Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001

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Lawrence Clark Powell was a noted writer and librarian. Powell was well-known for his writings on librarianship and the literature of the American Southwest, including books such as Books West Southwest and Southwest Classics. He served as head librarian at UCLA from 1944 to 1961, when he became the founding dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Library Service. After retiring from UCLA, Powell moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1971, where he served as a Professor in Residence at the University of Arizona's newly-established Graduate School of Library Science. He played a major role in the development of the School as well as the University of Arizona Library until the late 1980s. Powell died in Tucson on March 14, 2001 at the age of 94.

From the guide to the Lawrence Clark Powell papers, 1890-2001 (bulk, 1971-1991), (University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections)

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was an American author. Lawrence Clark Powell (1906-2001) was University Librarian at the University of California at Los Angeles and director of their William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. Among his other interests, Powell conducted bibliographical studies on Steinbeck and collected Steinbeck's first editions.

From the guide to the Lawrence Clark Powell papers concerning John Steinbeck, 1935-1941., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Lawrence Clark Powell was born Sept. 3, 1906 in Washington, D.C.; his family moved to South Pasadena, CA in 1910. He earned a BA from Occidental College in 1928 and his Ph.D. from the University of Dijon, France, in 1932. He worked at Jake Zeitlin's bookstore in Los Angeles during the mid-1930s and graduated from the library school at UC Berkeley in 1937. He worked briefly at the Los Angeles Public Library before joining the UCLA Library staff in 1938. He served as the UCLA Librarian from 1944 to 1961, director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library from 1944 to 1966, and became the first Dean, UCLA School of Library Service, in 1960. When he retired from UCLA in 1966, the campus's main library was named in his honor. A prolific author, Powell's writings include books and articles on a variety of topics including literature, librarianship, the book trade, California history, and travel. He served as professor-in-residence at the University of Arizona from 1971, and was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the American Library Association in 1981. He died in February (?) 2001.

From the description of Collection on Lawrence Clark Powell, 1937-1990. (San Leandro Community Library). WorldCat record id: 703637375

Powell was head librarian at UCLA and wrote several books on the literature of the American Southwest.

From the description of Lawrence Clark Powell Southwest broadside collection, 1953- 1956. (Museum of New Mexico Library). WorldCat record id: 37397756

From the guide to the Lawrence Clark Powell Southwest Broadside Collection, 1953-1956, (Museum of New Mexico. Fray Angélico Chávez History Library.)

American librarian and author.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Los Angeles, to Frederick B. Adams, Jr., 1939 Aug. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270618863

Powell was born Sept. 3, 1906 in Washington, D.C.; his family moved to South Pasadena, CA, 1910; BA, Occidental College, 1928; Ph. D., Univ. of Dijon, France, 1932; worked at Jake Zeitlin's bookstore in Los Angeles, mid-1930s; graduated from library school, UC Berkeley, 1937; worked briefly at the Los Angeles Public Library; joined the UCLA Library staff in 1938; UCLA Librarian, 1944-61, and director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1944-66; became the first Dean, UCLA School of Library Service, 1960; when he retired from UCLA in 1966, the campus's main library was named in his honor; a prolific author, Powell's writings include books and articles on a variety of topics including literature, librarianship, the book trade, California history, and travel; professor-in-residence at the Univ. of Arizona from 1971; awarded an Honorary Life Membership of the American Library Association, 1981.

From the description of Papers, 1914- (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 38060659

Biographical note

Lawrence Clark Powell was born Sept. 3, 1906 in Washington, D.C.; his family moved to South Pasadena, CA in 1910. He earned a BA from Occidental College in 1928 and his Ph.D. from the University of Dijon, France, in 1932. He worked at Jake Zeitlin's bookstore in Los Angeles during the mid-1930s and graduated from the library school at UC Berkeley in 1937. He worked briefly at the Los Angeles Public Library before joining the UCLA Library staff in 1938. He served as the UCLA Librarian from 1944 to 1961, director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library from 1944 to 1966, and became the first Dean, UCLA School of Library Service, in 1960. When he retired from UCLA in 1966, the campus's main library was named in his honor. A prolific author, Powell's writings include books and articles on a variety of topics including literature, librarianship, the book trade, California history, and travel. He served as professor-in-residence at the University of Arizona from 1971, and was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the American Library Association in 1981. He died in February (?) 2001.

