Guide to the Letterpress copy books of University Librarian, Joseph Cummings Rowell, 1878-1907

Processed by The Bancroft Library staff
University Archives.
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-2933
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Letterpress copy books of University Librarian, Joseph Cummings Rowell, 1878-1907

Collection number: 308e.l

University Archives, The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

  • University Archives
  • The Bancroft Library
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
  • Phone: (510) 642-2933
  • Fax: (510) 642-7589
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Letterpress copy books of University Librarian, Joseph Cummings Rowell,
Date (inclusive): 1878-1907
Collection Number: 308e.l
Creator: University of California (1868-1952). General Library
Extent: Number of volumes: 15 Linear feet: 3
Repository: The Bancroft Library. University Archives.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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 by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Letterpress copy books of University Librarian, Joseph Cummings Rowell, 308e.l, University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Scope and Content

These letterpress copy books were kept by Joseph Cummings Rowell from 1878 to 1904. Many of the volumes had slips inserted commenting on interesting developments for the history of the library. Unfortunately these slips were in danger of harming the bindings of the volumes, so it was decided to remove them. It seemed a shame, however, to discard them without making some effort to preserve the information that had been so laboriously gathered.
Date references were added to the slips and this list of comments was created from the annotated slips. In some cases the document in question was not dated, so the preceding date was used, with the letter 'f' for 'following.' Often the slips had page references (there are printed page numbers on each sheet of the volumes); these have been retained and must be used in conjunction with the date span of the surrounding references since the volumes are not numbered. In addition, most volumes came with index pages, and these were often used by Rowell himself to index each volume as he went along.
It was May Dornin, archivist from 1945 to 1964 who made these comments. The comments on the slips were typed, but occasional handwritten notes also appear, in her handwriting. Miss Dornin had known and worked for Rowell before his death in 1938, and her personal knowledge of and respect for him shows through in some of the comments.

Container List


Collecting policy for South and Central America 1:30


Supplies come by way of Panama 10.25.79


Gifts and exchanges - Mexico 10.31.79


Planning for Bacon Hall 11.10.79


Gifts and exchanges - Gt. Britain 12.8.79


Gifts and exchanges - Univ of Chile 1.12.80


Collecting policy and gifts and exchange - Mexico 1.12.80


Documents - Gt. Britain 1.27.80


Request to Governor of the state for statement to present to the British govt in order to receive documents 3.6.80


Establishing foreign agents 3.16.80


First union serial list for Bay Area 5.3.80


Relations with the Library Committee 1.8.81


Reese library binding 2.5.81


Book dealers bidding 2.3.81


Faculty use of library funds 2.7.81


First mention of Bancroft Library 3.9.81


First loan to outside exhibition 4.28.81


Request for a contingent fund 5.4.81


Library Committee rules - preparing book orders 9.1.81


Exchange collecting policy 1.20.82


Payment in stamps 11.27.83


Gift solicitation 12.13.80


Gift solicitation 4.11.84


Purchase of Durant library 4.29.84


Troubles 3.21.84


Gifts and exchanges 10.1(?),84


Expenditure of funds f 11.3.84

Physical Description: (p.123)

Serials check

Physical Description: (p.125)

Faculty participation in collecting 3.28.85


Change from annual bids from booksellers to a permanent agent 3.11.86


Advancing exchanges 4.10.86


Building labor collection 4.23.86


Departmental libraries 5.4.86


Beginning of thesis file 6.14.86


Agents discounts f 6.14.86

Physical Description: (p.313)

Circulation policy 1886 6.25.86


Original copy of 11th annual report - first printed report 7.1.86


Building the libraries of the other campuses 8.16.86


Library regulations indicate existence of reserve book system; library open on legal holidays

Physical Description: (p.358)

Special appropriation needed for binding 11.1.86


Library Committee allotment of funds

Physical Description: (p.419)

