Finding Aid to the Caliban records, 1977-1997 (bulk 1986-1997)

Mario H. Ramirez
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 2012
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the Caliban records, 1977-1997 (bulk 1986-1997)

Collection number: BANC MSS 97/126 c

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Finding Aid Author(s):
Mario H. Ramirez
Date Completed:
Finding Aid Encoded By:
© 2012 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Caliban records
Date (inclusive): 1977-1997
Date (bulk): 1986-1997
Collection Number: BANC MSS 97/126 c
Creator: Caliban
Extent: 8 cartons, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder (8.5 linear feet)
Repository: The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: The Caliban records including correspondence, clippings, broadsides, photographs, publications, writings and proofs.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: 
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Caliban records, BANC MSS 97/126 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Alternate Forms Available

There are no alternate forms of this collection.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
Smith, Lawrence R.
American poetry--20th century
Periodicals--Publishing--Michigan--Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor (Mich.)
Laguna Beach (Calif.)

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Caliban records were purchased from Lawrence R. Smith in 1997.


No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Mario H. Ramirez in 2012.

Biography/Organization History

Founded in 1986 in Ann Arbor, Michigan by Lawrence R. Smith, Caliban was a literary journal that fostered the talents of some of the most innovative, diverse and experimental writers and poets in the U.S. Among the individuals published in its pages were Amiri Baraka, Raymond Carver, Wanda Coleman, Robert Bly, Colette Inez, Louise Erdrich, Gary Soto, W.S. Merwin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Creely, Gerald Vizenor and William S. Burroughs. In addition, it featured the work of such international writers as Aimé Césaire, Robert Desnos, Massimo Mori, and Susana Thénon, and highlighted the work of several visual artists, including Joseph Nechvetal, Emmi Whitehorse, Diane Gamboa and Robert Longo.
Although Caliban ceased to publish in 1997, after several years in Laguna Beach, California, Smith launched an online version of the journal in 2010 which features new issues, sales of original issues and the newsletter "Caliban Chronicles."

Scope and Content Note

The Caliban records lend researchers insight into the administrative history of the journal, its editorial process and the evolution of Lawrence R. Smith's relationships to its many contributors. In addition, they feature the work of numerous writers and artists, as well as some writings by Smith.
Containing correspondence, broadsides, writings, clippings, proofs, monographs and photographs, highlights of the collection include materials on all fifteen issues produced, copious communiqués between Smith and the journal's numerous contributors, and chapbooks featuring the work of contemporary poets.
The collection spans the years 1977 to 1997, with the bulk concentrating on the years 1986 to 1997. It is divided into three series: I. Correspondence, II. Issues, and III. Subject Files.

Container Listing


Correspondence, undated, 1984-1997

carton 1, folder 1-18

undated, 1984-1989

carton 2, folder 1-17


carton 3, folder 1-18


carton 4, folder 1-19


carton 5, folder 1-8



Issues, undated, 1982-1995

carton 5, folder 9-13

#1, undated, 1982-1983, 1986

carton 5, folder 14-16

#2, undated, 1986-1987

carton 5, folder 17-20

#3, undated, 1985-1987

carton 6, folder 1-3, oversize-folder 1

#4, undated, 1987-1988

carton 6, folder 4-6, oversize-folder 1

#5, undated, 1984-1985, 1987-1988

carton 6, folder 7-12, oversize-folder 1

#6, undated, 1987-1989

carton 6, folder 13-16

#7, undated, 1988-1990

carton 6, folder 17-19

#8, undated, 1989

carton 6, folder 20-21

#9, undated

carton 7, folder 1-3

#10, undated, 1989-1991

carton 7, folder 4-7

#11, undated, 1991-1992

carton 7, folder 8-10

#12, undated, 1990-1992

carton 7, folder 11-13

#13, undated, 1993

carton 7, folder 14-17, oversize-folder 1

#14, undated, 1994

carton 7, folder 18-19

#15, undated, 1994-1995


Subject Files, undated, 1977-1997

carton 7, folder 20-21

Administrative, undated, 1988-1991

carton 8, folder 1, oversize-folder 1

Broadsides, Pamphlets and Postcards, undated, 1982-1997

carton 8, folder 2

Clip Art, undated

carton 8, folder 3, oversize-folder 1

Clippings and Articles, 1985-1996

carton 8, folder 4

Contacts, Bookstores, undated, 1987-1988

carton 8, folder 5

Distribution Log, undated

carton 8, folder 6

Grant, National Endowment for the the Humanities, undated, 1990-1991

carton 8, folder 7

Interzone, Burroughs, William S., undated

carton 8, folder 8

Letterhead, undated

carton 8, folder 9

Notebook, undated

carton 8, folder 10-11

Photographs, Slides and Negatives, 1985-1993

carton 8, folder 12-15, oversize-box 1

Publications, 1985-1996

carton 8, folder 16-23

Writings, undated, 1977-1996