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Publishing News Archive

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2108 KUAS67
Held at: Kingston University
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Full title: Publishing News Archive
Date(s): [1950]- 2008
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 83 boxes
Name of creator(s): Publishing News magazine
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Launched in 1979 by founders Fred Newman (Born Manfred Neumann in Austria in 1932. Was editor of the student newspaper 'Cherwell' at Oxford, where he met co-founder Labovitch. His first job was with the Daily Sketch. He went on to work at University of Sussex and Phoebus Partworks, part of the British Printing Corporation, where he was Managing Director. He left in 1979 to form Publishing News) and Clive Labovitch (Born 1932 in Leeds. Attended Oxford where he also worked on 'Cherwell'. He went into business with Michael Heseltine in the 1960s, winning the contract to publish the British Institute of Management magazine and forming Cornmarket Press (later Haymarket Publishing. He split from Heseltine and co-founded Publishing News in 1979 after a failed independent venture. He died in 1994.)
Newman and Labovitch’s first venture was Skateboard Weekly, formed in 'Harry’s Bar' in Park Lane Hotel’s vacant basement. It was also here that Publishing News was established, and the location lent its name to the paper’s long-standing diarist, 'Harry Barr' (a fictional character who many believed to be real). Publishing News focused on the people of the book trade. Many thought the venture would be short-lived: The Bookseller only ever referred in print to its competitor as 'Skateboard Weekly'.
Publishing News was a fornightly (later weekly) magazine reporting on all aspects of the book trade. It was commended for giving coverage to the independent sector and self-publishers, and innovations such as daily issues for the London Book Fair, and later the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 1983 the company moved to offices in Museum Street, and in 1990 they launched the first British Book Awards, also known as the 'Nibbies'. The first awards ceremony, held at the Park Lane Hotel, was a sell-out, and the ceremony continued to grow year on year and attract press and television coverage. In 2001 Publishing News launched a website covering news and features relevant to the book trade as a companion to its print magazine, and bought research agency BML (Book Marketing) in 2003.
The 25th July 2008 of Publishing News was the last. Fred Newman died in November 2008.


Scope and content/abstract:

Documents created during the publication of Publishing News magazine. This includes a complete run of the magazine, copies of other publications by Publishing News, research files on companies and individuals associated with the book trade pulled together by the editors of the magazine, photographs used in the magazine, documents relating to the British Book Awards, reference books on the book trade, and some digital records. Publishing New's website has also been archived and can be searched at .

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Files are held in original order within their series.

Conditions governing access:

Available to view via appointment in the Kingston University Archives and Special Collections search room.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copying may be restricted due to copyright law or to protect the items in the Collection. Please refer any copying requests to a member of staff who can advise.

Finding aids:

Full catalogue of archival documents will be accessible at Books can be searched on our library catalogue at

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records were held in the publishing News offices in London before their transfer to Kingston University.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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