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The first Girl's Own Annual ran from January to September 1880. It was made up of 39 weekly GOP magazines bound together, and these each carried a number of their own, 1–39. Page numbers ran consecutively right through the Annual. The second Annual Volume, which started in October 1880, began with weekly magazine number 40, and ran until September 1981; its page numbers again started at 1. All subsequent Annuals followed this October–September pattern, the weekly magazine being numbered consecutively throughout the run of Volumes, and the page numbers starting from 1 again at the beginning of each Annual. Numbering of the weekly magazines continued without interruption from January 1880 until September 1908, finishing with weekly magazine number 1500.

Each yearly part carried a consecutive Volume Number, given in Roman Numerals on the title-page of each Annual and each weekly magazine. Some Annuals carry a year on the spine, and this is usually, but not always, the year in which the Annual finishes.

Weekly magazines were discontinued in October 1908, and the GOP thereafter appeared only as a monthly and an Annual. Within each Annual, the monthly parts retained their title pages, but the dates on these title pages were dropped. Volume numbers usually appear on the spines of the Annuals.

After Volume 51, the GOP continued to be on sale as a monthly, but the title pages of the monthlies were no longer bound in with the Annuals; from within the Annual, it is not easy to see where one monthly ends and another begins. Volume numbers can be found only from the spine. These are given in Roman Numerals up to Volume 56; after that, numbers are in normal Arabic numerals. The series of Annuals ends with Volume 62, 1940–41. After that the GOP itself became much smaller, finally ending publication in 1956.

This Index covers only the Annual Volumes, up to the end of Volume 62.

Some useful notes on dating the bound volumes of the Girl's Own Paper:

  1. Many volumes carry both date and volume number on each weekly part and so present no problem.
  2. Most bound volumes run from October in one year to September of the next, so each volume extends over two calendar years.
  3. If a date is stamped on the spine, it is normally the date of the year in which the volume ended.
  4. If the volume number is known, then the date at which the volume ended can be found by adding the volume number to the date 1879. Thus, Volume 17 ended in September 1896.
  5. If the date at which the volume ended is known, the volume number is found by subtracting 1879 from this date. Thus, the volume which ended in September 1902 was Volume 23.

The GOP Index indexes stories and articles by volume number, and the associated year in which that volume ended. Please note that the actual year of publication of the individual story or article may in fact be the previous year, if it appeared early in the volume's run.

Dating the Christmas and Summer Extras of the Girl's Own Paper is not always easy as they do not, in general, carry associated volume numbers and many carry no date. Furthermore, bound volumes may not always contain the Extras current to that year - it is not unknown for a bound Annual to contain Extras from the year before or the year after. The best clue to the date of a given Extra is that given in the Girl's Own Paper itself, where forthcoming Extras were advertised, with a detailed list of contents, a few weeks before each Extra was to appear.

In order to make the dates of the Christmas and Summer Extras explicit in the Index, they have been referenced using the following system:

[Date of Publication].[Associated Volume Number] [Title of Extra]

Thus the very first Extra, published for Christmas 1881 during the run of Volume 3 and entitled Christmas Roses, is indexed as:

1881.03 Christmas Roses

Similarly, the first Summer Extra, published in June 1882, also during the run of Volume 3 and entitled Silver Sails, is indexed as:

1882.03 Silver Sails