City lights books

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City Lights Books, the first all paperback bookstore in the country, was started in San Francisco in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in partnership with Peter Martin. Situated in North Beach on Columbus Avenue, it quickly became the center for the beat poets and other experimental writers who figured strongly in the city's literary renaissance.

From the description of City Lights Books records, 1953-1970. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 227535655

Corporate History

City Lights Books, the first all paperback bookstore in the country, was started in San Francisco in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in partnership with Peter Martin. Situated in North Beach on Columbus Avenue, it quickly became the center for Beat poets and other experimental writers who figured strongly in the city's literary renaissance. On January 1, 1955, Ferlinghetti became sole owner of the shop. Convinced that it was a natural for a publishing company, too, he began to publish paperbacks as well as sell them. First to appear in 1955 was a book of his own poems, Pictures of the Gone World, in the "Pocket Poet Series." In time, the series included works by Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen, Allen Ginsberg, William Carlos Williams, Robert Duncan, Gregory Corso, Frank O'Hara, Malcolm Lowry, Bob Kaufman, Philip Lamantia, and others. City Lights also published a number of prose paperbacks, including Jack Kerouac's Book of Dreams, Michael McClure's Meat Science Essays, Alan Watts' Beat Zen, Square Zen, The Yage Letters by William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles' A Hundred Camels in the Courtyard, and Edward Dahlberg's Bottom Dogs .

From the guide to the City Lights Books Records, 1953-1970, (The Bancroft Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Keenan, Larry. Larry Keenan, Jr. papers, 1963-2009. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Photos of City Lights Books [graphic] UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn [Collection of material about Edie Parker Kerouac's "You'll be okay: my life with Jack Kerouac"] University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf City Lights Books. City Lights Books records, 1953-1970. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn [City Lights Books] : articles and memorabilia. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf City Lights Books Records: Additions, 1947-[on-going], (bulk 1970-1994) Bancroft Library
referencedIn Ferlinghetti, Lawrence,. Lawrence Ferlinghetti letters : to Max Gartenberg, 1959-1960. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Ferlinghetti, Lawrence,. Lawrence Ferlinghetti letters : to Stella Dallas Levy and Kevin Starr, 1966, 1977. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Purdy, James. James Purdy letters and manuscripts : to Robert Sharrard, 1987-1994. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Keenan, Larry. Larry Keenan, Jr. photograph archive [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn McBride, Dick. Richard McBride correspondence, 1960-1985. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Corso, Gregory. Gregory Corso papers, 1960-1970. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. Lawrence Ferlinghetti papers, 1959-1970. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf City Lights Books Records, 1953-1970 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Nowinski, Ira. Cafe Society photographs [graphic] : Beat poets and North Beach, San Francisco / photographed by Ira Nowinski. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Lawrence Ferlinghetti papers Mss 0013c., 1967-1972 DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University
creatorOf City Lights Books. City Lights Books records: additions, 1947-2003 (bulk 1970-1994). UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Kenneth Patchen papers, 1929-1989, (bulk 1929-1972) University of California, Santa Cruz. . University Library Special Collections and Archives
referencedIn Plymell, Charles. Troubador Press correspondence. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf [Howl fiftieth anniversary : assorted material] University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. A few cool words for 'Howl.' [Typescript] University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Hanuman books. Hanuman books records, 1978-1996, (bulk 1986-1994). University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. person
associatedWith Brautigan, Richard. person
associatedWith Bukowski, Charles. person
associatedWith Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997. person
associatedWith Corso, Gregory. person
associatedWith Ferlinghetti, Lawrence person
associatedWith Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. person
associatedWith Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. person
associatedWith Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997. person
associatedWith Hanuman books. corporateBody
associatedWith Keenan, Larry. person
associatedWith Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969. person
associatedWith Lebel, Jean Jacques. person
associatedWith McBride, Dick. person
associatedWith Miller, Henry, 1891-1980. person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Nowinski, Ira. person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972. person
associatedWith Patchen, Kenneth Papers. person
associatedWith Plymell, Charles. person
associatedWith Purdy, James. person
associatedWith Shepard, Sam, 1943- person
associatedWith Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
California--San Francisco
California--San Francisco
Subject
Publishers and Publishing
Poets, American--20th century
American literature--20th century
Booksellers and bookselling
Authors, American--20th century
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1963

Active 2009

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Ark ID: w6n05499

SNAC ID: 39406342