Announcing Essays of an Old Country Priest: Monsignor Francis J. Weber, the 2016 Zamorano Club publication of forty-five essays written by bibliophile Msgr. Francis J. Weber, priest, archivist, historian, author, and editor. Subjects include California printers and collectors, church history, and Weber’s main interest, miniature books. Printed letterpress at Classic Letterpress by Norman Clayton and bound by Mariana Blau at A1 Bookbinding. The numbered edition of 200 copies is signed by the author. 9½ x 6½ x 1 in. 128 pages. $125 plus $5 shipping. For more information, email Jean Gillingwators at

The Zamorano Club   PO Box 465   Pasadena, California 91102



Compiled and annotated by Laura Stalker

Arthur M. Ellis memorial edition of the journal & maps of Cave J. Couts. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1933.
Cave Johnson Couts (1821-1874), a Tennessee-born army officer, was in command of a military escort assigned to Amiel W. Whipple’s Boundary Commission charged with defining the new border between the United States and Mexico following the Mexican-American War. His diary, now in the Bancroft Library at Berkeley, includes an account of this expedition, of which Arthur Ellis’ publication represents the first published version. Orange County historian William McPherson provided notes and other editorial services.
Arthur Ellis (1875-1932) was a founding member and president of the Zamorano Club. This small book was the last item to issue from his private press; in fact, Ellis died after completing the body of the text but before the volume could be bound and issued. The original titlepage, with Ellis’ imprint and dated 1932, bore the title From San Diego to the Colorado in 1849: The Journal and Maps of Cave J. Couts. In 1933 some of the sheets from this edition were reissued under the Zamorano Club imprint and with additional front matter as a memorial to Ellis.
Don Agustin V. Zamorano: statesman, soldier, craftsman, and California’s first printer. By George L. Harding. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1934.
Colophon: Printed by Bruce McCallister, Los Angeles, 1934.
Within six years of its founding, the Zamorano Club produced a major work of scholarship that has not been superseded as the definitive biography of the Club’s namesake. In the words of a contemporary reviewer, “Mr. Harding’s story of the life of Zamorano sparkles, is alive, entertaining, and makes of what had been heretofore nothing but a shadowy figure in outline, a real flesh and blood man about who the history of California revolves from 1825 until his return to Mexico in 1838.”
Printing historian and businessman George L. Harding (1893-1976) was a leading figure in the Zamorano and Roxburghe Clubs, the Book Club of California, and the California Historical Society. His personal collection now forms the core of the Edward C. Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing at the California Historical Society, and he published many articles and pamphlets on California printing. In his introduction to the Zamorano biography, Harding gives full credit to Henry R. Wagner for his inspiration and assistance. Wagner not only encouraged Harding to expand his study of Zamorano’s printing to a full-length biography; he also tracked down documents, reviewed translations, read successive drafts, and shepherded the finished manuscript through the publication process. The 325 copies of the 1934 edition were handsomely printed by Zamorano member Bruce McCallister; 175 were made available to the public via an arrangement with the J.W. Robinson Department Store in downtown Los Angeles.
George Harding’s biography was reprinted in 1976 by the Arno Press, and in 2003 Arthur H. Clark issued a “second printing” with new prefatory material. In 2010 the Zamorano Club paid tribute to Harding’s accomplishment by including Don Agustin V. Zamorano in Zamorano Select, its new listing of distinguished California titles.
Gossip from the sixteenth century. By William Alvin Bowen. Part I. Los Angeles, California: The Zamorano Club, 1938.
Colophon: One hundred and twenty five copies printed by the Bowen Press.
William Bowen (1877-1937), Los Angeles attorney and Zamorano Club member, intended this to be the first of a series of volumes comprising imaginary dialogues among historical figures such as Luther, Erasmus, and Cellini. However, he died in 1937 after preparing the text of “Part I” for the printer. One hundred twenty-five copies were issued by the Club the following year, prefaced by a sketch of the author’s life.
The romantics, 1801-1820: an exhibition of books and autograph letters, from the collection of Frank J. Hogan. With a prologue & an epilogue. Los Angeles, 1938.
Colophon: 100 copies printed by The Ward Ritchie Press of which 50 are reserved for members of The Zamorano Club.
Washington-based lawyer Francis Joseph Hogan (1877-1944) made a national reputation representing clients such as Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, Evelyn Walsh McLain, and, most notably, Edward L. Doheny, for whom he secured acquittal in the Teapot Dome case. In 1904 he founded Hogan & Hartson, now the oldest major law firm in the nation’s capital.
Hogan collected American and British literary high spots throughout the thirties, with a special emphasis on association and inscribed copies. His legal business frequently brought him to Los Angeles, where he enjoyed displaying selected treasures to his fellow Zamorano Club members. On March 3, 1937, following one of the Club’s regular lunches, he hosted a small exhibition of books and manuscripts, accompanied by this small catalogue written and printed by Ward Ritchie. All of the major Romantics are represented, many by distinguished association copies of their works. High spots were a copy of the 1798 Bristol edition of Lyrical Ballads, and a “Keats shrine”, which included a copy of the 1817 Poems inscribed by Keats to Wordsworth, as well as an autograph letter from Keats to Fanny Brawne.
