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Oceana Publications

  • Name:
    Oceana Publications
  • Kind of Organisation:
    Publishing House
  • Introduction:

    Oceana Publications Inc was a publishing house specialising in law and civil rights founded by the British émigré Philip F. Cohen (1911–1998) in 1945.

    Word Count: 22

  • Content:

    In 1927 Philip Cohen emigrated to New York to start a job as a clerk in the law school library at Columbia University, where his career in law began. During the late 1920s and 1930s he held a tenure at Columbia University law library, where he developed an interest in law and civil rights. From 1941 to 1945 he served with a “counterintelligence unit of the United States Army Air Forces in the European Theater“ (Steinhauer 1998). In 1945 Cohen founded Oceana Publications Inc. at 500 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, across from the Public Library on 42nd Street, in the media and press district, where also other institutions founded by émigrés were located such as the photo laboratories Leco and Pavelle as well as photo agencies as Black Star and Rapho Guillemette. During the 1950s he "compiled reference pamphlets on marriage and divorce and sold them for 50 cents each at the library. This modest publishing venture would eventually lead to the founding of the Legal Almanac Series, which still exists“ (Steinhauer 1998). The pamphlets, and his legal advice service, were advertised in the Daily News newspaper and other printed media.

    Oceana Publications found a niche in the publishing market, creating major volumes on subjects ranging from public international law to international, comparative, transnational, and constitutional law, as well as legal bibliography (Cohen 1992, 114). Besides such popular topics as marriage, divorce and motor vehicle rules and regulations, Oceana also covered naturalisation and emigration/immigration issues. In 1953 How to Become a Citizen of the United States by Margaret Esther Hall (1953) and Immigration Laws of the United States by Carol McCormick Croswell were published, providing a guide for U.S. emigrants in the post-war period.

    Interestingly, in 1952, the photobook Suffer Little Children by the émigré photographer Marion Palfi was published with Oceana Publications. It is the only photobook to be found in the publishing history of Oceana. Funded by a Rosenwald Fellowship grant, which she received in 1946, Palfi spent two years travelling across the U.S. recording instances of child neglect and juvenile delinquency. Her resulting Children in America exhibition in January 1949 at the Public Library travelled throughout the U.S. over the following three years. In Suffer Little Children Palfi focused on the diversity of American society rather than isolating one ethnic group, portraying poverty as a destructive force affecting African-Americans, Asian-Americans, whites and Latinos alike. A review of the book by Eleanor Roosevelt in December 1952 appeared in a number of newspapers across the U.S.: “This is a book that nearly all of us in the United States should look at with great care. There is some text in it, but the pictures are what will really remain with you. They are completely unforgettable. The reason none of us can fail to look at this book with care lies in the fact that these children are our future citizens, and we must know how they are growing up and what are their opportunities.” (Roosevelt 1952, 20)

    Oceana Publications changed address on several occasions, moving between Midtown Manhattan and Chelsea. In the late 1950s it was located right across the street from the Schocken publishing house. In 1962 it moved to bigger headquarters in Dobbs Ferry and opened branches in Lagos, Nigeria, and in Dusseldorf, Germany, to cover the European continent.

    Word Count: 540

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    500 5th Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York City (1945–12.1947); 115 West 42nd Street, Midtown Manhattan, New York City (01.1948–03.1948); 461 West 18th Street, Chelsea, New York City (04.1948–1950); 43 West 16th Street, Chelsea, New York City (1951–1957); 80 Fourth Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York City (1958–1961); 40 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry, New York City (1962–?).

  • Signature Image:
    Logo and imprint of Oceana Publications Inc.
  • Media:
    Cover of Immigration Laws of the United States by Carol McCormick Croswell (Oceana Publications, 1953).
    Cover of How to become a citizen of the United States by Margaret Esther Hall (Oceana Publications, 1953).
    Cover of Suffer Little Children by Marion Palfi (Oceana Publications, 1952).
    Review of Marion Palfi's Suffer Little Children by Eleanor Roosevelt published in Des Moines Tribune, 10 December 1952, p. 20.
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Cohen, Philip F. “Oceana Publications.” Legal Reference Services Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 3–4, 1992, pp. 113–120. HeinOnline. Accessed 19 February 2021.

    Roosevelt, Eleanor. “Book review.” Des Moines Tribune, 10 December 1952, p. 20.

    Steinhauer, Jennifer. “Philip F. Cohen, 87, Founder of Legal Publishing Company.” The New York Times, 30 September 1998, p. 8. Accessed 16 March 2021.

    Sorgenfrei, Robert and David Peters. Marion Palfi Archive (Guide Series, no. 10). Center for Creative Photography. University of Arizona, 1985.

