Reference number
  • GLL
Date
  • 1914-1993
Level
  • Collection
Description
  • Production books,1928-1964; royalty terms ledgers, contract ledgers, 1930-1984, manuscript entering books, 1956-1989; quotes sheets, and miscellaneous correspondence, including titles turned down, catalogues of books published, examples of book jackets, press reviews, 1929-1983, correspondence and related material for books by Victor Gollancz ,1914-1993, and Livia Gollancz correspondence, 1930-1990. Correspondence between Dorothy L. Sayers and authors, agents and publishers whose stories she sought to include in three volumes of 'Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror' 1928-1934. Sayers edited these volumes for Victor Gollancz Ltd.
Extent
  • 78 boxes
Admin history
  • Victor Gollancz established his publishing company, Victor Gollancz Ltd, in 1928. The company was based in offices in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London. It was to become one of the most profitable and successful firms in British publishing history. Gollancz had a flair for marketing and the company quickly made an impression with its bright yellow book jackets and London literary parties. Gollancz angered his rivals with his large scale advertising campaigns and whole-page newspaper advertisements, which were unusual for the time.
    When Gollancz died in 1967, his daughter Livia Gollancz took over the company. She sold it to Houghton Mifflin, a Boston based independent publishing company in 1989, in preparation for her retirement. By that time the company was publishing a wide range of both fiction and non fiction books including science fiction, thrillers and children's books.
    Houghton Mifflin sold Victor Gollancz Ltd to rival publisher Cassell plc in October 1992. The Covent Garden offices in Henrietta Street were vacated and the Gollancz operation moved to Cassell's offices in the Strand, London. It was at this time that the company archives were deposited in the Modern Records Centre. Victor Gollancz Ltd was incorporated into Orion Books in 1998 and is now the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Orion Publishing Group Ltd.
    References: Modern Records Centre correspondence files for MSS.157 and MSS.318 and http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/hist/index.htm.
Appraisal
  • This collection has been weeded for duplicates.
Access Conditions
  • Papers relating to the acquisition of Gollancz (Holdings) by Houghton Mifflin are closed for thirty years.
Access status
  • Open
Related Material
  • The Modern Records Centre also holds the personal papers of Sir Victor Gollancz. (MSS.157).
    The title files, the company's main series of correspondence with authors, were not deposited in the Modern Records Centre. They are understood to have been retained by the current publishing company.
Subject
  • Publishers and publishing