Hogan’s collection was dispersed after his death at a series of four sales held at Parke-Bernet Galleries in 1945-1946.
Robert Browning, 1812-1889: an essay by Robert Ernest Cowan.
Colophon: For members of the Zamorano Club 100 copies of this essay were printed by Robin Park and Mary Treanor at the Green Horn Press, Los Angeles.
Cowan (1862-1942) is best known as the author of A bibliography of the history of California and the Pacific West, 1510-1906, the first major bibliography of Californiana (Zamorano 80, #23). He was employed as librarian by William Andrews Clark, Jr. from 1919 to 1933, and from the time of his 1926 arrival in Los Angeles until his death played a leading role in the book life of the city. In his many lectures and publications he concentrated on California and the West; there is nothing in this pamphlet to explain the occasion for this brief excursion into Victorian literature.
The brief history of the Green Horn Press may be found on pages 75-76 of another Club publication, A bookman’s view of Los Angeles (1961)Both of the young proprietors studied printing with Ward Ritchie, and Mary Treanor was the daughter of Zamorano founding member John Treanor. Using the Green Horn Press imprint, she and her partner also produced a separate issue of 140 copies of the Browning essay.
Bullion to books: fifty years of business and pleasure. By Henry R. Wagner. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1942.
Henry Raup Wagner (1862-1957) was a moving force in the Zamorano Club from the time of his admission in 1931/32 until his death. He inspired or contributed to a long list of Club keepsakes, pamphlets, and newsletter articles, wrote many of the Zamorano 80 entries, and first suggested the creation of an index to Bancroft’s History of California, a task that absorbed the energies of many members for decades. The Club’s most substantial monument to Wagner is perhaps this 370-page memoir, in which he reviews the events of his long and varied life from his Yale Law School graduation in 1886 to his successful international career as a mining executive, to his even more distinguished career as historian, bibliographer, and collector.
The latter chapters of Bullion to books (of which 300 copies were printed at the Ward Ritchie Press) brim with the kind of facts and anecdotes that fascinate book collectors. Wagner’s pattern of collecting was unusual. He formed successive collections in order to support specific historical or bibliographical publications, then sold or donated the books and moved on to the next project. Important Wagnerian collections may be found at the Huntington, Yale, the Bancroft, and many other research libraries, and the most complete list of his published writings (The published writings of Henry R. Wagner (1988) by Ruth Frey Axe) has nearly 200 entries.
Wagner lived another fifteen years after the publication of Bullion to books and was a productive scholar to the end of his life. His influence set the course for the Zamorano Club’s growing identification with the history of California and the West, and led directly to the creation of its most famous publication.
The Zamorano 80: a selection of distinguished California books made by members of the Zamorano Club. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1945.
Colophon: The Zamorano Eighty. Published May, 1945, in a limited edition of five hundred copies. Produced under the supervision of Bruce McCallister. This copy is number ___
The creation, content, and history of the Club’s signature publication is described in detail elsewhere on this website. It is largely through this bibliography that the Zamorano Club is known to the world of collectors, booksellers, and librarians. It has inspired two reprints (Kraus Reprint Company, 1969; Martino Publishing Company, 1999) as well as a plethora of exhibitions, catalogues, and—above all—collectors.
Islands of books. Lawrence Clark Powell. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1951.
Verso of half-title: 150 copies printed for members of The Zamorano Club.
Among the ranks of Zamoranans, Lawrence Clark Powell is Henry Wagner’s chief rival for the title of most prolific author. In his brief preface to this, his first volume of collected essays, Powell explains that most of the pieces first appeared as articles in Hoja Volante, written at the behest of editor W.W. Robinson, who wished for more literary content. The fifteen essays range from personal reminiscence to favorite authors—Lawrence and Whitman to Rabelais and Casanova—to the California landscape and its influence on a regional literature. Of the 1000 copies printed by Ward Ritchie, 150 appeared with the Zamorano imprint; the rest bore the imprint of Ritchie’s press. In 1991 Dawson’s Book Shop produced a softcover edition with a new preface by the author.
Sixty years of book collecting. Henry R. Wagner. The Zamorano Club, 1952.
Colophon: 100 copies for the Zamorano Club of Los Angeles and 100 copies for the Roxburghe Club of San Francisco printed by the Ward Ritchie Press February 1952.
This tall slim volume is an interesting companion to Bullion to books, Wagner’s leisurely memoir of 1942.
