Lester Cowan papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: Lester Cowan papers
Date (inclusive): 1923-1980s
Date (bulk): 1930s-1950s
Collection number: 207
Creator: Cowan, Lester
Extent: 72 linear feet of papers. 6.5 linear feet of photographs.
Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Languages: English

Important Information for Users of the Collection


Available by appointment only.

Publication rights

Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.

Preferred Citation

Lester Cowan papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Cowan, 1994


Lester Cowan was an American producer active in film from 1933 to 1953. He was employed by the Academy in 1928 and served as executive secretary between 1931 and 1933. He turned to film production in the mid- 1930s and produced films through his company, Lester Cowan Productions, in the 1940s and 1950s. Cowan was married to songwriter Ann Ronell.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Lester Cowan papers span the years 1923-1980s (bulk 1930s-1950s) and encompass approximately 78.5 linear feet. The collection contains production files and scripts, correspondence, subject files, scrapbooks, and photographs. The photograph series consists of albums, prints, slides, and negatives of motion picture production, stage production, biography, and subject photographs.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 2. Subject files, subseries A-B as follows: A. General; B. Ann Ronell; 3. Scrapbooks, subseries A-B as follows: A. Lester Cowan; B. Ann Ronell; 4. Photographs

Indexing Terms

Cowan, Lester , 1906-1990--Archives.