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Guide to the Steven Gilbar Collection
Mss 171  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content Notes
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Steven Gilbar Collection
    Dates: ca. 1840s-1990s
    Bulk Dates: 1980s-1990s
    Collection number: Mss 171
    Creator: Gilbar, Steven
    Collection Size: 1.2 linear feet (3 boxes).
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    Abstract: Research files, including correspondence, articles, clippings, and photographs pertaining to Steven Gilbar and Dean Stewart's Tales of Santa Barbara (1994) and Literary Santa Barbara (1998).
    Physical location: Del Sur.
    Languages: English

    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

    Steven Gilbar Collection. Mss 171. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Multiple donations from Steven Gilbar, 2000-2006.


    Steven Gilbar was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1941. Although he continued to live there until adulthood, a family vacation to Santa Barbara when he was a boy left a lasting impression on him. In 1963, he graduated from the University of Michigan and then went on to earn his J.D. from Detroit's Wayne State University Law School. After practicing law in Detroit for a few years, he moved to California in 1970. His lifelong interest in books led him to the San Francisco law book publishing firm Matthew Bender & Company, where he worked as senior managing editor.
    In 1978, he moved to Santa Barbara and set up his own practice, which specialized in literary law. At this time he began putting together anthologies, starting with The Book Book, published in 1981. His earliest works were aimed at bibliophiles, with titles such as Good Books: A Booklover's Companion (1982) and The Open Door: When Writers First Learned to Read (1989).
    In the 1990s, Gilbar turned his attention to the rich literary tradition of his adopted home town, producing Tales of Santa Barbara (1994) and Red Tiles, Blue Skies: More Tales of Santa Barbara (1996). He then collaborated with local historian Dean Stewart to produce Literary Santa Barbara (1998), which traces the history of the numerous writers and publishers who have made the area their home or their subject matter.
    In 1996, he founded the non-profit organization Speaking of Stories, a professional theater company that reads short stories to live audiences. Since retiring from his law practice in 2002, Steven Gilbar has remained active in Santa Barbara's literary community, serving on the board of the Santa Barbara Book Council and launching the first "Santa Barbara Reads!" program. He also continues to put together anthologies of his favorite fiction, such as LA Shorts (2000) and Americans in Paris: Great Short Stories of the City of Light (2003).

    Scope and Content Notes

    The collection primarily contains research files related to Steven Gilbar and Dean Stewart's Tales of Santa Barbara (1994) and Literary Santa Barbara (1998). It includes correspondence, permissions to publish, articles, clippings, photographs (copy prints from various sources, mainly for use in the publications), excerpts, and notes about respective authors and publications. Printouts of related works in Special Collections have been inserted in appropriate folders.
    Early items in the collection are primarily copies of printed materials.
    This collection also contains monographs and serials donated by Steven Gilbar and Dean Stewart, which have been cataloged separately and can be searched using Pegasus, the UCSB Libraries online catalog.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Gilbar, Steven
    Stewart, Dean
    Authors and publishers--United States.
    Santa Barbara (Calif.)