The Figures press was founded by poet Geoffrey Young in Berkeley, California in 1975. The records include correspondence, publication materials, business records and print materials.
The Figures Records are comprised of four series: (i) Name and Topical, (ii) Publications, (iii) Business and Financial, and (iv) Oversize Material. At approximately 34 linear feet, the records document the business affairs of a small press, as well as the professional life of its founder, Geoffrey Young. Spanning the years between 1973 and 2000, this material includes correspondence with writers, customers, and businesses, as well as manuscripts, production materials, and financial documents.
The Name and Topical series contains material related to writers and other associates of The Figures and Geoffrey Young. It is arranged by the individual’s name, and is further divided by the nature of the material (i.e. correspondence, clippings and articles, and flyers and announcements), although it is mostly correspondence. While much of this series is strictly business-related, there is a sizable portion that is of a more personal nature, which highlights the close relationships Young maintained with writers and associates.
The Publications series is the most voluminous of the four series, and is comprised of materials related to The Figures publications, which includes mostly manuscripts and production material. Production material includes galleys, proofs, negatives, invoices, and some correspondence. The series is arranged according to the name of the author, and is divided further by the title of the publication.
The Business and Financial series is divided into two subseries: (i) Business correspondence and (ii) Financial documents. Business correspondence is further organized by function, and contains material concerning book orders, submissions, permissions, and review copy requests, as well as awards, grants, and charity work. The financial documents subseries are primarily invoices, but also include quarterly reports. This subseries mainly documents transactions between book distributors, but also includes transactions and other financial information related to suppliers, typesetters, and printers. While this is not a complete financial record of The Figures, this series provides significant insight to the financial activities of a small press.
Oversize Material contains items that have been separated from the rest of the collection due to their larger size. This includes flyers and announcements, broadsides, calendars and production materials related to The Figures publications.