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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleRecords of The Onlywomen Press, Ltd.
Ref No6OWP
Box Fetch No1-45, OS40; PC 6.8
Date[early 20th century]-2013
Extent45 A boxes, 1 OS boxes and 1 OS drawer
Admin Biographical HistoryThe Onlywomen Press (1974-2016) was established in London in 1974 by a collective of four women. Their aim was to launch a company in which literature that challenged gender and sexual stereotypes could find an outlet and where a method of work would be employed that was identifiably feminist. Illustrative of this is the fact that all members of the collective were trained to have a wide range of publishing skills so that all members could be involved in the running of most aspects of the organisation enabling the avoidance of the formation of static hierarchies. The collective also deliberately restricted the company's rate of growth in an attempt to retain collective control over their methods of operating. The company was involved in both the printing and publishing businesses, relying to great extent on voluntary labour. The core of published work was feminist and lesbian non-fiction, poetry, short stories and novels as well as theoretical works. They received core funding from London Arts Council, which was cut in 1993. In the 2000s they opened an 'Onlywomencrime' range of novels. The company was dissolved in 2016.
DescriptionThe Onlywomen Press (OWP) papers have been placed in these broad categories:

- Foundation and early papers (are in 6OWP/1)

- Minutes of meetings (6OWP/2-3)

- Printed papers by OWP - such as catalogues, leaflets and circulars (6OWP/3)
See also 6OWP/39 for papers relating to publicity and promotion.

- General information on OWP and its history (6OWP/4-6)

- Photographs (6OWP/6)

- Events - such as readings, conferences and book festivals (6OWP/7-8)

- Financial papers, including annual accounts and papers relating to fundraising such as grants (6OWP/9-10)
See also 6OWP/37 for ledger relating to production costs and royalties for OWP publications.
See also 6OWP/38 for sales and royalties statements per title.

- Administrative papers, including office diaries and office instructions (6OWP/11)

- Publications files (6OWP/12-34)
The publications files contain material relating to individual works published by OWP. They vary in size and content, but may contain documents such as:
- Correspondence with the author
- Drafts of the work ("manuscripts")
- Correspondence about the production of the book
- Correspondence relating to rights
- Agreements between OWP and the author
- Covers or design work associated with the covers
- Material relating to publicity and distribution
- Photographs of the author
- Reviews (such as letters from readers and press cuttings)
- Royalty statements
- Correspondence relating to any republishing/reprinting.

- Individual works not published by OWP (6OWP/34-36)
Includes similar material to that in the publications files.

- Contracts/agreements with authors and other publishers (6OWP/36)
Similar documents may be found in other folders too, particularly the publications files.

- Reviewers (6OWP/37)
See also the publications files.

- Royalties and sales (6OWP/37-38)
See also the publications files.

- Publicity and promotion (6OWP/39)
See also the publications files.
See also 6OWP/3 for printed publicity (such as leaflets).

Distribution (6OWP/39-42)

Lilian Mohin papers (6OWP/42-43)
See also 7LIM.

Miscellaneous papers and items which are currently (2017) closed (6OWP/44-45)

Oversized material, mainly artwork/designs for covers and posters (6OWP/46-47).
Related MaterialThe Women's Library also holds the Papers of Lilian Mohin (7LIM). The Women's Library Printed Collections hold several publications by Onlywomen Press. Some related information about Onlywomen Press Ltd. is held at the Glasgow's Women's Library.
Related Record7LIM
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThis collection was catalogued by Nick White, Assistant Archivist in November 2017.
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