    Word Count: 60

  • Archives and Sources:

    Word Count: 15

  • Author:
    Helene Roth
  • Date of Founding:
    1945
  • Participants (selection):

    Marion Palfi

  • Metropolis:
    New York
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Helene Roth. "Oceana Publications." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2948/object/5145-9998872, last modified: 15-06-2021.
  • Marion Palfi
    Photographer

    Marion Palfi was a German émigré photographer who lived in New York from the 1940s to the 1960s. Her photographic engagement in social and political topics made her name for her use of the camera to draw attention to social injustices.

    Word Count: 41

    Selfportrait of Marion Palfi (© Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: Marion Palfi Archive).
    Advertisement “Ein bischen tätige Liebe” for a cigarette brand with photograph of Marion Palfi and Aribert Mog (1904–1941). Modenschau. Illustrierte Monats-Zeitschrift für Heim und Gesellschaft, no. 202, October 1929, p. 43.Cover of Ebony with photograph by Marion Palfi (Ebony, 1 November 1945).Review of Marion Palfi's Suffer Little Children by Eleanor Roosevelt published in Des Moines Tribune, 10 December 1952, p. 20.Article on Marion Palfi in Aufbau magazin (Craemer 1949).Cover of Suffer Little Children by Marion Palfi (Oceana Publications, 1952).Announcement of Marion Palfi’s course at the New School for Social Research. New School for Bulletin, vol. 17, no. 2, 2 September 1959, p. 46 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).
    New York
    Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs
    Photobook

    Manhattan Magic is a photobook which was published in 1937 by the German émigré photographer Mario Bucovich in New York City.

    Word Count: 20

    Cover of Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing, 1937.
    First page of Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1937, pp. 8–9.“Looking from the 17th floor of the Irving Tower at No. 1 Wall Street. In the center is the Singer Building, forty-five stories high, and in 1910 the highest tower in Manhattan.” Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1937, pp. 30–31.Pennsylvania and Central Station in Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1937, pp. 46–47.The Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1937, pp. 28–29.City Hall columns and Woolworth Building in Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1937, pp. 32–33.Skyscrapers shadows with a view on 60 Wall street tower and Irving Trust Company in Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1937, pp. 18–19.Last page of Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1937, pp. 46–47.Cover of Washington D.C. by Mario Bucovich, M.B. Publishing Company, 1936.
    New York
    Chinatown U.S.A.
    Photobook

    Chinatown U.S.A. is a photobook published by the German émigré photographer Elizabeth Coleman in 1946 focusing on American-Chinese communities in New York and San Francisco.

    Word Count: 26

    Cover of Chinatown U.S.A., by Elizabeth Coleman (The John Day Company, 1946).
    Front page of Chinatown U.S.A, edited by Elizabeth Coleman, The John Day Company, 1946 (Archive Helene Roth)."Learning to read and write English in Public school ... and Chinese in Chinese school." Chinatown U.S.A., by Elizabeth Coleman (The John Day Company, 1946).Last page of Chinatown U.S.A., by Elizabeth Coleman (The John Day Company, 1946).Review of Chinatown U.S.A. in The Pittsburg Press, 25 August 1946, p. 46.Review of Chinatown U.S.A in Popular Photography, October 1946, p. 184.
    New York
    5th Avenue
    Photobook

    5th Avenue was the first photobook by Fred Stein and was created in 1947 with the publishing house Pantheon Books.

    Word Count: 19

    Cover of 5th Avenue photobook (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).
    First page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).Page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon, 1947) by Fred Stein.Last page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).Cover of the French edition 5th Avenue (Querido, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).Mixed articles and reviews on 5th Avenue photobook form Fred Stein's scrapbook (© Fred Stein Archive).Page from Fred Stein’s scrapbook showing Pantheon Books Catalogue (Fall 1946, Spring 1947), which includes 5th Avenue (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait of Fritz H. Landshoff (of Querido Publishing House) by Fred Stein, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait of Kurt Wolff (of publishing house Pantheon Books) by Fred Stein, 1959 (© Fred Stein Archive).
    New York
    J.J. Augustin Incorporated Publisher
    Publishing House

    J.J. Augustin was a German publishing house in Glückstadt with a long history, going back to 1632. In 1936 the American branch opened in New York with a large artistic and cultural focus.

    Word Count: 33

    Logo and imprint of J.J. Augustin Publishing (Photo: Helene Roth).
    Book cover of Hoyningen-Huene’s photobook Hellas (J.J. Augustin, 1944).Announcement of Roman Towns by Ernest Nash (J.J. Augustin, 1944).Cover of Ballet by Alexey Brodovitch (J.J. Augustin, 1945).Book cover Return to Life through Contrology by Joseph Pilates (J.J. Augustin, 1945).Cartoon Map of New York City. Designed by Henry E. Salloch. (J.J. Augustin, 1938).Book cover Woodcuts of New York by Hans Alexander Mueller (J.J. Augustin, 1938).
    New York
    Schocken Books
    Publishing House

    Schocken Books was a publishing house established in 1945 in New York by the Russian émigré Salman Schocken (1898–1959). It specialised in books on Judaica and Hebrew topics.

