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Serendipity Books mss., ca. 1960-2010

Records of Serendipity Books at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Serendipity Books (Firm)

25,650 items

Serendipity Books mss., ca. 1960-2010 

Collection No.
LMC 2124

25,650 items

Materials are in English

The Serendipity Books mss., ca. 1960-2010, consist of invoices, orders, paid bills, and other miscellaneous financial papers, including cash receipt books, ledgers, and yearly financial statements for the bookselling firm, Serendipity Books, Inc., of Berkeley, California.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Historical Note

Bookselling firm of Berkeley, California.


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Invoices; II. Orders, Paid Bills; III. Miscellaneous; IV. Additions.

Scope and Content Note

The Serendipity Books mss., ca. 1960-2010, consist of invoices, orders, paid bills, and other miscellaneous financial papers, including cash receipt books, ledgers, and yearly financial statements for the bookselling firm, Serendipity Books, Inc., of Berkeley, California. The collection also contains personal materials of Peter Howard, proprietor of Serendipity Books, and includes correspondence, photographs, printed ephemera, and a photo portfolio and text pertaining to the limited-edition book Martin Stone, Bookscout, written by Howard.

Correspondents include: Carter Burden, Tom Farber, Amanda Green, Jon Paul Henry, Abram Hoffer, William Martin Hoffer, Esme Howard, Ian Jackson, Cris Mcmann, Phyllis Mcmann, Larry McMurtry, Richard Newsome, Katherine Spelman, Ralph Segura, J. D. Salinger, Martin Stone.

  • Indexing Terms

  • The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in IUCAT, the IU Libraries' online catalog. Materials about related topics, persons or places can be found by searching the catalog using these terms.

    • Names
    • Serendipity Books (Firm)
    • Howard, Peter B.
    • Topics
    • Booksellers and bookselling --California.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Acquired: 1986, 1996, 2002, 2010
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with the permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library

Preferred Citation
[Item], Serendipity Books mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Series: Invoices

Box 1 1966 - 1972, Jan. 

Box 2 1972, Feb. - 1977, Mar. 

Box 3 1977, Mar. (cont.) - 1979, Dec. 

Box 4 1979/80 - 1980, Sept. 

Box 5 1980, Sept. (cont.) - 1981, Sept. 

Box 6 1981, Oct. - 1982/83 (A-B)

Box 7 1982/83 (C-Z) - 1983, July 

Box 8 1983, Aug. - 1985/86 

Series: Orders, Paid Bills

Box 9 1963 - 1964/74  (A)

Box 10 1964/74  (B - California, University of )

Box 11 1964/74  (California, University of - Co)

Box 12 1964/74 (Cp - Hd)

Box 13 1964/74 (He - L)

Box 14 1964/74  (M - Rad)

Box 15 1964/74  (Rae - Stam)

Box 16 1964/74  (Stan - Wa)

Box 17 1964/74  (Wb - Z); 1973  (1f.); 1974 (7ff.)

Box 18 1974/75  (19ff.)

Box 19 1974/75 Printed(2ff.); 1975 Misc.; 1975 Catalog 34 3ff.; 1975/76 (A - R; no "S" file)

Box 20 1975/76 (T - Z); 1977/78  (A - J); 1978/82  (A-C)

Box 21 1978/82  (C - T)

Box 22 1978/82 (U - Z); "thru Apr. 30, 1983" (A - D)

[includes 1977-1983]

Box 23 "thru Apr. 30, 1983"  (D - M)

Box 24 "thru Apr. 30, 1983"  (N - T)

Box 25 "thru Apr. 30, 1983"  (U - Z) - 1983/84  (A - Z)

Series: Miscellaneous

Box 26 Bank Statements, FY 1983 

Credit Memos: 1979-1981 ;1980-1985 

Expense records of room for storage, 1969 

Expenses: 1971 ;1973 

Expenses, FY 1983 : Nancy Kosenka, Peter Howard, Tom Goldwasser, Burton T. Weiss

Insurance papers, ca. 1971 

New titles, Sept. 23, 1971-Mar. 23, 1974 

Single Copy order plan, 1969-1970 

Store Sales, FY 1984 

Travel expenses:1972-1974 ;1976-1979  

(3 folders)

