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Finding Aid to the Black Sparrow Press records, 1927-2002 (bulk 1970-2002)
BANC MSS 97/40 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Black Sparrow Press records
    Date (inclusive): 1927-2002
    Date (bulk): 1970-2002
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 97/40 c
    Creator: Black Sparrow Press
    Extent: 27 cartons, 1 oversize folder (27.5 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 records of Black Sparrow Press including manuscripts, proofs, artwork, photographs, production files, correspondence and ephemera.
    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: 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], Black Sparrow Press records, BANC MSS 97/40 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Black Sparrow Press
    Publishing--California--Santa Rosa
    Santa Rosa (Calif.)
    American poetry--20th century

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Black Sparrow Press records were purchased from John Martin between 1996 and 2002.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing/Project Information

    Processed by Mario H. Ramirez in 2012.

    Biography/Organization History

    Established in 1966 by John Martin, Black Sparrow Press is best known for publishing the work of German born and Los Angeles-based poet and author Charles Bukowski. Focusing on poetry, fiction and literary non-fiction, the press also featured the work of Joyce Carol Oates, John Fante, Paul Bowles, William Everson, Aram Saroyan, Eileen Myles and Wanda Coleman, among many others. Noted for its letterpress covers, designed by Martin’s wife Barbara, Black Sparrow also stood out for its commitment to innovative writers and independent publishing. In 2002, Martin closed the press and sold the rights to the work of Bukowski, Fante and Bowles to New York-based Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The rest of the backlist can now be found under the moniker Black Sparrow Books.

    Scope and Content Note

    The records of the Black Sparrow Press contain manuscripts, proofs, artwork, photographs, production files and correspondence that highlight its seminal role as an independent publisher in California and the U.S. Key among the collections holdings include manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and ephemera relating to the career of its primary and most infamous author, Charles Bukowski. In addition, there are extensive project files and correspondence with the breadth of writers published by the press throughout its thirty-six year history. Among these are: Wanda Coleman, John Fante, Wyndam Lewis, Andrei Codrescu, James Broughton, Clayton Eshleman, John Yau, Janice Pommy Vega and Diane Wakoski.
    The collection spans the years 1927-2002, with the bulk concentrating on the years 1970-2002. It is divided into five series: I. Projects, II. Correspondence, III. Authors, IV. Subject Files and V. Contracts and Rights.