I have been interested in Professor Hoffmann for many years now. My research “resources,” though, are really quite minimal, so it should never really come as a surprise to me when I run across something significant that is new (to me)–but it always does. I guess I will have to start coming to terms with the concept that there is a ton of information “out there” regarding Professor Hoffmann (much of it reasonably accessible) that I have no clue about.
I visited The Magic Circle headquarters on a Tuesday night back in 1973. I was briefly shown the Professor Hoffmann library, which at that time was basically inaccessible, behind glass. At that time, they happened to have a Hoffmann display on exhibit there, with things like letters and programs and books, as I recall. (I think somewhere I have notes about what was exhibited.) I also know that J.B. Findlay visited The Magic Circle not too long before his death, with the precise purpose of gathering information for our book, Professor Hoffmann: A Study. (At the time of his visit, it was our understanding that The Magic Circle was going to publish the book — which did not happen. I ended up publishing it myself.)
Anyway, based on the foregoing, perhaps it is excusable that I more or less assumed a certain scope to The Magic Circle’s collection of Hoffman material — even though my assumptions turned out to be pretty incorrect.
I think that my first clue that The Magic Circle owned a lot of material of which I was unaware, was when Michael Albright shared with me some of his findings based on research on Hoffmann which he had conducted at The Magic Circle.
I do not know why the scope of The Magic Circle’s Hoffmann holdings should be such a mystery (to me, anyway). Maybe the collection has been described in detail somewhere, but plainly I am finding out about it little by little.
All right, then, with that introduction, I think I am ready to prepare Part 2 of this little essay, where I will discuss the “THIS” referred to in the title of this post.