FY 1985 

(5 folders)

Yearly financial statements, 1981-1985  

(5 folders)

Box 27 bound volumes:

Book purchases & overhead expenses

May 17, 1973-Dec. 30, 1976 and Jan 1, 1974-June 10, 1974 

June 10, 1974-Dec. 30, 1974 and Jan. 1, 1975-Apr. 12, 1975 

Cash receipt books:


Apr. 1966-Jan. 1, 1968 

Nov. 2, 1969-Oct. 22, 1971 

Apr. 18, 1979-Jan. 31, 1976 

Jan. 1-Apr. 30, 1977 

May 1, 1977-Apr. 30, 1978 

Mar. 1978-Apr. 30, 1978 

May 1, 1978-Apr. 30, 1979 

Feb. 22, 1979-May 1, 1979 


June 5, 1973-Dec. 31, 1973 

Nov. 26, 1971-Sept. 1, 1973 

Nov. 14, 1973-Feb. 22, 1975 

Mar. 15, 1975-Jan. 1, 1976 

Jan. 1, 1977-Apr. 30, 1978 

May 1, 1978-Apr. 30, 1979 

May 1, 1979-Nov. 17, 1979 

Box 28 Office fund vouchers, July 1, 1980-Apr. 4, 1985 

(71 envelopes)

Cancelled checks, 1969-1984 

Boxes 29-31 Cancelled checks, 1969-1984  (cont.)

Series: Additions

2002 Additions


Box 31 1984, May – 1985, Oct. 

Box 32 1985, Nov. – 1988, July 

Box 33 1988, Aug. – 1989, Apr. 

Paid bills

Box 33 1984/85  – 1985/86  A-M

Box 34 1985/86  N-Z – 1987/88  A-M

Box 35 1987/88  N-Z – 1989/90  A-M

Box 36 1989/90  N-Z – 1991/92  A-S

Box 37 1991/92  T-Z – 1993/94  A-Q

Box 38 1993/94  R-Z


Box 38 Credit card files, tax papers, stolen book file, banking and other financial papers, etc. (43ff.)

2010 Additions

Box 39 Correspondence


N-Unidentified authors


Howard, Peter

Howard, Keridwen Jean

Janah, Manua

McMurtry, Larry




Printed Ephemera

Various authors


(shelved in box 40 oversize)



Martin Stone, Bookscout Materials

Photo Portfolio and Text

(4 folders)


4 folders

Box 40 Canvas prints

(shelved in oversize)

2012 Additions Box 41




“Letter from Tibet”

Untitled manuscript by Manua Janah

Printed Materials

Metcalf, John. Freedom from Culture

Ruyle, John. Baskerville Visited and Baskerville Revisited

Woodsworth, Glenn. Cheap Sons of Bitches

Hoffer, William. A Correspondence, and A Statement


Pacific Rim Anthropology

interesting items in the fields of…. (by Serendipity Books)

The Eric Korn Collection of H.G. Wells

Vietnam War Literature: The Gary Lepper Collection

Paul Mariah and Helen Luster Archives

William Faulkner: The Carl Petersen Collection

(1 interim catalog, 2 printed, 2 typescripts)

Box 42 Serendipity Books: Catalogue 22

Canadian Fiction: Nos. 24-59

Canadian Fiction: Nos. 61-78

Harold Pinter: The Sir Joseph Gold Collection

G. Norman Douglas: The Frederick Board Collection

Ted Hughes: The Collections of Sir Joseph Gold

A Mostly Modern Affair: One Hundred Pleasures (or so), For Now

Lost-Race Fiction: The Stuart Teitler Collection

Alex Flegon: Catalogue 49

Serendipity Books: Books in English (Titles, Not Volumes)

