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The Rowlands Collection comprises over 800 titles on FDR and the New Deal, dating from 1904-2010. The walls of the study area adjacent to the collection are hung with photographs representing FDR and his years in the White House.
For any questions regarding the collection, the phone number to call is the Concord Library at 925-602-6725.
The University Libraries of CSU East Bay are pleased to announce the establishment of a permanent research collection at the CSUEB Concord Campus.
Made possible by a generous donation from the Rowlands Family, this unique collection of materials relating to President Franklin D. Roosevelt is located on the second level of the Concord Campus Library.
After three decades working on budgets and administration for the University of California and serving under five presidents, Kirk O. Rowlands retired in 2009. After only three years of retirement, Mr. Rowlands passed away on July 9, 2012.
As an avid reader and book collector, Mr. Rowlands would note in his desk calendar trips to Black Oak Books to pick up the latest presidential biography. He was a collector, and his home in the Berkeley Hills proved this wherein he installed bookshelves lining every available alcove and wall. Over the years, he acquired several thousand hardback volumes, some written by friends and
acquaintances such as Flora Lewis, with whom he traveled by ship on a student exchange trip to Japan in 1940. Perhaps inspired by the notion of a gentleman's library that Thomas Jefferson once compiled for Robert Skipwith in Williamsburg in 1771, the collection was varied and extensive.
Most of his books, however, were histories chronicling foreign affairs, U.S. history and presidential politics, including nearly 800 volumes about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his hero and the defining figure of his generation. In addition to collecting books and memorabilia honoring the nation's only four-term president, he greatly enjoyed trips to Hyde Park in New York, the Roosevelt memorial in Washington, D.C. and the USS Potomac, the presidential yacht docked at Jack London Square. He eagerly snapped photos of an FDR impersonator who sauntered about the decks of this "Floating White House" on bay cruises sponsored by the Potomac Association, of which he was a board member.
His family carried out his wishes when they donated his 800 volumes about FDR as one single collection to the CSUEB University Libraries. It is currently housed in the Concord Campus Library.