There are two complete sets of VQR. One is in the hands of the U.Va. library. The other is in the office of our editor, Ted Genoways, across the street from the library. I’ve witnessed the publication’s transformation over the past fifteen years, having read VQR as a teenager hanging out on U.Va. grounds, but that’s just a sliver of the 81-year-old’s history. I’ve come to enjoy flipping through old issues.
I recently came across the very first issue, Vol. 1, Issue 1, dated April 1925. At right is that first issue, with the table of contents listing not one but two award-winning authors: Senator William Cabell Bruce (Pulitzer) and Luigi Pirandello (Nobel Prize in Literature), the former having already won at the time of publication, the latter being recognized nine years later. The cover price was 75¢, a subscription $3.00. (Or $8.33/issue and $33/year in 2005 dollars.) It was a fine inaugural issue, and remains pleasantly relevant today.