Bookman’s Weekly, Aug. 1, 1977

Yosemite and the Big Trees: Catalogue 54

Appraisal Records

Estate of James D. Hart

Mr. & Mrs. John Bedecarre

Estate of Wright Morris

The Leonard Baskin papers and collections

Gayle Sullivan

Estate of Joaquin Nin-Culmell

Irwin T. and Shirley Holtzmann Collection

Box 43 The Library of James D. Hart

Dorothy & Howard Baker

John Lane

Czeslaw Milosz






Newspaper clippings

2013 Additions Box 44


(folders 1-16)

Box 45 (folders 17-28)

Box 46 (folders 29-43)

Box 47 (folders 44-48)

Peter Howard

William Hoffer

(8 folders)

Correspondence of William Hoffer

(4 folders)

Box 48 Employee Meeting. Dec. 18, 1985

Matheson and Rimer: Autographs

Wm. P. Barlow, Jr.

Richard Brautigan Archive

Correspondence and miscellaneous

(2 folders)

W.S. Merwin Manuscript Collection

Haverford College

Correspondence of Bill and Nina Matheson

Correspondence of Sherri Martinelli and of Denis Goacher

Correspondence of Christina Burridge

(3 folders)

Personal Correspondence of Georgiana Prata and of Audrey Pieper

Letter of recommendation for Karma Pippin

Ian Jackson writings

S. Claw Wilson comic

Watchword Press board member materials

Review of the 36th Congress of ILAB

Want lists

Serendipity Books, Inc. Financial Statements

(2 folders)


ABAA Newsletter

Archives of the ABAA


(5 folders)

ILAB advertisement for ABAA Fairs

ILAB Cologne, Germany, 1992

ABAA Officers and Board of Governors Meeting, Nov. 1992

Jerrold Stanoff vs. Dae-hen Park

ILAB to do

ABAA Board of Governors Meeting agendas

Box 49 Citizen Ambassador Program and ABAA

ABAA materials, 1994

ABAA Elisabeth Woodburn Memorial Scholarship (unsuccessful), 1993

ABAA Elisabeth Woodburn Memorial Scholarship (successful), 1993

ABAA Elisabeth Woodburn Fund and Benevolent Fund


ABAA Membership Committee

ABAA Replevin Committee

ABAA By-laws Committee and Nominating Committee

ABAA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Treasury

ABAA Book Fair Committee

Joel Malter complaint to ABAA, April 1993

ILAB Congresses

Communication from Anthony Rota, President of ILAB

Serendipity Books, ILAB, and ABAA Finances

ABAA Planning Committee and Nominating Committee, 1992

ABAA materials, 1977 - 1978

ABAA Ethics Committee

ABAA Ethics Committee

(2 folders)

Todd Pratum vs. Gilman Parsons

Trademark infringement

Pickering & Chatto and Jefferson Rarities

William Guthman vs. Eric Goldman

Michael Hollander complaint against Jeffrey Mancevice

Philip Bevis

Jack Shoemaker

Barry Cassidy

Larry McMurtry

(3 folders)

Mary Ellen Solt

Eugen Gomringer's manifestos

Charles Sanders Peirce Symposium opening address by Thomas Sebeok

Proposal for MLA Conference 1992

"Robert Lax and Concrete Poetry" article

Mary Ellen Solt on William Carlos Williams

"Concrete Steps to an Anthology" article

Mary Ellen Solt's Vitae

"Letter to the Editor" poetry

"Poems as Signs" paper

(3 folders)

"Poems as Signs" lecture

"Charles Sanders Peirce and Eugen Gomringer: The Concrete Poem as a Sign" article

(folders 1 - 5)

Box 50 "Charles Sanders Peirce and Eugen Gomringer: The Concrete Poem as a Sign" article

(folders 6 - 10)

"What the Girl Might Have Said" poetry

Biographical sketch

"Marriage" poetry

"Flowers in Concrete" poetry

"Words and Spaces" poetry

"William Carlos Williams: Idiom as Cultural Icon" article

(7 folders)

Draft of Budapest paper

Introduction to "Concrete Poetry: A World View"

(4 folders)

Mary Ellen Solt on Öyvind Fahlström

(4 folders)