As you may know, I am putting together a recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s book collection–adding the same editions of books she owned to my collection. The list of books she owned can be found in various places online–in fact, when I began this project several years ago, I would use these publicly available lists. Eventually, I invested in the Christie’s Auction catalogue from 1999, which includes over 400 of Marilyn Monroe’s books. In purchasing this book I discovered that some of my editions were wrong–sometimes the year was wrong, sometimes the cover (paperback or hard)–which meant that in order to make my collection I was going to need to do more research myself.
As such, I have been working on a spreadsheet list of Marilyn Monroe’s books that looks at the Christie’s catalogue and tries to discern enough information about each book that would make finding that book easier. This includes not only information about the year and publisher, but also the cover type (if known) and image (if available). The images I find not only from auction house photographs, but also in vintage photographs of Marilyn Monroe’s bookshelves. The second part is particularly tricky, as many of the photographs of her bookshelves are from the 1950’s, and a number of her books that went to auction in 1999 were from the late 50’s and 60’s.
Here is some of the work I did this week on this project, and I will be making my progress updates on this list available for The Vintage Bookclub members. Eventually, my plan is to include this completed list in my book on Marilyn Monroe’s bookshelf.