William Smith Mason of Evanson, Illinois, former Pomona College Trustee, gave his Western Americana library to Pomona in 1915. Among the books in the collection, one will find important works of travels and voyages and histories. By the mid-1970s, gifts from Homer Crotty and others and books purchased from general library funds brought the Mason Collection to number over seven thousand volumes. This represents one of the most distinguished assemblies of books on the West and California in any library. Rich in primary sources such as early advertising pamphlets and secondary sources including county histories, one will also find contemporary accounts of explorers and figures of the gold rush period. A twentieth century highlight is Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian in twenty-five volumes with an additional twenty portfolios of plates, published 1907–1930. Also in the Mason Collection is the 55 volume work by Emma Helen Blair, The Philippine Islands, 1493–1803. The text runs to 1898, with one volume of bibliography and a two volume index.

For more information:

Blais (the online catalog)

Card catalog

Contact Special Collections

Other collection of interest:

Wagner Collection of Western Americana

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