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   Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency records 1964- 1992.

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency 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 administrative, financial, legal, and client records of the Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency, as well as material related to Ronald Hobbs’ associated personal and professional activities.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1665
Bib ID:9629889 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency.
Title:Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency records 1964- 1992.
Physical description:22 linear ft. (22 record storage cartons)
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection has no restrictions. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in 5 series

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Description

Scope and Content

The collection consists of material documenting the professional activities of Ronald Hobbs and the Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency, including desk calendars, professional contacts, royalty statements, permission requests, financial records, professional and personal correspondence, manuscripts, book proposals, handwritten notes, photographs, book jackets, newspaper clippings, subpoenas and depositions, printed matter, business plans, drawings, postcards, and publicity.

Series I: Administrative and Financial Files, 1965-1982

Series I consists of material related to the administration of the agency, including desk calendars, professional contacts, client contract records, client lists, permission requests, and agency publicity, as well as financial documents recording the agency’s receipt and disbursement of author royalties, insurance and pension plans, and plans for the agency’s incorporation.

Series II: Amiri Baraka Files, 1965-1979

Series II consists of any material written by or related to Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), including correspondence, book proposals, manuscripts, royalties, permission requests, book jackets, lecture schedules, legal documents, film plans, and publicity.

Series III: General Files, 1931-1992

Series III consists of the agency’s general files on individual clients and related business dealings.

Subseries III.1: Alphabetical, 1931-1992

Subseries III.1 contains an alphabetical record of individual clients and organizations with which the Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency interacted, including correspondence with publishers and clients, signed contracts, manuscripts, book proposals, newspaper clippings, promotional material, and printed matter, as well as personal documents related to Ronald Hobbs, including correspondence with family and friends and other writings.

Subseries III.2: Chronological, 1966-1984

Subseries III.2 contains a chronological record of agency correspondence with publishers, clients, prospective clients, and other professional contacts.

Series IV: Legal Files, 1973-1997

Series IV consists of material related to legal cases in which Ronald Hobbs was involved, including subpoenas, legal correspondence, depositions, and related documentation.

Series V: Professional Activities, 1964-1997

Series V consists of material related to Ronald Hobbs’ other professional activities, including the financial documents, minutes, and correspondence of the Foundation for Black American Literature, proposals and correspondence related to various business ventures, research associated with Hobbs’ educational degrees, and material related to Hobbs’ involvement in film production projects.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

 This collection has no restrictions. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material 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

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ronald Hobbs Literary Agency 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

Papers Processed 07/--/2013 Alexander Rocca

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion July 30, 2013 Finding aid written in English.
    2013-07-30 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

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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
African American Literature and Culture.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American literature--African American authorsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Authors and PublishersPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Baraka, Amiri.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Charitable uses, trusts, and foundations.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Harrison, Paul Carter.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hobbs, Ronald.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lester, Julius.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Literary agentsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mailer, Norman.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

Hartford Ronald Hobbs was the preeminent African American literary agent of the 1960s and 1970s, negotiating over 300 fiction and non-fiction books (including several by Larry Neal, H. Rap Brown, Paul Carter Harrison, James Haskins, and Julius Lester). In 1967, Hobbs became the literary agent to poet, novelist, playwright and Black Arts Movement founder LeRoi Jones who, in 1968, would adopt the Muslim name Imamu Amiri Baraka after aligning himself with Robert Karenga and the politics of Black Cultural Nationalism. In this period, Hobbs became one of his closest associates, serving as both an agent and advisor on several of Baraka's landmark books in this period, many of which are now considered classics of contemporary African American literature: Black Magic: Poetry 1961 - 67 (1967), Raise, Race, Rays, Raze: Essays Since 1965 (1968), Four Black Revolutionary Plays (1969) and the defining work of the Black Arts Movement, Black Fire: An Anthology (1968), edited by Baraka and Larry Neal. Hobbs would also help negotiate two film deals for Baraka (including the rarely seen "The New Ark" scripted and directed by Baraka in 1968 for Public Broadcasting Library), oversee the publication of numerous articles (Evergreen Review, Negro Digest and Esquire), field interview requests (Playboy, Time) and book speaking engagements. Hobbs also helped Baraka establish his own imprint, Jihad Publications, overseeing the independent publication and distribution of a variety of Black Nationalist-inspired books, records and films. In the early 1970s Hobbs moved away from literary representation and towards film production. He executed 10 major motion picture sales in the 1970s, represented Ernest Tidyman on The French Connection (1971), and helped create and market the motion picture Shaft (1971) starring Richard Roundtree, as well as Lord Shango (1975).

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