Covering the time period of 1971 to 2007, the collection is comprised of records created or received by various staff of New Star Books in their business activities. These activities consisted of: soliciting authors for material or responding to author requests for representation, corresponding with authors throughout the editorial process, designing or contracting layouts for books and communicating instructions to vendors, arranging for printing of materials, promoting book tours and maintaining vendor accounts with various independent bookstores and organizations throughout the world. They also monitored book reviews in publications of the popular press and professional organizations, arranged for marketing of products, coordinated payments or receipt of payments, and periodically issued royalty checks. New Star was often reliant on external funding for the publication of some works, especially in instances where translation services were required to reach certain markets, so applications for grants or donations comprise a portion of each series.
The collection reflects some of the major cultural and political issues affecting Canada, and particularly British Columbia and Vancouver, in the late-1970’s and early-1980’s. These topics ranged from criticisms of British Columbia’s Social Credit administration, to works on the Nicaraguan and Cuban revolutions, feminism, gay rights, communism, and the immigrant experiences of Chinese Canadians and Eastern Europeans The collection also offers insight into some of the shifting trend of public interest away from such leftist publications and the choices New Star editors then had to make in choosing marketable content over progressive or provocative literature.
Record types include correspondence, invoices, purchase orders, balance sheets, newspaper clippings, book reviews, financial statements, grant applications, legal transactions or communications, sales figures, book tour schedules, typesetting instructions, style sheets, draft layouts, photographs, and one draft manuscript.
The collection is arranged into the following ten series: Accounts correspondence and invoices (1973–1994); Author correspondence (1977-1997); Book reviews and related records (1976–1999); Business operational files and related records (1971–1999); Editorial correspondence and related records (1973-2001); Sales figures records (1974-1990); Payroll and taxes records (1972-1990); Royalties records and related correspondence (1979-2005); Draft manuscript files [before 1974?]; Invoices, sales registers and related records (1972-2007).