Secret Museum of Mankind: the Book


edited from

“The Secret Museum of Mankind: Ethnic Music Classics 1925-1948” (CD series edited by Pat Conte) takes its title from the book shown above.  Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index. Published by “Manhattan House” and sold by “Metro Publications”, both of New York, its “Five Volumes in One” was pure hype: it had never been released in any other form.

The assumption is that this was a get-rich-quick scheme: copy “1,000” (actually 994) photos and captions verbatim from various sources with no credit, print them badly on cheap paper, sell thousands of copies for $1.98, make a bundle, then take the money and run. Yet, it was still for sale in 1942, seven years after first being released. Why wasn’t it shut down by the parties who were infringed? Were they involved? It’s a mystery.

View entire book here.

Listen to The Secret Museum of the Air radio show, with Citizen Kafka and Pat Conte, here.


One Response to “Secret Museum of Mankind: the Book”

  1. Maggie Tobin Says:

    How can I get in touch with Pat Conte? I have some old 78s to give him if he is interested in them.

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