Contingent fund of $250 1.14.87


Report to Library Committee 2.1.87


Lectures on use of library by librarian 2.11.87


Summer session schedule 6.30.87


George T. Clark's appointment to Sacramento 8.2.87


Foreign university exchange relations 10.12.87


Circulation rules 10.28.87


Report to Library Committee 11.1.87


$5 deposit for non-university patrons 11.2.87


Student deposits 11.9.87


Book funds, 1887 12.87


Exchange services through Smithsonian Institution 1.31.88


Request to print the Contents Index and history of its growth 3.2.88


Faculty cooperation in book buying

(see also p.120)


Minutes of Library Committee 4.17.88


Signing of book orders by the Secretary of the Regents 5.12.88


Reese fund 6.12.88


Budget request 8.24.88


Increase of periodical funds 9.28.88


Summary of annual report to the President 10.24.88


Book funds 12.19.88


Exchange relations 1.16.89


System of book purchasing 1.16.89


Advice to State Librarian regarding "State Book Fund" 2.9.89


Changing of books to non-faculty and non-university persons 3.19.89


Newspaper binding 3.15.89


Binding specifications 9.6.89


Lick Observatory faculty privileges 9.16.89


Library Bulletin 11 9.19.89


Book case specifications 9.26.89


Apportionment of Reese Fund 10.23.89


Reese Fund 11.1.89 et seq


Exchange with University of Jena 5.9.90


Scheme of course of lectures on bibliography and library economy f. 6.12.90

Physical Description: (p.461)

Change of British book agent 9.17.90


Sale of University publications in charge of Librarian 9.23.90


Request for book fund increase 11.3.90


Minutes of Library Committee 12.15.90


Special privileges to blind student from California School for the Blind 12.18.90


French exchange relations 10.28.90


Opinions on support of State Library 2.3.91


Student discipline and consequent new library ruling regarding use of ink 2.16.91


Book orders 2.28.91


Resolutions of the Regents 5.12.91


Straight talk to a publisher 5.28.91


Needling the Library Committee 6.2.91


Lack of appropriation of funds for binding, etc. 6.16.91


Student library cards; new classification; need for assistance f 7.1.91

Physical Description: (p.187)

Need for a cataloger; George Clark, later librarian at Stanford, suggested 8.7.91


Keeping the wheels moving 9.11.91


First mention of interlibrary loan 12.91?

Physical Description: (p.231)

Request for additional assistance 1.4.92


Offer to cataloger in the east 1.13.92


Questions asked of Washington regarding book trade with foreign countries 1.19.92


Minutes of Library Committee 4.28.92


Keeping up the Art Gallery also! 5.30.92


Personnel problems 6.21.92

Physical Description: (p.318-19)

Book classification finished; to be applied to library f 7.1.92

Physical Description: (p.337)

Budget distribution 8.17.92


Acquisition of UC theses 8.31.92


Exchange relations - Mexico f 9.28.92

Physical Description: (p.376)

Rules for use of library by Berkeley High pupils 10.13.92


Withdrawal of books by benefactors of the University f 12.5.92

Physical Description: (p.391)

Urging Regents to establish a series of University Publications for exchange purposes 1.5.93


Request for additional assistance and funds to Pres. Kellogg 3.28.93


Binding stipulations 4.27.93


Discounts and commissions with book dealers 10.16.93


Distribution of Reese fund over three 1891-1893 f 10.30.93


Report to Pres. Kellogg on privileges to be granted to townspeople of Berkeley 11.8.93


Changes in library rules 12.7.93


Exchange relations with France 2.26.94


Appreciation of the staff 5.11.94


Question of printing the author catalog

(see also p.175)


Proposal to Library Committee for an interlibrary loan system 5.31.94


Interlibrary loan with State Library 7.16.94


"Begging" for the library 9.6.94


Favorable action of Trustees of State Library toward interlibrary loan 10.9.94


Proposal to have binding done by state 10.17.94


Exchange of duplicates between CU and state library 11.7.94


Always on the alert to get material by gift 12.19.94


Library use by students of the Affiliated Colleges in S.F. 1.16.95


Proposed library budget for 1895/96 3.1.95


Suggestion to open the Art Gallery to loans of pictures 3.23.95


Explanation of Rowell classification

(see also p.336)


Building the collection at Lick Observatory 3.30.95


A "pointed note" to a faculty member 4.2.95


A little odd job!



