Scope and Content
Title: John Martin Collection of Charles Bukowski Periodicals
Dates (inclusive): 1940-2003
Bulk dates: 1956-1979
Collection Number: 602815
Martin, John, 1930-
740 items in 54 boxes (Boxes 1-45 are drop-leaf document boxes, and Boxes 46-54 are flat-top boxes)
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens:
Rare Books Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Abstract: This collection contains periodicals and monographs with content written by or about California poet, novelist, and short-story
writer Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) that were collected by
Bukowski's long-time publisher and Black Sparrow Press founder, John Martin (born 1930). The collection contains 703 items
from 255 periodicals and 37 monographs dating 1940 to 2003, with the bulk of items spanning from
1956 to 1979, that include poems, short stories, interviews, introductions, and excerpts by Bukowski, as well as some additional
periodicals associated with Bukowski.
Finding aid last updated on November 20, 2013.
The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please visit the Huntington's website:
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office
of the Library Director.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to
include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information
[Item title, Call number]. John Martin Collection of Charles Bukowski Periodicals, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
This collection was donated in 2007 by Linda Lee Bukowski, who purchased the material from John Martin, the original collector.
Processing involved a collection survey, rehousing of the materials in archival containers, and the creation of this finding
Biographical Note of Charles Bukowski
Poet, novelist, and short-story writer Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was known for his crude and evocative poetry and prose
that often described the hard luck, boozing, and womanizing underbelly of
life in Los Angeles, California, in the second half of the 20th century.
Charles Henry “Hank” Bukowski was born August 16, 1920, in Andernach, Germany, and immigrated with his family to Los Angeles
in 1923. His first published short story, “Aftermath of a Lengthy
Rejection Slip,” appeared in
Story magazine in 1941, but he only published sporadically in his early years and did not achieve success until later in life.
In the early 1950s, Bukowski began
working for the United States Postal Services and later funneled his experiences into his first novel,
Post Office (published by Black Sparrow Press in 1971). Bukowski began to write full-time in
1969 when he established a life-long relationship with Black Sparrow Press and publisher John Martin. Often disparaged by
critics, Bukowski’s writing has achieved a large cult following in the United States, while his popular and critical acclaim
is significantly larger in Europe, especially
Bukowski married twice, first briefly to Barbara Frye in 1957 and to Linda Lee Beighle from 1985 until his death. He had one
daughter, Marina who was born in 1964, with his then girlfriend
Frances Smith, another poet who later took the name FrancEYE. Bukowski died on March 9, 1994.
Biographical Note of John Martin
California publisher and editor John K. Martin (born 1930) founded Black Sparrow Press in Los Angeles, California, in 1966.
In 1969, Martin and Black Sparrow Press became the life-long publisher of the work of Charles Bukowski.
Martin sold Black Sparrow Press in 2002.
Related materials in the Huntington Library include:
Scope and Content
This collection contains periodicals and monographs with content written by or about poet, novelist, and short-story writer
Charles Bukowski that were collected by Bukowski's long-time publisher and
Black Sparrow Press founder, John Martin. The collection contains 703 items from 255 periodicals and 37 monographs dating
1940 to 2003, with the bulk of items spanning from 1956 to 1979, that include
poems, short stories, interviews, introductions, and excerpts by Bukowski, as well as some additional periodicals associated
The earliest items in the collection—a January 19, 1940, issue of the
Los Angeles Collegian, Bukowski's college newspaper, and the first issues of
The Naked Ear dating
from 1956—do not contain writings by Bukowski. Among the earliest items with contributions by Bukowski is the September-October
1957 issue of
Items consist primarily of literary periodicals (including "little magazines" or 'zines), magazines, and alternative/underground
newspapers, as well as some chapbooks and anthologies. The collection features a complete run of the ten issues
of the periodical
Nomad published between 1959 and 1962, as well as eighty-six issues of
Open City from the late 1960s and issues of the
Los Angeles Free Press
that together provide a near complete run of Bukowski's column "Notes of a Dirty Old Man."
Many of the items have penciled annotations including "C", "D", and "E" numbers that reference
A Bibliography of Charles Bukowski (Black Sparrow Press, 1969) by Sanford Dorbin, as well as "NID" notations indicating
items not in Dorbin's bibliography.
The collection forms a subset of the Charles Bukowski Printed Material Collection held in the Rare Books Department of the
Items are not arranged according to any one organizational schema, though some of the patterns in item placement reflect John
Martin's original assembly of the collection in thirty-seven boxes.
Martin's organization was roughly chronological, though at times overlapping, with additional boxes holding issues of the
Los Angeles Free Press and
Open City, and items not included in Sanford Dorbin's bibliography.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bukowski, Charles – Poetry.
Bukowski, Charles – Interviews.
Black Sparrow Press.
Authors, American – 20th century.
Authors, American – 20th century – Interviews.
Authors, American – 20th century – Periodicals.
Poets, American – 20th century.
Poets, American – 20th century – Interviews.
Poets, American – 20th century – Periodicals.
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
San Pedro (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Bukowski, Linda Lee, donor.