Dredging Up the Titanic
January 4, 2010 12:02 PM   Subscribe

My mother is looking for a unique/special gift for my grandfather. His birthday is coming up in May, so we have lots of time to look. What we are looking for is a copy of a book about the Titanic.

I know, there are hundreds (thousands?) of them out there. What we know:

*It was published shortly after the Titanic sunk
*It was a pictoral book (lots of pictures, not a lot of text)
*It was available in Canada/Canadian bookstores

What we don't know:

*Actual title
*ISBN or Publisher

This may be an impossible quest, trying to find a particular book about such an oft-documented event, with such few details to work on. But I am confident enough in the awesomeness of AskMe that I thought I'd try.

Anyone able to shed any light?

I am asking this question on behalf of my mother, who has gotten her information from my grandfather. So its all a bit removed - if you need more information, I will try to provide it, but I can't make any guarantees.
posted by sandraregina to Writing & Language (10 answers total)
Best answer: I don't suppose it's this?
posted by cider at 12:22 PM on January 4, 2010

This one is supposed to be very good.
posted by fish tick at 12:42 PM on January 4, 2010

In the event you can't find the specific book your grandfather mentioned, my son (who obsessed with the Titanic and owns at least 30 books on the topic) recently received this one and I think it's a standout. In addition to pages of period photos, it contains removable reproductions of Titanic-related documents such as design drawings, passenger pamphlets, tickets, telegrams and other correspondence. The facsimile documents are in glassine envelopes bound to the appropriate pages so removing them doesn't tear the book up.

(The Ballard books are good too if GF is interested in sharp photos of what the wreck site looks like now).
posted by jamaro at 1:11 PM on January 4, 2010

This one has some images

I did a google books search of 'titanic' with dates between 1900 and 1930. Maybe you can use the tool to narrow your results, see if any of the linked books jogs your grandmother's memory
posted by Think_Long at 1:48 PM on January 4, 2010

erm, mother not grandmother
posted by Think_Long at 1:48 PM on January 4, 2010

Best answer: If you know that it was published shortly after the disaster, you could go to WorldCat or the British Library Catalogue and do a keyword search on 'titanic', limiting your search by date (say 1912 to 1914). A search of the BL catalogue with these parameters brings up 71 items, while a search combining the keywords 'titanic' and 'illustrated' brings up just one, Marshall Everett (ed.), Wreck and sinking of the Titanic: the ocean’s greatest disaster: a graphic and thrilling account of the sinking of the greatest floating palace ever built, carrying down to watery graves more than 1500 souls: giving exciting escapes from death and acts of heroism not equalled in ancient or modern times: Illustrated with photographs and drawings (Chicago : Homeward Press, 1912). There are many copies of this on AbeBooks, with prices ranging from about $20 to about $200 depending on condition.

The excellent Bookride blog has a piece on Filson Young's Titanic (1912) and other early pieces of Titanic disaster porn memorabilia, with advice on how much you should expect to pay. For more on Filson Young's book, see here; it's said to be the first book published on the disaster, and still one of the best.
posted by verstegan at 2:05 PM on January 4, 2010

Bookfinder is also a great search engine for old books. I've had my best luck there. Donald Lake is a great antique bookseller here in Toronto, and he might be worth contacting.
posted by peagood at 2:20 PM on January 4, 2010

I'll ask some friends of mine who own two Titanic museums (and he went down to the site himself). If anyone will know about it, they will.
posted by shinynewnick at 7:20 PM on January 4, 2010

Since there are multiple possibilities, you may have to come up with more info to help us zero in on the exact book you're looking for.
posted by iconomy at 10:19 PM on January 4, 2010

Response by poster: Okay, great links and tips everyone so far! I am going to go over this thread with my mom and see what she thinks and can add to the search.

Once again, AskMe comes through in spades. Thanks guys!
posted by sandraregina at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2010

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