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Guide to the Roger K. Larson Papers, 1988-1997
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Roger K. Larson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1988-1997
    Creator: Larson, Roger K., 1924-
    Extent: 5 linear inches
    Repository: Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).

    Sanoian Special Collections Library.
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The papers were donated by Dr. Roger K. Larson in 1997.

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been transferred to California State University, Fresno.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Roger K. Larson Papers, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California State University, Fresno.


    Roger K. Larson, an avid book collector, has led an active career as a doctor and professor of medicine. Born in Cadillac, Michigan, Larson attended Northwestern University, Wheaton College and the University of Illinois before moving to California in 1949 for his residency in internal medicine. After a stint in the Korean War, Dr. Larson moved to Fresno to practice medicine and eventually became Chief of Medicine at Valley Medical Center.
    In the early 1970s, Dr. Larson started buying rare and fine antiquarian books. Thus began his passion for book collecting. Over the next twenty-five years, he built an extensive collection of important and valuable books on Californiana and Western Americana. In the early 1990s, Dr. Larson decided to auction off his collection so that other collectors could experience the thrill of building their own collections. The Pacific Book Auction Galleries held a series of auctions in San Francisco from 1995 to 1997.

    Scope and Content

    The Roger K. Larson papers measure 5 linear inches and date from 1988 to 1997. The papers are comprised of book auction catalogs which document one man's deep respect for scholarship as well as the sweep of California and Western history and the books that have chronicled that history. Written by Larson himself, the catalogs provide a very detailed description of each book as well as substantive annotations. The essays in the catalogs are particularly useful in understanding both the collection and the collector.
    Also included are two essays that Larson wrote. One is on the search for the letters of writer George Sterling to Ambrose Bierce. The other is a history of The Rather Press, a private press in California, all of whose works Larson collected and eventually donated to the Sanoian Special Collections Library.