Library use by visiting fireman 5.31.95


Eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth. "Not granted." 6.14.95


Printing of author catalog. Passed by Regents by never printed 7.19.95


Advice to Alameda Public Library 10.8.95


Bid for a Californiana collection 11.30.95


Suggestion to Regent Reinstein that Alumni donate material to the library 12.19.95


Lighting and opening the library at night 1.10.96


Use of Reese fund for serials (also p.476) 1.13.96


Interlibrary loan 2.7.96


Purchase of Bancroft Library 2.19.96


Library hours (also p.491) 2.26.96


Budget, 1896/97 3.7.96


UC author index (also p. 27-28) 3.26.96


Gift from British government 4.10.96


Donation book: list of gifts to the University 5.5.96


Space for library of 500,000 vols. and 1000 readers 5.11.96


Budget request 8.10.96


Memorandum to Secretary of the Regents regarding the Reese Fund 8.14.96


Summary of appropriations from the general fund of the Regents f 11.13.96


Reciprocal privileges between S.F. Public and UC 11.23.96


Addition to the library building needed 2.9.97


Prices for binding books f 2.19.97


Faculty given use of S. F. Public 3.15.97


Binding costs f 4.12.97


Continual fight for adequate salaries for library assistants 5.7.97


First mention of the Cowan collection 4.24.97


Cowan collection bought

(see also p.248-250, 261)


The politically appointed assistant: The 'Miss B.' who brought forth this outburst from Mr. Rowell was the daughter of J.H. Bonté, who had been the secretary of the Regents for many years. According to the stories I have been told, she must have been a highly neurotic individual who tried Mr. Rowell's soul during the six years he was forced to have her on the staff. 7.26.97


Opening the library at night (also p. 276 and 293) 8.27.97


Catalogue of the Bibliothèque Nationale 9.10.97


Sunday opening of the Library 10.13.97


Program for the CLA meeting 10.18.97


Sunday evening opening 11.11.97


Extension of interlibrary loan 2.5.98


Function and needs of the University Library 3.17.98


Beginning of acquisition of the Bancroft Library 6.13.98 et seq.


More Bancroft (also p. 166, 170) 7.18.98


Request for an advisory committee on the library from the Academic Senate 9.21.98


Report of book lost, 1893-98 10.5.98


Specifications for a new library building 11.16.98


Bancroft Library 12.8.98


Traveling libraries in California 12.15.98


Prospect of binding done by State Printer 3.10.99


Possible acquisition of the Sutro Library 3.11.99


Need for a cataloger f 3.19.99

Physical Description: (p.34)

Help in buying Bancroft Library 8.16.99


Possible purchase of Bancroft f 8.29.99

Physical Description: (p.83)

Greater use of scientific periodicals 9.5.99


Library representation on Academic Council 10.4.99


Cooperative buying by libraries of Central California f 11.1.99

Physical Description: (p.130, 157)

Reorganization of library in mind 11.3.99


Requests for California poets for manuscripts 11.16.99


Request for a year's leave to study European libraries 12.4.99


First mention of a library school; library reorganization; establishment of a library council f 12.4.99

Physical Description: (p.178)

Possible consolidation of Pacific Theological Seminary library 12.26.99 (f p.187)


Future plans for cataloger 1.31.00


Thought of a University Archives 3.5.00


Report to Pres. Wheeler after return from leave 12.31.00


Discussion of rumor that State Library and UC library are to be combined under Board of Regents 1.3.01


Subscription to printed ALA catalog cards in certain subjects 1.23.01


Suggestion for a library committee to assist Librarian 2.16.01 (also p. 119, 123)


First mention of Library Committee meeting 9.24.01


Summer session library school contemplated 12.16.01


Purchase of cards from Library of Congress 7.25.02


Library School Summer Session 9.24.02