The William Randolph Fowler Collection documents the career of author and composer Will Fowler. The collection also contains manuscript drafts and office files produced by Will's father, Gene Fowler, a biographer and newspaperman. Included in the papers are drafts, corrected typescripts, galley proofs, published manuscripts, and transcripts and notes for the articles, books, plays, screen scripts and short stories written by both men. The collection also includes musical scores and photographs, and has been divided into three series: William Randolph Fowler Files (1891-2001), Gene Fowler Files (1915-1963), and William Randolph Fowler Research Files (1909-1997).
Series I, William Randolph Fowler Files, documents the writings of Will Fowler, and includes correspondence as well as manuscripts for numerous works, including articles, books, and musical scores. Materials are separated into six subseries: Subseries A, Articles (1946-1989), includes materials published in magazines, newspapers, and other publications are filed alphabetically by article title. Subseries B, Books (1946-2001) consists of notes, drafts, galley proofs, and other iterations of manuscripts including photographs, and is filed alphabetically by title. Subseries C, Newspaper Coverage (1945-1952), consists of newspaper clippings documenting some of the news stories Fowler covered as a reporter for Hearst papers in Los Angeles, and is filed chronologically. Subseries D, Plays and Screen Scripts, (1938-2000) consists of script drafts filed alphabetically by title. Subseries E, Office Files (1891-2000), represents Fowler's personal and professional dealings, reflecting the association of the Fowler family with figures such as Ben Hecht and H. Allen Smith, as well as his business relationship with author Robert Slatzer. The subseries consists of contracts, correspondence, Fowler family genealogical information including family photographs, legal files, scrapbooks, and audio and video recordings. Among these recordings are 71 unclassified open-reel audio recordings. Non-manuscript material is arranged by format. This series is filed alphabetically. Subseries F, Musical Scores (1940-1986), includes scores authored by Fowler, some of which are accompanied by audio recordings. Non-manuscript material is arranged by format. The series is filed alphabetically by title.
Series II, Gene Fowler Files, documents work by Gene Fowler. This series is divided into two subseries. Subseries A, Literary Works (1922-1961), includes manuscript drafts for such titles as Illusions in Java (1939), Lady Scatterly's Lovers (1973) and Queen Christina (ca. 1933), and a taped recording of John Barrymore reading "The Cowboys Lament" written by Gene Fowler. Also included are transcripts from an in-depth interview with entertainer Red Skelton and his wife conducted in early 1951. Subseries B, Office Files (1915-1963), documents some of Gene Fowler's professional and personal relationships, and consists primarily of correspondence that is filed alphabetically.
Series III, William Randolph Fowler Research Files, contains research files for Will Fowler’s writing projects. These files consist of correspondence, clippings, and notes and include significant material regarding his father Gene as well as recorded interviews and conversations conducted by or with Will Fowler for the writing of his book The Reporters with Agnes Bane, Jim Murray, Gus Newman, and Agness Underwood, among others. Of particular interest are the interviews for the investigation of the "Black Dahlia Murder Case" with Edward and Alice Miller. There are also extensive audio-recordings of interviews and discussions between Will Fowler and Robert F. Slatzer, Frank Capell, Harlan V. Baker, Bob Yeager, doctors Gulligsrud, Wisley, and Choi, and others during the investigation and writing of the biography The Life and Curious Death of Marilyn Monroe. Please note that some of the language and/or content may be inappropriate or offensive to some patrons. Non-manuscript material is arranged by format. The series is filed alphabetically.