Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Roy Publishers archive
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Language of Material: Polish
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Roy Publishers archive
    source: Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc.
    Identifier/Call Number: M2074
    Identifier/Call Number: 19426
    Physical Description: 13 Linear Feet (28 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1940-1985
    Abstract: Roy Publishers focused largely on translations of Polish writers beginning in the 1940s.
    Language of Material: Collection is in Polish and English (majority Polish).

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Tax records in Box 24 are restricted until 2027.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchase; 2015. Accession MSS 2015-050.

    Biographical / Historical

    Roy Publishers was a New York-based publishing house that focused largely on translations of Polish writers into English. Its founder, Marian Kister (1897-1958), left Poland during World War II and came to New York in 1941. Having previously been a publisher in Warsaw under the company name Rój, he and his wife Hanna started their publishing work shortly after settling in New York.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Roy Publishers records (M2074). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Scope and Contents

    This is a large archive collection of correspondence, documents, books, and ephemera from Roy Publishers – a Polish firm founded by Marian and Hanna Kister in Warsaw in the 1920s and re-established in New York City after the German invasion. The house, known as Wydawnictwo Roj in Warsaw during the interwar period, published contemporary literary works in Polish, beginning with Maxim Gorky's My Childhood and including other important works by Proust, Sigrid Undset, Thomas Mann, Aldous Huxley, Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Jack London, among others.
    In New York the house regained prominence with its publication of Rulka Langer's memoir about the German bombardment and Siege of Warsaw ( The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt), and Langer's translation of Zofia Kossak's Blessed Are the Meek in 1944. Thereafter the firm introduced more Polish writers on both sides of the Atlantic to American and English readers than any other publisher of the day.
    The archive contains office folders of letters and related material from many important Polish writers and artists published by the firm (in Polish and English translations) including Melchior Wankowicz, Ksawery Pruszynski, and other Second World War resistance fighters, prominent writers, illustrators, journalists, and diplomats.
    The collection dates from 1940 up through the mid-1980s. Over half consists of the firm's office files of original letters, most of which are addressed to Marian and Hanna Kister, and accompanying typescript copies of the Kister's letters. Collection also includes his correspondence with several editors and publishers. Most of the correspondence is in Polish. Many folders contain ephemera, photographs, manuscripts, printer's proofs of illustrations, jackets, etc.
    --adapted from dealer's description of collection.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Polish literature -- 20th century.
    Publishers and publishing
    Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc.
    Roy Publishers