Scope and Contents
The scrapbook, also referred to as the 'memory book', begins in 1927, during Albert Vann Fowler's time at Haverford. It contains clippings and letters from notables of the day. Additionally, there are photographs of buildings and people on Haverford's campus. The scrapbook primarily covers the endeavors of the Liberal Club, of which Albert Vann Fowler was chairman. It documents the talks of numerous speakers who came to campus, addressing topics of socialism and anti-war. Photographs include a class photo, Lloyd Hall, the Observatory, Ryan Gymnasium, and the entrance to the college. Finally, there is an address book of friends and acquaintences with home addresses and commentary.
Biographical / Historical
"Albert Vann Fowler was born in Syracuse, NY, in 1904; as an infant he suffered a seizure which left him with a lifelong speech impediment and facial spasms. His father was a prominent lawyer and banker, and his grandfather, Irving G. Vann, a member of the NYS Court of Appeals. He earned an A.B. in History from Haverford College in 1927. During his time at Haverford, he was the editor of the Record and treasurer for his class during his sophomore year. He was also a member of numerous socieities on campus and Chairman of the Liberal Club. After Haverford, he pursued graduate level studies in Psychology and Journalism at Columbia University from 1927 to 1928. During the next several years he worked as a freelance journalist in Syracuse and wrote poetry. Fowler married Helen Frances Wose in 1937. After their marriage, the couple moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where they began to collaborate in poetry as well as in life. The couple had one child, Albert Wose Fowler, who was born in 1940.
As a committed pacifist, Fowler joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and in 1940 became a member of the Society of Friends. The couple moved to suburban Philadelphia in 1946 and spent the years 1946-1947 at Pendle Hill, a Quaker study center. In 1947, Albert, Helen, and other resident writers at Pendle Hill founded the literary quarterly, Approach, which included submissions of poetry, short stories, and critical work primarily by young authors. Helen served as its managing editor and maintained most of the correspondence. Helen and Albert also wrote a number of prose and poetical works which were published in Approach.
Following their residence at Pendle Hill, the couple moved to Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where they remained until their deaths. They founded Ahab Press in 1946 and planned to publish works by other authors under this imprint, but these plans were never realized. In 1947, Albert finished editing the American edition of Arnold Toynbee's work, War and Civilization.
In the 1950's, he began work on a series of articles which explored the concept of individual freedom from Rousseau to the present. He questioned the ideal of freeing natural man from the corruption of his institutions and intended to publish this material in book form, including much of the material which had appeared in the earlier articles, but this was never accomplished. The Fowlers spent a good deal of time at Cranberry Lake, the family house in the Adirondacks. Albert V. Fowler edited two anthologies of regional history and folklore that included some of their own prose and poetry which were published by the Adirondack Museum in 1959 and 1968. In the early `60's, Albert Fowler began work on The Fish God, an autobiographical narrative poem which was published in the Spring of 1961. Later versions appeared in mimeographed form, including The Fish God of You Fool (September, 1963), Fools Island (1965), and Fools Island-Edmonds Revision (1966). Together with The Kingdom and Three Crowns, they made up the Rosemont Trilogy. These three works documented his continuing and very painful difficulties in dealing with both his own and his wife's family relationships.
In December of 1968, after a long illness, Fowler died. Soon after, Helen became suddenly ill and succumbed only hours after her husband had died."
Biographical Note taken from Albert Vann Fowler Papers RG5/046, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College