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Oxford University Press (NZ) records.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-94/1

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of the publishing records of the New Zealand agency of Oxford University Press covering the period 1956 to 1995 although the bulk of the material dates from the 1970s and 1980s.

The Oxford University Press kept a number of types of files labelled as follows: ED 1 – ideas and proposals (before contract). ED 2 – editorial matters (e.g. letters to author, queries, contracts, etc.). ED 3 – production matters (type specifications and grid, bills, costings, quotes, letters to typesetter, printer, etc.). ED 4 subject files arranged into approximately 56 subdivisions and relating to organisational matters within the Press. Each published book had its own individual ED 2 and ED 3 material.

When the collection was arranged and described in 1994 the following three series of files were created:

Series 1: ED 1 files, retained as designated by OUP.

Series 2: Book files, based on an author or a title entry for each published book. Within each book file are gathered original MSS, proofs where applicable, original art work, etc., and all ED 2 and ED 3 material relating to that book. ED 2 and 3 material was sometimes found in OUP's boxes with the relevant manuscripts and proofs, but was often separated from them, though labelled as belonging to those manuscripts. They have been sorted into one series of book files to be more convenient of access.

Book files are arranged internally with MSS, text or proofs first, then ED 2 and 3 material as found. Galleys are retained where author's or editor's changes to the text are evident, otherwise they were discarded. Bromides, paste-ups, and copies of original material were also discarded. Artwork in the form of plates etc. was returned to OUP. It was felt that the papers as received from OUP must be reduced in bulk to be accommodated in the Library's limited storage space.

Amounts of material received in relation to individual titles vary considerably, and each book file should be examined in total since the contents of each do not always conform to the established pattern, or comprise all the parts one would expect to find.

Series 3: ED 4 files, which do not, especially after 1986, conform exactly to the key given. They have been retained as received, and arranged in 6 sub series.


  • 1956 - 1992


Conditions Governing Access

Partly restricted:

Conditions Governing Use

Publication of Baxter material requires permission of The Trustees, James K. Baxter Trust, 77 The Parade, Paekakariki. Literary advisor to the Trust: Associate Professor Paul Millar, School of Culture, Literature and Society, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch.

Biographical / Historical

Oxford University Press (United Kingdom) set up an agency in New Zealand in about 1948. In 1974, OUP started to publish a New Zealand list from within New Zealand initially based in Wellington, and then Auckland (first in Ellerslie, and then at the current address in Matai Road, Greenlane).

Since 1967 those responsible for publishing the New Zealand list have included:

Brian Turner [1967]-1974

Dean Martin 1974-1975

Bridget Williams 1976-1979

Wendy Harrex 1979-1982

Anne French 1983-1993

Linda Cassells 1993-

The titles and roles of these people has evolved over time. For example, the current role of Publisher evolved from the role of managing editor during the time of Anne French. In addition the New Zealand Agency employed editors and editorial assistants, and maintained a full sales, promotions, marketing, and administration sections.


25 metres (50 cartons)

Language of Materials



In off-site storage. Expect delay of 12-24 hours from time of order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records received from Anne French Oxford University Press, first deposit July 1992; second deposit September 1993.

Inventory of the records of the Oxford University Press (NZ), 1956-1995.
Kay Stead
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand