Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Elisabeth Sifton Papers, 1962-2010, bulk 1984-2000

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1854
Bib ID 12876292 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Sifton, Elisabeth
Title Elisabeth Sifton Papers, 1962-2010, bulk 1984-2000
Physical Description 10.5 linear feet (22 document boxes and 1 record carton)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Arranged in four series.

Description

Summary

The Elisabeth Sifton Papers span much of Mrs. Sifton's working life. General correspondence is filed alphabetically by last name and includes correspondence related to the day-to-day business of publising, as well as correspondence related to projects ultimately not realized by Mrs. Sifton. Author-specific files deal with projects that Mrs. Sifton worked extensively on. Some files lack information that remains in the archives of the publishing house where the project was completed. Work life files deal with involvement in various professional associations, classes taught by Mrs. Sifton, and some of Mrs. Sifton's own published writing.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Elisabeth Sifton Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accrual

Accruals are expected

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2017.2018.M046: Source of acquisition--Elisabeth Sifton. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--10/6/2017.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed, ptl 10/10/2017.

Revision Description

2017-10-13 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Authors, American -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bellow, Saul Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, 1906-1945 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Book editors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Book editors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Novelists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poets Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Publishers and publishing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sifton, Elisabeth Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stern, Fritz, 1926-2016 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Elisabeth Sifton was born Elisabeth Niebuhr in New York City in 1939; a magna cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College, she also studied at the University of Paris. She began her career in book publishing at Frederick Praeger in 1962, a partly academic partly general-interest publisher with a considerable art-book list and a reputation [later established as fact] as being somehow supported by the Central Intelligence Agency. When Praeger was sold to Encyclopedia Britannica, she left it and in 1968 became an editor at The Viking Press; she was named its editor in chief in 1980. In 1983, by which time Viking had been sold to Pearson, the British company that owned Penguin Books, she was named publisher of Elisabeth Sifton Books and vice president of Viking Penguin; her imprint won the Carey-Thomas Award for Creative Publishing in 1986. In 1987-92, she was executive vice president of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., then joined Farrar Straus and Giroux as its senior vice president; she was also Publisher, then Editor-at-Large, of its subsidiary Hill and Wang. In 2008 she retired from active editorial work.

In 1962 Ms Niebuhr married Charles Proctor Sifton, a lawyer and later a federal judge; they had three sons--Sam, Tobias, and John Sifton. They separated in 1984, and in 1996 Mrs. Sifton married the historian Fritz Stern.

A former member of the Freedom to Read Committee of the Association of American Publishers and the advisory council to Princeton's Department of Comparative Literature, Mrs. Sifton also served on the board of directors of Union Theological Seminary, of the French-American Foundation, and of the Harvard University Press, as well as on the board of advisers to the Beacon Press and the visiting committees to Harvard's Department of English and American History and to its University Press.

Poets, novelists and critics whom Elisabeth Sifton edited and published include John Ashbery, Bruce Chatwin, Robertson Davies, Don DeLillo, Stuart Dybek, Leslie Forbes, Carlos Fuentes, William Gaddis, Allan Gurganus, Richard Howard, Frank Kermode, Peter Matthiessen, J.D. McClatchy, Péter Nádas, R.K. Narayan, Richard Poirier, Gregor von Rezzori, Charles Rosen, William Trevor, Marina Warner, and Geoffrey Wolff.

Other writers whose books Elisabeth Sifton edited and published include Neal Ascherson, Isaiah Berlin, John Brewer, Frederick Brown, Natalie Zemon Davis, Vladimir Dedijer, Andrew Delbanco, Ann Douglas, Ronald Dworkin, Susan Eisenhower, David Gilmour, Philip Gourevitch, Gerald Gunther, James Hershberg, Stanley Hoffmann, Michael Howard, Michael Ignatieff, Roy Jenkins, Stanley Karnow, John Keegan, Sunil Khilnani, Stephen Kinzer, Nicholas Lemann, J.R. MacArthur, Robert MacNeil, Avishai Margalit, Ernest May, Edward Mendelson, Newton Minow, Dan Morgan, Victor Navasky, Michael Novacek, Lynne Olson, Fintan O'Toole, Sydney Schanberg, Jonathan Spence, Thomas Slaughter, Stella Tillyard, Lewis Thomas, Adam Ulam, Henry Wiencek, and Jules Witcover.

Mrs. Sifton is also the author of a book, The Serenity Prayer: Faith and Politics in Peace and War [2003], and numerous articles in The Nation and other periodicals. She and Fritz Stern together wrote No Ordinary Men: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State [2013].