Sixty years gives a brief account of each of the author’s more important collections, arranged in chronological order, starting with the books on the history of metallurgy that he began to collect in 1892. Many of the facts and anecdotes may be found in the earlier book, but there is some new material. Wagner’s final notes include his remarkable revelation that while at least 100,000 volumes passed through his hands during his collecting career, he never owned more than one or two thousand books at any one time.
Ruth Frey Axe, in her bibliography of Wagner’s publications, states that in addition to the 200 copies mentioned in the colophon, thirty additional copies were printed for presentation by the author.
Al bello secso. A translation by Miss Haydee Noya of the Henry E. Huntington Library of the first original poetry known to have been written and printed within the territory of California; together with an introduction by Henry R. Wagner of the Zamorano Club, in whose honor, and for his ninety-first birthday anniversary, this poem is herewith being reprinted for private distribution. The Zamorano Club, 1953.
Colophon: 75 copies printed for members of the Zamorano Club by Caroline Anderson, Joseph Simon, and Ward Ritchie, commenced September 1947, completed September 1953.
Ritchie, in his Bookmen & their brothels (1970), tells the story of the printing of this unique Zamorano imprint, how it was begun for Wagner’s 85th birthday, partially completed, then left unfinished for another six years. The tall narrow quarto comprises a facsimile frontispiece of this rather ephemeral broadside poem, followed by Wagner’s introduction in which he speculates on its authorship, and the translation itself, by Miss Haydee Noya of the Huntington’s Manuscripts Department. According to Wagner, the original from which the facsimile was made was discovered in a scrapbook in Los Angeles “about ten years ago”. In 1947 it was in the possession of Thomas W. Streeter, who allowed the Club to reproduce it in facsimile. At the Streeter sale it was purchased by the San Francisco book dealer Warren Howell, who sold it to the Beinecke Library, its present owner, in 1971.
The alchemy of books, and other essays and addresses on books & writers by Lawrence Clark Powell. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club.
Powell’s second volume of essays, following close on the heels of Islands of books, is longer, more varied, and somewhat less personal than its predecessor. Its title essay was originally given as an address before the American Library Association in 1952, and many of the others were reprinted from a variety of bookish and professional journals. The nineteen pieces are divided into three sections. “Bookman in Britain” deals with his experiences while travelling on a Guggenheim Fellowship in the U.K. “Reading and Collecting” and “People, Books, and Places” combine travel, reading, and philosophy with personal reminiscence. One hundred copies were printed by Ward Ritchie; a larger trade edition appeared with the imprint of the Ward Ritchie Press.
A Chinese printing manual, 1776. Translated from the Chinese with notes and introduction by Richard C. Rudolph. Los Angeles: Printed by the Ward Ritchie Press for members of the Zamorano Club, 1954.
Colophon: For the Zamorano Club. 100 copies have been designed by Ward Ritchie and printed in Los Angeles by Anderson, Ritchie & Simon with the facsimile pages reproduced in collotype by the Meriden Gravure Company.
In 1948, Richard Rudolph, chair of UCLA’s department of Oriental languages, travelled to China to buy books for UCLA’s library. While there, he happened upon Jin Jian’s manual on the manufacture and use of moveable wooden type, composed while the author was Superintendent of the Imperial Printing Office, and hitherto unavailable in English translation, and largely unknown to Western scholars. Rudolph purchased a copy for UCLA and made it the centerpiece of his 1951 lecture to the Zamorano Club. The enthusiastic response of various Club members led him to translate the entire text, and to write the introduction and accompanying notes.
The publication of this small volume was a joint project of the Typophiles and the Zamorano Club. 100 copies were printed with the Zamorano Club imprint; another 350 copies, with variant imprint and colophon, appeared as Typophile Chap Book XXIX.
Western wayfaring: routes of exploration and trade in the American Southwest. By J. Gregg Layne, with an introduction by Phil Townsend Hanna and maps by Lowell Butler. Los Angeles: Automobile Club of Southern California, 1954.
Colophon: One hundred copies of this book by J. Gregg Layne were specially printed and bound for the Zamorano Club of Los Angeles.
Joseph Gregg Layne (1885-1952), an authority on California history and bibliographer of Californiana, was best known for his service as president and director of the Historical Society of Southern California and as the editor of the Society’s Quarterly from 1935 to 1952. The essays that comprise Western wayfaring originally appeared in 1950-1952 as articles in the Automobile Club’s Westways magazine; they were collected and printed by Anderson, Ritchie & Simon, who produced both a general trade edition and this special issue for the Zamorano Club.
The published writings of Henry R. Wagner. Issued by the Zamorano Club of Los Angeles at the first far western meeting of the Bibliographical Society of America, held at the Henry E. Huntington Library on August 27, 1955, in honor of Henry R. Wagner. With a foreword by Lawrence Clark Powell and a preface by Francis P. Farquhar. Los Angeles: The Ward Ritchie Press, 1955.
