fan to a nostalgic gift, conventions for fans to meet and follow in Nancy Drew's footsteps in real life book locations, and a subscription based zine - The Sleuth -  that reflects all aspects of Nancy Drew and similar books and series and is now a reference zine you can research in while visiting the library and the Nancy Drew Mystery Room.

I know my collection has a warm, respectful and proper home at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and will be well kept by her trusted caretakers for many years to come. Plans for making the collection more interactive, digitizing it and making it available for research are great benefits of letting it go. Interactive programming will be developed to use the collection to its full potential and items will be rotated so more of the collection will be focused on and seen throughout the year. In  July 2020, the library will host a grand opening party to formally introduce the collection with lots of fanfare and I hope that everyone can attend and support this endeavor. 


Cases that have deeper shelves house rows of books and some front facing books to show off the covers and mysterious scenes of Nancy Drew's sleuthing adventures - one side of the front room features the classic era of books 1-175 and the other side features all the modern series since 1979 and various spin-off series




In the mid section between the outer and inner rooms there's a case filled with foreign editions of Nancy Drew from various countries and also book club and library editions



As a collector, I'll always collect and I will continue to add items to the existing collection that are missing. And as for myself personally, I have kept some of my collection for now - some of my childhood books, original cover art, signed books and some unique and special items which will end up in Toledo in the future. I plan on making sure I have one of each story published since 1930 - over 600 Nancy Drew books - in my personal collection, so I'll always have the books to read and for research. So, for me, collecting is never over. It's just taking on new shapes and purposes. I am forever thrilled at being able to be given this opportunity to carve out a space - a mini museum if you will - for all Nancy Drew fans to visit and enjoy. Every generation has had their Nancy Drew - and they are all there at the library just waiting to be rediscovered.