External users and Columbia affiliates may view materials on-site at RBML. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only Columbia affiliates may view materials on-site at Avery, Starr, and Burke. After clicking 'Submit Request', users will login with their UNI and password (Columbia affiliates) or their special collections account (external users). Appointments are required and will be arranged according to each individual repository's policy.


Series I: Work life



Box 1 Folder 1 About ES


Box 1 Folder 2 Articles on Publishing Rights


Box 1 Folder 3 Bonhoeffer-Beck


Box 1 Folder 4 Booksellers


Box 1 Folder 5 The Business of Publishing



Box 23 Folder 10 CUNY Levy Fellow



Box 1 Folder 6 Carey-Thomas Award, 1987



Box 23 Folder 9 Century Association



Box 1 Folder 7 Isabel Colegate


Box 1 Folder 8 Columbia University



Box 2 Folder 1 Council on Foreign Relations


Box 2 Folder 2 Denver Publishing Institute



Box 23 Folder 5 Early job searching


Box 23 Folder 11 Elmhurst College ( Honorary Doctorate)



Box 2 Folder 3 Elisabeth Sifton Books



Box 23 Folder 7 News from Elisabeth Sifton Books (Viking)



Box 2 Folder 4 French-American Foundation


Box 2 Folder 5 Harvard University Press


Box 2 Folder 6 Hill & Wang


Box 2 Folder 7 Knopf Organization


Box 2 Folder 8 Knopf -- FSG


Box 2 Folder 9 Lewis Thomas Committee


Box 2 Folder 10 Libya



Box 3 Folder 1 MacDowell Colony


Box 3 Folder 2 Mailing Lists


Box 3 Folder 3 Miller Theater



Box 23 Folder 6 Miscellaneous, professional



Box 3 Folder 4 1997 National Endowment for the Humanities (Carter Names Panel), 1997


Box 3 Folder 5 New School


Box 3 Folder 6 New York Review of Books


Box 3 Folder 7 Organizations & Conferences


Box 3 Folder 8 Penguin Modern Masters Series


Box 3 Folder 9 Praeger -- Misc.


Box 3 Folder 10 Price vs. V -- P and Matthiessen



Box 23 Folder 12 Princeton Comparative Literature Department



Box 3 Folder 11 Progress Re



Box 4 Folder 1 PUBWATCH


Box 4 Folder 2 Prague/PUBWATCH


Box 4 Folder 3 "Reinhold Niebuhr: Writings" Library of America


Box 4 Folder 4&5 Serenity, (2 folders)


Box 4 Folder 6 The Serenity Prayer


Box 4 Folder 7 E. Sifton SMU, 2007


Box 4 Folder 8 E.S. Speeches and Articles



Box 5 Folder 1 Twentieth Century Fund


Box 5 Folder 2 UMBA Trip


Box 5 Folder 3 Viking


Box 5 Folder 4 Viking Reviews


Box 5 Folder 5 Viking-Knopf, 1987

Series II: General publishing correspondence


Box 5 Folder 6 Miscellaneous A


Box 5 Folder 7 Miscellaneous B


Box 5 Folder 8 Miscellaneous C-D


Box 5 Folder 9 Miscellaneous E-F


Box 5 Folder 10 Miscellaneous G



Box 6 Folder 1 Miscellaneous H


Box 6 Folder 2 Miscellaneous I-K


Box 6 Folder 3 Miscellaneous L



Box 7 Folder 1 Miscellaneous M (MacArthur-Miller)


Box 7 Folder 2 Miscellaneous M (Mindlin-Murray)


Box 7 Folder 3 Miscellaneous N-O


Box 7 Folder 4 Miscellaneous P


Box 7 Folder 5 Miscellaneous Q-R



Box 8 Folder 1 Miscellaneous S


Box 8 Folder 2 Miscellaneous T


Box 8 Folder 3 Miscellaneous U-V


Box 8 Folder 4 Miscellaneous W (Wagner-Willis)


Box 8 Folder 5 Miscellaneous Willrich-Z

Series III: Author-specific papers


Box 8 Folder 6 Alba, Victor


Box 8 Folder 7 Alexander, Caroline


Box 8 Folder 8 Andrew, Christopher



Box 9 Folder 1 Apple, Max


Box 9 Folder 2 Aron, Raymond


Box 9 Folder 3 Aynor, Hanan S.



Box 23 Folder 1 Bellow, Saul (correspondence)



Box 9 Folder 4 Blondel, Jean



Box 23 Folder 8 Bonhoeffer, Dietrich



Box 9 Folder 5 Brewer, John


Box 9 Folder 6 Brown, Frederick


Box 9 Folder 7 Brown, J.F.


