Last summer, St. Martin's Press entered into an agreement with Brown University to transfer their archives--thousands of publications and author files--to the John Hay Library. St. Martin's CEO, John Sargent, noted that "the papers are no longer essential to our everyday business, [but] they have considerable value for researchers."
Scholars who wish to study the works of a wide variety of 20th century authors, including Edward Abbey, Isaac Asimov, James Herriot, Robert Travers, Randy Shilts, Sean O'Casey, R. Buckminster Fuller, M. M. Kaye, Jerzy Kozinski, Henry Roth, and James Baldwin, will find their correspondence and related material among the archives. In addition, papers regarding the entire spectrum of St. Martin's catalog of biographies, histories, science, literary essays, and fiction, published throughout the press's various divisions--trade, mass market, scholarly and reference, and college textbooks--will be available. Records for Tor, a wholly-owned subsidiary which features science fiction, horror, and other genre fiction, are also included.
The agreement covers books and book and author files older than ten years, dating back to the founding of the Press in 1952. The first installment arrived at Brown in September, 1997, with subsequent transfers to occur every three years. The shipment last Fall included hundreds of cubic feet of files and between 5000 and 6000 books. We are also being given a copy of each new St. Martin's Press title as it is published.
University Librarian Merrily Taylor noted the advantages of the agreement for periodic transfers as "the beginning of an ongoing archival relationship that will benefit researchers long into the future." At the same time, there will be "less risk of loss when files of interest to scholars cease to be useful for business purposes." Lastly, the agreement "ensures that the entire archives of St. Martin's Press will be available to researchers at a single repository." The breadth of the materials should be useful not only for the study of individual writers, but also for the study of literature in general, the economics of publishing, the socioeconomic history of bestsellers, popular culture and the media, and the role of ideology in publishing.
This description is based on information provided in press releases from St. Martin's Press and the Brown University News Bureau. Any questions regarding the collection can be directed to Mark Brown, Curator of Manuscripts, John Hay Library, x1512.
--Steve L. Thompson
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