The California State Library and its Sutro Library branch in San Francisco make available for public research an outstanding collection representative of the history of the book and printing. Over the last several months, we have received three excellent articles pertaining to this theme, and it made sense to publish them together as a special issue of the Bulletin. The first article, by librarian Diana Kohnke, the Sutro Library’s outstanding exhibit curator, focuses on the mystery behind the purchase of a remarkable collection of Hebrew fragments, scrolls, and books by Adolph Sutro in 1884. This is followed by a superb contribution by noted author and printer Alastair Johnston of the Poltroon Press concerning a recently discovered volume at the Sutro Library, beautifully printed by Jacques Du Puys in 1554. California has long been noted as a center for the book arts and fine printing. One printer who is often overlooked is Richard J. Hoffman of Los Angeles. Professor Ethan Lipton points out in his article that Hoffman “remained in the shadows.” After reading Dr. Lipton’s eloquent profile of Hoffman, the reader will certainly come away with a true appreciation of one of America’s and California’s master printers and typographers. Through the generosity of Dr. Edward Petko the State Library now has a comprehensive Richard J. Hoffman collection.
See the new bulletin in pdf format here.
-Gary F. Kurutz, Executive Director