Box 9 Folder 8 Brumberg, Abraham


Box 9 Folder 9 Buchan, Alastair


Box 9 Folder 10 Calvocoressi, Peter


Box 9 Folder 11 Caton, Steven


Box 9 Folder 12 Cavell, Stanley


Box 9 Folder 13 Chatwin, Bruce


Box 9 Folder 14 Colgate, Isabel


Box 9 Folder 15 Cornwell, David


Box 9 Folder 16 Cowley, Malcolm



Box 10 Folder 1 Craig, Gordon A.


Box 10 Folder 2 Crankshaw, Edward


Box 10 Folder 3 Davies, Robertson


Box 10 Folder 4 Davis, Terry


Box 10 Folder 5 De Chirico, Giorgio


Box 10 Folder 6 Dedijer, Vladimir


Box 10 Folder 7 Devillers & Lacouture


Box 10 Folder 8 Donhoff, Marion


Box 10 Folder 9 Dostoyevsky [trans. Pevear, Richard]


Box 10 Folder 10 Draper, Theodore


Box 10 Folder 11 Eisenhower, Susan


Box 10 Folder 12 Eisler, Colin


Box 10 Folder 13 Epstein, Leon D.



Box 11 Folder 1 Finley, M.I.


Box 11 Folder 2 Fisher, Rose & Huttenback


Box 11 Folder 3 Frey, Julia


Box 11 Folder 4 Furbank, P.N.


Box 11 Folder 5 Fussell, Betty


Box 11 Folder 6 Gaddis, William


Box 11 Folder 7 GardnerRichard N.


Box 11 Folder 8 Goldman, Marshall I.


Box 11 Folder 9 Gordimer, Nadine


Box 11 Folder 10 Gould, Milton


Box 11 Folder 11 Graham, Katherine



Box 12 Folder 1 Granquist, Hans


Box 12 Folder 2 Griffith, Samuel


Box 12 Folder 3 Grosser, Alfred


Box 12 Folder 4 Guillermoprieto, Alma "Samba"


Box 12 Folder 5 Halperin, Morton "China and the Bomb"


Box 12 Folder 6 Gunther, Gerald "Biography of Learned Hand"


Box 12 Folder 7 Halpern, Daniel


Box 12 Folder 8 Hansen, Victor "The Western Way of War"



Box 13 Folder 1 Hershberg, James


Box 13 Folder 2 Hill, Christopher


Box 13 Folder 3 Hirschman, Albert


Box 13 Folder 4 Hodgson, Godfrey


Box 13 Folder 5 Hoffman, Stanley


Box 13 Folder 6 Hollander, Anne


Box 13 Folder 7 Holmes, Richard


Box 13 Folder 8 Hooker, John



Box 14 Folder 1 Hope, Christopher


Box 14 Folder 2 Horne, Alistair


Box 14 Folder 3 Horwitt, Sanford


Box 14 Folder 4 Hughes, Robert


Box 14 Folder 5 Ignatieff, Michael


Box 14 Folder 6 Jackson, Henry M.


Box 14 Folder 7 Johnston, Sir Charles


Box 14 Folder 8 Kamarck, Andrew M.


Box 14 Folder 9 Karnow, Stanley


Box 14 Folder 10 Keegan, John


Box 14 Folder 11 Kissinger, Henry [ed.] "Problems of National Security"


Box 14 Folder 12 Geir, Kjetsaa


Box 14 Folder 13 Kolakowski, Leszek


Box 14 Folder 14 Kunin, Madeline


Box 14 Folder 15 Kuttner, Robert


Box 14 Folder 16 Lear, Frances



Box 15 Folder 1 Leigh-Fermor, Patrick


Box 15 Folder 2 Leonhard, Wolfgang


Box 15 Folder 3 Lish, Gordon


Box 15 Folder 4 Lopez, Barry


Box 15 Folder 5 Lubman, Stanley [ed.] "Man and Sate in Communist China"


Box 15 Folder 6 MacArthur, J.R.


Box 15 Folder 7 Mann, Golo


Box 15 Folder 8 Matthiessen, Peter


Box 15 Folder 9 McCrum, Robert and Robert MacNeil "The Story of English"


Box 15 Folder 10 McGee, Celia


Box 15 Folder 11 Miles, Jack


Box 15 Folder 12 Miller, Arthur


Box 15 Folder 13 Miller, Jonathan


Box 15 Folder 14 Mintz, Sidney



Box 16 Folder 1 Mintz, Sidney



Box 23 Folder 2 Mintz, Sidney (correspondence)



Box 16 Folder 2 Morgan, Dan


Box 16 Folder 3 Morton & Lyons


Box 16 Folder 4 Nadas, Peter -- FSG


Box 16 Folder 5 Nadonly, Stein


Box 16 Folder 6 Narayan, R.K.


