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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the William Leigh Sowers Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: undated
Creator: Sowers, William Leigh (1886-1969)
Extent: .50 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0073
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: Professor, University of Iowa Department of English, 1923-1958. Theatre and drama professor. Unpublished manuscript.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These materials were transferred to the University Archives with English Department records in 1997.

Preferred Citation: William Leigh Sowers Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

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.

This collection consists of one unpublished manuscript by Sowers, Light Musical Plays in London, 1865-1900: a History of Burlesque, Opera-bouffe, Comic Opera, and Musical Comedy.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.
Folder, "Sowers, William," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Folder, "Tennessee Williams," Alumni and Former Students Vertical File (RG01.0015.001)

Records of the Dept. of Communication Studies and Theatre Arts (RG06.0024.003)

Records of the Dept. of Theatre Arts (RG06.0024.003)

Edward Charles Mabie Papers (RG99.0188)

Norman Felton (MsC0265)

Federal Theatre Project Records (MsC0314)

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

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: MANUSCRIPT
  • Box 1:
  • "Light Musical Plays in London, 1865-1900: A History of Burlesque, Opera-bouffe, Comic Opera, and Musical Comedy."

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Sowers, William Leigh, 1886-1969

Corporate Names:
University of Iowa. Department of English


Geographic Names:

Genre/Form of Materials:
Manuscripts (Document genre)

University of Iowa Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Associates' Papers