Lawrence Clark Powell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the police officer, see Laurence Powell.
Lawrence Powell (1960)

Lawrence Clark Powell (b. Washington, DC, September 6, 1906; d. Arizona, March 14, 2001) was a librarian, literary critic, bibliographer and author of more than 100 books.[1]

He was University Librarian at the UCLA Library and head librarian of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library from 1944 until 1961. He was the first dean of the School of Library Service at UCLA, which later merged to become the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He received a BA from Occidental College in 1928, a doctorate from the University of Burgundy in Dijon (Université de Bourgogne) in 1932, and a Certificate of Librarianship from UC Berkeley in 1937.

After retiring from UCLA in 1966, Powell moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1971, where – as Professor in Residence for nearly two decades - he was instrumental in the growth of the University of Arizona Graduate School of Library Science, now known as the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science. The University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections holds a collection of Powell’s papers documenting his time in Tucson,[2] and the Fay and Lawrence Clark Powell Endowment for Southwest Research continues to support Powell’s interest in the geography of the southwest United States.[3]

The Lawrence Clark Powell Memorial Lecture is held in Tucson annually in Powell’s honor, with noted authors speaking about topics relevant to Powell’s work, and Lifetime Achievement awards have been granted at the Memorial Lecture in prior years.[4]

In 1934, Powell moved to Laguna Beach, California with his wife Fay, to live next door to M.F.K. Fisher, with whom he maintained a great correspondence and friendship.[5]

In the 1930s, Powell was a correspondent, friend, and bibliographer for John Steinbeck as he composed Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath.[6]

Henry Miller wrote in his book The Air-Conditioned Nightmare that L. C. Powell, "a humble, modest librarian at U.C.L.A." was (apart from Ed Ricketts) the only person whom Miller, during his journey across the USA, found "satisfied with his lot, adjusted to his environment, happy in his work, and representative of all that is best in the American tradition".[7]


  1. ^ "Powell, Lawrence Clark." Current Biography. 1960. Current Biography. Online. H.W. Wilson. Accessed January 10, 2008.
  2. ^ University of Arizona. Lawrence Clark Powell Papers, Special Collections. Retrieved September 5, 2013, from
  3. ^ University of Arizona. Support, Special Collections. Retrieved September 5, 2013, from
  4. ^ Pima County Community Library. Lawrence Clark Powell Memorial Lectures, Books. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from
  5. ^ Barr, Norah Kennedy (1993), Foreword to Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me: journals and stories, 1933–1941, M. F. K. Fisher. New York: Pantheon Books p.XI
  6. ^ Benson, Jackson J. (1984). John Steinbeck, Writer. Penguin. pp. 295, 320, 349, 360. 362. ISBN 978-0-14-014417-8. 
  7. ^ Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, New Directions, 1945, pp. 18 - 19

External links[edit]