Scope and Content
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Title: Roy Vernon Sowers Collection,
Identifier/Call Number: MS.1997.006
0.21 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1940-1996
Abstract: This collection is the research
material collected by Roger Burford-Mason for his book, Roy Vernon Sowers : a life in rare
Physical Location: Clark Library
Language of Material:
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. All
requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to
the Clark Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews
Clark Memorial Library, UCLA 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.
[Identification of item], Roger Burford-Mason Collection on Roy Vernon Sowers, MS.1997.006,
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
Roy Vernon Sowers was born in Brantford, Ontario on August 7th, 1897. He spent most of his
youth in the nearby town of London, Ontario, where he had a variety of odd jobs. Sowers
attended the University of Toronto and graduated in 1921 before attending St. John's College
at Oxford. Limited finances caused him to leave Oxford and travel to Germany before
returning to Ontario.
He later moved to Pasadena, California and worked for Alice Millard, an antiquarian book
dealer who lived in one of the area's Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Sowers eventually moved on
to work at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. He later moved to San Francisco
after marrying, but divorced his first wife and built a home in the mountains near Santa
Cruz, California. Sowers was familiar with the owners of the Grabhorn Press and set up one
of the first exhibitions about their press. He operated a rare book and fine print business
out of his personal library until the late 1960s; he died in 1970.
Scope and Content
This collection is the research material collected by Roger Burford-Mason for his book Roy
Vernon Sowers : a life in rare books (Toronto : Subway Books, 1997). It contains
biographical material and requests for information about Sowers by Burford-Mason. The
correspondence includes letters and interviews of individuals who knew Sowers, including his
daughter and son.
The collection is arranged in thematic order.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Antiquarian booksellers -- California -- 20th century
Antiquarian booksellers -- Canada -- 20th century
Sowers, Roy Vernon, 1897-