Scope and Content
Material Cataloged Separately
Title: Bill Sonin Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1983-1993
Collection number: BANC MSS 97/52 cp
Sonin, Bill, 1939-1993
Extent: Number of containers: 34 boxes, 4 oversize folders
Linear feet: 43.0
The Bancroft Library.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Research files of the Bay Area rock art archive, consisting of site reports, research notes, and other documentation assembled
by Sonin and relating to rock art in California and other western states, including Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon,
New Mexico, Colorado, and Baja California.
The Bill Sonin Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Sylvia R. Sonin, via Dr. Paul Freeman, Leigh Marymor, and associates
of the Bay Area Rock Art Research Association on May 7, 1996.
Collection is open for research, with the following exception:
Photograph negatives and original computer disks in Box 34 are restricted: use only by permission of the appropriate curator.
Inquiries concerning these materials should be directed, in writing, to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library.
Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must
be submitted in writing to the appropriate curator or the Head of Public Services for forwarding. Permission for publication
is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and the copyright.
[Identification of item], Bill Sonin Papers, BANC MSS 97/52 cp, The Bancroft Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
In November 1993, Bill Sonin of Berkeley, Calif. passed away, and unknown to his fellow avocational and professional rock
art researchers, left an extraordinary corpus of material relating to the rock art of California and the surrounding area.
A Volkswagon mechanic and computer hardware repairman, he became fascinated with rock art studies during the last ten years
of his life.
Sonin began compiling this list as an update on Heizer and Clewlow, but the number of new sites exceeded their original 400.
In 1995, the computerized document was published, just as he had left it on his computer, as
California Rock Art -- An Annotated Site Inventory and Bibliography. It was edited by Leigh Marymor and published as Occasional Papers, Volume 17, of the Rock Art Archive of the Institute of
Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area Rock Art Research Association. The Bay Area Rock Art
Research Association was asked to catalog his library and research papers and to procure an archival home for the collection.
Only as BARARA members reviewed the plethora of correspondence, notes, research papers-in-progress, photographs and articles,
plus over 57 assorted binders of rock art site information for each county in the state did the magnitude of his work begin
to be revealed. A search of his computer files revealed a computerized database of a 1300 page annotated site inventory and
bibliography of rock art sites in California. Sonin's note books were filled with site reports, research notes, and cut-and-pasted
documentation of all references he was able to glean for each trinomial.
In addition to the extensive information available on sites, the collection also contains separate files on other topics such
as cupules, baby rocks, PCN's western message sites, ground figures, the Southwest, and questions he wanted to pose to researchers
and many personal notations.
[extracted from Gray Literature Roundtable, presented at the
1997 SCA meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif., by Donna L. Gillette]
Scope and Content
The Bill Sonin Papers contain correspondence, notes, research papers, photographs, and articles, with the bulk of the collection
consisting of his files of rock art site information for each county in the state of California. In addition to the extensive
information available on sites, the collection also contains separate files on other topics such as cupules, baby rocks, PCN's
western message sites, ground figures, the Southwest, and questions he wanted to pose to researchers, many with personal notations.
Also included are Sonin's note books, which were filled with site reports, research notes, and cut-and-pasted documentation
of all references he gathered for each trinomial.
The collection is arranged as received, divided into three series: California Sites by Counties, Western Message Petroglyphs,
and Miscellany. Files relating to California sites are arranged alphabetically by county, and then numerically by site, with
unidentified sites, general notes, and related information following the numbered sites in each county. Files relating to
Western message petroglyphs are arranged geographically, and includes sites in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon,
and New Mexico.
Material Cataloged Separately
Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
Title: Notes removed from Rock drawings of the Coso Range...,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 98/14 c