Collection ID: LMC 2196
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Collection context


Calder & Boyars
Consists primarily of the papers of the British publishing firm of Calder & Boyars Ltd. Also included are the papers of its predecessor John Calder (Publishers) and the personal papers of John Calder, 1927- . A few personal papers of Marion Boyars, 1928-1999, are also present.
229 Boxes
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Calder & Boyars mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Calder began publishing under his own name in 1949. In 1958 Marion Lobbenberg (later married to Arthur Boyars) joined him to learn the business and in 1960 invested in the company and joined Calder as a partner. The company's name then changed to Calder & Boyars Ltd. When the two split in 1975 Calder revived the name of his former company John Calder Publishers. Calder & Boyars Ltd. and its predecessor were responsible for publishing over 4,000 titles of fiction, poetry, theatre and philosophy. The publication of Hubert Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn resulted in charges of obscenity by the British government. Initially losing the case Calder & Boyars finally won the appeal two years later. One result of the obscenity controversy was his founding of the Defence of Literature and the Arts Society. Besides publishing, John Calder was also responsible for organizing literary conferences and creating Ledlanet Nights, a music and opera festival. He was a candidate for Parliament in 1970 and 1974 and a candidate for European Parliament in 1979.

Scope and Content:

The collection contains general correspondence concerning the publishing business as well as correspondence throughout the collection with authors, translators and other publishers. Nearly all aspects of the production of a book are represented in the collection: original manuscripts, drafts, galleys, book jacket designs, printing and binding information, printer's blocks, estimates and orders, etc. Miscellaneous materials, include those relating to The Defence of Literature and the Arts Society, Independent Publishers Group, and the Frankfurt Book Fairs. Office files, writings by Calder, and papers of family-owned businesses are also present.

Note on Indexing Term - "Art": Included are illustrations and book dustjackets for various works.

Note on Indexing Term - "Law": Includes materials on their prosecution for obscenity for the publication of Hubert Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn.

Note on Indexing Term - "Theater": Correspondence, manuscripts and production materials are present for the Playscript series. Some of the playwrights represented are: Edward Bond, Samuel Beckett, Roland Dubillard, Marguerite Duras and David Mowat.

Note on Indexing Term - "Literature--translating": In the collection are the translations of numerous modern European authors. Correspondence with the translator and author is frequently present.

Acquisition information:
Acquired: 1985

The collection is organized into the following series: I. General Correspondence; II. Author/Translator; III. Book Production; IV. Book Production (General); V. Publishers; VI. Rejects; VII. Miscellaneous; and, VIII. Financial.

Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility); Wells - Map Case (Box 229)



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[Item], Calder & Boyars mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452