University Books, Inc changed everything. A *real* color tarot deck in America (and for only five bucks!), a Pictorial Key to the Tarot printed in color, unlike Rider’s versions. Even L.W. printed the tarot images in his “Veil” book in black, yellow, gray (and later just gray). University Books was poised to sell directly to the consumer via mail order, but also to the retail trade. For a micro-publishing house they were on fire. While they lasted they influenced a generation of beatniks, hippies, yippies, and later, even yuppies. Their presence can still be felt today in the modern decks made by U.S. Games systems, Lo Scarabeo, Llewellyn, and many independent publishers, as well as major book publishers who publish their printed matter. If it were not for University Books we would have no Frankie Albano (a Paul Foster Case of the late 20th century) to rebel and create his own vision of the tarot. We have TONS of interesting and unique material on University Books, Inc. and their fate. We hope that you will explore their exhibit, which is perpetually being added to as more decks, books, and ephemera are cataloged.
University Books, Inc. launched in the late 1950's in Manhattan, gaining traction as a serious, specialized, publisher of metaphysical, occult, and philosophical ideals. The books they published followed their personal interests. It was a labor of love to work at UB, and their creations motivated others to expand on their work (and steal it) to this day. If UB were around today they would be like a tech savvy start-up waiting to be poached by a giant.