Peter Hanff is one of those Oz enthusiasts who encountered the popular series at a very young age. So enthusiastic was he that in the first grade he quickly learned to read well enough to be able to handle the Oz books on his own.
Peter’s interest in the Oz books continued into adulthood. In 1964 his Baum and Oz collection won first prize in the first Edwin Corle Memorial Book Collection Contest at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His parents helped celebrate the award by offering their home in the San Fernando Valley as the site of the very first Winkie Convention. The Winkie Convention became an annual tradition on the West Coast, expanding to a weekend-long schedule in 1971.
Peter has served at two different times as president of the Oz Club, and has been a Club director for many years. He also serves as director of the Winkie Convention. With Douglas Greene, he published Bibliographia Oziana, the definitive reference work used to identify different editions of the Oz books.
In his professional life Peter is deputy director of the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, proving that once in a while someone can develop a vocation from an avocation.