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   George Borchardt, Inc. Records, 1951-2014

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); George Borchardt, Inc. Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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

Summary Information

Abstract

This collection contains the records of the Georges Borchardt Inc. Literary Agency as well as records from the 1950s and 1960s that pre-date the founding of the agency. The records include clippings, correspondence, contracts, logs, photographs, publicity, reports, reviews, and royalty statements.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#0135
Bib ID:4078396 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Borchardt, Georges.
Title:George Borchardt, Inc. Records, 1951-2014
Physical description:615.3 linear feet (590 manuscript boxes and 294 record storage cartons).
Language(s):The majority of the material is in English and French; there is also some material in Spanish.
Access: The following boxes are located off-site: 1-880. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. There are no access restrictions for records dated 1970 or earlier. There are access restrictions for all records dated 1971 or later. These restrictions will expire at ten-year intervals. The expiration schedule is as follows: Records dated 1971-1980 will become unrestricted in 2019; Records dated 1981-1990 will become unrestricted in 2029; Records dated 1991-2000 will become unrestricted in 2039; Records dated 2001-2010 will become unrestricted in 2049; Records dated 2011-2020 will become unrestricted in 2059, and so forth. For undated records, restrictions on access shall expire no later than 40 years from the date of delivery of the material to Columbia University. Researchers must obtain permission from Georges Borchardt, Inc. in order to use restricted records.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in five series.

Please note that the forms of names for both authors and publishers were standardized using the Library of Congress Name Authority Headings.

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Description

Scope and Content

This collection contains the records of the Georges Borchardt Inc. Literary Agency as well as records from the 1950s and 1960s that pre-date the founding of the agency. The records include agreements, clippings, correspondence, contracts, copyright registration documents, logs, photographs, permission requests, publicity, reports, reviews, rights information, and royalty statements.

The files related to authors, publishers, and general subjects are divided into two series: Series II: English Language Authors, Publishers, and Subjects and Series III: French Language Authors, Publishers, and Subjects. These files consist primarily of correspondence with authors and publishers on a variety of issues including agreements, contracts, copyright, editing, financial issues, manuscripts, offerings to publishers, permission requests, rights, submissions, and translations. These files also include other records such as author event information, book jackets, catalogs, clippings, publicity items, reviews, and personal communications such as holiday cards, invitations, and postcards. Contracts and related royalty statements are often filed separately from the correspondence files in “contract” files. Series II also contain subject files on such topics as American Authors, American Publishers, Association of Authors’ Representatives, Authors Encouraged and Discouraged, Movies, and Publishers.

Documentation of the agency’s activities related to foreign editions and foreign rights is frequently filed in a separate set of files. These records are filed in Series IV: Foreign Literary Agencies, Publishers, and Rights. These files are arranged by country or region and include both general files related to foreign editions, rights, and publishers as well as files related to specific subagents. Files related to specific English and French language publishers are filed in Series II and Series III.

The collection includes a set of manuscript logs. The logs are made up of index card files that document the agency’s activities as related to specific titles. The index cards include the activity/dates/results of a title’s submission to various publishers, date copy returned, etc. These records are filed in Series V: Manuscript Logs.

Series 1: Cataloged Correspondence and Manuscripts, 1950s-1980

This series consists of correspondence and manuscripts by notable persons that have been filed at the item level. Among the cataloged correspondents are: Hervé Bazin, Laurent de Brunhoff, Michel Butor, Marguerite Duras, John Gardner, Meyer Levin, and Pierre Mendès-France. Additional correspondence is filed in Series II and Series III.

Series II. English Language Author, Publisher, and Subject Files, 1953-2015

This series primarily consists of files of correspondence with English language authors and publishers on a variety of issues including agreements, contracts, copyright, editing, financial issues, manuscripts, offerings to publishers, permission requests, rights, submissions, and translations. These files also include other records such as author event information, book jackets, catalogs, clippings, publicity items, reviews, and personal communications such as holiday cards, invitations, and postcards. . Files relating to contracts, permissions, and related royalty statements are often filed separately in “contract” files.

Series II also contain subject files on such topics as American Authors, American Publishers, Association of Authors’ Representatives, Authors Encouraged and Discouraged, Movies, and Publishers.

Series III. French Language Author, Publisher, and Subject Files, 1952-2015

This series consist primarily of files of correspondence with French language authors and publishers on a variety of issues including agreements, contracts, copyright, editing, financial issues, manuscripts, offerings to publishers, permission requests, rights, submissions, and translations. These files also include other records such as author event information, book jackets, catalogs, clippings, publicity items, reviews, and personal communications such as holiday cards, invitations, and postcards. Files relating to contracts, permissions, and related royalty statements are often filed separately in “contract” files.

