William A. Roth Papers, 1971-2000

Overview of the Collection

Roth, William A., 11931-2000
William A. Roth Papers
1971-2000 (inclusive)
0.5 Cubic Feet
Collection Number
MG 411 (collection)
Personal papers of William A. Roth and publications of his Two Magpie Press and the little magazine aag-aag!, Kendrick, Idaho.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Access Restrictions


Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Newspaper owner and printer William Alan Roth was born in Lewistown, Illinois, on June 16, 1931. He graduated from high school in McCammon, Idaho, and attended Southwest Missouri State College. In 1950 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in Scotland. He moved to Genesee, Idaho and with his parents bought the Genesee News in 1954. After his father’s death, Roth and his mother bought the Kendrick Gazette in 1968. They created the Gazette News for the two communities. In the early 1970s they moved to Kendrick, Idaho. His mother retired in the mid ‘70s and died in 1990 at the age of 84.

Due to health issues Roth retired from the newspaper business for several years but he continued to run the print shop. Later he sold the Gazette News to the Whitman-Latah Republic. Roth re-established the Kendrick Gazette after heart bypass surgery and the Republic’s failure in 1987. He sold the paper in 1998 to the Latah Eagle, though he continued to work on commercial printing jobs until his death in May 2000.

As the owner of an old fashioned printing press Roth expanded his activities into a literary venture called Two Magpie Press. In addition to booklets and poetry broadsides, Two Magpie Press published a little magazine called aag-aag!, which only lasted two issues. Stanley Kunitz, Robert Bly, Ron McFarland, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, Michelle Higgins, and Carolyn Gravelle are only a few of the well-known writers published by Two Magpie Press.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers of William A. Roth span the years 1971 to 2000, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1981 to 1985.

Included in the collection are examples of publications, a personal letter, copy of a short story with cover letter, booklets of poetry, printed photographs from the 1900s, stationary/letterhead, poster announcements, and brochures. Also included are press products, a photograph, the little magazine called aag-aag!, and articles pertaining to Roth and his business.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University of Idaho Library by his sister, Anna L. Green of Pocatello, through James Hoogland as administrator on June 27, 2000.

Related Materials

Also available in Special Collections is 12 cubic feet of printed material from the Kendrick Gazette’s Job Printing Shop from 1930-1965, prior to Roth’s acquisition of the press (see Manuscript Group 51).

Processing Note

Processed by Melanie Reid in February/March 2004.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Publication Material
32 items
1/2 Correspondence
1/3 Additional Material/Kendrick
14 items
1/4 Other Material
14 items
1/5 Articles Collected
3 items

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Publishing and Publishers, Kendrick, Idaho

Corporate Names

  • Two Magpie Press

Titles within the Collection

  • aag-aag!

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Roth, William Alan, 1931-2000--Archives.