Penguin Editorial Files: DM1107, DM1852, DM1952, DM2083, DM2150

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Separate editorial files are available for many of the books published by Penguin Books Ltd. between 1935 and the 1980s.  The contents of each editorial files varies considerably but they can contain contracts, correspondence with the author or editor, photographs and illustrations, cover designs, and information concerning print-runs.  The files are arranged by series in Penguin book number order, later in International Standard Book Number (ISBN) order.

Search the Location Register of 20th-century English Literary Manuscripts for authors' papers held in the Penguin Editorial Files.
A handlist of the Penguin editorial file runs (170 Kb, doc) is available.
A handlist of the DM2083 reprints department editorial files (123 Kb, doc) is available.
A handlist of the DM2150 reprints department editorial files (367 Kb, doc) is available.

The following series are covered by the editorial files:

  • Penguin Main Series (00)
  • Pelican (A/02)
  • Pelican Classics (AC/040)
  • Penguin African Library (AP/041)
  • Australian Penguins (AU/0700)
  • Buildings of England (BE/0702 paperback, HBE/0710 bound)
  • Penguin Educational Library (X/08)
  • Penguin English Library (EL/043)
  • Penguin Handbooks (PH/046)
  • Pelican History of Art (Z/0560 hardback, Z/0561 paperback)
  • Miscellaneous (Q/0708)
  • Penguin Guides (G/0704)
  • Penguin Music Scores (SC/0709)
  • King Penguins (K/0705)
  • Things We See (E/0703)
  • Planning, Design, and Art (E/0703)
  • Penguin International Editions (054)
  • Penguin Modern Painters (MP/0706)
  • Peregrine Books (Y/055)
  • Penguin Plays (PL/048)
  • Penguin Poets (D/042)
  • Penguin Classics (AC/040)
  • Penguin Reference Books (R/051)
  • Penguin Shakespeare (SL/053)
  • Penguin Specials (S/052)
  • Pelican Specials (S/052)
  • Éditions Penguin (V)
  • Éditions Pingouin (F)
  • Edizioni del Pinguino (Q)
  • Penguin Hansard (H)
  • Penguin Illustrated Classics (C)
  • Ptarmigan Books (PT)

Books for children and teenagers:

  • Puffin Books (PS/03)
  • Picture Puffin (PX/050)
  • Puffin Cut-Outs (PC)
  • Porpoise Books (J)
  • Peacock Books (PK/047)

The files are arranged in four separate series: DM1107, DM1852, DM1952, DM2083.  Editorial files are also found in the Eunice Frost Papers (DM1843), and Penguin editorial and reprint files, 1968-2000 can also be found in DM2083.

DM1952 also contains small runs of editorial files for the publishing houses of Allen Lane Penguin Press (ISBN 07139), Viking (ISBN 6708), Viking Kestrel, Hamish Hamilton (ISBN 0241), Longman (ISBN 5821), Constable Young Books/Longman Young Books, Frederick Warne, and Rainbird.

Separate runs of editorial files are also available in DM1852 for the Allen Lane Penguin Press (ISBN 07139) nos.178-1007.  There is also materials relating to the Nikolaus Pevsner Buildings of England Series (also covering Wales) in DM1901.  A small cache of editorial files for Frederick Warne, c.1860-1984, are also available in DM1919.

A separate collection relating to the publishing house of Hamish Hamilton Ltd. is also available in Special Collections (DM1352).  This archive covers the period 1931-1986 and includes editorial files, correspondence with authors, contracts and legal material.  The Company was acquired from the Thomson Organisation by Penguin Books in 1985, and was entirely absorbed into Penguin in 1989, where it remains as an imprint.  A typescript list is available in Special Collections and includes an alphabetical list of all authors covered within the Collection.

Dates of Creation: 1935-1990

Extent: 2033 archive boxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition: On deposit with the University of Bristol Special Collections from Penguin Books Ltd. The first deposit of editorial files was made in 1985.

Access Conditions: Accessible to all bona fide readers with written permission from Penguin Books Ltd.   Please note that DM1952 is stored in the Library Store, and at least  24 hours notice is needed to access these files.  Typescript catalogues are available in Special Collections which indicate whether correspondence with an author or editor is included in the file.

Copyright/Reproduction: Permission to copy material must be obtained from Penguin Books Ltd and the University of Bristol Library Special Collections.

See also:
Steve Hare (ed.) Penguin Portrait: Allen Lane and the Penguin Editors 1935-1970 (Penguin, 1995)
Tim Graham (ed.) Penguin in Print: A Bibliography (Penguin Collectors' Society, 2003)
J.E. Morpurgo Allen Lane: King Penguin (Hutchinson, 1979)
Jeremy Lewis Penguin Special: the Life and Times of Allen Lane (Penguin, 2005)
Sander Meredeen The Man Who Made Penguins: The Life of Sir William Emrys Williams (Darien-Jones Publishing, 2007)

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