I am now weeks into processing the Poisoned Pen Press collection. Poisoned Pen Press is an independent publisher of mystery novels located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was founded in 1997 by Robert Rosenwald and Barbara Peters, who is also the founder of the Poisoned Pen Bookstore. The extent of the collection is 63 linear feet and consists of manuscripts, proof galleys, cover designs, digital media, and other materials relating to the creation of the book. This experience has differed vastly from the previous collection I processed last semester. Since Poisoned Pen is a corporate body, I am witnessing the interactions between Poisoned Pen staff, authors, and other individuals assisting with the book development process. Some of the great findings have included eye catching titles like Concerto in Dead Flat by Wendell McCall, and cover designs such the one illustrated on Mary Ann Evans’ book Artifacts. I was excited to find books that have been published by Poisoned Pen Press in countries other than the U.S., and even more excited that the Tucson Festival of Books will be hosting some of the authors. They include Eileen Brady, Donis Casey, Jeffrey Siger, and Jon Talton.
Each accession is being processed as a series and in alphabetical order by author, then title. This will allow all the materials by the same author to be grouped together. Drafts exist in book form and require housing separate from the manuscripts in an attempt to preserve space. To maintain the author-title organization, these drafts will be intellectually grouped on the finding aid. Since the author and title guide the organization within the series level, I am able to add titles to the folders prior to the arrangement being complete. The title and other related data are entered into an Excel sheet that will then be imported into ArchivesSpace, an information management application, to create the finding aid. Currently this document has minimal organization, but sorting and other useful features in Excel will be applied prior to importing.