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Smith Libraries Exhibits

Hester R. Hoffman: The Bookshop's Graphic Designer

Hester R. Hoffman (Class of 1917) in her white Ivy Day dress on the Smith College campus, 1917

Hester Hoffman on Ivy Day (the day before graduation) at Smith College, 1917

Hester R. Hoffman (Class of 1917), at Smith College for her 30th reunion, 1947

Hester Hoffman at her 30th reunion at Smith College, 1947

 

  

Hester Hoffman joined the Hampshire Bookshop staff soon after her graduation from Smith College in 1917 and worked there until 1945. She was treasurer and assistant manager and also headed the gift department starting in 1927.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hampshire Bookshop's Smith College Reunion Notes booklet, 1922 (front cover)

Hampshire Bookshop's Smith College Reunion Notes booklet, 1922. Hampshire Bookshop logo with ship by Hester R. Hoffman

Hampshire Bookshop's Smith College Reunion card, with artwork by Hester R. Hoffman, Smith College class of 1917

Hampshire Bookshop's Smith College Reunion card 

Hampshire Bookshop Christmas card

Hampshire Bookshop Christmas card

Hampshire Bookshop bookseller's ticket

Hampshire Bookshop bookseller's ticket. Design by Hester R. Hoffman.

Hoffman was a talented artist and created many of the designs and illustrations for Bookshop publications and advertisements, including the iconic Hampshire Bookshop logo with a ship and the Bookshop’s motto (from Emily Dickinson): There is no frigate like a book. This is shown here on a 1922 Smith College reunion booklet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her artwork is also featured on a Smith College reunion card and a Bookshop holiday card.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

The small bookseller’s tickets would have been affixed inside each book sold at the Bookshop.

 

Front of dust jacket for Hester Hoffman, editor, Bookman's Manual, 1948

Front of dust jacket for Hester Hoffman, editor, Bookman's Manual, 1948

Back and flap of dust jacket for Hester Hoffman, editor, Bookman's Manual, 1948

Back and flap of dust jacket for Hester Hoffman, editor, Bookman's Manual, 1948

Sample page in Hester Hoffman, editor, Bookman's Manual, 1948

Sample pages in Hester Hoffman, editor, Bookman's Manual, 1948

From 1945 to 1964, after she left the Bookshop, Hoffman’s major work was editing multiple editions of Bookman’s Manual, now called The Reader’s Adviser. This was a complete guide to modern and classical literature in print, used by libraries and bookstores for reference and to inform purchases. Hoffman died in 1965.

Hester R. Hoffman: The Bookshop's Graphic Designer