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Simon Fraser University Special Collections and Rare Books New Star Books fonds BC Thesaurus
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New Star Books fonds

  • MsC-100
  • Fonds
  • 1971

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).

New Star Books

Business operational files and related records

Series consists of correspondence with professional organizations, governmental departments or ministries, and service providers dealt with in the course of normal business. Records include: internal communications, external correspondence, reports, grant applications and awards, contracts, minutes, notes, trade publications, contracts, memorandum, and invoices.

Sales figures records

Series consists of balance sheets detailing book sales by title per month, grouped by year. The reports visibly grow more complex over the years as computerization and software allowed for greater detail in accounting. Records include: balance sheets, both handwritten and printouts.

Payroll and taxes records

Series consists of financial records relating to payroll, taxes and employment forms. Records include: financial statements, printouts, balance sheets, notes, tax statements and receipts.

Draft manuscript files

Series consists of one file labeled “Manuscript – A Very Ordinary Life”. The papers inside are annotated and heavily edited at times.

Author correspondence

Series consists of correspondence between the publisher and various authors regarding current and future projects, editorial discussions and decisions, revisions, biographical information, book tour information, financial estimates and payments, and press coverage. Records include: correspondence, invoices, orders, receipts, notes, contracts, trade publications, photographs and newspaper clippings.

For related materials, see also: Series 5: Editorial correspondence and related records and Series 8: Royalties and related correspondence

Editorial correspondence and related records

Series consists of correspondence between the publisher, sub-contractors, vendors, promoters and authors. Most files contain instructions and drafts as to editorial layout, typesetting, artwork, etc. Records include: correspondence, style sheets, contracts, invoices, grant applications, editorial copy, galley proofs, newspaper clippings, magazines, cartoons, photographs and a poster.

For related materials, see also Series 2: Author correspondence and Series 8: Royalties and related correspondence.

Accounts correspondence and invoices

Series consists of accounts payable and received by various vendors, distributers, professional organizations and service providers dealt with in the course of normal business. Records include: correspondence, balance sheets, invoices, orders, receipts, contracts, trade publications, and newspaper clippings.

Book reviews and related records

Series consists of correspondence related to the marketing, reviews and sales of New Star publications. The majority of the series are news clippings of various book reviews. Records include: correspondence, photocopies of articles, newspaper clippings and cartoons, and trade publications.