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Guide to the Robert E. Bason Collection of Christopher Morley
Mss 165  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Robert E. Bason Collection of Christopher Morley,
    Date (inclusive): 1912-1997
    Collection Number: Mss 165
    Collector: Bason, Robert E.
    Extent: .08 linear feet (2 document boxes)
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
    Physical Location: Del Sur
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Robert E. Bason Collection of Christopher Morley. Mss 165. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Robert E. Bason, 1998 and 2000.


    Christopher Darlington Morley was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania on May 5, 1890, the son of the noted mathematician Frank Morley and his wife Lilian, a musician. Morley's family moved to Baltimore in 1900, but he returned to attend Haverford College from 1906 to 1910. He spent the following three years studying at Oxford University in England as a Rhodes scholar. While there, his first book of poems, The Eighth Sin (1912), was published by a prominent English bookseller. Returning to the United States, where he would eventually settle in New York, Morley worked as an editor and columnist, while finding success as a novelist. He married Helen Booth Fairchild in 1914, and they would have four children together. His first novel, Parnassus on Wheels, was published in 1917. His most popular novel, Kitty Foyle, was published in 1939 and the next year was made into a movie with Ginger Rogers. For the length of his career, Christopher Morley was very popular in literary, academic, theatrical, and publishing circles, and his nearly thirty-year service on the editorial board of the popular Book-Of-The-Month Club allowed him to exert a tremendous influence on the reading habits of America at large. After suffering a series of severe strokes, Morley died in March 1957.
    Robert E. Bason was born February 10, 1939 in Des Moines, Iowa. Having decided at an early age that he would be a Methodist minister, Bason spent the 1960s attending a Christian college in Illinois and going to Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. At this time he married Carol Hamman, and they soon had two daughters. However, he quickly became disenchanted with the work of a pastor and found that his true calling was as a professional fundraiser. After serving as director of African Enterprises, Inc., which raised money for missionaries, Bason moved to Santa Barbara to take a fundraising post at Westmont College, a private Christian academy. Then, in 1972 he accepted the position of Director of Development at the University of California Santa Barbara. After two years, however, he decided to establish his own consulting firm, Charitable Funding Services, Inc., which he ran for many years. He returned to UCSB for a time in the early 1980s, serving as Assistant Chancellor. It was around this time that Bason began collecting books, and in the rare-book shops of Santa Barbara he found some inexpensive works of Christopher Morley, who by that time had faded into obscurity. However, reading the books soon made Bason a fan, and he rapidly amassed a large collection of Morley books, letters, and ephemera. Having become a confirmed bibliophile, Bason served on UCSB's Friends of the Library committee, and eventually decided to donate his Morley collection. Then, in 2001, he purchased Santa Barbara's Capra Press and now serves as its owner and publisher.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The materials described in the container list are part of a much larger collection of printed materials which have been cataloged individually and can be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB University Libraries online catalog.
    This portion of this collection contains items laid in the Morley books, including advertising materials, privately-printed commemorative books and pamphlets, programs, catalogs, clippings, and correspondence, as well as manuscript materials and other ephemera.