CTS will be 150 years old in 2018. We have stuck to some key founding principles, which are contained in our mission statement, but over the years, we’ve also moved with changes in design, technology, and the demands of our readership. We have tried to keep our books accessible.
We’ll be posting a few things from the archives from time to time, telling the story of the item and its place in the history of CTS.
We thought we’d start with this picture of a CTS rack. The photo isn’t labelled, so we’re not sure when it was taken! We got the rough date the photo would have been taken from the publication date of some of the booklets, the titles of which we can make out, which appear to date to the 1920s.
The company that processed the film was based near an Underground Station called “British Museum”. That closed in 1933 and is now what is nicknamed a ‘ghost station’, so we know the photo was taken before 1933.
Some of the titles are exactly the same as booklets we publish today. For example, there’s individual booklets with the Gospels (see the bottom row), and there’s a booklet called Purgatory (6th row, second column from the left). We published a new booklet on Purgatory in May 2015. There’s also a book about the ‘Spanish’ Inquisition, an new version of which can still be found in our catalogue. It contains an update recording John Paul II’s famous ‘apology’ in 1997.
Booklets on the subjects of Galileo and evolution also appear in our 1920s rack, which shows that the way the Church views science was as important to readers in the 1920s as it is almost 100 years later. But our latest book on the subject of Faith and Science contains a picture of the human genome, (a double helix) on the cover – this was not properly ‘discovered’ until the 1950s.
What has changed more than anything is how the rack and the booklets look. In this period, printing in colour would have not have been affordable. Now, the booklets always have colourful covers, and often have colour on the inside. With the change in printing technology, it has become much easier to include internal pictures as well.
We have considered different designs for the rack itself, in order to make it practical. If you have any feedback or ideas, don’t hesitate to get in touch.