Columbia University Libraries Acquires Ballantine Book Archive

The gift includes a nearly complete run of Penguin titles in pristine condition, along with a full set of Ballantine and Bantam paperbacks, in equally fine condition, as well as an archive of the Ballantines' work as an independent publishing team after the sale of their company to Random House.

Ballantine Books revolutionized the paperback industry, sparking a new mass market in publishing. They were one of the earliest publishers of science fiction paperbacks; they published the first authorized paperback editions of J.R.R. Tolkien's books in the '60s.

The Ballantines sold their business to Random House in 1973 but continued as independent agents, editors, and publishers for another twenty years.

The gift of books and archives strengthens the Rare Book & Manuscript Library's considerable resource collection in the areas of publishing and book history.  There are few repositories in North America with comparable collections of publisher holdings.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library owns over 500,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 28 million manuscripts in nearly 3,000 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, childrenā€˜s literature, education, mathematics and astronomy, economics and banking, photography, the history of printing, New York City politics, librarianship, and the performing arts. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive. For more information, please see:

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: