Scope and arrangement
The Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. Records consist of letters, book manuscripts, contracts, photographs, audio tapes and catalogs chronicling the history and ongoing concerns of Farrar, Straus & Giroux (FSG) and its subsidiaries, Hill & Wang (H & W) and L. C. Page & Company. The correspondents include authors, editors, other publishing companies, literary agents, attorneys, distributors, reviewers, and fans. The letters concern royalties, reprint rights, promotional efforts, contract negotiations, copy-editing, book design, foreign sales, publication dates and other concerns surrounding the publication, distribution, promotion and reprinting of FSG, H & W and L.C. Page titles. Interspersed among the correspondence are contracts and manuscripts of stories, poems and essays, some of which contain authors' notations.
In addition to John Farrar, Roger Straus, Jr., and Robert Giroux, correspondents include other editors, Arthur Wang, Pat Strachan, Roger Straus III, and Linda Healey; and notable authors Donald Barthelme, John Berryman, T.S. Eliot, Robert Graves, Madeleine L'Engle, Bernard Malamud, Thomas Merton, Flannery O'Connor, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Susan Sontag, Francis Steegmuller, Mark Van Doren, Derek Walcott, Edmund Wilson, Tom Wolfe, Marguerite Yourcenar, and many others.
There are also files devoted wholly to the office files of the editors listed above that contain correspondence more personal in nature than what is found in the rest of the collection as well as demonstrating the close working relationship between author and editor. In a subseries marked "Tracers," in Robert Giroux's files, there is business correspondence from Giroux and his administrative assistants providing a running chronicle of the day-to-day concerns of a modern publishing company. The topics include translation agreements, prospective employees and interns, manuscripts submitted for possible publication, evaluations of requests to quote from FSG authors and negotiations of contractual terms.
The collection also contains microfilms made at FSG of book manuscripts, paper copies of which may no longer be extant. Additional items include photographs of authors and book illustrations, audio tapes of John Berryman reading from his poems, and FSG catalogs.
The Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. records are arranged in nine series:
- 719 boxes
The author files consist of three divisional subseries: Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Hill & Wang; and L. C. Page. These subseries are divided into materials from published authors, rejected authors, and subject files. Published author files are further broken down by accession date; the multiple subseries of published author files represent materials received after the preparation of the subseries before it.
These records include correspondence, editorial material, legal and financial records, press and publicity lists, photographs and negatives. Correspondents include authors, both prospective and published, editors, other publishing companies, literary agents, attorneys, distributors, reviewers, illustrators, family members, and fans. In some cases, one can find correspondence from politicians or other note-worthies acknowledging receipt of a complimentary copy of a book or offering a promotional blurb. Editorial materials consist of typescripts, often annotated by editors and authors, holograph notes, unpublished typescript material and galley proofs, and readers' reports, usually prepared by assistant editors. Legal and financial records include contracts and negotiations, reprint rights, certificates of copyright, records of author compensation through advances and royalties, and foreign sales.
The files are arranged alphabetically by author, preserving the original filing system with only a few minor exceptions. For each author, there is often a file of general correspondence. All correspondence concerning an author which is not about a specific book is filed in these folders. General correspondence is followed by folders pertaining to specific titles, labeled with author's name followed by title. Examples: Eliot, T.S. General Eliot, T.S. On Poetry and Poets Sontag, Susan Against Interpretation
Under a given title, folders fall under the following headings and in the following order:
General: Items pertaining to the title which do not fall under any of the following categories. Foreign: Items pertaining to possible sale of publication rights of title to foreign countries. Publicity: Items relating to publicity and promotion of the title including correspondence between the author and the Publicity Department. Subsidiary: Items which concern submission of the title to book clubs, reprint houses, magazines, newspapers, motion picture companies, etc., as well as all correspondence leading to the actual contract. In some cases, there are additional, self-explanatory categories such as 'Film rights' or 'Legal'. The arrangement sometimes differs from Farrar Straus's original system, however, in that if there is only a very small amount of correspondence for a given author, all of that correspondence might be placed in the 'General Correspondence' folder.
- 46 boxes
This series consists of three subseries: Farrar, Straus and Giroux correspondence; Hill & Wang correspondence; and meeting minutes. These files were maintained by the secretarial staff in the editorial division. With the exception of the meeting minutes, all material is arranged alphabetically by year. Correspondents with significant material were removed to separate folders that follow the general alphabetical arrangement. Correspondence documents the general activities of the editorial department such as handling manuscript proposals submitted by agents and agencies; communicating with other publishers and book reviewers; and responding to standard inquiries and letters of introduction.
