Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Gollancz, Victor, 1893-1967
Victor Gollancz Publishing Files
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
100 linear feet, 105 containers, 26 digital files, and 0.01 GB
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-001305 to B-001312, B-001745 to B-001747
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-94


Consists of author and administrative files of Victor Gollancz Publishing company, including correspondence, publication agreements, and ephemera (e.g. clippings, tearsheets, dust jackets). Some records include those associated with the Left Book Club's operations and Joyce Carol Oates' publications, among others.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of author and publication files from the Victor Gollancz Ltd publishing company. The majority of the materials consist of correspondence, publication agreements, and Reader's reports. The correspondence primarily is between the publishing company and various authors and individuals regarding copyright and use permissions, with some content regarding sales, royalties, microfilming, and editorial notes. Some files are from authors and publications of the Left Book Club, as well as subject files on Irish authors, publications concerning Africa, and files related to Joyce Carol Oates' publications.


Arrangement, primarily at the series level, was imposed by the dealer.

Collection Creator Biography:


Sir Victor Gollancz (1893-1967) was a British publisher and humanitarian. He was a supporter of left-wing causes and thought, was particularly sympathetic to Liberalism and Communism, and used his publishing house to promote and disseminate literature that espoused socialist and pacifist philosophies.

Born in Maida Vale, London, Gollancz attended St. Paul's School, London and New School, Oxford before becoming a schoolteacher. Soon after, he met Ernest Benn and was hired to work at his publishing company, Ernest Benn Limited. In 1927, Gollancz founded his own publishing house, which would publish works by such authors Ford Madox Ford, George Orwell, Elizabeth Bowen, Daphne du Maurier, and Franz Kafka.

Gollancz also established the Left Book Club, which was the first book club in Britain. The Left Book Club was not only a book club run along commercial lines, but also a campaigning entity that aimed to propagate left-wing ideas in Britain. The establishment of the club marked the end of Gollancz's career solely as a publisher, as much of his energy was also committed to campaigning for socialist issues. A significant left-wing institution during the late 1930s and 1940s in the UK, it was established by Gollancz along with Stafford Cripps and John Strachey to inform and unite the British left. The club offered a monthly book choice, for sale to members only, as well as a newsletter that acquired the status of a major political magazine. It also held an annual rally. At the height of its operation, membership totaled 57,000.

As a humanitarian, Gollancz wrote about and campaigned for contemporary social issues, specifically regarding events in Europe during and after World War II. In particular, he issued pamphlets discussing the state of Communism in Europe, the persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazis, and his beliefs on the ethics of brotherly love. Gollancz was married to Ruth Lowy, with whom he had five daughters. He died in London in 1967.

Victor Gollancz Ltd.

Victor Gollancz Ltd. was a major British book publishing house of the twentieth century. It was founded in 1927 by Victor Gollancz, whose leftist and socialist politics reflected the titles he published. Gollancz published political works by authors such as George Orwell, H. N. Brailsford, John Strachey, Arthur Koestler, and others.

The publishing house began to transition into science fiction and fantasy titles in the 1960s, and continues to specialize in the publication of literature, nonfiction, and popular fiction, including crime, detective, mystery, thriller and science fiction.

Collection History


Purchased from Kenny's Bookshop in 2018 (AM 2019-50), 2019 (AM 2020-51), 2020 (AM 2021-20), and 2022 (AM 2023-080).


Several printed copies of duplicate Left Book Club publications were removed during 2019 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Chloe Pfendler in January 2019. Finding aid written by Chloe Pfendler in January 2019 with folder inventory added by Benjamin Roberts '22. The series, Writers of the Left Addition, was added and described by Amy C. Vo in November 2021. The series, Joyce Carol Oates Addition, was added and described by Amy C. Vo in December 2021. The 2022 addition, which was incorporated as three additional series, was processed and the finding aid updated by Faith Charlton and Amy C. Vo with assistance from Lauren Williams, Daniel Zayas '26 and Yara Daraiseh '23 using description provided by the dealer.

The born-digital materials in this collection have been processed according to Princeton University Library's Born-Digital Processing Workflows. For more information on the workflow, please read our full Born-Digital Processing Information Note.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This collection contains digital files, which may require specific software or hardware for access. Refer to our Tips on Accessing Born-Digital Content for information on how to render these file formats.

Credit this material:

Victor Gollancz Publishing Files; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-001305 to B-001312, B-001745 to B-001747
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-94