Scope and Content
Title: Carey S. Bliss and Leslie E. Bliss papers
Bulk dates: 1903-1986
Collection Call Number: HIA 34.35.1-10
Bliss, Carey S.
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
Abstract: The collection contains the papers of Leslie and Carey Bliss.
Language of Material: The records are in English and German.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the
Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following
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.
[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
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.
Bliss, Carey S. -- Archives.
Bliss, Leslie Edgar, 1889-1977 -- Archives.
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955.
Sterling, George, 1869-1926.
Huntington Library and Art Collection -- Department of Rare Books.
Bliss, Leslie Edgar, 1889-1977.
Pomfret, John E. (John Edwin), 1898-1981.
Schulz, Herbert Clarence, 1902-.
Sinclair, Mary Craig.
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968.