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Sowers (Roy Vernon), Roger Burford-Mason Collection on
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Contributing Institution: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Title: Roy Vernon Sowers Collection,
    Creator: Burford-Mason, Roger
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.1997.006
    Physical Description: 0.21 Linear Feet 1 box
    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 books (1997).
    Physical Location: Clark Library
    Language of Material: English .


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Roger Burford-Mason Collection on Roy Vernon Sowers, MS.1997.006, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchase, 1997.


    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-