The first bibliography of Wagner’s works appeared in 1934. Wagner was 72 years of age and had been retired since 1920. The 1934 list, with its 68 items, represents a substantial body of work, including as it does such notable achievements as The Plains and the Rockies (1920), The Spanish Southwest 1542-1794 (1924), and The cartography of the northwest coast of America to the year 1800 (1937). Most of us would have rested on our laurels at this point, but when this 1955 version appeared on the eve of Wagner’s 93rd birthday, the total number of items had grown to 167. Lawrence Clark Powell, who wrote a brief preface, was at that time president of both the Bibliographical Society of America and the Zamorano Club. Francis Farquhar, environmentalist and California historian, was also a Zamoranan.
In the introduction to her definitive bibliography of Wagner’s works (published in 1988 and comprising 193 items) Wagner’s secretary Ruth Frey Axe describes the working methods that enabled his remarkable productivity. Many of Wagner’s works, based as they are on close attention to original sources, remain useful to contemporary scholars, and among collectors of Western Americana his influence is felt to this day.
The hand of Zamorano. A facsimile reproduction of a manuscript on the Californias in 1829, written by Don Agustín Vicente Zamorano, as Secretary to Governor José María de Echeandia, translated by Arnulfo D. Trejo and Roland D. Hussey, with a preface by George L. Harding. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1956.
Colophon: 250 copies printed by Saul & Lillian Marks at the Plantin Press.
In his prefatory note, Lawrence Clark Powell, then the Head Librarian of the Williams Andrews Clark Memorial Library, describes his discovery of this Zamorano holograph in the Clark’s vault, where it had lain undisturbed and unread since its purchase from A.S.W. Rosenbach in 1929. A translation was prepared by members of the UCLA faculty and library staff, and a preface written by George Harding, Zamorano’s biographer. Harding explains that the brief document is “a statement of the organization of the military and civil governments of both the Californias as of the date it bears, September 22, 1829.” Such statements were periodically prepared by the Spanish and Mexican governors of California, and in creating it Zamorano was simply carrying out his routine duties as Secretary to the Governor, which office he held from 1825 to 1831.
A bookman’s view of Los Angeles. Published for members of the Grolier Club, by members of the Zamorano Club. Los Angeles, 1961.
Colophon: Five hundred copies of A Bookman’s View of Los Angeles published by the Zamorano Club and printed as a joint venture by Saul Marks at the Plantin Press; Gordon Holmquist at the Cole-Holmquist Press; Ward Ritchie at the Ward Ritchie Press; Grant Dahlstrom at the Castle Press. Bound at the Silverlake Bindery, April, 1961.
The permanent value of A Bookman’s View lies in Ward Ritchie’s essay “Fine printing in Southern California”, which occupies almost half of its pages and was based on a combination of historical research and personal knowledge. Also valuable is Tyrus G. Harmsen’s history of the Zamorano Club from its founding in 1927 to 1961. Written at a time when it was still possible to consult many of the early members, this essay is the first substantial history of the Club, and is supplemented with lists of its members and officers. Brief descriptions of four local libraries and W.W. Robinson’s introductory essay on Los Angeles round out the volume, which commemorates a visit paid to this city by members of New York’s Grolier Club in the spring of 1961. A section of the book was printed at each of the four presses mentioned in the colophon. All of the writers and printers were Zamorano Club members, and the Silverlake Bindery was a subsidiary of Anderson, Ritchie & Simon. A Bookman’s View represents an admirable feat of collaboration and coordination among the Club’s members, and the result is an interesting and attractive snapshot of the mid-century Los Angeles book world.
Fifty years of book collecting. By William W. Clary. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1962.
Colophon: Printed in Linotype Aldus by Grant Dahlstrom Pasadena, California 1962.
Percy Shelley, Andrew Lang, Oxford printing and Paradise Lost receive special attention in this printed version of a talk given before the Zamorano Club by William Clary at his Pasadena home on May 27, 1961. In his preface Clary—lawyer, bibliophile and public servant—refers to this memoir as “probably the nearest thing to an autobiography that I will ever attempt.” His reminiscences of W. Irving Way, Arthur Ellis, and the founding of the Zamorano Club supplement the more formal Club history published the year before in A bookman’s view of Los Angeles.
A brief biography of William Webb Clary may be found in Zamorano Club biographies and memorial tributes, 1956-1997. He had a long association with the Claremont Colleges, graduating from Pomona College in 1911 and assuming a position on the Board of Trustees in 1928. His most notable achievements there were the formation of the great Oxford collection now at the Honnold Library, and the development of the group plan of affiliated colleges, based on the Oxford idea, thus uniting bibliophily and academic administration in a singularly original and fruitful manner.
Alphonse Pinart. Journey to Arizona in 1876. Translated from the French by George H. Whitney. Biography & bibliography of Pinart by Henry R. Wagner. Introduction & notes by Carl S. Dentzel.
Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1962.