Series IV. Foreign Literary Agencies, Publishers, and Rights, 1954-2013

This series contains files related to foreign editions and foreign rights. These files are arranged by country and include general files related to foreign editions, rights, and publishers as well as files related to specific subagents. Additional records related to foreign rights are sometimes found with the author files in Series II and Series III.

Files related to specific English and French language publishers are filed in Series II and Series III.

Series V. Manuscript Logs, circa 1950s-2012

The manuscript logs consist of boxes of index cards. The cards are usually filed by first by author and then by title, although multivolume series are frequently filed first by publisher and then by title. The cards include the activity/dates/results of a title’s submission to various publishers, date copy returned, etc.

Many of these boxes were not clearly labeled as to their contents. Boxes 625-627 appear to document inactive (and for the most part, unsold) titles; these boxes are generally unlabeled and one box is labeled as “inactive.” Several other boxes are labeled as “sold” but the majority of the other box labels only indicate the alphabetical range of the box’s contents.

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Using the Collection

Partially Offsite

Access Restrictions

 The following boxes are located off-site: 1-880. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

There are no access restrictions for records dated 1970 or earlier.

There are access restrictions for all records dated 1971 or later. These restrictions will expire at ten-year intervals. The expiration schedule is as follows: Records dated 1971-1980 will become unrestricted in 2019; Records dated 1981-1990 will become unrestricted in 2029; Records dated 1991-2000 will become unrestricted in 2039; Records dated 2001-2010 will become unrestricted in 2049; Records dated 2011-2020 will become unrestricted in 2059, and so forth. For undated records, restrictions on access shall expire no later than 40 years from the date of delivery of the material to Columbia University. Researchers must obtain permission from Georges Borchardt, Inc. in order to use restricted records.

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); George Borchardt, Inc. Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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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 LWW, RL, and Henry Rowen between 1985 and 2002. Additional processing work, including all accessions received after 1997, was completed by Catherine C. Ricciardi, Grace Bickers, Maddy Brager, and Linda Arthur from 2010-2017. Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi in March 2014. The container list was last updated in February 2017.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion July 7, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2010-01-21 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.
    2014-03-04 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi
    2014-10-29 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi
    2015-11-05 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi
    2016-07-21 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi
    2017-02-21 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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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
Contracts.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Authors, American.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Authors, English--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Authors, English--21st century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Authors, French--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Authors, French--21st century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bazin, Hervé, 1911-1996.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Borchardt, Anne Bolton.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Borchardt, Georges.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Brunhoff, Laurent de, 1925-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Butor, Michel.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Duras, Marguerite.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
French literature--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
French literature--21st century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gardner, John, 1933-1982.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Georges Borchardt, Inc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Levin, Meyer, 1905-1981.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Literary agentsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mendès France, Pierre, 1907-1982.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

Georges Borchardt was born in Berlin in 1928 and spent much of his childhood in France. He lost his father to cancer in 1939, and a large part of his family, including his mother, died in concentration camps during World War II. Borchardt survived the occupation of France by going into hiding at a school in Aix-en-Provence while his sisters worked nearby at an American field hospital. He emigrated to the United States with his two surviving sisters in 1947. He settled in New York City, where he began his career in publishing by working as an assistant at a literary agency that specialized in foreign writers.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Borchardt expanded his career in publishing by representing French publishers and authors in the United States. He co-founded the Georges Borchardt, Inc. Literary Agency with his wife, Anne Borchardt, in 1967. Borchardt introduced to American readers major works by Roland Barthes, Samuel Beckett, Pierre Bourdieu, Gilles Deleuze, Marguerite Duras, Franz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Eugène Ionesco, Jacques Lacan, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jean-Paul Sartre, Elie Wiesel and Monique Wittig.

Over time, the Georges Borchardt, Inc. Literary Agency has become primarily an agency for English language writers, and represents novelists and nonfiction writers as well as several major literary estates. The agency’s clients include poets John Ashbery, Robert Bly, Rafael Campo, and Philip Schultz; fiction writers T. Coraghessan Boyle, Robert Coover, David Guterson, Charles Johnson, Ian McEwan, Claire Messud, and Susan Minot; nonfiction writers Anne Applebaum, Stanley Crouch, Susan Jacoby, Tracy Kidder, and Kate Millett; and the estates of Hannah Arendt, Samuel Beckett, Robert Fagles, John Gardner, Aldous Huxley, and Tennessee Williams.

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