Thistledown Press Ltd. fonds
Call Number: Mss 116, Pc 118 (A.90-64, A.01-36)

Title: Thistledown Press Ltd. fonds.

Dates: 1975-2000.

Extent: 15.2 m of textual records and other material.

Administrative history: Thistledown Press Ltd. is a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, literary trade publisher specializing in fiction and poetry by Canadian authors. It was founded in 1975 by Glen and Sonia Sorestad and by Neil and Susan Wagner as a small "cottage industry" company. During its first six years, its publishing activities focused principally on the work of poets from the prairie provinces. The sixteen books of poetry published by the end of 1979 included first books by Lorna Crozier, John V. Hicks, Lala Heine-Koehn, Stephen Scriver, Peter Christensen, and Helen Hawley. Thistledown published its first book of fiction in 1983 introducing a new fictional talent to its readers - Gertrude Story. In 1987, the first non-fiction title, Side Glances, a book about the craft of writing, was published and the following year, fiction for young adults was added to the Thistledown mandate. Thistledown also entered the co-publishing field in 1989 with The Selected Paul Durcan, a joint effort with Blackstaff Press of Northern Ireland. The press now publishes authors from British Columbia to the Maritimes, but still maintains a special focus on the prairie region. By the end of 1990, the company had published 106 titles.

Custodial history: The Thistledown Press fonds was purchased by the University of Manitoba Libraries in March 1990 and shipped from Saskatoon to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections a short time later. Another accession was shipped to Archives & Special Collections in 2001.

Scope and content: The fonds contains material from virtually all aspects of Thistledown's activities as a literary publisher including correspondence, book launchings, submissions and rejection records, minutes of meetings, budgets, and financial records. The fonds also contains a highly representative selection of original manuscript material, galleys, and proofs of published works. Signed copies of Thistledown's publications are included and cover the period 1975 to 2001. Of particular significance are the daily journals (1977-1988) and management meeting minutes (1977-1988) and over 50 original manuscripts from a variety of prairie artists including Andrew Suknaski, Gertrude Story, and Peter Christensen.  The photograph collection consists of 124 photographs, 1 negative, 36 transparencies, and 21 drawings, mostly of authors and the art and photos used in their works. 

Restrictions: Any excerpts or quotations from the material in this fonds must not be used without acknowledgement and source attribution.

Finding aid: Printed finding aids are available in the Archivesreading room and on-line finding aids are available at the links below:

MSS 116, PC 118 (A.90-64)

MSS 116 (A.01-36).

We greatly acknowledge the financial support of the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism and the Heritage Grants Advisory Council in the creation of this finding aid.