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Carey S. Bliss and Leslie E. Bliss papers
HIA 34.35.1-10  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Carey S. Bliss and Leslie E. Bliss papers
    Dates: 1893-1986
    Bulk dates: 1903-1986
    Collection Call Number: HIA 34.35.1-10
    Creator: Bliss, Carey S.
    Extent: 10 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The Huntington Institutional Archives
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2203
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: archives@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The collection contains the papers of Leslie and Carey Bliss.
    Language of Material: The records are in English and German.

    Administration Information


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site  .

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Carey S. Bliss and Leslie E. Bliss papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Leslie Bliss was born in 1889 and died in 1977. He was a graduate of Colgate University and the New York State Library School and began working for the Huntington Library as an assistant in 1915. In 1926, he was appointed head librarian of the Huntington Library which he held until his retirement in 1958, although he remained with the Huntington Library as a consultant. He earned an honorary degree from Colgate University in 1961. While serving as librarian and continuing during his retirement, Leslie Bliss worked with Juanita Brooks to expand the Huntington Library’s collection of early Mormon books and manuscripts.
    Carey Bliss, the son of Leslie Bliss, was born in 1914 and died in 1994. He earned a degree from Pomona College in 1936 and began working as an assistant curator under Robert O. Schad in 1937. Carey Bliss served as the curator of rare books at the Huntington Library until his retirement in 1982. He was an expert on the history of printing and had an interest in camellia cultivation. Carey Bliss was a longstanding member of the Rounce and Coffin Club, beginning in the 1940s, and served as the librarian for the Zamorano Club.

    Scope and Content

    The Carey Bliss files comprise the bulk of the collection. The articles and research files contain work created by Carey Bliss while he was a student at Pomona College and while he was a curator at the Huntington library. The correspondence covers his work as a curator, including a single thank you letter from Richard Nixon for the repair of the Nixon’s family bible. The lecture files contain notes for a course that Carey Bliss taught at the University of Southern California on the history of books and printing. These notes include a sheet of papyrus in the folder for lectures three and four. The Rounce & Coffin Club files pertain to Carey Bliss’s longstanding membership. The files contain meeting invitations and information on exhibitions prepared by the club, including the annual Western Books Exhibition.
    The majority of the Leslie Bliss files are correspondence written while Leslie Bliss served as the librarian of the Huntington Library. The Zamorano files contain correspondence to and from Leslie Bliss about books and exhibitions at the Huntington library that were considered relevant to the bibliophilic club’s interest. These correspondences also contain information about Leslie Bliss’s membership to the club, including letters about his election as an honorary member of the Zamorano’s board of governors in 1953.
    The miscellaneous files contain items that possess uncertain attribution, are attributed other people, or are equally related to Carey and Leslie Bliss. These files contain correspondence from Jacob Bliss who is presumed to be a relative of Leslie and Carey Bliss. The correspondence between Robert O. Schad and Joseph D. Cone is dated during the time Robert O. Schad was the curator of rare books and Carey Bliss was the assistant curator. The correspondence from Will Bradley contains autobiographical information that is related to an exhibition of his work at the Huntington Library in the 1950s. This exhibition was prepared by Carey Bliss. Amelia Baker’s nametag dates to when she worked at Caltech’s GALCIT wind tunnel and before her marriage to Carey Bliss.
    The Leslie E. Bliss and Upton Sinclair material deals primarily with the possible acquisition of the Sinclair library and archive by the Huntington Library. The material includes correspondence with Upton Sinclair, his wife Mary Craig Sinclair, Huntington Library Staff, and other Librarians; it also includes essays and printed material by Upton Sinclair. The Upton Sinclair library and archive were ultimately acquired by the Lilly Library, Indiana University.


    The collection is divided into three series. The first contains the papers of Carey S. Bliss, the second the papers of Leslie E. Bliss, and the last is miscellaneous files.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Bliss, Carey S. -- Archives.
    Bliss, Leslie Edgar, 1889-1977 -- Archives.
    Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955.
    Sterling, George, 1869-1926.

    Corporate Names

    Huntington Library and Art Collection -- Department of Rare Books.


    Fine books.
    Library science.
    Rare books.


    Business cards
    Lecture notes
    Letters (correspondence)
    Printed ephemera

    Additional Contributors

    Bliss, Leslie Edgar, 1889-1977.
    Pomfret, John E. (John Edwin), 1898-1981.
    Schulz, Herbert Clarence, 1902-.
    Sinclair, Mary Craig.
    Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968.