Scope and Content
Title: Roger K. Larson Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1988-1997
Larson, Roger K., 1924-
Extent: 5 linear inches
Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).
Sanoian Special Collections Library.
The papers were donated by Dr. Roger K. Larson in 1997.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been transferred to California State University, Fresno.
[Identification of item], Roger K. Larson Papers, Sanoian Special Collections Library,
California State University, Fresno.
Roger K. Larson, an avid book collector, has led an active career as a doctor and
professor of medicine. Born in Cadillac, Michigan, Larson attended Northwestern
University, Wheaton College and the University of Illinois before moving to California in
1949 for his residency in internal medicine. After a stint in the Korean War, Dr. Larson
moved to Fresno to practice medicine and eventually became Chief of Medicine at Valley
In the early 1970s, Dr. Larson started buying rare and fine antiquarian books. Thus began
his passion for book collecting. Over the next twenty-five years, he built an extensive
collection of important and valuable books on Californiana and Western Americana. In the
early 1990s, Dr. Larson decided to auction off his collection so that other collectors
could experience the thrill of building their own collections. The Pacific Book Auction
Galleries held a series of auctions in San Francisco from 1995 to 1997.
Scope and Content
The Roger K. Larson papers measure 5 linear inches and date from 1988 to 1997. The papers
are comprised of book auction catalogs which document one man's deep respect for
scholarship as well as the sweep of California and Western history and the books that
have chronicled that history. Written by Larson himself, the catalogs provide a very
detailed description of each book as well as substantive annotations. The essays in the
catalogs are particularly useful in understanding both the collection and the collector.
Also included are two essays that Larson wrote. One is on the search for the letters of
writer George Sterling to Ambrose Bierce. The other is a history of The Rather Press, a
private press in California, all of whose works Larson collected and eventually donated
to the Sanoian Special Collections Library.