About the Collection
This online collection, Dime Novels - Full Text, provides scholars the complete text of a small, but selective, sample from one of our collection's series, Secret Service. The issues were selected to study perceptions of race and conflict in turn-of-the-century America where Asian, Native American, or African American characters are often the chosen antagonists.
Secret Service was a 32-page weekly magazine of detective stories featuring Old and Young King Brady, a world-renowned team of United States Secret Service agents. The pair run the Brady Detective Bureau in New York City and, with the help of Alice, their able office assistant, they track down criminals across the globe. Wall Street swindles and opium rings based in Chinatown are principal plot devices. Miscellaneous material at the back of later issues included a current events column, short stories, and numerous advertisements. Cover illustrations sometimes recorded current events (e.g., the 1906 San Francisco fire and earthquake), as well as notable markers of contemporary society, such as the Statue of Liberty and the New York subway. The series was published from 1899 through 1925. You can browse all the Secret Service covers in our collection, as well as those of many other series, here.
The Dime Novels - Full Text collection currently contains one hundred issues of a single serial publication. We have previously digitized (in a slightly different format) the complete text of nine issues of different series, which can be read on Stanford's Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls website, here. The Dime Novels - Full Text collection presents cover images in full color, in order to capture their richness, and inside page images in black and white, in order to provide for the best possible text accuracy and readability.
Our current online collections may someday be expanded from our exceptionally rich holdings of original publications, but for the present, we hope you enjoy the samplings on offer here.