Colophon: Journey to Arizona in 1876 has been designed & composed by Saul Marks at the Plantin Press, printed by Grant Dahlstrom at the Castle Press & bound by Ward Ritchie at the Silver Lake Bindery. Five hundred copies have been printed for the Zamorano Club, Los Angeles, September 1962.
As they had with A Bookman’s View of Los Angeles (1961), Zamoranans joined forces to compile, translate, print and bind this volume, published to commemorate the 1862 births of distinguished members Henry Raup Wagner and Robert Ernest Cowan. And, like the 1956 Hand of ZamoranoJourney to Arizona contains the first English translation of a little-known document relating to the early history of California and the West, written by the French explorer, philologist and ethnographer Pinart (1852-1911), and originally published in the Bulletin de la Societé de Géographie in 1877.
According to Dentzel, Wagner had prepared these biographical and bibliographical notes for his private use, apparently inspired by the presence in the Southwest Museum Library of a rare offprint of Pinart’s essay, and had eventually deposited them at the Museum. The volume that resulted comprises Dentzel’s introduction, Wagner’s biographical and bibliographical notes, followed by Whitney’s translation of Pinart’s essay, and a final list of secondary references. In 1966 the Southwest Museum published Ross Parmenter’s fuller bibliography of Pinart’s works, with additional biographical material, further building on Wagner’s pioneering study.
Glimpses of Don Quixote & La Mancha. By Homer D. Crotty, with an introductory essay by Walter Fitzwilliam Starkie. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1963.
Colophon: 250 copies printed at the Plantin Press, Los Angeles.
Homer Crotty’s admiration for the works of Cervantes was well known. Glimpses of Don Quixote is the memoir of Crotty’s 1961 journey through central Spain in search of Cervantine associations and landmarks. The author’s own reminiscences are interspersed with generous and apt quotations, bibliographic information, and photographs from the trip.
Walter Starkie (1894-1976), although never a member of the Zamorano Club, was one of the most colorful characters ever to contribute to its publications. In 1963 he was Professor-in-Residence at UCLA, where he lectured in English, folklore-mythology, Italian, music, Spanish-Portuguese, and theater. He was born in Ireland to a distinguished family of artists and scholars, and became an authority on Spanish literature and Romany culture and language. His standard translation of Don Quixote remains in print to this day, and his non-academic appointments included the directorships of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and the British Institute in Madrid. The introductory essay he provided for Glimpses is no perfunctory preface, but a substantial commentary on Crotty’s memoir.
Early American inebrietatis. By Marcus Esketh Crahan. Review of the development of American habits in drink and the national bias and fixations resulting therefrom. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1964.
Colophon: Drawings by Marion Kronfeld. Printed by Saul and Lillian Marks, The Plantin Press, Los Angeles.
Crahan, who was medical director of the Los Angeles County jail from 1940 to 1970, divided his leisure time between bibliophily and gastronomy, playing leading roles in both the Zamorano Club and the Wine and Food Society of Southern California. Over a period of forty years he and his wife Elizabeth formed a very valuable collection of books on food and drink which was sold at auction in 1984. Early American inebrietatis is one of several pamphlets and essays that Crahan wrote about wine and food, and is perhaps the most attractively produced. A series of brief chapters with titles like “Plimoth Colony,” “Whiskey Rebellion,” and “Impact of Rum” are illustrated by eight full-page facsimiles from early books and wood-engraved vignettes by Marion Kronfeld.
A slip that is found in many copies states that 150 copies were printed for the 1964 Zamorano/Roxburghe joint meeting. However, according to The Plantin Press of Saul & Lillian Marks: a bibliography, 200 copies were printed for the Zamorano Club and another 200 for public sale. Further, according to a note laid into one of the copies at the Huntington Library, ten copies were bound in full morocco by Crahan himself, and were presumably given as special gifts.
Zamorano choice: selections from the Zamorano Club’s Hoja Volante 1934-1966. Compiled, with a foreword, by W.W. Robinson. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1966.
Colophon: Three hundred copies of ZAMORANO CHOICE published by the Zamorano Club and printed as a joint venture by Grant Dahlstrom at the Castle Press, Ward Ritchie at the Ward Ritchie Press, Saul Marks at the Plantin Press, Richard Hoffman at California State College at Los Angeles, and bound at the Silverlake Bindery, September, 1966.
The Club’s newsletter, Hoja Volante, was proposed by member Will Clary, christened by Henry R. Wagner, and first printed by Bruce McCallister. The lively and literate publication appeared at irregular intervals from 1934 to 1938, went into hiatus during the war years, and reappeared as a quarterly in 1947. This history, and more, is rehearsed by W.W. Robinson in his foreword, where he states that “Selections for this book were made on the basis of variety, quality, and the potentials of space.” Many names familiar to students of the Southern California book world appear among the 28 authors, including— besides Clary and Wagner—W. Irving Way, Ward Ritchie, Lawrence Clark Powell, Carey Bliss, and Marcus Crahan.
