I'm currently cataloguing a large chunk of the Papers of J.B. Pinker & Sons, premier Literary Agents, best known for the likes of Wells, Bennett & Conrad (not present).
It’s mainly correspondence, and has a definite transatlantic drift, reflecting the US as much as the UK literary markets, illustrating the relationship of Pinker’s with American literary agents (Brandt, Reynolds, et al) and publishers.
The pièce de résistance
is the E. Phillips Oppenheim file, comprising more than 600 items of correspondence, 460 from Oppenheim himself.
E. Phillips Oppenheim was known in his day as ‘The Prince of Storytellers’ and had a popularity equal to that of Edgar Wallace in the UK and USA. Topics of the correspondence include: the sending of synopses of novels and stories, the correction of proofs, agreements, volume rights, serial rights, dramatic rights, foreign translation rights (Dutch, French, Spanish, German, 'Portuguese for sale in Brazil'), cinema rights ('Moving Picture Rights'), copyrights and royalties, tax affairs, offers, receipts, payments, commissions, the sending of copies of foreign editions.
For full description of Oppenheim archive on my website, click: http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/news/130812
The correspondence between American Literary Agents and J.B. Pinker is described via link: http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/newsletter/20179
And the correspondence between American publishers and J.B. Pinker …: http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/newsletter/20180
Other authors, many popular in their day, are also represented, and the topics listed for Oppenheim above would be substantially applicable to their files. Link to descriptions: http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/news/140812
. They include:
'Colonel Victor K. Kaledin', Russian spy and author. 36 items.
Curtis Brown, London literary agent. 8 items.
Eustace Virgo [E. V. de Fontmell], novelist, Baron Corvo circle. 30 items.
Frank Vernon, author, theatre manager and producer. 21 items.
Frederick Niven, Scots-Canadian novelist. 60 items.
Jack Kahane, proprietor of the Obelisk Press. 5 items.
Rosita Forbes, traveller and writer. 8 items.
Alice Dudeney, Sussex novelist under the name 'Mrs. Henry Dudeney'. 215 (two hundred and fifteen) items.
OTHERS ARE UNCATALOGUED SO FAR
I’d prefer to sell the material as an archive but in the current climate don’t expect to be able to do so. I don’t mind being surprised by an offer.
Some correspondence, including British publishers, has yet to be listed.
Other archives currently in stock:
Sydney Walton, pioneer ‘spin doctor’ (to Lloyd George), Diaries and Correspondence, 28
volumes NEW Link: http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/catalogue/11569
Ralph Steadman, cartoonist, Correspondence with Grahame White NEW Link: http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/catalogue/11635
Elliott O’Donnell, ghost-hunter, prolific and major writer on the paranormal, Personal Archive REDUCED Please cut and paste following, or apply for full description: http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/sites/default/files/elliott_odonnell_consolidated_7.pdf