Guide to the Jacob Zeitlin Collection

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5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the Jacob Zeitlin Collection 1930/1987

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Jacob Zeitlin Collection
Dates: 1930-1987
Identification: MS-0277
Creator: Zeitlin, Jake, 1902-
Physical Description: 0.83 linear ft
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Biographical Information:

Jacob Zeitlin , commonly referred to as "the venerable antiquarian bookseller," was best known for his bookshop on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Over the years, Zeitlin dealt manuscripts with Frieda, widow of D.H. Lawrence, written poetry endorsed by Carl Sandburg, and had his shops designed by Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright.) He began as a book peddler in 1925 with only a valise of books, then he moved into a small shop on "bookseller's row," and at the time of his death in September 1987, he had several shops and international acclaim as a dealer in rare books and art.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Personal Papers

Personal Name:

Zeitlin, Jake, 1902- -- Archives

Topical Term:

Antiquarian booksellers -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
Jake Zeitlin Books (Firm : Los Angeles, Calif.) -- History -- Sources

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Jacob Zeitlin Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Scope and Contents

The Jacob Zeitlin Collection includes publications and lecture material written by Zeitlin, newspaper articles about the bookseller and his bookshops, announcements of exhibits or events held in his honor, and catalogs of the books and art which he dealt over the years.

Box 1, Folder 1

Publications ca. 1930 - 50

Scope and Contents

Up and Down the Bookshelves: an Intimate Guide to Dawson's Book Shop. Los Angeles, California, by Tom Neal. No date, 16 page, illustrated booklet. Los Angeles: The Bookman Press. "A Whispered Song, " Anthology of Southern California Verse, (poem), ca. 1930
Box 1, Folder 2

Publications ca. 1950 - 60

Scope and Contents

"Rare California Books of 2050," California Librarian, (article, 2 copies), ca. September 1, 1950 More Whispers and Chants, (book of poetry), ca. 1952 Red Barn Almanac, volume 1, no.1, ca. June - July 1953 "Small Renaissance," Bibliographical Society of America, (lecture, 4 copies), ca. August 27, 1955 Souvenir of Toledo, (pamphlet, 2 copies) ca. 1956 What Kind of Business is This? (pamphlet), ca. 1959 "Thomas Salusbury Discovered," Isis volume 50, (article, 2 copies), ca. 1959
Box 1, Folder 3

Publications 1960 - 70

Scope and Contents

"Bookselling Among the Sciences," College and Research Libraries, (article, 2 copies), ca. November 1960 "Who Shall Silence All the Airs and Madrigals," Library Journal, (article, 2 copies), ca. June 1, 1965
Box 1, Folder 4

Publications 1970 - 80

Scope and Contents

"Eloge," (Herbert M. Evans), Isis, (article), ca. 1971 "Bern Dibner as Friend/Collector," Society of Bibliographiles, (lecture), ca. 1973 Letter to Dr. Guluck, ca. August 22, 1975 "Harold Percy Ullman," UCLA Faculty Center, (lecture), ca. October 17, 1976 "George Washington," (lecture), ca. 1976 Letter to people. ca. May 16, 1977 "What I Believe," This I Believe, (article), November 4, 1977 Letter to people. ca. September 3, 1978 "John Bruckman," (lecture), ca. March 22, 1979 Letter to Johnsons, ca. March 27, 1979 Letter to Johnsons, ca. September 17, 1979 Letter to Editor, Los Angeles Times, (article, 3 copies), ca. January 10, 1979
Box 1, Folder 5

Publications 1980

Scope and Contents

Letter to Johnsons, ca. January 11, 1980 Letter to Akio Saito, ca. February 23, 1981 Letter to Johnsons, ca. February 23, 1981 Letter from L. Kenney to David at Zeitlin Booksellers, ca. June 17, 1981 Letter to Helen May Johnson from Jake, ca. August 8, 1981 Letter to Jake from Helen May Johnson, ca. August 28, 1981 Letter to L. Kenney from Jake, ca. September 15, 1981 Letter to Jake from L. Kenney, ca. October 26, 1981 Letter to L. Kenney from Jake, ca. November 2, 1981 Letter to Jake from Lou, ca. February 19, 1982 Letter to L. Kenney from Jake, ca. March 1, 1982 Letter to Johnsons, ca. March 5, 1982 Letter to L. Kenney from Jake, ca. April 9, 1982 Letter to L. Kenney from Jake, ca. April 4, 1982 Letter to Johnsons, ca. September 3, 1982 "Imprint of Stanford," Libraries Association, (lecture), ca. October 1985 Letter to L. Kenney from Jake, ca. April 4, 1987 Letter to Jake from L. Kenney, ca. April 21, 1987 Letter to N. Joy from Joesphine Zeitlin, ca. November 9, 1987 "Bookseller and the Librarian," (article), n.d.
Box 1, Folder 6

