Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed September 26, 1997
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

The start of something big

Brown library to receive books and archival files from St. Martin's Press

St. Martin's Press and Brown University have entered into an agreement in which thousands of books and author files from the publisher will be transferred to the University's archives. Shipments begin this year and will occur every three years.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Scholars who study the work of Isaac Asimov, Henry Roth, R. Buckminster Fuller, James Baldwin and other notable authors, will soon make Brown University a major destination for research. St. Martin's Press has agreed to transfer thousands of books and author files to Brown for scholarly research.

Other authors included in the archives destined for Brown include Edward Abbey, Jerzy Kosinski and Sean O'Casey. In addition, St. Martin's Press will transfer thousands of pieces of correspondence regarding biographies, histories, science, literary essays and fiction that are published throughout the trade, mass market, scholarly and reference, and college textbooks divisions of St. Martin's Press, as well as Tor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of St. Martin's.

"We are pleased and honored to be associated with Brown University in this project," said St. Martin's Press CEO John Sargent. "While the papers are no longer essential to our everyday business, they have considerable value for researchers."

The Brown-St. Martin's agreement covers books, book files and author files older than 10 years, dating back to the company's founding in 1952. The first installment is scheduled to arrive on campus Friday, Sept. 26, with subsequent transfers every three years. That first installment includes hundreds of cubic feet of files and between 5,000 and 6,000 books, according to Mark Brown, curator of manuscripts for the John Hay Library.

"The provisions for periodic transfers of materials mean that this agreement is not a one-time transaction, but the beginning of an ongoing archival relationship that will benefit researchers long into the future," said University Librarian Merrily Taylor. "It will lessen the risk of loss when files of interest to scholars cease to be useful for business purposes. It also ensures that the entire archives of St. Martin's Press will be available to researchers at a single repository."

Because of the breadth of the materials covered by this agreement, the collection is expected to be useful for a variety of research topics, including literary studies, the economics of publishing, the socioeconomic history of best sellers, studies in popular culture and the media, and the role of ideology in publishing.