“Sir” Robert Cowan, Prince of California Bookmen, and the Genesis of the UCLA Californiana Collection

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
5:30 pm PDT

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

Clark Quarterly Lecture

—Gary F. Kurutz, Principal Librarian Emeritus, Special Collections, California State Library


Robert E. Cowan (1862–1942) ranks as the greatest bookman devoted to California history as well as the first bookseller of note to specialize in the subject. He also served as the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library’s first librarian. In 1914 Cowan’s monumental A Bibliography of California and the Pacific West became the first monograph published by the Book Club of California. Lecturer Gary F. Kurutz presents an overview of Cowan’s illustrious career, the writing of his bibliography, his work at the Clark Library, and the heroic effort of UCLA to secure Cowan’s Californiana collection.