Records. Series IV., Author and Book Designer Files, 1911-1979 (bulk 1920-1960).

ArchivalResource

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. Series IV., Author and Book Designer Files, 1911-1979 (bulk 1920-1960).

Records. Series IV., Author and Book Designer Files, 1911-1979 (bulk 1920-1960).

This series is one of the highlights of the Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. archive and one of the few that documents the early history of the firm. The Author Files, which make up the bulk of this series, contain a broad assortment of files relating to authors, most of whom were published by Knopf. The subseries contains early editorial correspondence, manuscripts, and artwork, pertaining generally to firm business. While the files typically contain correspondence with Alfred A. Knopf, other employees whose letters are present in this subseries are Blanche Knopf, William A. Koshland, Raymond Preston, and Harold Strauss. The Author Files are most complete for the 1920s and 1930s. Most files contain correspondence with an author pertaining to a book published by the firm. Covering Knopf's "golden age" of publishing, authors of note include W. J. Cash, A. E. Coppard, Warwick Deeping, Havelock Ellis, Erna Fergusson, Emma Goldman, Dashiell Hammett, William Alexander Percy, and Angela Thirkell. Besides fiction, the subseries documents Knopf's commitment to publishing historical, medical, and sociological texts. While most correspondents are represented by a single file, some long-term Knopf authors, such as James M. Cain, Joseph Hergesheimer, John Hersey, and Carl Van Vechten, has two or more. These multiple files reveal the personal relationship that often developed between an editor and author. The Book Designer Files contain correspondence with four renowned book designers. The files of Elmer Adler, Claude Bragdon, and Bruce Rogers contain correspondence, generally about books they designed for Knopf. However, the bulk of the subseries consists of William A. Dwiggins' correspondence and book designs. Eleven folders cover the years 1927-1954, and include Dwiggins' correspondence with Alfred Knopf and Sidney Jacobs. Another eleven folders of artwork contain notes, sample designs, binding samples, and mock-ups and sketches for books and dust jackets that Dwiggins designed for the firm.

36 boxes (15 linear feet).

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