Thanks for the response Dale. Interesting! Were you thinking about only the bound volumes, or were these tidbits also in the original course (sorry, I sold my set of Tarbell years ago to fund college tuition)? Does each volume have such info, or are there particular volumes you have in mind?
To give some perspective on the nature of my query here, it might be a good idea to quote from my essay on historical works from the first number of The Historians Guide to Conjuring (Redux). Here goes:
"Before proceeding further, since this book claims to be a historical reference work, one important clarification of scope should be made concerning the notion of historical importance. Many of you who (rightly, in my opinion) take a broad historical view of conjuring literature would argue that many books which do not have a scintilla of history per se are nonetheless historically important. Most such books would probably be called the classics of conjuring literature, for lack of a better term. While the precise identification of the criteria for a classic in the literature of conjuring may be elusive or subject to a nice debate, for purposes of this discussion there are several hallmarks which, in my opinion, merit note: consensus recognition that a book is a unique source of information on an important topic, or thoroughly explains the state of conjuring (or a significant element of conjuring) at a point in time, or is otherwise a harbinger of the future of conjuring. The foregoing hallmarks are all admittedly historically important. Take, for example, Reginald Scots The Discoverie of Witchcraft (London, 1584), a title almost universally regarded as a classic and the general importance of which is not debated. Few would dispute the statement that The Discoverie contains historically important material on magicians and magic in England in the 16th century certainly it provides one of the few contemporary snapshots of the kinds of tricks performed in that era, despite the fact that providing a glimpse of the state of conjuring at that time was almost certainly not Scots goal when he penned The Discoverie. In a sense then, the passage of time renders many authors of the classics unwitting chroniclers of conjuring history. As a consequence, a convincing argument could be made that The Discoverie and other classics should be included in this work. However, notwithstanding their historical significance, I am neither qualified nor have the time to incorporate the classics into this work (which would require, among other things, a volume-by-volume analysis of potentially thousands of magic books published over the centuries), though I may choose to include certain editions thereof whose contents provide significant supplemental historical or bibliographical information, such as, using The Discoverie as an example, Stephen Forresters The Annotated Discovery of Witchcraft Booke XIII (Calgary, Alberta, 2000), and the Brinsley Nicholson (ed.) edition of The Discoverie (London, 1886).
To those who are interested in such classics, there is some consolation: several of the works to be listed in this edition contain commentary on these books and the reasons for their significance. See, for example, both volumes of Maurine Christophers & George Hansens The Milbourne Christopher Library (Pasadena, California, 1994 & 1998), Stephen Forresters A Bibliography of Classic Authors in Magic and Related Arts (Calgary, Alberta, 1993)(Forresters work is especially interesting, because it contains lists from many respected collectors and historians of their favorite conjuring books, almost all of which, though not stated as such, would be regarded as classics), Trevor Halls Old Conjuring Books (London, 1972), H. Adrian Smiths collected essays in Volume XXXIV of Books at Brown (Providence, Rhode Island, 1987), and both volumes of Toole Stotts A Bibliography of English Conjuring (id.). Although not within the scope of this work, another excellent, and perhaps even more fruitful, source are the hundreds of articles on this topic published over the past century in conjuring periodicals, many authored by Milbourne Christopher (M.U.M.), Edwin Dawes (The Magic Circular), Trevor Hall (The Magic Circular), John Mulholland (The Sphinx), Leo Rullman (The Sphinx), and R. C. Ritson (The Wizard), to name a few."