Fonds F-184 - Press Gang Publishers fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Press Gang Publishers fonds

General material designation

  • Photographic material
  • Textual record

Parallel title

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Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: The title is based on the name of the creating body.

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

F-184

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • [ca 1913] - 2002, predominant 1975 - 2000 (Creation)
    Creator
    Press Gang Publishers

Physical description area

Physical description

8.29 m of textual records and other material

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

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Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1989 - )

Administrative history

Press Gang Publishers was a feminist printing press publishing quality trade paperback books—fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art—primarily by Canadian women authors and artists. Their non-fiction books addressed such social issues as the treatment of women by the mental health system, recovery from childhood sexual abuse, lesbian identity, homophobia and censorship, and women in conflict with the criminal justice system. Press Gang authors won numerous awards for their work.

Press Gang Publishers evolved from a feminist printing and publishing collective of the same name. The original Press Gang was a small collective of men and women who incorporated under British Columbia's Companies Act as Press Gang Publishers Ltd. in April 1970. By 1974, the collective had become a women-only, feminist and anti-capitalist printshop, with paid and volunteer workers.

Press Gang published its first book under its own imprint in 1976, a collection of essays entitled "Women Look at Psychiatry." Over the years, printing and publishing activities increasingly diverged, and in 1982 Press Gang established a separate collective to manage the publishing operations. In 1989 the separation was completed when the two collectives formally became distinct legal and corporate entities, Press Gang Printers Ltd. and Press Gang Publishers Feminist Cooperative. The two organizations, however, remained closely associated. In 1993 Press Gang Printers ceased to exist due to economic pressues in the printing trade and on their clientele (grassroots, community organizations).

Full-time staff members of Press Gang Publishers included managing editor Barbara Kuhne; financial manager Della McCreary; and art director/production manager Val Speidel. Paula Clancy and Nancy Pollak also served on the Press Gang Board.

Because of changes in the book publishing industry and the book selling marketplace, smaller publishers such as Press Gang faced difficult times. In 2000, Press Gang formed an alliance with Polestar Publishers of Victoria and issued a joint catalogue. Shortly thereafter, Polestar was purchased by Raincoast Books. In 2002, Press Gang Publishers declared bankruptcy after thirty years as a major independent feminist publisher. Some of their titles are still distributed by Raincoast Books and by Lazara Press.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records relating to the editorial, business and community activities of Press Gang Publishers. Activities and events documented include the evolution of Press Gang's organizational structure, and the separation of the printing and publishing operations; administration; collective, staff, Board of Directors and committee meetings; financial management, and grant applications; the management of royalties and rights; editorial work including manuscript receipt and evaluation; the physical production of Press Gang books; the promotion and marketing or Press Gang titles; and liaison with other feminist and publishing organizations.

Record types includes correspondence and reports; meeting agendas, minutes and supporting papers; photographs; grant applications and financial statements; contracts and agreements; manuscripts; book reviews and promotional material; photographs; and published books.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were donated to the Simon Fraser University Archives by the creators in 2004.

Arrangement

The material was arranged by the Archivist.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as stipulated by Archives policy or the donor. Files marked 'pending review' must be reviewed by an archivist prior to release, and as a result of the review access restrictions may apply. Please see the file lists and consult the archivist for more details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File and item lists are available.

Finding aid

Associated materials

For other material relating to Press Gang Publishers see the finding aid to Press Gang Printers, F-134.

Related materials

Accruals

All accessions have been processed as of March 2006. Further accruals are expected.

General note

DATES OF CREATION
Dates of accumulation are predominantly 1975-2000. Only one file (F-184-8-0-0-15) contains earlier material, some photographs relating to a book published by Press Gang.

GENERAL NOTE
Photographic material is located in series 4 (sub-series 2), 5, 7 and 8; see series descriptions for details.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Standard number

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Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Status

Revised

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Finding aid prepared by Frances Fournier, Enid Britt, Richard Dancy (June 2004); revised (March 2006); item numbers re-assigned (November 2012).

Language of description

Script of description

Sources

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