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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of William Leigh Sowers
Collection Dates: undated
0.5 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were transferred to the University Archives with English Department records in 1997. Guide created and posted to the Internet by Denise Anderson March 2007.

Photographs: None

William Leigh Sowers, undated

William Leigh Sowers, undated

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one unpublished manuscript by Sowers, "Light Musical Plays in London, 1865-1900: a History of Burlesque, Opera-bouffe, Comic Opera, and Musical Comedy."  It numbers 1138 pages, housed in one box.

Biographical Note

William Leigh Sowers was born April 15, 1886, in Bedford, Iowa.  He earned his B.A. at Lake Forest College in 1907.  He took his M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University, in 1910 and 1914.  Dr. Sowers taught English at the University of Texas after graduating at Harvard, where he remained until 1919.  Sowers then joined the faculty at the State University of Iowa in 1923 as an assistant professor of English.  He was made full professor in 1951, and retired in 1958.  Dr. Sowers' area of specialty was theatre and drama, and he instructed many students who later developed successful theatre careers, including Tennessee Williams and Norman Felton.  His articles about stagecraft appeared in The Texas Review, The Drama, The Theatre Arts Magazine, and Scribner's Magazine, between 1916 and 1923.  Sowers died February 23, 1969.

[D. Anderson; 03/2007]

Related Materials

Folder, "Sowers, William," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Records of the Dept. of Communication Studies and Theatre Arts

Records of the Dept. of Theatre Arts

Papers of Edward Charles Mabie

Federal Theatre Project

Our Beloved Uncle Leigh, 1886-1969. N.p., 1982. 59 pp. W. Leigh Sowers. Location: Special Collections x-collection 94-303. 

Papers of Norman Felton

Tennessee Williams Alumni and Former Students Vertical File (RG 01.15.01)

Box Contents List


Box 1

Manuscript, "Light Musical Plays in London, 1865-1900: A History of Burlesque, Opera-bouffe, Comic Opera, and Musical Comedy."