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Archival description
Simon Fraser University Special Collections and Rare Books Series
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Correspondence of Robin Blaser

Series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues. Material includes handwritten and typed correspondence as well as facsimile and email correspondence of both a personal and professional nature. Additional material includes enclosed contracts, poetry, and other textual records. The series is divided into five sub-series: Incoming correspondence; Outgoing correspondence; Alphabetical correspondence; Chronological correspondence; and General correspondence.

Honors and awards records

Series consists of records related to Blaser’s appointment to the Order of Canada and winning the Griffin Award for Excellence in Poetry. Items include correspondence, agendas and schedules, event programs, posters, photographs and negatives, and a video recording of the Order of Canada ceremony that Blaser participated in.

Photographs

Series consists of black and white and color print photographs, color photograph slides, and photograph negatives of Blaser and his family, friends, and colleagues. The series also includes print photographs and photograph negatives that belonged to James Felts, a former partner of Blaser’s. The series is divided into seven sub-series: Family print photographs; Blaser family friends print photographs; Friends of Robin Blaser print photographs; Photographs of Robin Blaser; General print photographs; Color slides; and Photograph negatives.

Family records and other genealogical materials

Series consists of family history records related to Blaser’s lineage, such as family pedigree charts, vital records of other family members, books on Blaser’s paternal lineage as well as areas where his relatives first settled in the United States, obituaries, cemetery deeds, guardianship records, and graduation programs. The series also includes poems and stories written by Blaser’s mother and records related to the trucking business Blaser’s father started.

Works by other authors

Series consists of written works by other authors including drafts, articles, poems, and book manuscripts. In addition to these the series also includes collected published works by other authors including books, chapbooks, broadsides, journals, and other types of published materials. The series is divided into two sub-series: Collected publications; and General works.

Ephemera

Series consists of various types of textual ephemera, including newspaper clippings, event programs and ticket stubs, curriculum vitae of other colleagues, as well as other personal mementos and textual material.

Research articles

Series consists of photocopied scholarly articles used by Blaser for personal and academic research.

Conference material

Series consists of material related to poetry conferences attended by Blaser. Records include essays, poems, correspondence, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings. Series is divided into the following two sub-series: Recovery of the Public World, 70th birthday conference; and General conferences.

Promotional material

Series consists of promotional materials for art exhibits, poetry readings, and music and play performances held by those other than Blaser, as well as press catalogs and announcements promoting book releases.

Artistic material

Series consists of material relating to artistic works completed by those other than Blaser. Records include reproductions and prints, gallery posters, sheet music, brochures, book launch invitation, and a piece of a collage presumably created by Jack Spicer.

Correspondence of others

Series consists of correspondence of individuals other than Blaser, including poet Jack Spicer, artist Jess Collins, writer Stan Persky, Blaser’s partner David Farwell, Blaser’s mother Ina Blaser, Blaser’s maternal grandmother Sophia Auer, and other friends and family. Includes handwritten and typed correspondence as well as email correspondence. Series is divided into the following seven sub-series: Correspondence of Jack Spicer (1959-1962); Correspondence of Jess Collins ([196-?]-1967); Correspondence of Stan Persky (1963-1967); Correspondence of David Farwell (2006-2009); Correspondence of Ina Blaser (1919-1978); Correspondence of Sophia Auer (1916-1941); and General correspondence of others (1956, 1975).

Written works by Blaser

Series consists of written works by Blaser. Material includes drafts, unpublished and published poetry, essays, opera librettos, music lyrics, book manuscripts, journals and notes, speeches, grant applications, and promotional comments. The series is divided into the following six sub-series: Poems; Essays; Book manuscripts; The Last Supper opera libretto draft, revisions and final text; Published works; and General works.

Poetry readings and other performance records

Series consists of textual, visual, and audio materials related to poetry readings and performances of materials written by Blaser as well as other individuals. The series is divided into the following five sub-series: Readings and performances by Blaser records; Promotional materials for readings and performances by Blaser; Audio and video recordings of readings and performances by Blaser; Audio and video recordings of readings and performances of others; and The Last Supper (opera) related records.

Travel records

Series consists of textual records and photographs relating to locations to which Blaser traveled. Records include travel schedules, receipts, handwritten notes, boarding passes, event programs, ticket stubs, and brochures.