- 42 boxes
This series is composed of files maintained by each editor's office. While they contain much of the same material found in previous, these files include correspondence of a more personal nature as well as editorial material that reflects the close working relationship between author and editor, and the process of development from an initial proposal to a published work. In many cases, discussions of personal and professional matters are comingled in the correspondence.
- 1966-200058 boxes
The acquisition of Ariel Books in 1953, spurred the launch of an official children's division on year later, in 1954. As of this writing, the children's division publishes books for both children and young adults. Initially called the Children's Book Department, it became Children's Books in the late 1970's before being renamed Books for Young Readers in 1980.
This series is arranged alphabetically by author and contain correspondence, editorial material, legal and financial records, press and publicity lists, clippings of book reviews, artwork, photographs and negatives. Correspondents include authors, illustrators, editors, literary agents, attorneys, distributors, reviewers, translators, and fans. Legal and financial records include contracts and negotiations, certificates of copyright, and records of author compensation through advances and royalties. Topics covered are comprehension, literacy, and suitability of material for specific reading age stages. Notable authors represented are Isaac Asimov, Lygia Bojunga Nunes, M. B. Goffstein, Jan Greenburg, R. R. Knudson, and Jan Zalben. While these records contain materials related to most authors on FSG's roster of writers for children and young adults, older records and those of more notable authors were shifted by FSG administrative staff into Series I.A.1. Published authors.
- 1980-200311 boxes
This series is arranged alphabetically by author and the records are fragmentary; only letters M-Z were received in the accession. This series includes correspondence, financials, memoranda, invoices, deal sheets, publicity clippings, and royalty statements, that document both domestic and international publishing rights, such as serialization, syndication and reprints. Correspondents primarily include department staff, lawyers, literary agents and representatives, and editors.
- 182 reels
This series consists of microfilmed copies of book manuscripts written mostly, but not exclusively, by FSG authors c1973-c1986, including Carlos Fuentes, Knut Hamsun, Paul Horgan, Czeslaw Milosz, Flannery O'Connor, Derek Walcott, Edmund Wilson and Tom Wolfe. The microfilms were made for FSG, and presumably the original manuscripts were returned to the author or destroyed. Manuscripts in this series include both typescripts and published versions of books including editions published by companies other than FSG. Some manuscripts consist of stories and articles taken from such magazines as xxEsquirexx and xxThe New Yorkerxx collected together for creating anthologies. Most typescript manuscripts contain either editorial remarks or author's handwritten corrections ranging from small adjustments in wording to extensive revisions. In a few cases, there are books that were not originally published by FSG but were perhaps being considered for possible republication. Notable features of this series include letters, lectures, stories, interviews and book reviews of Flannery O'Connor. These include many letters of a personal nature to Maryat Lee, an interview conducted by Betsy Locheridge and numerous typescripts of O'Connor's lectures on Catholicism, fiction and the South delivered at various educational institutions. There are lengthy passages from Edmund Wilson's xxJournalsxx often in Wilson's own hand. Reels 173 and 175 are of special interest since magazine and newspaper articles, sketches, calendar entries, advertisements, maps and telegrams are often interspersed among Wilson's journal entries.
- 5 boxes
This series consists of photographs removed from series I and III. They are typically portraits of authors and illustrations used in books
- 1 box
This series consists of five tape recordings of public readings and personal conversation by John Berryman and one recording of poetry read by Brian Patten, all dating from the late 1960s. Most of the Berryman readings are selections from xxThe Dream Songsxx. Berryman provides brief commentaries on some of the poems, their symbolism and the life circumstances that gave rise to them and even emotionally charged evaluations of their worth such as "wonderful," "beautiful," and "junk." He also provides some anecdotes which he associates with several poems, for example, the experience of reading a certain poem for BBC television. There is also a discussion of Berryman's travels in and impressions of Calcutta. While the Berryman recordings are generally of high quality, some appear to be incomplete and abruptly interrupted. During one brief portion of one of the tapes, one hears different recordings simultaneously. Even though the contents of this brief part are comprehensible, listening may be difficult. Nonetheless, most of the recordings are in fine condition. The recording of Brian Patten is brief and is of him reading three poems from his book xxTo the Hurrying Manxx.
- 12 boxes
This series contains books and periodicals removed from Series I. and contains catalogs and pamphlets of FSG and its divisions.