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Black Hat Press Records

Identifier: Mss085

Scope and Content Note

The Black Hat Press collection documents the work of this small press and includes office records, correspondence, financial records, promotional materials, and copies of original poems and art work. It also includes published copies of the books, poetry calendars, and magazine, Rag Mag, published by the press.The financial records are incomplete.

The majority of the correspondence is by Beverly Voldseth, editor and publisher of the press. It includes discussions about writing and the life of a writer and sometimes includes extensive criticism by Beverly of writers' work, commentary that some authors greatly appreciated. The correspondence demonstrates how her personal and professional lives were intertwined and documents the problems and frustrations she had trying to run a small press and deal with authors who were occasionally belligerent. It was a lot of work for one person to handle, but Beverly wrote to a colleague in 1993: " has to do a mag because one enjoys it, love what one is doing. I love the whole process."


  • Creation: 1982-2001


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and availble for use by researchers in the Andersen Library Reading Room.


All rights have been transferred to the Upper Midwest Literary Archives except for individual authors who retain copyright to their manuscripts.

Historical Note

Black Hat Press was founded in 1989 by Beverly Voldseth when she became sole publisher of Rag Mag, a small poetry magazine. The first four issues of the magazine (originally titled Underground Rag Mag) were edited and published by Andy Gunderson who sold the magazine to printer Joe Woelfinger in 1983. Woelfinger asked Beverly to edit the magazine for him. In 1988 problems arose in getting issues printed, so Voldseth took entire control of the magazine and started Black Hat Press as the publisher.

Beverly Voldseth Allerswas born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and attended Augustana College (Sioux Falls) and Bethel College (St. Paul). She worked as a teacher in Goodhue, MN from 1957 to 1959, married Robert "Bud" Allers, and in 1959 decided to stay home and raise her children. She is a poet who also worked as director of the Northfield, MN Historical Society and as coeditor of the Goodhue County Tribune before assuming editorial control of the magazine. She edited and served as publisher for Rag Mag until its final issue in 2001. In addition she published numerous small books and chapbooks from 1990-1998 and published the Minnesota Poetry Calendar from 1997-2001.


8 Linear Feet (15 boxes)


Collection includes office records, correspondence, financial records, promotional materials, and copies of publications for the books, poetry calendars, and magazine, Rag Mag, published by the press.

Organization of the Collection

The collection is organized into four series:

  1. Rag Mag, 1982-2001 (Boxes 1-6)
  2. Books, 1990-98 (Boxes 7-9)
  3. Minnesota Poetry Calendars, 1997-2001 (Boxes 10-11)
  4. General office records, 1982-2001 (Boxes 12-13)

Physical Location

Mezz (R67, D5, S5; R70, D3, S5-6)


Donated to the Upper Midwest Literary Archives by Beverly Voldseth, 2003.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by L. JoAnne Dodge, November 2003.

Black Hat Press Records
L. JoAnne Dodge
14 November 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Literary Archives Collecting Area