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Preliminary Guide to the Hobart O. Skofield Papers
Printers Mss 1  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content Notes
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Materials at UCSB

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hobart O. Skofield Papers
    Dates: ca. 1910s-1991
    Bulk Dates: 1930s-1970s
    Collection number: Printers Mss 1
    Collection Size: ca. 30 linear feet (26 cartons, 10 oversize boxes, and 2 open-reel audio tapes).
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    Abstract: Two series: personal/family materials re Hobart O. Skofield, his father Ray L. Skofield, and a large number of genealogical files; and a printers/presses series, with a large amount of material relating to Skofield's association with the Rudge printing firm, as well as long-term correspondence with other prominent printers and research/subject files on numerous mostly-American presses and printing interests.
    Physical location: Boxes 1-2, 27-36 (Annex 2); Boxes 3-26 (SRLF); Audiovisual (Annex 2).
    Languages: English

    Access Restrictions

    None. Collection is stored off-site; advance notice required for retrieval.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Hobart O. Skofield Papers. Printers Mss 1. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Multiple gifts from Hobart Skofield, ca. 1948-1991.


    Hobart O. Skofield (known as Sko):
    1902: Born, New York City.
    1920: graduated from Choate School (boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut).
    1924: graduated from Amherst College (Amherst, Massachusetts).
    ca. 1924-1926: father got him a job Banker's Trust (16 Wall Street, New York), but realized he didn't want to be a banker and got interested, instead, in fine printing.
    1926-1931: Apprentice compositor at the Printing House of William Edwin Rudge; left because of Depression and economizing measures in the firm. Became interested in history of the book and printing during this time.
    1931: Moved to Santa Barbara, joining family [father Ray L. Skofield, stepmother, and nurse companion]. Family returned to New York in fall 1931; HOS stayed on and maintained the family ranch on/by Las Canoas Road.
    1937: formed partnership with A. Edwin Fisher, who had a small printing shop on Anacapa St. (in SB), but left it a few months later. Went back to work on the ranch.
    Sept. 1940: Enlisted in local National Guard, the 144th Field Artilllery.
    Feb. 1941: Ordered to active duty; sent to Fort Lewis, Washington; there three-four years, training recruits.
    1944-1945: sent to Europe, landed at Normandy, through Germany and Austria; discharged.
    1945: Returned to Santa Barbara; worked at Schauer's printing studio (SB).
    1946: Father asked HOS to quit Shauer's job and help with developing the ranch (more an acreage than working ranch).
    1948: Donated 500 books from his personal collection, which formed the core of what came to be known as the Hobart O. Skofield Printers Collection. This constituted the second special collection that the library had, the first being the William Wyles Collection.
    Mid-1960s: Began UCSB consultantship.
    1976: The Printers Collection had grown to more than 10,000 volumes.
    Feb. 5, 1991: Died, Santa Barbara, California.

    Scope and Content Notes


    The collection contains the following series:
    • Personal/Family - Biographical material re Hobart O. Skofield and his father Ray L. Skofield; b/w photographs and slides, many relating to HOS in WWII; and a large number of Skofield family genealogical files. Boxes 1-17.
    • Printers/Presses - Alphabetical files, bibliographical, and correspondence files with a large amount of material relating to Hobart O. Skofield's association with the Rudge printing firm and its alumni, as well numerous other mostly-American presses and printers. Boxes 18-26.
    • Oversize - mainly maps and other material relating to the Skofield property; also some personal, genealogical, and a 1958 framed commendation to the Rancheros Vistadores, from the California State Assembly. Boxes 27-36.
    • Audiovisual - Two audiotapes dealing with Sko's life, his printing and collecting interests.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Skofield, Hobart O.
    Small presses--United States.
    William Edwin Rudge (Firm)

    Related Materials at UCSB

    Skofield [Hobart] Oral History, 1982. Recollections of Skofield, re his years as an apprentice with the Printing House of William Edwin Rudge, experiences with the Rancheros Vistadores, and development of what is now the Skofield Printers Collection. (OH 6). Edited version: Hobart Skofield with David E. Russell, Reminiscences of a Printer's Devil (Santa Barbara: Davidson Library Oral History Program, 1982), 90 pages.
    Skofield [Hobart O.] Portfolio, ca. 1926-1931. Two volumes, containing approximately 217 items representing printing specimens collected by Hobart O. Skofield. Call Number: Special Coll., Printers Collection Z232.S5 A4 1926. Tape # AS13602/R7, in container list, includes information about the portfolio.
    Skofield [Hobart O.] Printers Collection. Named after Hobart O. Skofield, who also donated several thousand printed items (most cataloged separately) and who established an endowment to support the collection, currently there are more than 30,000 volumes, with an emphasis on the book arts, bookplates, California presses (such as Arion, Black Sparrow, Book Club of California, Grabhorn, Flying Fish, Paul Elder, and Yolla Bolly presses), fine printing, history of the book, writing and printing, miniature books, papermaking, Santa Barbara presses (including Capra Press, Mary Heebner's Simplemente Maria Press and Harry and Sandra Reese's Turkey Press), small and private presses (such as Doves, Gehenna, Granary, Hogarth, Janus, Kelmscott, Nonesuch, Pennyroyal, Perishable, and Roycroft presses), and typography. Also, related manuscript collections relating to Hobart O. Skofield, Mudborn Press, John Henry Nash, Ninja Press (Carolee Campbell), Pear Tree Press, Bruce Rogers, Rowny Press, and Rudge Press.