Series 3 - Production and Distribution

Identity elements

Reference code

US MBE MSS 026-3

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Production and Distribution


  • 1973-2002 (Creation)


3 boxes

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Ploughshares literary magazine was founded in 1971 by DeWitt Henry and Peter O'Malley in the Plough and Stars, an Irish pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each issue is guest-edited by a prominent writer, who assembles an issue around a central theme, aesthetic, or personal vision. Previous guest editors include: Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Rosellen Brown, Raymond Carver, Tobias Wolff, Sherman Alexie, Russell Banks, Lorrie Moore, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Richard Ford.

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Scope and content

Scope and content note: This series contains production notes, original cover artwork and photographs, cover stock, and correspondence. Many of the materials relate to the physical design and layout of the magazine. An e-mail exchange with founder DeWitt Henry sheds light on the early production process: in the 1970’s, the typewriter was the key production tool used to assemble each issue. The Exacto knives, scissors, spray adhesive, and brushes used to piece the magazine together are present in this collection, as well as galleys for volume 1 no. 2 and no. 3. In the mid-1980’s, the gift of an IBM laptop introduced computers into the workflow. Gradually, increasingly powerful computers and improved software allowed more of the production work to be done on a computer desktop.

This series also includes materials documenting Ploughshares’ distribution and subscription models, as well as related small press distribution projects, like Exile’s Return. Additional materials located in Series 1, Subseries A document Book Affair’s subsidized distribution of small press publications to libraries.

System of arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically.

Box List

Contents Box Folders
About the Editor – Alexie 5
About the Editor – Banks 5
About the Editor – Baxter 5
About the Editor – Beattie 5
About the Editor – Bell/Spires 5
About the Editor – Brown 5
About the Editor – Doty 5
About the Editor – Ford 5
About the Editor – Gordon 5
About the Editor – Hacker 5
About the Editor – Hall 5
About the Editor – Hirshfield 5
About the Editor – Howe 5
About the Editor – Jen 5
About the Editor – Lux 5
About the Editor – McHugh 5
About the Editor -- Miller 5
About the Editor – Moore 5
About the Editor – Muldoon 5
About the Editor – Norman/Shore 5
About the Editor – O’Brien/Strand 5
About the Editor -- Soto 5
About the Editor -- Welch 5
About the Editor -- Young 5
Beacon Press Business: Ploughshares Anthology, 1991 5
Cover – Alexie 5
Cover – Baxter 5
Cover – Bell/Spires 5
Cover – Doty 5
Cover -- Gordon 5
Cover – Jen 5
Cover -- Komunyakaa 5
Cover – McHugh 5
Cover – Moore 5
Cover – Muldoon 5
Cover – Norman/Shore 5
Cover Art 5 (2)
Cover Art and Layout 5
Cover Art and Layout [2 of 2] 14 OS-4
Cover Negatives 5
Cover Negatives [2 of 2] 14 OS-5
Cover Stock 5-6 (2)
DeWitt Henry on the Production of the Magazine 5
Distribution, 1973-1976 5
Exile’s Return – Distribution in Magazine, 1976 5
Galley, v.1 no.1 5
Galley, v.1 no.2 5
Letters to Subscribers 5
Other Sides of Silence, 1992 5
Ploughshares Reader Intro Notes 5
Production Notes for Early Issues 5
Production Notes for Early Issues [oversized] 14 OS-6
Production Tools 14 OS-7
Renewal Models 5
Revised Circulation, 1998 5
Subscriber Feedback/Criticisms 5
Survey Responses: Subscription and Submission, 2002 5
Thursday Afternoon at the Plough, 01/27/1972 14 OS-8
Winter 1991-1992 Ploughshares News 5
Yates/Styron Lie Down in Darkness, 1983-1985 5

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