History Of The Archive
The oldest book in the archive
Based in Rushden, Northamptonshire the Random House Group Archive and Library started life in 1987 as the library for the Octopus Publishing Group which eventually became Reed Elsevier. It was only after the sale of Reed Consumer Publishing to various new owners that the library was acquired by Random House along with the Reed trade list, with such distinguished publishers as Secker & Warburg, William Heinemann, Methuen and Sinclair-Stevenson, with the paperback imprints of Mandarin, Minerva and Cedar.
The library then expanded to include all the past and existing Random House imprints, an equally illustrious list of Chatto & Windus, Jonathan Cape, The Bodley Head, Century, Hutchinson, Ebury Press, Vermilion and Rider, with paperback imprints Red Fox, Arrow and Vintage, plus many others.
Due to the past links with Reed, the library also has some third party clients who are not owned by The Random House Group but who pay a fee for the same services. Therefore the library also contains the archives of the Octopus Publishing Group Limited, with the imprints Hamlyn, Gaia Books, Godsfield Press, Cassell Illustrated, Mitchell Beazley, Philip's, Bounty Books and Conran Octopus; Egmont UK Limited with the imprints of Heinemann Young Books, Methuen Children's Books, Dean, Mammoth and Egmont (who are famous for Winnie-the-Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine among others); and Andersen Press which specialises in children's literature.
In 1999, Bertelsmann bought Random House Inc., the parent company of Random House UK. Bertelsmann already owned the publisher Transworld so their archives of Bantam Press, Doubleday, Partridge Press and Corgi have also been added to the archive. As Random House acquires new imprints these archives are also added to the collection at Rushden, the newest being Virgin Books, BBC Books, the Harvill Press archive and the C.W. Daniels archive.
Most of the books held in the library have been entered on to the library database called BARD, all members of staff can access this at http://archive.randomhouse.co.uk.
Apart from books, the library also holds author files containing editorial matter, publicity items, reviews and production information. There is also a large sequence of live and reverted contracts.