Following a model set in 1961 with A bookman’s view of Los AngelesZamorano choice was divided into thematic sections and the printing shared by four member-printers, with Dahlstrom responsible for “Speaking of printing and printers”; Ritchie, “… and of Books and Bookmen”; Marks, “Along with the Enjoyment of Wine”; and Hoffman, “And of Certain Special Occasions.”
W.W. Robinson: a biography and a bibliography. By Jimmie Hicks. Foreword by Lawrence Clark Powell. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1970.
Colophon: 825 copies of this book have been printed by The Ward Ritchie Press, including the 200 specially printed for distribution to the members of the Zamorano Club and the Roxburghe Club on the occasion of their joint meeting in Los Angeles on September 26-27, 1970.
Along with Henry Wagner and Lawrence Clark Powell, William Wilcox Robinson (1891-1972) was one of the Zamorano Club’s most prolific authors. The bibliography of his works runs to 48 pages and runs the gamut from local history to book reviews to poetry and children’s literature, with a particular emphasis on the history of Los Angeles. This specialty grew out of his lifelong employment as a professional property title researcher for the Title Guarantee and Trust Company, which gave him a deep knowledge of local archives and culminated in his most significant publications, Land in California (1948) and Maps of Los Angeles (1966).
The bibliography is prefaced by a biographical sketch, primarily based on conversations with Robinson himself. WorldCat records indicate that there were four issues, with the largest number bearing the imprint of the Ward Ritchie Press. In addition to the special Zamorano copies mentioned in the colophon, two smaller groups of copies carry the imprints of the Southwest Museum and the Title Insurance and Trust Company.
The letters of Alfred Robinson to the De la Guerra family of Santa Barbara, 1834-1873. Translated and annotated by Maynard Geiger, O.F.M. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club.
Colophon: 200 copies were designed by Robert A. Weinstein at The Ward Ritchie Press and printed on Ivory Linweave Text paper in Waverley and Perpetua types for the tenth joint Roxburghe-Zamorano Club meeting in San Francisco, September 9-10, 1972. This edition includes a facsimile bound in of an original 4 page letter of Alfred Robinson.
One goal of the Zamorano Club has been to make available in limited editions previously unpublished documents relating to early California history. Alfred Robinson’s letters to his adopted family form part of the De la Guerra archive at the Santa Barbara Mission, where Zamorano member Maynard Geiger was archivist for almost forty years. Robinson (1806-1895) was an American businessman who married into the important De la Guerra family and is principally known for his Life in California (1846), the first book in English on California written by a resident. Robinson’s business letters were published in the California Historical Society Quarterly. This small collection of personal letters, addressed by Robinson to members of his wife’s family and dating from 1834 to 1873, round out our picture of the life and times of this early immigrant.
An additional 300 copies were printed for public sale, and may be identified by a variant colophon and the absence of a four-page facsimile of letters in Robinson’s hand.
A copybook from the hand of Agustin V. Zamorano. George L. Harding. Roby Wentz. Ray Nash. Agustin V. Zamorano. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1974.
Colophon: 250 copies printed by Ward Ritchie.
The writing manual reproduced in facsimile was apparently created by Zamorano sometime between 1838 and 1840 for the use of his friend Don Ignacio Coronel, who presided over the first genuine school in Los Angeles. Coronel’s books and papers eventually passed to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and from there to the Los Angeles County Museum. It was a member of the Museum staff who drew Harding’s attention to the copybook in 1953. In his introduction to this facsimile edition Harding gives these details of how the publication of the copybook finally came about, 21 years later, and under the auspices of the Zamorano Club. Zamorano member Roby Wentz contributed a brief biographical sketch of Coronel, and Ray Nash, professor of graphic arts at Dartmouth College, provided an essay on Zamorano’s calligraphic style. These essays are followed by the seven pages of the facsimile.
The first school book printed in California with an exact facsimile reproduction of the unique copy in the Huntington Library. With an introduction by Carey S. Bliss. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1976.
Colophon: 200 copies printed for the members of the Roxburghe Club by their friends of the Zamorano Club on the occasion of their meeting in September 1976 in San Francisco. Printed by Richard J. Hoffman and John Urabec at California State University, Los Angeles, on their all-rag hand made paper.
Two years after the publication of the Copybook the Club produced another Zamorano-related publication, in this case an attractive facsimile of a small volume printed at his press. In 1976 the Huntington’s copy of Tablas para los niños que empiezan a contar was the only one known to scholars; since then another copy (lacking the title page and final two leaves) has been added to the Bancroft Library’s collections and yet another was purchased by the A.K. Smiley Library in 2002. In his introduction Carey Bliss used typographical evidence to establish the volume’s priority as the first California schoolbook, and reviews the provenance of the Huntington’s copy. An English translation follows, and the tiny facsimile itself is tucked into a pocket inside the front cover.
