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Finding Aid to the Parnassus Press records, 1930-1989 (bulk 1955-1978)
BANC MSS 71/198 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Parnassus Press records
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1989
    Date (bulk): 1955-1978
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 71/198 c
    Creator: Parnassus Press
    Extent: 30 cartons, 32 oversize boxes, 1 cardfile box, 16 oversize folders (98.95 linear feet)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Parnassus Press records including administrative files, correspondence, manuscripts, notebooks, sketches, drawings and artifacts.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English, English, French, Italian
    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: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    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], Parnassus Press records, BANC MSS 71/198 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
    Parnassus Press
    Publishers and publishing
    Berkeley (Calif.)
    Children's Literature -- Publishing

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Herman Schein and Ruth Robbins Schein, 1971-1991.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Mario H. Ramirez in 2013.

    Biographical Information

    Founded in 1957 in Berkeley, California by Herman Schein and Ruth Robbins Schein, the Parnassus Press specialized in high quality illustrated children’s books that featured such well known authors as Ursula K. Le Guin and Theodora Krober. Known for their imaginative drawings and culturally diverse themes, the Parnassus Press was also distinct in publishing bilingual texts in Spanish, French and Italian that explored folk tales from countries such as Martinique, Italy and Mexico. Among their titles are included Wizard of the Earthsea, Ishi: Last of His Tribe, Bravo Marco!, Ramón Makes a Trade, To Catch a Mongoose, A Penny and a Periwinkle and The Emperor and the Drummer Boy. Their collaboration with the illustrator Nicholas Sidjakov, Baboushka and the Three Kings, won the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American children’s picture book from the American Library Association in 1961. Several of their titles were also written and/or illustrated by Ruth Robbins who herself was a skilled artist and author.
    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the press began publishing fiction geared towards adults. These titles include The Frisco Kid, American’s Far West and How I Became Howard Johnson. Notably, they collaborated on an anthology on Pan-Africanism with the journal The Black Scholar. A beacon of publishing and children’s literature on the West Coast, the complete catalog of the Parnassus Press were sold to Houghton Mifflin in 1979.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Parnassus Press records contain manuscripts, financial records, correspondence, author profiles, illustrations, administrative files, artwork, sample production materials, photographs and notebooks. Highlights of the collection include extensive information on the daily operations of the press, its communications and contracts with authors, illustrators and printers, as well as draft manuscripts and mock-ups of its many publications. Included as well are numerous examples of original artwork, book exhibits, and materials that document the publishing process during the mid-twentieth century.