Newspaper Articles ca. 1969 - 87

Scope and Contents

"Support your Local Bookstore," Los Angeles Times, ca. October 19, 1969 "Jake Zeitlin at 75-looking back," Los Angeles Times, ca. November 1978 "The Library's Donnybook," L.A. Times, ca. March 15, 1979 "In the Spirit of Kollwitz," December 9, 1979 "Judged by their Covers," San Diego Reader, ca. September 11, 1980 "Designer brought 'Fine Printing' to Area," L.A. Times, ca. September 29, 1980 "Biting his Mother's Tongue," L.A. Times, ca. January 18, 1981 "One Book that was Bound to Sell," L.A. Times, ca. October 6, 1981 "Zeitlin, Weston: Focusing on Film," L.A. Times, ca. June 6, 1982 "L.A. Arts and Letters from A to Zeitlin," San Diego Reader, (2 copies), ca. August 13, 1982 L.A. Times, (2 copies), ca. October 6, 1983 "Jake Zeitlin's Best Sellers Top Any List," L.A. Times, ca. December 16, 1984 "Rare Man's Rare Love for Even Rarer Printed Word," L.A. Times, ca. January 1985 "Jake Zaitlin: Bookseller at the Crossroads," L.A. Times, ca. January 31, 1987
Box 1, Folder 7


Scope and Contents

Red Barn, ca. June 20, 1956 Jake's 60th birthday, ca. November 4, 1962 Jake's 65th birthday, ca. November 5, 1967 Rudi Baumfeld's 70th birthday, January 1, 1974 Clark Memorial Library dinner, ca. September 28, 1974 Jake's 75th birthday, (friends of UCLA library), ca. 1 November 4, 1979 Lecture-Center for South California Studies in Visual Arts (2 copies), ca. April 2, 1979 Exhibition-Center for South California Studies in Visual Arts, ca. November 26, 1979 Lecture-Center for South California Studies in Visual Arts, ca. March 18, 1981 Lecture-Friends of the Kahn Jewish Community Library (3 copies), ca. November 6, 1982 "Summer Safari of the Mind," (invitation from Library Relations, University of San Francisco), ca. July 24, 1987 Memorial Service for Jacob Zeitlin, ca. September 13, 1987 "Christmas Plenty," (brochure), n.d.
Box 2, Folder 1

Catalogs ca. 1928 - 66; 1974 - 79

Scope and Contents

"Western Americana," cat no. 1 (2 copies), ca. 1928 "A Pleasant Pint of Seductive Spirits: A Catalogue of books," cat no. 6, n.d. "The King's Treasury of Pleasant Books & Precious Manuscripts...," cat no. 7, ca. May 13, 1932 "Our Two Decades," cat no. 14, ca. 1938 "The Great West: As Recorded in Books and Art," cat no. 213, ca. 1966 "A Splendid Gathering for Bibliophiles," cat no. 237, ca. 1974 "Zeitlin and Ver Brugge," cat no. 241, ca. 1976 "Our First Half Century," cat no. 246, ca. 1978 California State University Long Beach Exhibit, ca. 1979
Box 2, Folder 2

Catalogs ca. 1980

Scope and Contents

"Fore-edge Painting," cat no. 279, ca. 1984 Int Antiquarian Book Fair, ca. February 1985 Int Assoc of Bibliophiles, ca. September 1985 Int Antiquarian Book Fair, ca. February 1986 "Horological Disquisitions," cat no. 287, ca. 1986 "Travel on Land and Sea," ca. 1986 "Science," cat no. 295, ca. 1987 "A Summer Miscellany," cat no. 298, ca. 1987
Box 2, Folder 3


Box 2, Folder 4