Dorothy Sloan -- Books
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Auction 12: The Zamorano 80


The genesis of this catalogue involved contributions of many persons far too numerous to mention.

First, I thank Daniel G. Volkmann Jr. and his mother Beatrice Simpson Volkmann for possessing the collecting instincts that enabled them over time to assemble this collection of the first editions of The Zamorano 80. Mr. Volkmann should also be thanked for willingly sharing his historical bounty with collectors and institutions at this public auction and allowing others to experience the joy of acquiring some of the rare titles and exceptional copies. Our firm thanks Mr. Volkmann for selecting Dorothy Sloan–Rare Books to handle this collection.

Since The Zamorano 80 was created almost sixty years ago, a great deal has been spoken and written about those eighty books. There finally comes a point when one wonders what is possibly left to say about The Zamorano 80. Thus, it seemed important to bring fresh insights to these books. Despite many professional demands on his time, Gary F. Kurutz graciously agreed to write new historical essays for this catalogue. When the amount of work proved too demanding for the time frame, Dr. W. Michael Mathes came on board to assist. Without a doubt, Gary’s and Mike’s robust notes are the best thing about this catalogue, and I am eternally in their debt for the depth that their essays bring. Furthermore, it has been one of the most pleasant and enlightening experiences of my professional life to work with two such knowledgeable and inspiring gentlemen. In the course of communication with Mike and Gary, I learned about Mike’s article and bibliography on the “Historiography of the Californias: Imprints of the Colonial Period, 1522-1821,” which was published in the California State Library Foundation Bulletin (No. 72, Winter/Spring 2002, pp. 16-25). Reprinted at the end of this catalogue is Mike’s excellent bibliography, which will prove useful to collectors and institutions interested in California history. An expanded publication of this bibliography would be a worthwhile endeavor. One last word on dynamic author and thorough bibliographer Gary F. Kurutz—if it were possible to travel back through time to the negotiations involved in the delightfully torturous selection process for The Zamorano 80, there is no doubt that if Gary’s massive The California Gold Rush: A Descriptive Bibliography had existed in 1945, his bibliography would have been one of the contestants for which there would be no dissenting votes.

The large number of copies of The Zamorano 80 books in the Volkmann collection containing Warren R. Howell’s lightly penciled cost code and notes on the rear endpapers are a poignant reminder of a great bookman who was an extraordinary, energetic, and inimitable force in the antiquarian book world. Thanks and remembrance are in order from all of us who have been touched by Warren’s passion for books and anyone who obtained books, knowledge, and experience from him. Warren may not have had all eighty of The Zamorano Eighty in his possession simultaneously, but all eighty of the selections passed through his hands—some several times. Warren greatly assisted Henry H. Clifford and Daniel G. Volkmann Jr. in building their collections of The Zamorano 80.

Very special thanks go to the indefatigable, unfailingly patient, and understanding Jasmine Star, who supervised catalogue preparation and edited the work and research of many. She was ably assisted by Anthony Sloan, Jason Star, and Peter L. Oliver. Special thanks to Eric Beggs of the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin for his expert photographic eye and gentle handling of the books, and Bradley Hutchinson of Digital Letterpress for his usual brilliant design and careful supervision of printing. Thanks for help with research and other assistance of various sorts go to Michael D. Heaston (Michael D. Heaston, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Austin, Texas), William Reese and Terry Halliday (William Reese Company, New Haven, Connecticut), Alan Jutzi (Huntington Library, San Marino, California), Daniel Woodward (Princeton, New Jersey), Ron Tyler (Director, Texas State Historical Association, Austin, Texas), Jeffrey Thomas (Jeffrey Thomas, Fine & Rare Books, San Francisco, California), Jennifer Larson and Jeffrey H. Marks (Jeffrey H. Marks, Rare Books, Rochester, New York), David W. Forbes (Honolulu, Hawaii), Anthony Powell (California Collectible Books, Martinez, California), Anne McCormick (Hordern House, Sydney, Australia), Gaston Renard (Ivanhoe, Victoria, Australia), Everett Wilkie (Americana Exchange:, and fellow Zamorano 80 enthusiast Gordon J. Van De Water (Diamond Bar, California), for whom no question was ever too insignificant or too great for serious consideration.

——Dorothy Sloan

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