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Peter Hanff, deputy director, Bancroft Library

Peter Hanff

Peter Hanff is deputy director of the Bancroft Library and an authority on rare books and special collections. He also is the former president of the International Wizard of Oz Club, an endowed, non-profit corporation that is considered one of the world's definitive sources of Oz-related material.

Hanff earned his undergraduate degree in English at UC Santa Barbara, and completed his master's degree in the Graduate School of Library Service at UCLA. He worked in the Library of Congress's Information Systems Office shortly after its creation and accepted a fellowship at Indiana University's Lilly Library, where he was further trained as a rare book and special collections librarian.

His passion for books has led him to be an active member of the Roxburghe Club and The Book Club of California in San Francisco, and of the Grolier Club in New York City. He authored a leaf book on the publishing history of The Wizard of Oz, a limited edition issued by the Book Club.

"Its an archetypal quest story," said Hanff of the continuing appeal of The Wizard of Oz. "Each character - Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion - has the ability to accomplish something. But they don't recognize their own talents. Once they connect with these abilities, great things happen. That innocence and optimism is something all of us can relate to."

Posts by Peter Hanff

10-9-09Sendak's The Wild ThingWhere the Wild Things Are