punctum books: Special Collections

Special Collections is a new preservation initiative launched by Punctum Books, a queer scholar-led Diamond Open Access press, to republish, in beautifully re-designed print and open access editions, the back catalogs of historically significant independent presses founded by structurally marginalized groups whose operations have ceased.

There are many small, radical publishers whose books have played important roles in shaping alternative forms of cultural life, thought, and resistance in the 20th and 21st centuries, but their books are not as findable, accessible, or as widely known as they could and should be. Many of these books eventually go out of print, and lacking digital editions, disappear from bookstore shelves and mainly reside in libraries that not everyone can travel to or from which readers are barred because they do not have the proper login credentials. Following the example of Reveal Digital, who have developed open access periodical collections from underrepresented 20th-century voices of dissent, Special Collections aims to curate and make fully open the unique voices of these culturally significant presses, in order to make those voices accessible to a global readership and to also enrich the domain of scholarly inquiry into the history of these presses and their authors.

Les Figues Press

The first publisher whose work will be restored through the Special Collections Project is Les Figues Press, whose back catalog comprises close to 70 titles. The total cost of republishing their titles in print and open access ebook editions is $350,000 and is expected to take 3–5 years. After reaching this goal, library pledges will be allocated to the next restoration project.

Founded in Los Angeles, California in 2005 by Teresa Carmody, Vanessa Place, Pam Ore, and Sarah LaBorde, Les Figues Press published over 60 titles in poetry, prose, visual art, conceptual writing, works of translation, and mashups thereof with a special focus on feminist and queer authors working against the mainstream canon. Les Figues titles include award-winning work that imagines new artistic practices, establishes new theories of literature, and questions the avant-garde alongside the status quo. Their books embrace global feminism(s) and provoke important conversations about gender, race, class, and sexuality in relation to literary and artistic production. As they themselves have put it, their books “push the boundaries of genre, form, and general acceptability.”


U.S. Pricing

U.S. library and institutional members are tiered according to the Basic classification in Carnegie Classification. Participation can be at one-, three- or five-year commitments.

U.S. Classification (Carnegie Classification-Basic)

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5-Year Commitment (per annum)













Community & Technical




Canadian Pricing

Canadian library and institutional members are tiered according to FTE. Participation can be at one-, three- or five-year commitments.

Canadian Classification (FTE)

1-Year Commitment

3-Year Commitment (per annum)

5-Year Commitment (per annum)

>10K FTE




<10k FTE




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