Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Saturday Press records, 1975-1996

Summary Information


The records document the Saturday Press, a small press dedicated to publishing the works of female poets over the age of 40. The Saturday Press existed from 1975 to 1995. The collection consists primarily of correspondence between the publisher Charlotte Mandell and the authors, as well as correspondence from contestants for the Eileen W. Barnes Award, which the Saturday Press awarded in 1981, 1984, and 1990.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1431
Bib ID 6467565 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Saturday Press (Montclair, N.J.)
Title Saturday Press records, 1975-1996
Physical Description 1.5 linear feet (3 document boxes)
Language(s) English .

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.



This collection is arranged into 5 series.



The collection primarily consists of correspondence and publicity conducted by the Saturday Press: correspondence between the publisher Charlotte Mandel and the authors; correspondence relating to the Eileen W. Barnes Award, including contestant biographies; records of events that publicized the press, such as talks at universities and poetry readings; and clippings of articles citing the press, as well as reader responses to these articles. Finally, the collection contains the entire press run, 13 titles and an audio cassette, as well as photographs and negatives of these books.

  • Series I: Correspondence with Authors, 1981-1996

    Series I contains the Saturday Press' correspondence with its authors. This section is arranged alphabetically by correspondent, and chronologically within each folder.

  • Series II: The Eileen W. Barnes Award, 1981-1990

    This series consists of materials relating to the Eileen W. Barnes Poetry Award, which was given three times by the Saturday Press, in 1982, 1986, and 1990. The materials include contestants' biographies, which they submitted as part of their application in 1982, correspondence between the judges during the 1986 competition, and announcements of the competitions in 1986 and 1990. The correspondence is arranged chronologically, and the biographies are arranged alphabetically by poet and chronologically within each poet's file.

  • Series III: Publicity, 1981-1993

    This series comprises clippings from articles concerning the Saturday Press, records of promotional events such as poetry readings, transcripts of talks given by Charlotte Mandell on various occasions, and correspondence with distinguished poets for the purpose of collecting "blurbs" to be published on the Press' books.

  • Series IV: Visual Materials, undated

    This series consists of photographs and negatives of Saturday Press books.

  • Series V: Publications, 1975-1993

    This series contains the full press run of the Saturday Press; 13 books of poetry and one audio cassette of the author's reading of one of the books (Charlotte Mandel's The Life of Mary). The books are arranged chronologically.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

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); Saturday Press records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


No additions expected

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were a: Source of acquisition--Charlotte Mandel in. Method of acquisition--gift from; Date of acquisition--1998.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Sarah Ponichtera, Columbia GSAS 2010.

Finding aid written by Sarah Ponichtera in February 2008.

Collection is processed to folder level.

Revision Description

2008-11-07 File created.

2009-01-13 xml document instance created by Patrick Lawlor

2009-06-04 xml document instance created by Catherine N. Carson

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.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Hollander, Jean, 1928- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Inez, Colette Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Little, Geraldine Clinton Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mandel, Charlotte, 1925- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Orth, Ghita, 1936- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Saturday Press (Montclair, N.J.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Thaddeus, Janice Farrar, 1933- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wagner, Anneliese, 1929- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The Saturday Press, a small press named after a poetry group out of which the press sprang, was founded in 1975 by Charlotte Mandel. Charlotte Mandel began by publishing her first book, an experience which made her realize simultaneously the importance of publishing to a new poet, and that publishing was a task within her grasp. Although technically founded in 1975, the press did not begin formal operations until 1981, when a bequest from Eileen W. Barnes provided funding. Mandel used the bequest to establish the Saturday Press, and simultaneously, the Eileen W. Barnes Award, an award granted to a first-time female poet over 40. The bequest also funded the publication of the Press' first three books; after that ran out, the Press reorganized as a non-profit corporation, and relied upon grants, which supported the organization for the remainder of its existence.

The Saturday Press was located in Montclair, New Jersey, near Mandel's home, where she lived with her husband, Irwin Mandel, the director of Clinical Research at the Columbia University Dental School.

The Eileen W. Barnes award (later known simply as the Barnes Award) was announced in 1981, 1984, and 1990, with the announcement and publication of winners taking place over the following few years in each case. The Award was inspired by Charlotte Mandel's realization that there was a lack of support for older first-time poets, especially women, and she planned the prize as an attempt to garner recognition and prestige for such poets The Barnes Award led to as much recognition of the Press as did its publication of more established poets.

The first Barnes Award competition requested contestants to submit a biography along with their poetry submission, and the judges of the first competition clearly found these biographies almost as compelling as the poetry itself. Charlotte Mandel cited them extensively in a talk she presented at Rutgers in 1984, and Rachel Hadas, another Barnes Award judge, wrote an article on the subject of the biographies. The first Barnes Award carried a cash prize of $100 for the winning poet; later awards had no cash prize.

The Saturday Press first published the winner of the first Barnes Award, Ghita Orth, in 1982. In 1983, it also published the runner-up, Annaliese Wagner's book, Hand Work, as well as an anthology of 53 of the contestants, titled "Saturday's Women". The Press went on to publish poets such as Jean Hollander, Janice Thaddeus, Anne Nicodemus, Geraldine C. Little, and Colette Inez. In total, the Saturday Press published 13 books and an audio tape of Charlotte Mandel reading her poem-novella"The Life of Mary." A small press, books were distributed only to local bookstores and authors were largely responsible for their own publicity. Many of the authors, in explaining their choice to publish with the Saturday Press, cited Charlotte Mandel's personal involvement in the editing process, and deep investment in the quality of the final product. The press ceased operations in 1995.