Teaching and academic related records

Series consists of records related to Blaser’s lectures and talks, his involvement with the Naropa Summer Writing Series, reading and research notes, student papers, and faculty meeting agendas and memos from his employment with Simon Fraser University.

Business and financial records

Series consists of records related to Blaser’s finances, including contracts, royalties and speaking honorariums, personal budgets, bank and personal loan information, pension records, tax records, mutual funds and stocks held by Blaser, and life insurance policies purchased by Blaser.

Personal records and other biographical material

Series includes personal and biographical material, including Blaser’s birth certificate, records related to his honorary Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University, Blaser’s high school diploma, records related to his health towards the end of his life, records from his employment at San Francisco State University, handwritten personal notes and book lists, a handwritten will, Blaser’s curriculum vitae, and yearbooks from his high school and college years.

Correspondence and other documents

Series documents the imprisonment of Sons of Freedom convicts at Piers Island Penitentiary between 1932 and 1934, from its initial stage in search for an island to set up the prison to determining the conditions for release of the prisoners. The records, the majority of which consist of correspondence between senior officials, shed light on the construction and management of the prison, as well as the problems that the federal prison system encountered regarding both personnel and prisoners.
Series consists of textual records including correspondence, telegrams, and memoranda, most of which were written to or by H. W. Cooper. The remainder of the records were created by other authorities, prisoners, and relatives of prisoners. Series also contains a warrant written by J. Cartmel and a chronology written in shorthand by H. W. Cooper. Also included in the series is an empty manila envelope. The records in this series have been arranged into the following three files: 1932; 1933; and 1934.

Photographs

Series displays photographs taken on Piers Island showing the officers, guards, and matrons; male and female prisoners visiting through a fence that separates men’s and women’s compounds; female prisoners working; penitentiary buildings; penitentiary perimeter; vessel used for transferring prisoners; and a patrol boat. As there are no dates recorded for these photographs, it is not possible to determine the exact dates they were taken; however, based on the subject matter, it is assumed that dates of creation are between 1932 and 1934.

Accounts correspondence and invoices

Series consists of accounts payable and received by various vendors, distributers, professional organizations and service providers dealt with in the course of normal business. Records include: correspondence, balance sheets, invoices, orders, receipts, contracts, trade publications, and newspaper clippings.

Invoices, sales registers and related records

Series consists of solely financial documents relating to inventory and the movement of books or products. Records include: cash and sales registers, handwritten balance sheets, book catalogs and invoice booklets.

Author correspondence

Series consists of correspondence between the publisher and various authors regarding current and future projects, editorial discussions and decisions, revisions, biographical information, book tour information, financial estimates and payments, and press coverage. Records include: correspondence, invoices, orders, receipts, notes, contracts, trade publications, photographs and newspaper clippings.

For related materials, see also: Series 5: Editorial correspondence and related records and Series 8: Royalties and related correspondence

Book reviews and related records

Series consists of correspondence related to the marketing, reviews and sales of New Star publications. The majority of the series are news clippings of various book reviews. Records include: correspondence, photocopies of articles, newspaper clippings and cartoons, and trade publications.

Business operational files and related records

Series consists of correspondence with professional organizations, governmental departments or ministries, and service providers dealt with in the course of normal business. Records include: internal communications, external correspondence, reports, grant applications and awards, contracts, minutes, notes, trade publications, contracts, memorandum, and invoices.

Editorial correspondence and related records

Series consists of correspondence between the publisher, sub-contractors, vendors, promoters and authors. Most files contain instructions and drafts as to editorial layout, typesetting, artwork, etc. Records include: correspondence, style sheets, contracts, invoices, grant applications, editorial copy, galley proofs, newspaper clippings, magazines, cartoons, photographs and a poster.

For related materials, see also Series 2: Author correspondence and Series 8: Royalties and related correspondence.

Sales figures records

Series consists of balance sheets detailing book sales by title per month, grouped by year. The reports visibly grow more complex over the years as computerization and software allowed for greater detail in accounting. Records include: balance sheets, both handwritten and printouts.

Payroll and taxes records

Series consists of financial records relating to payroll, taxes and employment forms. Records include: financial statements, printouts, balance sheets, notes, tax statements and receipts.

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