Recovering the Classics

Contest Winners Announced!

Book Covers

The Exhibit

Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for classic books in the public domain created by illustrators, typographers, and designers of all stripes. Many great classic books in the public domain have poorly designed or auto generated covers, and we often judge a book by its cover.

With the popularity of these redesigned covers, Recovering the Classics launched the 50x50 campaign to bring this exhibit of amazing recovered classics posters to libraries and schools everywhere by hosting an exhibit in each of the 50 states, and if possible, have people create their own covers. Birmingham Public Library is representing the state of Alabama. Find out more at:

The Contest

Birmingham Public Library has partnered with Books-A-Million to host a contest where Alabama artists of all ages and abilities may contribute. There will be a youth and adult division of the contest, and three judges will choose the winning cover designs.

Deadline to Submit: September 30, 2016


  • 1st Place: Your cover on a classic book created by Books-A-Million's Espresso Book Machine, a $75 Books-A-Million gift card, and 3 Recovering the Classics posters
    2nd Place: Your cover on a classic book created by Books-A-Million's Espresso Book Machine, a $50 Books-A-Million gift card, and 2 Recovering the Classics posters
    3rd Place: Your cover on a classic book created by Books-A-Million's Espresso Book Machine, a $25 Books-A-Million gift card, and 1 Recovering the Classics poster 

Contest Guidelines

  1. Choose a public domain book from the list below.
  2. Design an original artwork using the key themes and features from the book. (You don't have to read the book, but it certainly helps.) Find some inspiration at
  3. Follow these guidelines laid out by the team at Recovering the Classics:

    Your Cover Should:

    • - Depict the front cover of one of the listed titles, prominently displaying the books title (larger) and the author's full name
    • - Be a vertically oriented, 12 inch by 18 inch RGB image at a resolution of 300dpi (3600 pixels by 5400 pixels) that is a JPG or PNG
    • - Be bold, expressive and engaging
    • - Be legible in black and white
    • - Be a full bleed image (no margins or borders)
    • - Keep a safe area of at least 1 inch on all sides (don't place text too close to the edge)

    Your Cover Shouldn't:

    • - Include URLs or logos (small artist signatures are fine)
    • - Use copyrighted images or images that don't belong to you. All images should be your own, or available under a creative commons or other similar license
    • - Rely overly on cliches
  4. Submit your finished book cover online by September 30, 2016  (Email with any issues. Multiple submissions are allowed, but you are only eligible to win one prize.

The selected designs will be announced no later than October 15, 2016 the week of October 17 on BPL's social media. A press release will also be sent out to the local media.

Thanks for joining us in giving classic books a new contemporary look!


Contact us at

Book List

  • Book CoversA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Andersen's Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  • Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  • Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Howards End by E. M. Forster
  • Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Author Unknown
  • King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life by George Eliot
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
  • Oliver Twist, or the Parish Boy's Progress by Charles Dickens
  • On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
  • Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights by Unknown
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Federalist by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
  • The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion by Ford Madox Ford
  • The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  • The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  • The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • The Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Frederich Nietzsche
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
  • Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
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