Ithaca House Archive

Investigator: Marty Cain, PhD Candidate, English

Arts & Sciences, 2020

This project will digitize select materials from the archives of Ithaca House, an Ithaca-based small press that operated from 1969 to 1986. Started by Baxter Hathaway, a Cornell professor, Ithaca House published a broad array of notable U.S. poets – C.S. Giscombe, Maxine Chernoff, Bob Perelman, and Ron Silliman among them – but was also rooted specifically in the Ithaca community, running two different storefronts that sold works by local artisans. While many of its staff were affiliated with Cornell, Ithaca House, importantly, was unaffiliated with the university. In fact, it responded to an institutional lack—Cornell University Press’s choice to turn away from publishing books of poetry. This project will digitize both a selection of work that the press published, as well as its business files. In doing so, this projects aims to situate Ithaca House within a particular historical moment in which small presses were developing new modes of distribution, and in which U.S. poetry had an increasingly complex, interwoven relationship with academic institutions.