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   Ian and Betty Ballantine Books and Business Records, 1935-1994 [Bulk dates 1945-1973]

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ian and Betty Ballantine Books and Business Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

Ian and Betty Ballantine were book publishers who contributed to the growth of paperback book sales in the United States between the 1940s and the 1990s. The Ian and Betty Ballantine Books and Business Records include the Ballantines’ materials related to Penguin Books USA, Bantam Books, Ballantine Books, and Peacock Books. Administrative documents cover the management of these presses as well as the editorial, sales, inventorying, and advertising processes. In addition, the collection contains the bulk of the editorial libraries of Penguin Books USA, Bantam Books, and Ballantine Books.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1600
Bib ID:13511438 View CLIO record
Title:Ian and Betty Ballantine Books and Business Records, 1935-1994 [Bulk dates 1945-1973]
Physical description:79 linear feet (63 record storage cartons and 1 manuscript box)
Language(s):English.
Access: Student papers in Box 3 are restricted for 75 years from date of creation. Collection is located on-site.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series. Series I is arranged in chronological order. Series II is arranged by the ID number assigned to each book by its publisher.

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Description

Scope and Content

The Ian and Betty Ballantine Books and Business Records document the Ballantines’ work in publishing from the 1940s through the 1980s. The collection includes five boxes of administrative documents from Penguin Books USA, Bantam Books, Ballantine Books and Peacock Books. Administrative documents cover the management of these presses as well as the editorial, sales, inventorying, and advertising processes. In addition, it includes 59 boxes which contain the editorial libraries of Penguin Books USA, Bantam Books, and Ballantine Books. These libraries are made up of nearly complete print runs of Penguin Books, Pelican Books, Bantam Books, and Ballantine Books, dating from 1935-1990.

Series I: Business Records, 1940-1994

Series I contains Ian and Betty Ballantine’s business records from their work in publishing at four different presses: Penguin Books, Bantam Books, Ballantine Books, and Peacock Books. However, the bulk of the records are from Bantam and Ballantine. They cover a range of functions including order lists and inventories, book reports, financial documents, and meeting minutes. The series also includes Ian Ballantine’s files from when he taught a sociology course about the book business at Columbia in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Subseries I.1: Bantam Books 1940-1952

Subseries I.1 contains files related to Bantam Books or that were created during the time that the Ballantines were employed there, from 1945-1952. Most of the records are from Ian Ballantine, including his correspondence and memos as well as his diaries. There are reports on books that the press was deciding whether to publish and information about inventory, orders, and finances. The subseries also contains executive committee meeting minutes and other documentation from 1952 when Ian Ballantine was leaving his position as president under investigation into his management style by the committee.

Subseries I.2: Ballantine Books, 1952-1974

Subseries I.2 contains files related to Ballantine Books or that were created during the time that the Ballantines worked there, from 1952-1973. These include records from both Ian and Betty, and cover finances as well as inventory and orders. There are also contracts and correspondence with other publishing companies with whom they worked.

Subseries I.3: Other Ballantine Presses, 1943-1994

Subseries I.3 contains files related to Penguin Books USA and Peacock Books. The Penguin Materials, from the early 1940s, document Penguin’s work with the Military Services Publishing Company and distribution of paperbacks during World War II. The subseries also includes files on the Ballantines’ departure from Penguin in 1945. There are just two files on Peacock Books from the 1970s-1990s in the subseries, including an order book and title list.

Subseries I.4: Columbia Course, 1947-1952

Subseries I.4 contains files from the course that Ian Ballantine taught at Columbia’s School of General Studies. His course was in the sociology department and was about the book publishing business. The records include syllabi and course materials as well as clippings used in the course and correspondence with Columbia University.  These materials date from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Series II: Books, 1935-1990

Series II consists of nearly complete runs of paperbacks printed by Penguin Books (both Penguin UK and Penguin USA) Pelican Books, Bantam Books, and Ballantine Books between 1935 and 1974. A small amount of books printed in the 1980s and 1990s, primarily by Bantam Books, are also included. These books appear to have been the editorial libraries of their respective publishing houses, though a few have markings from booksellers.

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Using the Collection

RBML

Access Restrictions

Student papers in Box 3 are restricted for 75 years from date of creation.

Collection is located on-site.

Restrictions on Use

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); Ian and Betty Ballantine Books and Business Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Material

Sidney Kramer Papers and Library, MS#1841 : Sidney Kramer was an editor who worked with Ian Ballantine as an original director of Ballantine and Co. and then of Bantam Books.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Celeste Brewer and Rachel Klepper. Finding aid written by Celeste Brewer and Rachel Klepper in November 2018.

The business records were kept in the order that they were received. Materials that were in binders were removed and foldered, and original titles were retained. Two folders that did not fit in record cartons were moved to Box 6, a manuscript box. Folder 1 was originally in box 1 and folder 2 was originally in Box 4. Brittle pages were photocopied. Books were retained in the physical order that they were received. 22 books were discarded due to mold damage. A list of these discarded books is available upon request.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion November 9, 2018 Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.
    2018-11-09 XML document instance created by Celeste Brewer.

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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.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Business recordsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
minutes (administrative records)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Ballantine Books (Firm).PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Business correspondencePortalCLIOArchiveGRID
PaperbacksPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Publishers and publishing--20th centuryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Publishers and publishing--New York (State)--New YorkPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
paperbacksPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

History

Ian (1916-1995) and Betty Ballantine (1919-) were book publishers who contributed to the growth of paperback book sales in the United States. The Ballantines began working for Penguin Books in 1939, opening up an American branch of the United Kingdom-based company. During World War II, paperback books became more popular after their distribution to soldiers in Europe. In 1945, the Ballantines helped found Bantam Books with Walter Pitkin and Sidney Kramer, and Ian became its first president. Bantam mostly sold paperback reprints of books previously published in hardcover. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Ian also taught courses on the business of book publishing in the Sociology department of Columbia University’s School of General Studies. In 1952, amidst tension between Ian Ballantine and other managers and an inquiry into his leadership, Ian and Betty Ballantine left Bantam to found Ballantine Books. Ballantine was an innovative press that published paperback originals, specializing in science fiction, fantasy, westerns, and mystery novels. In 1973, Random House purchased Ballantine Books, and Ian and Betty Ballantine became freelance consulting editors and publishers.

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