University of Texas at Austin

Alicat Book Shop Press:

An Inventory of Its Records in the Harry Ransom Center

Creator Alicat Book Shop Press
Title Alicat Book Shop Press Records
Dates: 1945-1966
Extent .5 box
Abstract The Alicat Book Shop Press was created and run by Oscar Baradinsky, later known as Oscar Baron. The records consist primarily of correspondence with authors seeking publication by Alicat. Correspondents include Maya Deren, Wallace Fowlie, Anaïs Nin, Kenneth Patchen, Louis Zukofsky, and others.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-00063
Language: English.
Access Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition Purchase, 1968 (R4595)
Processed by Sarah R. Demb, 1996

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Organizational History

From 1945 to 1950, Oscar Baron, then still known by the family name of Baradinsky, published over twenty titles from his Alicat Book Shop Press in Yonkers, New York. Eighteen of these comprise the "Outcast" Series of chapbooks, a venture in avant-garde, limited edition publishing that reflected Baradinsky's liberal inclinations and his true love of contemporary letters. Each of the chapbooks, which were printed in runs of between 500 and 1000 copies, sold for a dollar. Baron's list included poetry, short fiction, and critical forays into painting, film-making, music, literature, and philosophy. A champion of free expression and innovation, Oscar found himself constantly attempting to make the all-important marriage between artists and the public in his dual role of bookseller and publisher. Outside the series, Alicat Book Shop Press published three titles: Philip Curcuruto's The A-B-C of Chiropractic (1946), Of, By, and About Henry Miller (Miller, 1947), and Arthur Liebers' Police Manual (nd).

Scope and Contents

The Alicat Book Shop Press records, 1945-1966, consist mainly of the correspondence Baradinsky maintained with the authors of his chapbook series throughout the publication process, along with permissions letters from their various publishers, and some general materials relating to the chapbooks.
The archive is arranged into two series: I. Author Correspondence, 1946-1966 and II. General, 1945-1966. Notable correspondents in Series I. include Djuna Barnes, Maya Deren, Wallace Fowlie, Anaïs Nin, Kenneth Patchen, D. S. Savage, and Louis Zukofsky, among others. The correspondence reveals the close relationships within the avant garde community, as well as the nature of the publishing venture promulgated by Baradinsky. Correspondence to Baradinsky from Henry Miller and William Carlos Williams has been cataloged into those authors' collections and may be accessed through the card catalog. General materials in Series II. include canceled authors' checks, a typed list of the chapbooks and an Alicat catalog, and Baradinsky's postcards to the Gotham Book Mart regarding the sale of the Book Shop Press records.

Separated Material

The following chapbooks have been separated to the HRHRC Library and can be found in the title and press indices to the Book Card Catalog: The Book of Repulsive Women (Barnes, 1948), Land of the Quetzal: Excerpts from the Journal (Fraenkel, 1946), About Carl Ruggles (Harrison, 1946), New Eyes on the Art of Engraving (Hugo, 1949), Gossamer (Miller, 1950), The Amazing and Invariable Beauford Delaney(Miller, 1945), Obscenity and the Law of Reflection (Miller, 1945), The Outcast Poets (1947), Proletarian Laughter (Willeford, 1948), and A Beginning on the Short Story (Williams, 1950).

Index Terms


Barnes, Djuna
Deren, Maya
Fowlie, Wallace, 1908-
Nin, Anais, 1903-1977
Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972
Savage, D.S. (Derek S.)
Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978


Literature, experimental
Publishers and publishing
Private presses

Document Types

Publisher's Catalogs

Alicat Book Shop Press--Folder List