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Chain Collection

Identifier: PCMS-0047

Scope and Content Note

Material found in the Chain collection includes correspondence, submissions, and production material for all twelve issues from 1993-2005. Chain is organized into two main series. The first series, issues, is organized with production material appearing first containing business financial material, dummies, proofs, mock-ups, and audio/visual material. Production material is followed by correspondence and submissions from poets arranged in alphabetical order. Starting with issue four, rejections have been separated and are arranged alphabetically after the accepted work. The second series, correspondence, contains general correspondence about the magazine starting with electronic mail correspondence between Jena Osman and Juliana Spahr arranged by year from 1997-2004, followed by other correspondence (mostly electronic mail) arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Formats found in the collection include mostly printed electronic mail, general mail correspondence, artwork, photographic material, 3 ½ and 5 ¼ inch floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, mini disks, and VHS. A large portion of the submissions are on electronic media, mostly floppy disks and mini disks.

The Chain archive's original order has been maintained with the exception of correcting alphabetical order and misspelled names, and all of the production and business material has been consolidated to the beginning of each issue. Chain came organized with an item level register that can be found in supplemental material.


  • Majority of material found within 1993-2005


Language of Materials

Collection material mostly in English with some material in Arabic, Spanish, Portugese, and French.

Terms of Access

The Chain Collection is open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Poetry Collection before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

Edited by Jena Osman and Juliana Spahr, Chain was founded at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1994. Chain released issues from 1994-2005, in perfect bound six by nine inch volumes, printed at one-thousand copies per issue. The editors moved, along with the magazine, from Buffalo to Hawaii and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Twelve issues were published, each organized around a theme or special topic: 1. Gender and Editing; 2. Documentary; 3. Hybrid Genres/Mixed Media (released as two volumes); 4. Procedures; 5. Different Languages; 6. Letters; 7. Memoir/Antimemoir; 8. Comics; 9. Dialogue; 10. Translucinacion; 11. Public Forms; and 12. Facts.


31.5 Linear Feet (75 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)


The Chain collection contains material pertaining to the editorial business and production of Chain magazine from 1993-2004. Material includes correspondence and submissions, production material, printer invoices, and correspondence between the editors, Juliana Spahr and Jena Osman. Formats include printed email, correspondence, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, and VHS.


This collection is organized into two series: Issues and Correspondence. The original order has been maintained with minor changes to spelling, corrected alphabetical order, and all production material has been moved to the front of each issue.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from the editors in 2010.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Separated Materials

The following material has been integrated into the Poetry Collection. Items bearing notes and inscriptions have been photocopied and facsimiles have been placed in the manuscript collection.

  1. "Me transform ou O filho de Semele" by Regis Bonvicino, signed
  2. "United States" by Andre Spears, signed
  3. "The Krazy Kat Rag" by Louis Phillips
  4. "5 Poemas Eroticos" by Gonzalo Millan
  5. "Of Stone" by Patrick James Dunagan

Processing Information

Collection processed by Elliot McNally, Emily Anderson, and Allison Cardon.

Processing Information

Moderate to severe silverfish damage has been identified in the correspondence files and in a number of the issues. Issues 1 and 2 (1994-1995) show the most damage with some affecting the legibility of some text. Issues 4, 6, and 9 have moderate or minimal damage.


Finding Aid for the Chain Collection PCMS-0047
Finding Aid prepared by Elliot McNally and Allison Cardon.
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Best Practices
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.

Repository Details

Part of the The Poetry Collection Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)