The Boy's Own Annual, all 62 volumes, information, links and opinions on the ultimate boy's annual of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Quicquid agunt pueri farrago libelli.
"A delightful publication of the first order, my boy!" Bill Hall, Aussie Collector
Just ONE page on the Collecting Books and Magazines web site based in Australia.
Page updated 19th September, 2014.
What are volumes worth and where do I sell them? |GENERAL ANNUALS PAGE
VOLS. 1-62 details | my copies and help required | COVER STYLES | LETTERS | SERIALS
COVERS and FRONTISPIECES - To be updated as examples obtained.

Sample dust jacket, or wrapper, from a BOP Christmas catalogue.

This chart attempts to give general descriptions of BOAs in STANDARD PUBLISHER'S COVERS. A number of my volumes are actually bound copies of the BOP which occasionally include CHRISTMAS and SUMMER special numbers, in which case I feel a need to retain BOTH volumes. The publishers don't appear to have included these special numbers in any of the regular yearly bound volumes, but I could be wrong!

1 1879   early display green OR brown    
2 1880 .. early display brown OR maroon    
3 1881 *** early display green    
4 1882          
5 1883          
6 1884   later display red    
7 1885          
8 1886 Vol.8 later display red    
9 1887   later display red    
10 1888   later display red    
11 1889          
12 1890     *green    
13 1891 Vol.13 later display red OR green OR blue    
14 1892     *red    
15 1893 15 later display red    
16 1894 16 later display red    
17 1895 1895 later display blue    
18 1896 1896 later display red    
19 1897 1897 later display red    
20 1898 1898 later display red    
21 1899 1899 later display red    
22 1900 1900 later display red    
23 1901 1901 later display green    
24 1902          
25 1903 1903 illustrated red OR blue castle boys on sled
26 1904 1904 illustrated      
27 1905 1905 illustrated *blue OR red   knight riding horse
28 1906 1906 illustrated green polar bear polar bears
29 1907 1907 illustrated blue eagle eagle
30 1908 1908 illustrated red jungle elephant
31 1909 1909 illustrated blue OR brown Arab Arab
32 1910 1910 illustrated red American Indian cowboy
33 1911 1911 illustrated red viking shark
34 1912 1912 illustrated      
35 1913 1913 illustrated red camel footer
36 1914   illustrated      
37 1915 XXXV11 illustrated red sailor cavalryman
38 1916 XXXV111 illustrated green OR brown batsman bandito
39 1917 XXX1X illustrated maroon OR burgundy bowler American Indian
40 1918 XL illustrated green OR blue Arab Biplane
41 1919 XL1 illustrated green goalie renegade
42 1920 XL11 illustrated maroon musketeer longjump
43 1921 XL111 illustrated brown footer Arab
44 1922 XL1V illustrated maroon OR green OR red Arab Rhino
45 1923 XLV illustrated maroon/brown? footer bronco
46 1924 XLV1 illustrated brown lifeboat lifeboat
47 1925 XLV11 illustrated brown sled shipsboy with pudding
48 1926 XLV111 illustrated red OR burgundy radio rugby
49 1927 XL1X illustrated See Rip Kirby letter car car
50 1928 L illustrated blue runner Aussie bushie
51 1929 L1 illustrated blue pirate sailing ship
52 1930 L11 illustrated red OR green rugby surfoplane
53 1931 L111 illustrated green OR blue wicketkeeper cricket
54 1932 L1V illustrated blue or green footer American Indian
55 1933 LV illustrated green or red cowboy modern sailing
56 1934 LV1 illustrated green? footer American Indian
57 1935 LV11 illustrated red? footer climber
58 1936 Vol.58 illustrated brown bowler American Indian
59 1937 Vol.59 illustrated brown bowler cricket
60 1938 Vol.60 illustrated green bowler rugby
61 1939 Vol.61 illustrated green footer climber
62 1940 Vol.62 illustrated maroon bowler cricket

NOTES re. the above chart
This segment will be a "work in Progress". The cloth colour is subject to opinion. Where you see a ? my volume may be faded. It seems likely that only primary cloth colours were available. So red, blue and green are common. The brown may be correct, or it may be red which has faded. Likewise the maroon, which may be red. The illustration descriptions are open to interpretation; if you pick up any errors (including incorrect spelling), please let me know.


2 31

When I was quite young (about nine or ten) I discovered a few volumes when my mom was visiting her friend in Banff, Alberta, Canada (where I was born). While they visited I would lay on the floor and devour them from cover to cover. Years later as an adult I decided I would like to collect them, and discovered they were not that easy to find. But in 1973 I came across a dozen or so in a used book store in Calgary, and bought the lot. I think they were only asking four or five dollars each. I also got a few Chums annuals that day. In 2007 we moved from our acreage to town and had to downsize so I got rid of all my BOA's except for four that were in very good condition. So I have volume 14 (1891-92) which has green covers, Vol. 18 (1895-96) which is red, Vol. 48 (1925-26) which is blue, and Vol. 57 (1934-35), which is also blue. I recall that my 1940 volume (very slim) was also blue, but can't remember the others. In the index to my volume 14 it lists the contents of the Christmas and summer numbers and states they are not included, but strangely enough, they are! I don't mean added in, but a part of the volume, so perhaps that is a rare book.

Tas Richardson

Just to let you know I have a Vol. 16 1893/4. It has the later display and a red cover. Not in great condition as my father use all the backs of the prints to draw on during the war (no paper I assume). Hope that helps.
Brian Palmer
Many thanks, Brian.

Hello. In my old age I have been 'surfing the net' and found your website. Have been collecting boys books pre. 1940, for over 50 years, but only those which show car or aircraft on front board. As a schoolboy in the 1930s I could not afford  to buy books which cost more than my Mother had to find for the rent man!  So.....the only Boys Own Annuals in my collection are from 1916/17 and 1926/27. Vol 39 has biplane on burgundy background, Vol 40 is with blue background. I've always though that the Arab on the spine is a connection to Lawrence of Arabia ?; the date of publication fits!  Now on to the cars, there are four different background colours to these, a quite bright green, darkish blue, grey/beige all with Vol.49 on the spine, and burgundy with 1926 on spine. Hope this is of interest. Merry Christmas.....Regards .
Rip Kirby
Thank you for your information.

A list of my own copies from which the above chart was compiled.
* Thanks to Sandy for details on the 1905 volume, and Aynn for colour variations on Vols 54 and 55. Thanks to Russ for cloth colours on Vols 12 and 14.
I suggest that if you can help with information, you print this 2-page list which is in .PDF format.

What are volumes worth and where do I sell them?
This is a query I receive at least every other week. Later volumes rarely bring more than $40 each on eBay, even in good condition. Earlier pre-1920 volumes can be worth over $100 but they have to be in VERY GOOD condition. This means that MUST be UNDAMAGED. Missing pages and plates will reduce the values by 50% or more. If you sell to a dealer, you will be fortunate if they pay more than $20 each for very good condition books and they won't pay anything for damaged examples! Yes, eBay is the only place to sell, if you want a reasonable price.

Brian Doyle details all serial to be found in the BOA in his article "Through the Years with the B.O.P" which appeared in Collectors Digest Annual 16, dated 1962, pages 52-68.

FOR SALE (Updated  9/2014)
I still have a very small number of duplicate volumes for sale, and hope to obtain further volumes from another collector in the near future. AUSTRALIA ONLY DELIVERY!