Collection RBSC-ARC-1857 - Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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Physical description area

Physical description

6.2 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Since the initial donation by Margerie Lowry in 1961, multiple contributors have added to RBSC’s collection of materials pertaining to the life and works of Malcolm Lowry. In most cases, the only materials from these donors and sellers held by RBSC is related to Malcolm Lowry. The Collection is also a landmark collection for UBC and receives a relatively high degree of interaction from scholars around the world and others. Given this, in 1985 RBSC collated materials, collections, and fonds pertaining to Malcolm Lowry under a single umbrella collection, which has evolved into the current Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection. Organizing Lowry materials under a single umbrella collection allows for ease of search for researchers and greater intellectual control for RBSC over this key collection of records.

Custodial history

Materials in the Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection came to RBSC from a variety of sources, predominantly friends and family of Malcolm Lowry and Lowry scholars. Custodial histories, where available, are provided at the sous-fonds level.

Scope and content

The Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection includes textual records, photographs, and a variety of audio-visual materials organized into sous-fonds by creator. The Collection is predominantly textual records; the majority of materials are correspondence and manuscripts, many of which have been microfilmed.

The core of the Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection is the Malcolm Lowry Papers, and the content of the Collection is consequently thematic. Materials pertaining to Malcolm Lowry’s life and works were collected by RBSC from a variety of sources, including Lowry’s friends and family.

As of the 2023 rearrangement of the Collection, the records are arranged in sous-fonds as follows:

SF01 Malcolm Lowry Papers
SF02 Margerie Lowry Papers
SF03 Earle Birney Papers
SF04 Harvey Burt Papers
SF05 Victor Doyen Papers
SF06 Anthony Kilgallin Papers
SF07 Carol Betty Atwater Papers
SF08 William McConnell Papers
SF09 David Markson Papers
SF10 Einar Neilson Papers
SF11 William Templeton Papers
SF12 Lowry Family Papers
SF13 Photographs
SF14 Microfilm
SF15 Douglas Day Papers
SF16 Rudy Wurlitzer Papers

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection has been arranged into sous-fonds by creator, each entitled with the creator’s first and last name followed by the word “Papers”. The sous-fonds are largely the same as the sub-collections and fonds included in the previous iteration of the Collection.

Previous arrangement and description of the Collection and its sous-fonds predated RAD; the arrangement and descriptions of the Malcolm Lowry Manuscripts Collection are now RAD compliant, and accruals not added to the previous finding aid have been integrated.

A re-arrangement of the Collection occurred at an unknown point after the initial deposit of materials in 1961, though no information about the nature or extent of the re-arrangement remains extant.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

See Archivist for details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Previous finding aid for the Collection, prepared by Judith O. Combs in 1973, and revised by Cynthia Sugars in 1985, is available. Note that the previous finding aid is no longer an accurate representation of the organization of the Collection, nor of its full extent.

Associated materials


Acquisitions related to Lowry from 2001 to the present are linked through the Lowry subject access point. New acquisitions that fit the criteria may be added.

Accompanying material

Other records relating to the life and works of Malcolm Lowry can be found in the Paul Tiessen fonds, the J. Harold Woolmer fonds, the Philip J. Thomas fonds, the Hilda Thomas fonds, and vertical files VF-0243a-c (Muriel C. Bradbrook), VF-0256 (National Film Board), VF-0283 (Jan Gabrial), VF-0299 (Brian O’Kill), and VF-0333 (Unitarian Church of Vancouver), all in UBC Library RBSC. See above Related Materials note.

Physical description

6.2 m of textual records, 1,131 photographs, 3 photograph albums, 403 negatives, 7 slides, 48 reels of microfilm, 22 reels of audio recordings (type unknown), 26 reels of optical sound film, 26 reels of magnetic sound film, 1 CD-R, 6 videocassettes, 7 cassettes, 9 phonograph records, 1 glass bottle

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Finding aid prepared by Malcolm Fish, 2023. Previous finding aid prepared by Judith O. Combs in 1973 and revised by Cynthia Sugars in 1985.

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