Coles Notes

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Coles Notes are student guides to literature, published in Canada. The Coles bookstore first published Coles Notes in 1948. The first title published was on the French novella Colomba by Prosper Mérimée.[1][2]

In 1958, Jack Cole and Carl Cole, founders of Coles, sold the U.S. rights to Coles Notes to Cliff Hillegass who then published the books under CliffsNotes.

By 1960, Coles notes sales had peaked. They had over 120 titles, mostly on English novels; however, they covered other subjects including math, science and foreign languages. Coles Notes is currently owned by Indigo Books in Canada.

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  1. ^ Renzetti, Elizabeth (March 10, 1998). "Smart enough to keep them Coles Notes first edition nets pair $2,500 each". Globe and Mail. p. D.1. Sam Darichuk and Marion Stephenson split a $5,000 prize for producing the 1948 Coles Notes translation of Prosper Mérimée's Colomba, a long-forgotten 1904 adventure story set in Corsica.  Link via ProQuest.
  2. ^ "50 years of Coles Notes". Vancouver Sun. January 31, 1998. p. D9. Chapters bookstore will pay $5,000 for an intact copy of the first Coles Notes ever published. Chapters, which owns the rights to Coles Notes, wants to find the first edition of the notes -- a study guide for Columba, a translated French novel by Prosper Merimee, which was on Ontario's Grade 13 curriculum in 1948.  Link via ProQuest.


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