Fonds RBSC-ARC-1015 - Arsenal Pulp Press fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Arsenal Pulp Press fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on source of fonds.

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Edition area

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Physical description area

Physical description

65.26 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1971 -)

Administrative history

Established in 1971 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Scriveners Pulp Press Limited was one of several ventures in alternative arts and literature of the early 1970s. In addition to fiction, poetry and drama titles, Scriveners' issued a twice-monthly literary magazine, Three-Cent Pulp, from 1972 to 1978. In 1981 Scriveners' initiated a subscription library service, the Arsenal Collaborative Library, to serve as a central distribution point for readers, writers and publishers. Following the sale of its typesetting and printing operations in 1982, the company changed its name to Arsenal Pulp Press. Although still a literary press, Arsenal gradually began to publish literary non-fiction titles, and it continued to maintain a tradition of commitment to publications about British Columbia. In the fall of 2001, Arsenal Pulp Press celebrated its 30th anniversary.
The management and editorial team during its first decade of operation included Stephen Osborne, William Gregory Enright, D.M. Fraser, Jon Furberg, and Charles Tidler. In 1982, following the sale of its typesetting and printing operations, Pulp changed its name to Arsenal Pulp Press. In 1988 Brian Lam joined Arsenal following a co-op placement at the Press while studying creative writing at the University of Victoria. Lam became president in 1992 and co-owner with Stephen Osborne, one of the original owners and now editor of the literary magazine Geist.

Custodial history

Transferred from the offices of Pulp Press to University of British Columbia Special Collections and Archives Division in the summer of 2001. A subsequent accrual was added in July of 2011.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the business records created and/or collected by Arsenal Pulp Press, predominately from the early 1980s to the late 2000s. These records consist of correspondence, manuscripts, proofs, reviews, catalogues, broadsheets, advertisements, flyers, clippings concerning Arsenal publications and the Press, artwork, financial and sales records, ledgers, legal records, minutes and other organizational material.

The fonds was originally divided into the following four series: Correspondence; Editorial; Administrative; and Special projects. The Correspondence series contains the following subseries: General correspondence, Editorial correspondence and Correspondent-specific correspondence. The Editorial series contains the following subseries: Early manuscripts, General literary manuscripts, Published/printed material, Artwork, and Supplementary editorial records. The Administrative series contains the following sub-series: General administrative records, History/operational records, Minutes/agendas and newsletters, Financial records, Ledgers, Legal records, Sales/service fee reports, and Marketing/distribution records. The Special projects series contains three sub-series: Three-Cent Pulp, Arsenal Collaborative Library and the 3-Day Novel Contest. A fifth series was added with the accrual made in 2011, titled Editorial and production.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


A RAD-compliant description was first prepared by project archivist Delores Signori in December, 2001 who arranged the fonds based on its existing arrangement. After a subsequent accrual was made in 2011, Sarah Hillier began working on updating the finding aid in order to include the new records acquired. Katie Sloan completed the finding aid in July, 2015

Where possible, the original arrangement of the records has been retained.

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Further accruals expected.

General note

Throughout the abbreviation ms or mss has been used to indicate manuscript or manuscripts.

There does not appear to be a box 168. It is unclear whether this is the result of the records contained in this box being weeded out, or if there was a miscalculation when the fonds was being processed.

Physical description

Includes: ca. 1373 photographs, ca. 100 postcards, 22 drawings, 10 computer disks, 3 card files, 3 audiocassettes, and 2 videocassette

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