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Kenneth Deardoff Collection Relating to Grove Press

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 7 Feb 2018

Biographical History

Grove Press was an independent American publisher. Founded in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1949 as a small press, it was purchased by Barney Rossett in 1951 and within three decades had grown into a multimillion-dollar publishing company recognized as one of the twentieth century's great avant-garde publishing houses. In addition to its extensive book catalog featuring numerous American and European experimental or controversial authors (Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, William S. Burroughs, Malcolm X) and titles (Lady Chatterley's Lover, Tropic of Cancer), Grove also had a film catalog with more than 400 titles, a book club, a theater, and Evergreen Review magazine.

While Grove was successful in fighting censorship and obscenity laws and introducing groundbreaking works to American readers, internal conflicts and challenges such as efforts to unionize the staff and feminist criticisms confronted Grove in the 1970s, as well as the departures of long-time editors Dick Seaver and Fred Jordan. After many celebrated achievements and a peak in staff numbers and office size, Grove reorganized and downsized its operations. Ann Getty and British publisher George Weidenfeld purchased Grove Press in 1985 for a reported two million dollars. Rosset left in 1986 and continued to pursue publishing and an Internet-only version of Evergreen Review until his death in 2012. The Grove imprint continues to exist today as part of publisher Grove Atlantic.

Kenneth Deardoff was Art Director at Grove Press for a number of years after the departure of Roy Kuhlman, designing many of their book covers and overseeing the art for Grove's magazine Evergreen Review.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Kenneth Deardoff Collection Relating to Grove Press consists of printed material, posters, books, and manuscript materials from Grove Press, in particular the design department.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is unprocessed and remains in original order.


Access Restrictions:

The collection is currently unprocessed and not available for research. Please contact SCRC for more information.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The Grove Press Records contain the full records of the publishing house. For additional material related to Grove Press, see also the following collections:

Barney Rosset's personal papers are housed at the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which also has a small Grove Press Collection.

Subject Headings


Deardoff, Kenneth.

Corporate Bodies

Grove Press -- Archives.


Artists -- United States.
Authors and publishers -- United States -- 20th century.
Avant-garde (Aesthetics) -- United States -- 20th century.
Publishers and publishing -- United States -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Book jackets.
Manuscripts for publication.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Kenneth Deardoff Collection Relating to Grove Press,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Kenneth Deardoff, 2013.

Table of Contents


An inventory has not yet been created for this collection. Please contact the Repository listed above for more information.