This series is comprised of 'book files' which came to the Library in the first accession of Carcanet papers. They have been given this title as they each relate to the process of editing, proofing and printing a specific Carcanet volume. The files contain material relating to 123 books published by Carcanet Press, dating from some of their earliest publications in 1969 through to 1977, along with one volume from 1978. A broad spectrum of Carcanet writers and publications is represented here: there are files relating to first collections from new poets, books by more established writers, work by those who became mainstays of the Carcanet list, new editions of neglected poets and writers of the past, volumes of essays or critical pieces, and poetry in translation.
Typically each book file contains one or more of the following papers relating to a specific publication:
- The author's, editor's or translator's original manuscript, usually in the form of a typescript. These have often been emended by hand by the author, and in some cases Michael Schmidt has also edited the text by hand. They are usually marked up with printing instructions, and sometimes include additional queries and comments originating from the copy-editor.
- Additional manuscript material which was not ultimately selected for inclusion in a published volume. Some writers - Elizabeth Jennings being a notable example - would submit large quantities of manuscript poems over time, from which Schmidt would select and shape a collection.
- Proofs of a book which have been corrected and sometimes revised by the author or editor.
- Collated proofs, which are marked by the copy-editor, incorporating the author's corrections as well as adding their own.
- Related papers such as correspondence with the author, cuttings and invoices from the printers.
The book files often therefore document the whole pre-history of a published text, including the authorial and editorial emendations which contributed to shaping the book in its published form. In addition, the authors' correspondence files listed in CPA/2/1 often contain material relating to the process of publishing an author's work, so readers are advised to refer to these as well as to the relevant book file. In a few cases authors' correspondence files actually contain manuscripts of their published work; where this is the case, a cross reference has been supplied from the relevant book file to the correspondence file.
There is also a certain overlap between these book files and those that came in the second accession of papers (listed at CPA/1/2/1 and CPA/1/2/2). The chronological divide between the two accessions is not clear cut, and in some cases there are book files in the later accession which relate to the same publication as book files listed here; where this occurs full cross references are supplied.