Another facsimile of Tablas para los niños was created in 1991, printed and distributed as a single sheet, and designed to be folded and assembled as a project for children.
The Zamorano Club: the first half century, 1928-1978. By George E. Fullerton, Carey S. Bliss, Tyrus G. Harmsen, Edwin H. Carpenter. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1978.
Colophon: 200 copies printed by Richard J. Hoffman, Van Nuys, California. Bound by Bela Blau, Los Angeles.
This volume, published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Club, is an essential reference for anyone interested in Zamorano history. At its core is a list of keepsakes and other publications produced by the Club and its members. This list, which is admirably accurate and complete, was the long-term project of George Fullerton (1898-1977), who unfortunately did not live to see its appearance in print. Also valuable is Tyrus Harmsen’s history of the Club from the year of its founding to 1978. This was Harmsen’s second overview of Zamorano history; the first appeared in 1961’s A bookman’s view of Los Angeles.
The 1978 volume also contains a complete list of Zamorano members, arranged chronologically, an introduction by George Fullerton, and a prefatory note by Doyce B. Nunis, Jr.
California’s pictorial letter sheets, 1849-1869.
Colophon: Two hundred copies of this offering have been printed by The Castle Press for the Zamorano Club for distribution to members of the Zamorano Club and the Roxburghe Club on the occasion of their joint meeting in San Francisco, September 13-14, 1980.
This attractive portfolio is based on the collection of Zamorano member Henry Clifford (1910-1994), best known as the second person ever to acquire every title in the Zamorano 80. Clifford’s collecting interests centered on Western Americana and ranged from postal ephemera to Indian artifacts to guns, as well as printed books. In the brief introductory pamphlet he reviews the literature of the field, and then suggests a project to publish facsimile reproductions of all known letter sheets, of which he estimates there are between 350 and 400. Thirty facsimiles are tucked into the portfolio, twenty single and ten double.
The pictorial letter sheet—its history and significance—receives a much more thorough treatment in Zamorano member Gary Kurutz’ introduction to the catalogue for the 1994 sale of Clifford’s collection. Entitled “Images of El Dorado: The California Pictorial Letter Sheet”, his essay traces the development of this peculiarly Californian phenomenon, pointing out the surprising fact that most surviving examples show no signs of use. The 1994 catalogue is the most recent substantial contribution to the literature of the California letter sheet, and Clifford’s dream of a comprehensive facsimile edition remains a desideratum.
Agustin V. Zamorano, architect. Norman Neuerburg. Los Angeles, California: The Zamorano Club, 1988.
Colophon: Printed at the Bellerophon Press, Santa Barbara, September, 1988.
“A pale blue folder, the color of old-fashioned sugar paper, in the Bancroft Library contains a simply bound group of documents and drawings relating to the design and construction of a civic building in Mexican Monterey. … The lengthiest of the documents and four of the five drawings are by the hand of Agustin V. Zamorano.” Thus begins Norman Neuerburg’s thorough and scholarly assessment of a group of Zamorano source materials that were unknown to George Harding at the time he wrote his biography. In 1833-34, while serving as secretary to Governor José Figueroa, Zamorano was asked to revise existing plans for a territorial capitol. The resulting drawings are the “earliest professionally drawn building plans surviving from California” and one of them is “the earliest design for an interior.” In this 21-page pamphlet the drawings are reproduced, along with transcriptions and translations of related documents. The commentary by architectural historian Neuerburg explicates these materials and sets them in context. With the publication of this pamphlet the Zamorano Club added another chapter to its ongoing celebration of the life and achievements of its namesake.
The Zamorano Club programs, 1928-1991. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1992.
Colophon: Published in a limited edition of 200 copies on the occasion of the 21st Joint Meeting of the Roxburghe and Zamorano Clubs in San Francisco, September 19 and 20, 1992. Designed and set by Old Mill Graphics, South Pasadena; printed by the House of Printing, Pasadena; bound by Kater-Crafts Bookbinders, Pico Rivera. Cover designed by Jean Tolford, using fleurons executed by the late Richard Hoffman. Cover printed by Regis Graden. Publication coordinated by Hugh C. Tolford.
1978 saw the publication of a list of Zamorano publications that had appeared up to that time. In 1992, the Club archive was once again mined to produce a complete list of programs presented before the Club, from the founding meeting on January 25, 1928 to the final meeting of 1991. In his foreword, Monsignor Francis Weber calculates that a total of 624 persons had over the years spoken at 522 meetings, and identifies the most frequent speakers. This volume is illustrated with reproductions of meeting announcements, traditionally printed in letterpress and often collected for the sake of their attractive designs. An historical overview of the Club by Doyce B. Nunis, Jr., and a complete list of members round out The Zamorano Club programs, which contains much material of interest to Club members and others.
Zamorano choice II: selections from the Zamorano Club’s Hoja Volante 1967-1993. Compiled with a foreword by Francis J. Weber. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 1996.