From the guide to the Collection on Lawrence Clark Powell, 1937-1990, (USC Libraries Special Collections)

Biographical Information:

Lawrence Clark Powell was born in Washington D.C. in 1906, graduated from Occidental College in 1928, and received his PhD from the University of Dijon, France, in 1932. Upon returning to the United States, Powell took apprenticeships among bookstores, publishers and libraries of Los Angeles and entered the Library Science program at the University of California, Berkeley from which he received his Master of Library Science in 1937. Powell joined the staff of the University of California Los Angeles library in 1938 and held the position of University Librarian from 1944-1961 and Dean of the Graduate School of Library Service from 1960-1966. During his years at UCLA, the library grew from 400,000 to 3 million volumes, he created the Special Collections Department of the library and he founded the Graduate School of Library Service. As a result of his contributions to UCLA, the undergraduate library was renamed in his honor.

From the guide to the Lawrence Clark Powell Collection, 1964-1984, (Special Collections & University Archives)

Biography

Powell was born September 3, 1906 in Washington, D.C.; his family moved to South Pasadena, California, 1910; BA, Occidental College, 1928; Ph.D., University of Dijon, France, 1932; worked at Jake Zeitlin's bookstore in Los Angeles, mid-1930s; graduated from library school, University of California at Berkeley, 1937; worked briefly at the Los Angeles Public Library; joined the UCLA Library staff in 1938; UCLA Librarian, 1944-61, and director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1944-66; became the first Dean, UCLA School of Library Service, 1960; when he retired from UCLA in 1966, the campus's main library was named in his honor; a prolific author, Powell's writings include books and articles on a variety of topics including literature, librarianship, the book trade, California history, and travel; professor-in-residence at the University of Arizona from 1971; awarded an Honorary Life Membership of the American Library Association, 1981. Powell died in 2001.

Biographical Narrative

Lawrence Clark Powell was born in Washington, D.C., on September 3, 1906. His parents, G. Harold and Gertrude (Clark) Powell, soon moved to Southern California, where Lawrence grew up. His early schooling was in South Pasadena, and he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he received a bachelor's degree in English in 1928. Moving to France for his graduate studies, Lawrence Powell earned a Ph.D. at the University of Dijon in 1932, for work on Robinson Jeffers and his poetry. Soon after his return to the United States, Dr. Powell married Fay Ellen Shoemaker; they have two sons.

Although Lawrence Clark Powell knew that his main interest was in books, he had not yet discovered librarianship, and for several years he worked with booksellers in Los Angeles. During this period he helped Ward Ritchie and Jake Zeitlin, who had begun the Ward Ritchie and the Primavera Presses, to publish western books. Then he decided to go to the UC School of Librarianship at Berkeley, where in 1937 he received the certificate of librarianship.

Lawrence Clark Powell's first position after graduation was with the Los Angeles Public Library; he soon (1938) joined the UCLA library, however, with which he has been associated since. In 1944 Lawrence Clark Powell was appointed Director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, and in the same year he became Head Librarian of the UCLA Library. The Clark Library, specializing in books on English civilization of the 17th and early 18th centuries, grew from 16,000 volumes in 1934 to over 65,000 today, and the UCLA library as a whole went from 480,000 to 1,570,000 volumes during the period that Dr. Powell was at its head.

Due to Lawrence Clark Powell's efforts, in 1946 the library organized a department of Special Collections to house rare and valuable material. Dr. Powell's frequent book-hunting trips, such as the year spent in England (1951) in conjunction with a Guggenheim Fellowship, have enriched this department. As a result of Dr. Powell's activities UCLA obtained the noted Sadleir Collection of 19th-Century Fiction, as well as other important collections. Another project dear to the heart of UCLA's head librarian was the establishment of a School of Library Service on the UCLA campus. The school came into being in the fall of 1960, with Lawrence Clark Powell as its first dean. In June, 1961, Dr. Powell relinquished the title of University Librarian to Robert Vosper, continuing as Dean of the Library School and as Director of the Clark Library.

Lawrence Clark Powell is a vigorous proponent of a philosophy of librarianship stressing thorough knowledge of books and desire to serve the needs of the public rather than technological developments, or as he has called them, mechanical house-keeping techniques..

