There are two series of 'book files' included in this accession of the archive. Each book file relates to the process of editing, proofing and printing a specific Carcanet volume. In total 92 books are represented, reflecting the range of the Carcanet list: new poetry; work by more established writers; the work of neglected poets of the past (published in the Fyfield series); poetry anthologies; collections of essays or works of criticism; and poetry in translation. Typically each book file contains one or more of the following types of record:
- The author's, editor's or translator's original manuscript - usually a ribbon, carbon or photocopy typescript, sometimes emended by the author. Where Michael Schmidt undertook editing of the text, his annotations are also evident. During this period when most books were being typeset in-house, manuscripts are only marked-up with minimal printing instructions.
- Additional manuscript material which was not ultimately selected for inclusion in a published volume. This might be early drafts of poems or earlier versions of a collection (in the case of Paul Mills and Peter Jay for example); some authors also submitted numerous poems to Schimdt over time, from which he selected poems to make up a collection (Jean Earle provides an example during this period).
- Proofs of a volume which have been corrected and sometimes revised by its author or editor. Proofs varied in format depending on whether or not they were typeset in-house. Carcanet-produced proofs are usually in the form of typeset pages of text which have been photocopied onto a series of A4 sheets; two typeset pages usually appear on each sheet. External typesetters produced proofs in varying formats, including the traditional two-stage system of galley proofs followed by page proofs.
- Collated proofs (in various formats), which are marked by the copy-editor, incorporating the author's corrections as well as adding further corrections of his or her own.
- Camera-ready copy, the final stage of proofing before publication. Where camera-ready copy is included in this accession, there is usually a related book file in the first accession containing the manuscript and earlier proofs of the book in question.
- Related papers such as correspondence with the author and cuttings.
While some volumes are more fully represented than others, many of the book files document the whole pre-history of a published text, including the authorial and editorial emendations which shaped the finished product. While the book files are divided into two sequences, reflecting their arrangement at the Carcanet office, there are a number of overlaps between them: the manuscript of a particular book may appear in one sequence and one or more stages of proofs in another. There are also overlaps between some of the files in the first sequence here and the book files which came in the first accession of the archive and are listed in CPA/1/1/1 (usually the late stage of proofing is represented in this accession). Full cross references are supplied wherever editorial papers relating to the same volume are split between sequences. In addition, the writer's correspondence files listed in CPA/2/2-3, and in some cases CPA/1/2, often contain references to the publication process and may shed useful light on the editorial papers included here. In a few cases, authors' correspondence files actually contain manuscripts of their published work; where this occurs full cross references are supplied.
The editorial papers also include a series of files relating to the production of PN Review, which contain a similar range of material including manuscripts, proofs and associated papers. There is also a small number of rejected or unpublished manuscripts which were submitted during this period.