Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Carl Hertzog Archive of Correspondence. Dating from 1962 through 1981, this archive consists of over 250 letters between Hertzog and Dr. Robert Sparkman regarding Hertzog's publication of The Texas Surgical Society: The First Fifty Years (edited by Dr. Sparkman). Most letters are between Hertzog and Sparkman. Over fifty letters are Hertzog autograph letters signed; over thirty are Hertzog autograph letters signed; over 120 are carbon copies and copies of letters, many from Robert Sparkman to Hertzog; nearly forty are letters by various authors (some photocopies), including three Stanley Marcus typed letters signed. Many of the letters by Hertzog and his staff are on Texas Western College Press letterhead. Included are two photographs of Hertzog. This archive allows readers to look into the workings of one of America's most artistic book publishers as he orchestrates the publication of The First Fifty Years, bringing together all of the large and small details. The book was printed for private circulation and limited to 1,050 copies. This archive has been well cared for and is well organized.

    The bulk of the archive dates between 1962 and 1968 as Hertzog was teaching full time at UTEP. The archive begins with a carbon copy of a typed letter from Dr. Sparkman to Hertzog explaining the Texas Surgical Society's new project, "the preparation of a fifty year history in book form to commemorate [the fiftieth anniversary of the society]." Hertzog's reply, a TLS dated July 18, 1962, explains to Sparkman that he has "been out of the business for ten years . . . but occasionally I contract to produce a book." The illustrated book was to "probably" contain 150-200 pages, and Sparkman expected 750-1000 copies. Another Hertzog TLS dated June 21, 1963, stated to Sparkman that the book could "be done in a first class manner for approximately $4000. . . . This contemplates quality paper and binding with considerable care in spacing and fitting pages." The two continued to send numerous letters (included in this collection) discussing the details of the production, such as text revisions, paper quality, photographs, compensation, publicity, book-dealer discounts, and frank discussions on book pricing. The archive also contains many letters written after the book was published and went on sale. In those letters, Hertzog worries and apologizes for earlier pricing suggestions he had made, as well as for books he had inadvertently lost. One Sparkman carbon copy asks the illustrator Tom Lea to produce a painting as an illustration for the book. The finished project resulted in The Texas Surgical Society: The First Fifty Years, edited by Robert Sparkman, designed and printed by Carl Hertzog with an illustration by Tom Lea.

    The letters between Hertzog and Sparkman began with a professional tone but became more intimate over time. For example, in one letter, Hertzog discusses the ongoing problems that his son, Carl Jr., had with depression. In that letter, Hertzog narrates how he almost missed a speaking engagement at Baylor University to "hunt in several bars and then take the poor guy to hospital. . . . Please excuse this crying - Vivian would shoot me if she knew I told you." Another examples is Hertzog's letter dated September 8, 1968, in which he writes a touching letter of appreciation to Sparkman, reviewing their completed project and stating that "nobody except you and I could have done the 'Fifty Years,' and perhaps nobody else appreciates it." Later letters deal with Sparkman's project in the 1980s, A Day in the Life of Lon Tinkle, and Hertzog's failing health. In these later letters, Hertzog also bemoans the rise of computerization in printing. Letters written and signed by others are also included, such as those signed by Stanley Marcus regarding the gift of a silver urn from the Texas Surgical Society to Hertzog (several photos of the urn are included). Letters are also included regarding Sparkman's efforts to help the Dallas Public Library complete its extensive collection of the works of Hertzog and illustrator Tom Lea.

    Hertzog also writes several missives about the Society's commission to Lea. Lea's finished painting for the book was entitled The First Recorded Surgical Operation in North America: Cabeza de Vaca, which depicted da Vaca performing the first surgical operation in Texas - the removal of an arrowhead from an Indian's chest. In his letter dated July 22, 1965, Hertzog discusses the painting - still in production at the time - with Sparkman (Lea unveiled the painting later in 1965).

    Many other letters, manuscripts, newspaper articles, and documents are also included. Robert Sparkman, an M.D. at the Baylor University Medical Center, served as president of the Texas Surgical Society in 1965. He played a major role in building the Dallas Public Library's collection of Carl Hertzog imprints (Sparkman served on the Library's advisory board). He was the editor of The Texas Surgical Society: The First Fifty Years. From the papers of Lee Milazzo.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2015
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 765

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Mar 14, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 February 19 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search