Using various means for diffusing his ideas on books and libraries, Lawrence Clark Powell has become known as an educator, a lecturer, and an author. In 1954 he spent a year as visiting professor of library science at Columbia University, and from 1955 to 1960 as Lecturer in English he taught a course called Libraries and Learning (English 195), at UCLA. 1960, of course, saw Dr. Powell as Dean of the new UCLA Library School.

Only a brief indication can be given here of the extent of Dr. Powell's speaking and writing. Among a number of distinguished speaking engagements can be noted the Randolph G. Adams Memorial Lectureship at the University of Michigan (1953), the library lectureship at the University of Tennessee (1954), and the annual lecture given at the meeting of the Library Association of Great Britain (at Harrogate, 1957). Dr. Powell has been heard in many radio broadcasts, including the Books I Like series he gave on KFAC (Los Angeles) in 1935.

A prolific author, Lawrence Clark Powell has written over 300 items: books, magazine articles, essays, book reviews, forewords and introductions to books, bibliographies, etc. He has made a significant contribution to the literature of the library profession, but he also writes for the book-minded public. His interests are reflected in the subjects that recur throughout his writings; these are history and travel, especially concerning the American Southwest, rare books, libraries and librarianship, the book trade, and book collecting.

As a measure of his involvement with the community, a few of the many organizations to which Lawrence Clark Powell has belonged can be cited. Dr. Powell has been a member of the American Library Association and many other such associations, president of the California Library Association in 1950, and president of the Bibliographical Society of America in 1954-55; he is a Phi Gamma Delta member, and belongs to the Zamorano Club (Los Angeles).

Dr. Powell has been recognized by Occidental College with the award of an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (1955) and by the Carnegie Institute of Technology with the honorary title of Doctor of Humane Letters (1961). Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, awarded him this same degree in 1963.

The Lawrence Clark Powell Papers were given to the UCLA Department of Special Collections as a continuing gift of Dr. Powell, in 1950. The collection is a growing one, as new material is added from time to time. The collection consists of manuscripts with holograph corrections, copies of Lawrence Clark Powell's publications, bibliographies and reviews of his works, tape recordings of speeches, correspondence, records of classes he has taught and organizations to which he has belonged, articles about Dr. Powell, and personal memorabilia and juvenilia.

Additional information and papers of Lawrence Clark Powell can be found in the Powell Family Papers, Collection Number 230; in the Records of the Office of the Librarian, B18, Series 9; and in other entries under Powell, Lawrence Clark, in the Numbered Collections Catalogue.

