Scope and arrangement
Records consist of general and family correspondence, personal papers, subject papers, writings and speeches, diaries and travel journals, financial records, papers of Bowker's father, Daniel Rogers Bowker, scrapbooks, photographs, printed matter, and memorabilia. General correspondence reflects R.R. Bowker's business affairs as well as his interest in tariff reform, free trade, copyright law, library science, civil service, and political reform. Other materials include family correspondence, 1857-1932; personal papers containing items such as childhood letters, school reports, family records, and letters of condolence; and subject papers relating to copyright, the Edison Electric Illuminating Co., free trade and tariff reform, and his biography. Also, letterbooks for the period from 1875 to 1913; Bowker's writings and speeches; diaries, 1859-1932; and travel journals from the 1860s to 1926 for trips in the United States, the West Indies, Europe, the Near East, and around the world in 1898. Financial records include accounts for personal and some business expenses, bank books, cancelled checks, and personal ledgers, 1893-1910.|||Papers of Daniel Rogers Bowker consist of correspondence concerning business and family matters and patent papers, 1893-1895, for improvements to grain storage warehouses. Collection contains personal and political scrapbooks, 1868-1958; photographs; printed matter with issues of various newspapers, political material, pamphlets, and clippings; and memorabilia.
The Richard Rogers Bowker papers are arranged in sixteen series:
The general correspondence which is arranged in alphabetical order and includes carbons of outgoing letters, reflects Bowker's many editorial publishing, and business positions noted above, as well as his literary, political and civic interests and associations including free trade, political reform, copyright, civil service postal reform, and librarian ship. Correspondents include American Library Association, Edward Atkinson, Alice G. Mitchell Bowker, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, City Club of New York, De Laval Separator Co., Melville Dewey, William Isaac Fletcher, Adolph G. Growoll, Harper and Brothers, Edwin T. Hiscox, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., George Isles, Agusta H, Leypoldt, Library of Congress, Arthur Wellesley Milbury, Herbert Putnam, Reform Club, Anne Isabella, Lady Ritchie, Theodore Roosevelt, Edward Morse Shepard, Spencer, Trask & Co., David Ames Wells, George Foster Peabody, George Haven Putnam, Everett Pepperrell Wheeler.
The family correspondence (1857-1932) consists of his correspondence with his sister, Caroline Theresa Bowker, his brother Peter, and other relatives.
The personal papers consist of childhood letters, drafts of letters to unidentified correspondents, school reports, compositions notebooks, membership certificates, passports, birthday letters, funeral records, and letters or condolence to Mrs. Bowker on her husband's death.
The subject papers consist of papers relating to copyright, the Edison papers, papers relating to free trade and tariff reform, and to Bowker's biography. The copyright papers include correspondence relative to the promotion and revision of domestic and international copyright law. Correspondents include American Copyright League Robert Underwood Johnson, American Publishers' Copyright League George Haven Putnam, Library of Congress Herbert Putnam, National Association of Book Publishers, Print Publishers Association of America 1890-91, and Thorwald Solberg. The Edison papers include correspondence of Bowker as first vice-president of the Edison Electric Illuminating Co. of New York, with other electric companies, union officials and with George Foster Peabody and Spencer Trask. There is also correspondence 1889-1927 with Thomas Alva Edison and with Miller Reese Hutchison, chief engineer to Edison; correspondence 1898-1903 with the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, an with Edison Pioneers, The papers relating to free trade and tariff reform include correspondence 1880-1929 of Bowker as secretary of the American Free Trade League and as a member of the York Free Trade Club, relating especially to the organization of the Free Trade Conference held at Detroit 1883. Much of the correspondence is with the Iowa State Free Trade League, the Missouri Free Trade League, the Michigan Free Trade League, and with Mortis Worthington C. Ford, Abraham L. Earle, and George Foster Peabody. There is also printed ephemera and notes and memoranda by Bowker. The papers relating to Bowker's biography consist of correspondence 1931-52 mainly of Rose Weinberg, former personal secretary to Bowker, with Allan Nevins, Trumbull White, E. McClung Fleming, Caroline T. Bowker and others relating to the completion of a biography of Bowker.
The letterbooks 1875-1913 in 17 volumes have the same content as the general correspondence. Included are two volumes of correspondence 1888-91 of A. E. Walradt and William Moore of The Economist Press, and one volume of correspondence 1189-91 of George Isles as secretary of the Society for Political Education of which Bowker was chairman.
The writings consist of manuscripts, typescripts and galley proofs of Bowker's writings and speeches including his editorials in the Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly, poems, books and autobiographical writings. Included are a few writings in pencil by others.
The diaries 1859-1932 are mainly pocket-size and record in pencil briefly his comings and goings, appointments and engagements. Included are a pocket size address and account books. The travel journals l860's-1926 reflect Bowker's travels in New York, California, the West Indies, Panama, England, Europe, Jerusalem, Russia and his trip around the world in 1898. His social and professional life in England in l881 as agent of Harper's Magazine is described in great detail. There are original ms. texts for most of the journals and typed transcript copies.
The accounts 1870-1932 consist of receipted bills for personal expenditures. Included is one account book 1889-1901 of business accounts. There are also bank books, cancelled checks, and personal ledgers 1893-1910.
The papers of Daniel Rogers Bowker b. 1820 Bowker's father consist of his correspondence 1880-95 with his son relative to business and family matters, and patent papers 1893-95 consisting of American and foreign letters patent for improvements in grain storage warehouses together with collateral correspondence.
The scrapbooks 1868-1958 in six volumes contain personal and political papers including clippings of writings by and about Bowker, obituaries, memorial tributes, and printed campaign literature issued by the Independent Republicans in New York relative to the N. Y. State gubernatorial campaign of 1879 and the presidential campaigns of 1880 and 1884.
The photographs include portraits of Bowker, a few photographs of other persons, and three daguerreotypes of unidentified persons. Present with the photographs is a small fragment of electrical cable from the Edison estate said to be the first example of underground cable which was first used in November of 1880.
The printed matter includes copies, of the Periodical The Million 1884-86 and Iowa journal devoted to tariff reform, copies of several New York newspapers especially the Evening Mail; copies of The Freeman 1885 devoted to tariff and civil service reform, pamphlets on bimetallism, campaign literature relative to the presidential campaigns of l884, 1896 and 1904.