Box 16 Folder 7 Navasky, Victor


Box 16 Folder 8 Norwich, John Julius


Box 16 Folder 9 Novacek, Michael


Box 16 Folder 10 Nuland, Sherwin


Box 16 Folder 11 Ozick, Cynthia


Box 16 Folder 12 Pachter, Henry M.


Box 16 Folder 13 Parker, Richard


Box 16 Folder 14 Polk, William R.


Box 16 Folder 15 Postman, Neil



Box 17 Folder 1 Praeger Books on the Dynamics of American Society


Box 17 Folder 2 Praeger Books on International Economics and Development


Box 17 Folder 3 Prittie, Terence


Box 17 Folder 4 Raban, Jonathan


Box 17 Folder 5 Randal, Jonathan


Box 17 Folder 6 Renouvin/Duroselle


Box 17 Folder 7 Rezzori, Gregor von


Box 17 Folder 8 Rezzori, Gregor von "Tales of Maghrebinia" [English translation]



Box 18 Folder 1 Rosen, Charles


Box 18 Folder 2 Rosenblatt, Roger


Box 18 Folder 3 Rosenfield, Israel


Box 18 Folder 4 Rosinski, Herbert "The German Army"


Box 18 Folder 5 Rosinski, Herbert "Power and Human Destiny"



Box 23 Folder 3 Rudenstein, Neil (correspondence)



Box 18 Folder 6 Ruhn von Oppen, Beate


Box 18 Folder 7 Rushdie, Salman


Box 18 Folder 8 Said, Edward


Box 18 Folder 9 Sanders, James


Box 18 Folder 10 Schapiro, Leonard



Box 23 Folder 4 Schorske, Carl E. (correspondence)



Box 18 Folder 11 Schwartz, Herman


Box 18 Folder 12 Seibt, Ferdinand


Box 18 Folder 13 Senghor, Leopold Sedar


Box 18 Folder 14 Seigel, Jerrold


Box 18 Folder 15 Silk, Dennis


Box 18 Folder 16 Sinyavsky, Andre


Box 18 Folder 17 Skidelsky, Robert



Box 19 Folder 1 Spence, Jonathan


Box 19 Folder 2 Spence, Jonathan


Box 19 Folder 3 Spurling, Hilary


Box 19 Folder 4 Steinberg, David


Box 19 Folder 5 & 6 Steinberg, Saul


Box 19 Folder 7 Stone, Roger "Dreams of Amazonia"


Box 19 Folder 8 Lewis, Thomas



Box 20 Folder 1 Lewis, Thomas. Drafts [ultimately unpublished]


Box 20 Folder 2 Trevor, William


Box 20 Folder 3 Trilling, Lionel


Box 20 Folder 4 Twombly, Robert


Box 20 Folder 5 Ulam, Adam


Box 20 Folder 6 Unsolicited


Box 20 Folder 7 Wolff, Geoffrey


Box 20 Folder 8 Yablonsky, Linda

Series IV: Planners and phone logs


Planners and appointment books:



Box 21 1974


Box 21 1975


Box 21 1976


Box 21 1977


Box 21 1978


Box 21 1979


Box 21 1980


Box 21 1981


Box 21 1982


Box 21 1983 (2), 1983


Box 21 1985 (2), 1985


Box 21 1986


Box 21 1987


Box 21 1988


Box 21 1989


Box 21 1990


Box 21 1990-1991


Box 21 1991


Box 21 1992


Box 21 1994


Box 21 1995


Box 21 1996


Box 21 1997 (2), 1997


Box 21 1998 (2), 1998


Box 21 1999


Box 21 2000 (2), 2000


Box 21 2001


Box 21 2002 (2), 2002


Box 21 2003 (2), 2003


Box 21 2004


Box 21 2005


Box 21 2006


Box 21 2007


Box 21 2008 (2), 2008


Box 21 2009


Phone logs:



Box 22 Sept 2-November 18, 1987


Box 22 November 19, 1987-February22, 1988


Box 22 February22-June 21, 1988


Box 22 June 22-October 19, 1988


Box 22 October 19, 1988-January 27, 1989


Box 22 January 27-April 13, 1989


Box 22 April 27-July 23, 1989


Box 22 July 28-December 4, 1989


Box 22 December 5-December 29, 1989


Box 22 January 2-August 16, 1990


Box 22 December 16, 1991-April 27, 1992