Colophon: Two hundred fifty copies of Zamorano Choice II published by the Zamorano Club. Designed and printed by Regis Graden at Nut Quad Press. Bound at Roswell Bookbinding. Type throughout is Janson. The paper is Sundance Felt natural text.
Designed and bound as a companion to 1966’s Zamorano Choice, the present volume contains articles by 23 authors, arranged in chronological order. In general, the content is even more substantial than that of the earlier volume. Some notable pieces are “Errant Scribblers or Accurate Scribes” (Thomas F. Andrews), “Small Renaissance” (Jacob Zeitlin), and “The Editions of Palou’s Relación histórica” (Francis J. Weber). There are reflections on the Club’s own history, and a number of memoirs of members, including those of Lawrence Longo on K. Garth Huston, Ward Ritchie on Henry Wagner, and Glen Dawson on Ernest Dawson.
Zamorano Club biographies and memorial tributes, 1956-1997. Compiled with a foreword by Msgr. Francis J. Weber. The Zamorano Club of Los Angeles, 1998.
Colophon: The Zamorano Club Biographies and Memorial Tributes 1956-1997 was composed in Caslon Book with Flat Brush for display. It was designed and printed letterpress in an edition of 250 copies by Regis Graden at Nut Quad Press. The paper used is Sundance Felt Natural Text and was bound by Mariana Blau.
In his foreword, Monsignor Weber points out that the publication of Zamorano Club biographies was prompted by the enthusiastic reception accorded the appearance of Zamorano choice II two years earlier. Like that earlier volume, this is a collection of articles culled from the pages of Hoja Volante, which has traditionally included tributes to deceased members, outlining not only their achievements as collectors but often also their professional and personal accomplishments. The seventy entries are on “prominent members who have added luster to the Club in the past years”, and together comprise an invaluable resource for those studying not only the history of bibliophily but also the cultural life of 20th-century Los Angeles.
The founding documents of Los Angeles: a bilingual edition. Edited with an introduction by Doyce B. Nunis, Jr. Los Angeles: Historical Society of Southern California and the Zamorano Club of Los Angeles, 2004.
Colophon [quoted in part]: Designed by Dana Church Cordrey, the book was manufactured under his supervision at Dual Graphics, Inc., Brea, California. The binding is by Roswell Bookbinding, Phoenix, Arizona.
Founding documents is an ambitious book with a complicated history—too complicated to repeat here in detail, but painstakingly rehearsed in Doyce Nunis’s introduction. The basis of the book is 1931’s The founding documents of Los Angeles (Annual publications of the Historical Society of Southern California, Volume XV, part I), which was published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the city as a pueblo. Under the auspices of the Historical Society’s Publications Committee, which included several Zamorano members, relevant documents were identified, copies obtained, transcriptions and translations prepared, all under the editorship of Marion Parks. For the 2004 volume, certain outdated sections were omitted, the remaining documents rearranged, and the translations corrected and augmented. A new prologue was supplied by Harry Kelsey. The resulting text, published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Zamorano Club and the 120th anniversary of the Historical Society, appeared in two issues, 250 copies being printed for the former and 1,600 for the latter. A number of local foundations contributed financial support, and the Historical Society placed copies, free of charge, in the schools and libraries of Los Angeles County.
Out of the vault: Zamorano, Harding, & Wagner. A talk presented by Gary F. Kurutz on December 4, 2007. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 2008.
Colophon: 200 copies of this booklet have been designed and printed letterpress at the shop of Patrick Reagh for members of the Zamorano Club. 20 August, 2008.
In 2008 the Zamorano Club celebrated its eightieth birthday—a significant number in Club tradition, given the fame and significance of the Zamorano 80. Member Gary Kurutz, an authority on Californiana, kicked off the anniversary year with his well-received lecture on the Club’s namesake, Agustín Zamorano, and the making of George Harding’s classic biography, published by the Zamorano Club in 1934. The talk began with an overview of Zamorano’s life and achievements, and moved on to present new material on the genesis and creation of Harding’s great work, which began with his 1932 lecture before his fellow Zamoranans and, with the encouragement and assistance of Henry Wagner, became the full-scale work that appeared two years later under the Zamorano imprint. At the close of the evening, it was clear to all members present that the evening’s fine presentation merited preservation in print, resulting in this attractive pamphlet.
Zamorano Select. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club, 2010.
Colophon [quoted in part]: Zamorano Select was designed and produced in an edition of 350 copies by Peter Rutledge Koch with the assistance of Jonathan Gerken.
A companion volume to The Zamorano 80 (1945), this collection of bibliographical essays covers 120 significant books in California history, ranging in date from On the Ambitious Projects of Russia in Regard to North West America (1830) to The California Gold Rush (1997). The authors are Larry E. Burgess, William G. Donohoo, Alan Jutzi, and Gordon J. Van De Water, and the introduction is by Gary Kurutz.