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Earl Lowry papers, 1869-1975; bulk 1925-1975
PASC-M 81  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Earl Lowry papers
    Collection number: PASC-M 81
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 8.5 linear ft. (12 boxes, 8 flat boxes, 1 oversize flat box)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1925-1975
    Date (inclusive): 1869-1975; bulk 1925-1975
    Abstract: Musical scores, primarily modern piano compostions, collected by Earl Lowry, as well as correspondence, handwritten notes, catalogs, programs, and some personal and family material.
    Language of Materials: English
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Lowry, Earl

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Earl Lowry Papers (Collection PASC 81-M). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Bequest of Earl Lowry, 1976

    Processing Information

    Reprocessed by Kelly Kress, 2016.


    Earl H. Lowry was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Enoch and Anetta (Anna) Lowry on February 26, 1899. While performing in Pittsburgh orchestras, he met and married Jessie Richardson, and the couple moved to Denver, Colorado sometime around 1920-1921. Census and city directory records from the time list Lowry's occupation as musician in the theater industry. Earl and Jessie had two children while in Denver: John Rowland (Jack), born in 1921, and Norma, born in 1929. Eventually the family moved to Los Angeles, California, where Earl continued to find work as a pianist, accompanying British entertainer Gracie Fields, and joining the Theatre Mart as Music Director toward the end of its long-running production "The Drunkard." He corresponded avidly with composers and music publishers throughout the 1940s-1960s, amassing a large collection of music scores. Jessie Lowry held a variety of secretarial jobs throughout her life before retiring in 1965. After Jessie's death in 1970, Earl spent most of his time in Los Angeles libraries compiling exhaustive lists of composers and authors, reflecting his strong interests in music and literature. Earl Lowry died in Los Angeles in 1976.

    Scope and Content

    Musical scores, primarily modern piano compositions, collected by Earl Lowry. Most are printed reproductions but there are some copied by Lowry, as well as three of Lowry's own compositions. The collection also includes correspondence from music publishers, and composers who Lowry contacted with questions and requests for music, including Charles Mills, Robert Palmer, Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Josef Alexander, Lockrem Johnson, Robert Kurka, Vincent Persichetti, Karol Rathaus, and Geirr Tveitt. Charles Mills wrote to Lowry for nearly five years, and his letters detail life as a struggling musician/composer trying to make a living in New York City.
    The collection also includes some family correspondence, primarily to Earl from his son Jack; Lowry's personal notes and notebooks, and a few programs with him listed as a performer. There is a small amount of correspondence and personal material related to Earl Lowry's wife Jessie.
    Research materials consist of notes and notebooks Lowry kept, reflecting his interests in music and literature, and include lists of composers and authors and their works. Also included are music catalogs spanning 50 years, and programs from events Lowry attended, primarily in the Los Angeles area.

    Organization and Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in the following series:
    • Series 1. Musical scores
    • Series 2. Correspondence and personal materials
    • Series 3. Research materials.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 2221065 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Lowry, Earl H.--Archives.
    Mills, Charles, 1914-1982
    Music--20th century--Archives.
    Piano music--Scores.