Finding aid of the The Bob Cormack Papers

Tracy Brown
Autry Library
Autry National Center of the American West
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (323) 667-2000 ext. 383
© 2009
Autry National Center of the American West. All rights reserved.

Finding aid of the The Bob Cormack Papers

Collection number: 90.253.852-859

Autry Library

Autry National Center of the American West

Los Angeles, California
Processed by:
Tracy Brown
Date Completed:
July 22, 2003
Encoded by:
Cheryl Miller
© 2009 Autry National Center of the American West. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: The Bob Cormack Papers
Dates: 1867-1966
Bulk Dates: 1960-1966
Collection number: 90.253.852-859
Creator: Cormack, Robert
Creator: Lawrence, John, 1835-1908.
Collection Size: .4 linear feet
Repository: Autry National Center. Institute for the Study of the American West
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Abstract: The collection is comprised mainly of Bob Cormack's research on various topics in Western history, including the lives of John Lawrence and Will James.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit or contact library staff at (323) 667-2000.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry Library, Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Item identification] The Bob Cormack Papers, 90.253.852-859. Autry Library, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA

Acquisition Information

Acquired as part of the Fred Rosenstock Collection in 1990.

Container List

File 1: Correspondence and Research File, 1964-1966 File 2: Photographs, n.d. File 3: Press Clippings and Miscellaneous, 1961-1966 File 4: Press Clippings: Sunday Empire, January 29, 1961 File 5: John Lawrence: Diary 1903 File 6: John Lawrence: Excerpts from The Memorandum of John Lawrence, Feb. 28, 1867-December 7, 1907 File 7: John Lawrence: Photographs, n.d. File 8: John Lawrence: Research Notes, 1960 File 9: John Lawrence: Copy of his will, 1906 File 10: Will James: research file for Denver Westerners lecture and article, 1962 File 11: Will James: lecture to Denver Westerners Meeting, Nov. 28, 1962 File 12: Will James: Denver Westerners Monthly Roundup article, December 1962

Biography / Administrative History

Bob Cormack was born in Edgewater, Colorado in 1914. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, and then worked as a commercial artist both in Los Angeles and Denver for most of his life. As his research files indicate, he had a deep interest in Western history. He joined the Denver Westerners in 1949, and was also a member of the Denver Kiwanis Club.
John Lawrence is a prominent figure in the Cormack Collection. From the Colorado Historical Society web pages, "He helped establish Saguache County and served it in various capacities, including state assemblyman, but it was through quieter gestures, loaning money, employing the jobless, nurturing schools and churches, that he earned the respect and friendship of the people Among these (largely Hispano) ranchers and farmers, Lawrence found the family he'd never had. When he died in 1908, his tombtone was inscribed simply: "The Founder of Saguache County Coloraod 1835-1909."

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection is comprised mainly of Bob Cormack's research on various topics in Western history, including the lives of John Lawrence and Will James. The first four files contain Cormack's research notes and press clippings on general topics of Western history; the next five are research files concerning John Lawrence, a prominent Saguache County businessman. Included in the files are a 1903 John Lawrence diary and Cormack's transcription of parts of another Lawrence diary, dated 1867-1907. The last three files in the collection contain Cormack's research for a lecture and article about the life of Will James. He gave the lecture to the Denver Westerners in November of 1962, and published a copy of the lecture in the December 1962 Denver Westerners newsletter.
Publications by/about Bob Cormack: Cormack's copy of The Denver Kiwanian, Vol. XXV, 1949 is located in the Rosenstock collection. This volume has a group of letters sent to Cormack when he was secretary of the Denver Kiwanis club (1949) bound at the back. He also published "The Exaggerated West of the Beadle and Adams' Dime Novels" in the 1963 All Posse Corral Brand Book of the Denver Posse of the Westerners, Volume 19. He was editor of that volume (see Press Clippings and Miscellaneous file for more information.) Also in Rosenstock Collection, ByLaws As Amended by the Kiwanis Club of Denver, Colo., 1937, Bob Cormack's copy.


By format, then chronological.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Cormack, Robert.
Lawrence, John, 1835-1908.
James, Will, 1892-1942.
Westerners. Denver Posse.
Kiwanas Club of Denver.
Colorado -- History -- 19th century.
Saugauche County (Colo.) -- History.

Related Material

Colorado Historical Society has information on John Lawrence.