Printer at the Pass

By on March 23, 2012

Carl Hertzog, a printer, book designer, and typographer, founded Texas Western Press in 1952.  Even when Texas Western became the University of Texas at El Paso, the press retained its name because of the distinguished reputation that it had built.

Carl Hertzog’s contributions to UTEP are commemorated by the Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design, awarded every two years.  This year, the award will go to Robert Tauber for the book he designed, Such Sensations, as part of the Hertzog Day celebration on March 25. The Hertzog lecture will be by Marcia Daudistel who will give a talk on El Paso writers—many of whom relied on Carl Hertzog to publish their work.  The event will be at the El Paso Natural Gas Center from 2:00 – 4:00 on Sunday afternoon.

Born in France on February 8, 1902, Carl Hertzog was raised in the U.S. after the death of his father.  He later credited his stepfather’s gift of a toy printing set for his early interest in printing.  He came to El Paso in the early 1920s to work for McMath Printing and stayed to build a career.  His papers and much of his personal book collection are housed at the UTEP Library.  A finding aid to his papers is available at http://libraryweb.utep.edu/special/finding_aids/MS295_Hertzog.pdf .

Claudia Rivers is the head of the C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department of the UTEP Library. She earned both her BA and MLIS degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, and worked at the Benson Latin American Collection there before coming to El Paso in 1992. Her interests include the history of the Southwest and Mexico, ancient Meso-America, and detective fiction.