||Founded in 1968 by Peter Jay and John Aczel in Oxford, Anvil Press began as an
extension of the poetry magazine New Measure which
ran for 10 issues from 1965-1969. This collection of Anvil Press Poetry editorial
and production files consists of correspondence, poetry manuscripts and typescripts,
proofs, galleys, financial records, artwork, publicity leaflets, catalogs, and other
publishing material for the period 1965-1987. In addition, an almost complete set
books published by Anvil, received with the records, have been transferred to the
HRHRC book collection. Many of these are signed and numbered editions.
||Peter Jay provided a detailed box list and notes regarding the collection; however,
at the time of purchase, the material was reboxed for shipping and much of the
original organization was lost. Jay's filing system has been reconstructed whenever
feasible, but production material for Anvil Press Poetry is arranged in a single
alphabet with box numbers from Jay's list noted on the folders. Jay's list and notes
are filed in Box 1, along with a copy of this preliminary inventory.
||The records are arranged in five series: I. New
Measure, 1965-1969; II. Anvil Press Poetry Production Material, 1968-1986;
III. Correspondence, 1967-1987; IV. Financial Records; and V. Peter Jay's Works and
||Series I includes correspondence and production material for New Measure, which featured prominent as well as little-known writers,
and new poems as well as translations. The correspondence files also contain
holograph manuscripts and typescripts of poems which Jay housed in concertina files
dating from 1965 to 1968.
||The bulk of the collection is found in Series II which comprises Anvil Press Poetry
production material from 1968-1986. It is divided into two subseries: Published
Works and Unpublished Material. The published works are arranged alphabetically by
poet's names, including Gavin Bantock, designer Asa Benveniste, John Birtwhistle,
Johannes Bobrowski, Ronald Bottrall, Joseph Brodsky, Tony Connor, Marcus Cumberlege,
Dick Davis, John Digby, Odysseus Elytis, Gavin Ewart, Harry Guest, Michael
Hamburger, David Holbrook, Peter Levi, Christopher Logue, John Matthias, Vasco Popa,
Peter Porter, F. T. Prince, Sally Purcell, Salvatore Quasimodo, Peter Russell,
Michael Schmidt, W. G. Shepherd, Stephen Spender, Paul Verlaine and Peter Whigham.
This material is arranged in publication order: production file, typescripts and
revisions, setting copy, paste-ups, proofs, running sheets, jackets, and covers.
Included in these titles is the Poetica Series, nineteen works mostly in
translation, representing all ages and cultures from Persius to Nietzsche.
||The unpublished material in Subseries B is also arranged by author. It contains
manuscripts which Anvil considered but chose not to publish, along with unsolicited
||Series III contains Anvil correspondence files arranged in two subseries:
Chronological and Alphabetical. The chronological arrangement reflects Jay's use of
concertina files. The overlapping dates correspond with Anvil's split year
publishing cycles. Correspondents, in addition to poets mentioned previously,
include Al Alvarez, W. H. Auden, George Barker, Francis Berry, Maurice Bowra, Basil
Bunting, Richard Burns, Charles Causely, Nevill Coghill, Lawrence Durrell, William
Empson, Roy Fisher, John Fuller, Louise Glück, Geoffrey Grigson, Thom Gunn,
Quintin Hogg, Michael Horovitz, Ted Hughes, Clive James, Donald Justice, Edward
Kissam, Philip Larken, George Macbeth, Matthew Mead, Marianne Moore, Charles
Osborne, Brian Patten, Janos Pilnszky, Craig Raine, Kathleen Raine, Herbert Read,
Vernon Scannell, and R. S. Thomas. In addition to the concertina files, Jay
maintained separate files for certain authors for the period 1979-1986. These files
comprise the alphabetical subseries.
||The business papers in Series IV include records for New
Measure as well as Anvil Press. Included are invoices, correspondence,
tax records, cancelled checks, ledgers, VAT records, check stubs, bank statements,
and cash receipts. Also present are Anvil sales catalogs and business records
related to the series Modern Poetry in Translation.
||Peter Jay's non-Anvil publications and translations are found in Series V. His
writings and translations for Anvil are listed in the published works section of
Series II. Particularly well-represented in this last series is The Greek Anthology, edited by Jay. Along with
production material, correspondence related to the publication of this book is
present. Also included in this series is a file on Poetry International, a festival
for which Jay was an assistant director in 1969-72.