    Word Count: 26

    Schocken Books logo (Private Archive Helene Roth).
    Letterhead of Schocken Books Inc., May 1955, Lotte Jacobi Archive, Correspondence (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Letterhead of Schocken Books Inc., July 1955, Lotte Jacobi Archive, Correspondence (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Letterhead of Schocken Books Inc., 1973, Lotte Jacobi Archive, Correspondence (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).First page of Polish Jews. A Pictorial Record by Roman Vishniac (Schocken Books, 1947).Robert Cromie. “Exceptional Photos Made by Roman Vishniac.” Chicago Tribune, 7 September 1947, p. 221.
    New York
    Pantheon Books
    Publishing House

    Pantheon Books was a publishing house founded in 1942 by the German émigré Kurt Wolff (1887–1963) and aimed at the exiled European community in New York.

    Word Count: 24

    Pantheon Books sign (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Cover of 5th Avenue photobook (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).First page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).Page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon, 1947) by Fred Stein.Last page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).Page from Fred Stein’s scrapbook showing Pantheon Books Catalogue (Fall 1946, Spring 1947), which includes 5th Avenue (© Fred Stein Archive).Announcement by Pantheon Books from Fred Stein’s scrapbook (© Fred Stein Archive).Mixed articles and reviews on 5th Avenue photobook form Fred Stein's scrapbook (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait of Kurt Wolff (of publishing house Pantheon Books) by Fred Stein, 1959 (© Fred Stein Archive).Cover of the French edition 5th Avenue (Querido, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).
    New York
    Querido Inc.
    Publishing House

    Fritz H. Landshoff’s Querido publishing house was originally an offshoot of Emanuel Querido's Querido Uitgeverij Dutch publishing house in Amsterdam. Querido Verlag was created in 1933 to publish work by German political exiles.

    Word Count: 33

    Letterhead of Querido Inc. in New York (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Letter from Querido Inc. to Fred Stein, 10 January 1947 (© Fred Stein Archive).Cover of the French edition 5th Avenue (Querido, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait of Fritz H. Landshoff (of Querido Publishing House) by Fred Stein, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait of Kurt Wolff (of publishing house Pantheon Books) by Fred Stein, 1959 (© Fred Stein Archive).
    New York
    Black Star Agency
    Photo Agency

    The German émigrés Kurt S(z)afranski, Ern(e)st Mayer and Kurt Kornfeld founded Black Star in 1936. The photo agency established was a well-run networking institution in New York.

    Word Count: 31

    Letterhead of Black Star (Black Star Archive. Ryerson Image Center, Photo: Helene Roth).
    Logo and Stamp of Black Star Photo Agency (Photo: Helene Roth, 2019).Description of Black Star in a photographic guide (Ahlers, Arvel W.. Where & how to sell your pictures. Photography Publishing Corp., 1953, p. 45).Werner Wolff, K.S. Safranski’s Class in Pictorial Journalism, 1950 (New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection © Steven Wolff).Facade and entrance of the Graybar Building on Lexington Avenue (Photo: Helene Roth, 2018).Cover of Selling Your Pictures by Kurt Safranski (Ziff Davis Publishing Company, 1940).Black Star contract by Fred Stein, April 1, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).Announcement of "Pictorial Journalism. Photographs as a Language and their special Problems" course by Kurt Safranski at the New School for Social Research, Spring 1949 (© The New School Archives and Special Collection, The New School, New York).Letterhead with the logo and address of Black Star (© Fred Stein Archive).
    New York
    Leco Photo Service
    Photo Lab

    Leco Photo Service was a photofinishing lab, highly-frequented and a contact hub for émigré photographers and photo agencies during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as a provider of employment for women in the photo industry.

    Word Count: 36

    Advertisment Leco Photo Service (Photo: Helene Roth).
    Leco Photo Service mentioned in Etna Kelley. “Woman in Photography.”, Popular Photography, June 1945, pp. 23 (Photo: Helene Roth).Article on Leco Photo Service by Etna Kelley. “Photofinishing Plus.” Popular Photography, February 1947, pp. 84–85 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York
    Rapho Guillumette
    Photo Agency

    Founded in 1940 by the emigrant Charles Rado (1899–1970), Rapho Guillumette was a picture agency.

    Word Count: 13

    Rapho Guillumette agency letter to Fred Stein, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).
    New York
    Pavelle Laboratories Inc.
    Photo LabPhoto Supplier

    Pavelle Laboratories was found in 1936 by Leo and Carmen Pavelle and operated on East 42nd Street. It was specialised in the development of miniature camera film and one of the first labs working with colour film.

    Word Count: 36

    Logo of Pavelle Laboratories in Popular Photography, December 1943, p. 88.
    Article on Pavelle Laboratories (White 1951, 131).Article on Pavelle Laboratories in White 1951, 132–133).Advertisement for Pavelle Laboratories in Popular Photography, December 1943, p. 88.
    New York