Talisman Press Records

Identifier: NC390

Scope and Contents

The Talisman Press Records mainly consists of the correspondence between Robert Greenwald and Newton Baird with the contributors to their literary magazine and other published works, and which relate to their activities in the field of publishing poetry, fiction, and criticism. The collection contains a full run of the magazine Talisman, volumes 1 through 13, published from 1952-1958. As well, it contains the correspondence and manuscripts relating to four books of poetry and a volume of short stories the Talisman Press published between 1958 and 1963. Copies of each of the books are included in the collection.

The collection of approximately 650 letters, spanning a period of years, gives a good insight into the anatomy of a small literary magazine. Correspondents include: Richards Ashman, Frederick Bock, Hayden Carruth, Judson Crews, David Cornel DeJong, Joanne De Longchamps, August Derleth, George P. Elliott, Richards Elman, Hildegarde Flanner, Edwin Fussell, Don Geiger, Donald Hall, Robinson Jeffers, Will Jumper, James Laughlin, Merrill Moore, Leonard Nathan, Bern Porter, William Stafford, Ann Stanford, Alan Stephens, Alan Swallow, Mark Van Doren, Jonathan Williams, Yvor Winters, and Harold Witt.

Series 1 has the correspondence relating to material published in the Talisman. Materials are arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent. Series 2 contains the magazine manuscripts, arranged alphabetically by name of author. Series 3 is the Talisman Poetry Folio No. 1. This is the only Poetry Folio in the collection and may have been the only one issued. Series 4 consists of manuscripts, correspondence, and the published editions of four poetry volumes published by the Press. Series 5 consists of the issues of the Talisman magazines, No. 1-13, 1952-1958.


  • 1951-1963


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Administrative History

The Talisman Press, owned by Robert Greenwood and edited by him and his partner Newton Baird, was started in Denver, Colorado and in 1954 moved to San Jose, then Los Gatos, and Georgetown, California. From 1952-1958 the Press published thirteen numbers of a little magazine called Talisman, which was issued two times a year. In 1956, it issued the Talisman Poetry Folio No. 1.

The Talisman was suspended in 1958 when the Press decided to go into publication of books. The Talisman Press published four books of poetry and a volume of short stories between 1958 and 1963. The book titles are: Magellan; a Poem to be Read By Several Voices, by Ann Stafford (1958); West of Your City by William Stafford (1960); Western Reaches; a Collection of Poems, by Leonard Nathan, which includes a photograph by Edward Weston (1958); The Unfairness of Easter and Other Stories, by David Cornel DeJong (1959); and A Western Sampler; Nine Contemporary Poets, by the Talisman Editors (1963). Ann Stafford’s Magellan was awarded the silver medal for poetry by the Commonwealth Club of California. West of Your City was William Stafford’s first published book of poems.

After these books were published, the editors went into the field of Western American history and bibliographical studies in American literature.


1.4 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Talisman Press was founded in the early 1950s by Robert Greenwood. The collection contains correspondence between the editors and contributors to both the magazine and published volumes of poetry, manuscripts, and the Talisman Poetry Folio No. 1 Series dating from 1951-1963.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Talisman Correspondence; 2) Magazine Manuscripts; 3) Talisman Poetry Folio No. 1; 4) Poetry Manuscripts, Correspondence, and Published Editions; 5) The Talisman Magazines

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Robert Greenwald of the Talisman Press in 1967 or 1968.


Guide to the Talisman Press Records
Robert Armstrong
January 1968
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)