NGS Special Publications Books

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1986PresidentsHouse.jpg (265666 bytes)  (Type #1 of the Special Publications).

Click on the Picture to Enlarge this Public Service Book Set "The Presidents House" which was one of many by the Special Publications Division. In fact, the SP Book Division derived from the desire of   Jacqueline Kennedy have a White House History for visitors, and the National Geographic Society's willingness to contribute to public service. The result was "The White House - An Historic Guide" - 1962


Go To Public Service Book Pictures   (all PSB's for sale are listed there)

Sp01.jpg (123239 bytes) (Type #2 of the Special Publications).

1966 to 1967 Set #1 (issued as four books per set to the present time - approximately 200 pages each). A set had 3 books in one year and the fourth was in the next year. Note the various versions represented in each title (at left) is due to later editions. Most of the time, later editions that were published to meet demand had only cosmetic changes or simply had different books being promoted on the dust jacket.  In the case of some, like the inaugural title "Our Countries Presidents," it was due to periodic updates as new occupants of the White House arrived.    The Division thrived many years producing many classic titles and was folded into the regular publications section during  the extreme economic circumstances of the late 80's and the early 90's. Note: The first spines had no logo, just the Title and National Geographic Society name.  A globe type logo was introducet with "Australia" in the third set which was used for second printings on some earlier titles such as "The Carribees." The next logo used was the rectangle beginning with "Hawaii" in the fifth set. Beginning with "The Range of Light" in 1999, the rectangle size was reduced. (see the set pictures).  Click on Pic to Enlarge 


 Click to see special publications for sale.  (all SP's for sale are listed there)

The Special Publications Division did three groups of books in two types (regular and deluxe except for group three which were larger standard editions). 

 #1 Public Service Books. Pictures of Public Service Books

 #2 The large group that are sets of four each). Pictures of Special Publication Sets

 #3 Special - Special Publications Books (SSP's) - see all five starting in 1977 below.

1971Caribees.JPG (152049 bytes)

1971   Click on Pic to Enlarge

This is an example of the maps which were published with a few of the titles in the Special Publications series. (see the checklist)  They are all re-issued maps that were supplements to earlier magazines.   They will have a notation in red above the map legend and title stating the book for which they were printed. The map date is usually updated to match any edition of a book title in which they were included. This one is for the title "Isles of the Caribbees" and any version of it (1966, 68, or 71) seems difficult to find. It was the same map sent with the Dec. 1962 magazine except for the above noted changes.

Delux.jpg (263643 bytes)

1980 - 81 

The Fifteenth SP series was available at explorers hall in simulated leather.  It is unknown if others were done between these and those below in the mid 90's.  I believe the 25th anniversary set were also done "deluxe"

Click on Pic to Enlarge (Courtesy, Bob Simpkins  Not in my collection

Delux1.jpg (212509 bytes)Delux2.jpg (164502 bytes)

These are some examples of Special Publications done in Deluxe.  Shown here are some 90's titles. The regular editions of the 25th set were done in dark blue with silver titles making them the only regular set unique by color. (See the pictures page)    Not in my collection

Click on Pics (left) to Enlarge or:                          

Go To a List of Special Publications Books


1977JourneyAcrossRussiaSSP.JPG (139944 bytes) 1977

"Journey Across Russia"... This is the first of only 5 Special Special Publications (SSP's) that were different sizes and formats. This one  has a map in a pocket in the back) w/DJ (not shown)

Click on Pic to Enlarge ......$50 or $200 for all 5

1980ExploringTheDeepFrontierSSP.JPG (199054 bytes) 1980

"Exploring The Deep Frontier"... This is a large format underwater book. w/DJ (not shown)

Click on Pic to Enlarge ....$50 or $200 for all 5

1981SplendorsOfThePastSSP.JPG (93836 bytes) 1981

"Splendors of the Past: Lost Cities of the Ancient World"...This is a large format book with broad appeal. w/DJ (not shown)

Click on Pic to Enlarge ....$50 or $200 for all 5

1982TheDesertRealmSSP.JPG (306876 bytes) 1982

"The Desert Realm: Lands of Majesty and Mystery"... from Aboriginals to Zhu Zhenda, this book has spectacular photography throughout.

Click on Pic to Enlarge ....$50 or $200 for all 5

1984OurThreatenedInheritanceSSP.JPG (148254 bytes) 1984

"Our Threatened Inheritance"...A book reflecting the ever increasing National Geographic Society interest in the environment. This is the Last Special - Special Publication (SSP).

Click on Pic to Enlarge ....$50 or $200 for all 5

1989Silver.jpg (115150 bytes)

< 1989                                      1990 >

Shown at left is the Special Publications Silver Anniversary Announcement for the Commemorative Album. Subscribers to the 25th Series had their names inscribed in the album for display at Explorers Hall. At right is a card that was available at the display. One could use it to request a change to the entry. The display was on a table outside the gift shop for all to see during the 1990 anniversary year.

Click on Pics to Enlarge 

1990Silver.jpg (32651 bytes)

199008.jpg (200955 bytes)


Vol. 1 #1 of  the "Behind the Scenes" Newsletter for the Special Publication Books.  These were sent to regular subscribers with the invoice envelope in the books . These are single page, double sided information sheets on the books and their subjects.

           Pictures of Behind the Scenes Sheets

096BP.jpg (27482 bytes)


This is the first Bookplate sent for a Special Publication.   It is for the last book in the 24th set.  The 25th Anniversary set of bookplates was sent complete for all four books, and all sets since then have had bookplates sent to subscribers.

        Pictures of Special Publications Bookplates

1896c.gif (19586 bytes)  GO TO NG-COLLECTOR CENTER

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