Pre- and Post-Scopes Textbooks (Finally) Come Into View

After a 96-year embargo (thanks, Sonny Bono), copyrighted works from the early- and mid-1920s are finally entering the public domain. As of January 1, 2022, this list will include textbooks and other works by prominent biologists and educators published in 1926, including Samuel. J. Holmes, George W. Hunter, Truman J. Moon, and Alfred Kinsey (yes, that Alfred Kinsey – see related article).

Why is 1926 so important? It was the year after the famous Scopes “Monkey” Trial. Publishers, spooked by the possible loss of sales in the south and everywhere else evangelicals held sway, encouraged authors to edit their texts in response. For an overview, I encourage you to read Adam R. Shapiro’s article on the topic … and mine. But now that you can do your own primary document research, you can also examine these textbooks for yourself.