From the guide to the Lawrence Clark Powell Papers, 1914-, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Bradstreet, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Bradstreet collection on Lawrence Clark Powell, circa 1929-1970. University of California, Irvine. Library. Department of Special Collections
referencedIn H. Richard Archer and the Hippogryph Press Collection, 1928-1978 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
creatorOf Jeffers, Robinson, 1887-1962. Letters regarding Robinson Jeffers's "Stars," [manuscript], 1930-1936. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Black Stone Press : papers and ephemera, 1974-1996 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Wild, Peter. Papers of Peter Wild, 1989-[on-going]. University of Arizona Libraries
creatorOf Press of the Palace of Governors. Press of the Palace of the Governors records, 1974-1997. Museum of New Mexico Library
referencedIn W. H. Hutchinson Papers, 1925-1985 (bulk 1952-1979) Archives and Special Collections. New Mexico State University Library.
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Marquis, Neeta. Papers of Neeta Marquis, 1862-1957. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Correspondence with Alma Mahler and Isolde Klarmann, 1946-1947, 1978. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Address draft of Lawrence Clark Powell, 1953. Library of Congress
creatorOf Brent, Duncan. The Duncan and Fredrika Brent Collection, [ca. 1669-1983], (bulk dates 1958-1983). University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf White, William, 1910-1995. Collection of periodical literature related to Nathanael West / as collected by William White. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-. Autograph letter signed : Los Angeles, to Frederick B. Adams, Jr., 1939 Aug. 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Collection on Lawrence Clark Powell, 1937-1990 USC Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Typed letter signed Larry to: "Dear Rem." March 17, 1958. Wellesley College
referencedIn Koch, Peter Rutledge. Black Stone Press and Peter Koch, Printer : broadsides and ephemera, 1974-2010. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Lawrence Clark Powell papers concerning John Steinbeck, 1935-1941. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Amestoy, Helen Monnette. Collection of materials on Lawrence Clark Powell, 1957-1998. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Witter Bynner papers, 1829-1965. Houghton Library.
referencedIn A Collection of material about B. Traven, 1925-1959. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf Lawrence Clark Powell papers, 1890-2001 (bulk, 1971-1991) University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
referencedIn Zamin Ki Dost Papers, 1930-1960 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
referencedIn Hutchinson, W. H. (William Henry), 1910-1990. W.H. Hutchinson papers, 1902-1989 (bulk 1952-1979). New Mexico State University
referencedIn Frances Ring collection of Lawrence Clark Powell, 1973-1986 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001,. Papers : concerning John Steinbeck, [19--] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Lawrence Clark Powell Southwest broadside collection, 1953- 1956. Museum of New Mexico Library
creatorOf Lawrence Clark Powell Southwest Broadside Collection, 1953-1956 Museum of New Mexico. Fray Angélico Chávez History Library.
referencedIn Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963. Aldous Huxley oral history papers 1985-1990. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. Series V., Editor Files, 1873-1984 (bulk 1960-1980). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Reynolds, Jack E. Jack E. Reynolds papers, 1950-1977. University of Arizona Libraries
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Papers, 1914- University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Lewis Gannett papers, 1681-1966 (inclusive) 1900-1960 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Roy Vernon Sowers and Margaret Cosgrave Sowers papers, 1629-1994. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Theodore Roosevelt Collection: Books, pamphlets, periodicals, 18-- - <ongoing> Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn John R. Post collection of Lawrence Clark Powell material, 1919-1998 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Post, John R.,. Lawrence Clark Powell : collection of materials by and relating to, 1919-1998. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Frederick Webb Hodge Papers, 1894-1957 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
creatorOf Lawrence Clark Powell Collection, 1964-1984 Special Collections & University Archives
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. THE SEA AS SEEN BY EL SEA POWELL : printing samples, 1962. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Collection on Lawrence Clark Powell, 1937-1990. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
referencedIn Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection: Wildeiana, 1858-1998 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Typed letter signed "Larry" to: Remsen Bird July 10, 1953. Wellesley College
referencedIn Papers, 1860-1995 (inclusive) 1929-1992 (bulk) Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Conjunctions. Records I, 1981-1984. State Library of Ohio
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Lawrence Clark Powell papers relating to his book, California Classics, [ca. 1962-1972]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Zamin Ki Dost, 1866-1947. Papers, 1930-1960. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Southwest classics reread / compiled by Lawrence Clark Powell. Point Loma Nazarene University Library, Ryan Library
referencedIn University of California (System). Library Council. Administrative files of the UCLA University Librarian, 1945-1965 ; 1987, 1962-1965. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Jean Burden Papers, 1931-1992 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Elizabeth Bradstreet collection on Lawrence Clark Powell, circa 1929-1970 University of California, Irvine. Library. Department of Special Collections
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1955. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Reynolds, Jack E. Jack E. Reynolds papers, 1950-1977. University of Arizona Libraries
referencedIn W.H. Hutchinson papers, 1902-1989 New Mexico State University. Archives and Special Collections Department.
creatorOf Lawrence Clark Powell collection, 1964-1984. San Diego State University Library, SDSU Library and Information Access
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. : Series II., Alfred A. Knopf Personal, 1874-1984 (bulk 1953-1984). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Zamorano Club Keepsakes Collection, 1928-2008 Libraries of the Claremont Colleges. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Typed letter signed Larry to: "Dear Rem." January 20, 1958. Wellesley College
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Typed letter signed "Larry" to: Remsen Bird July 21, 1954. Wellesley College
referencedIn Henry Raup Wagner papers, 1917-1962, 1930-1952 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Lawrence Clark Powell Papers, 1914- University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
creatorOf Powell, Lawrence Clark, 1906-2001. Letter to Dale Bentz. Tucson, AZ. 1986 Mar. 3. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Publications, 1915-1991. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Post, John R. Lawrence Clark Powell bibliography : the collection of John R. Post : typescript, circa 2003. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Ring, Frances Kroll. Collection of Lawrence Clark Powell, 1973-1986. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Hodge, Frederick Webb, 1864-1956. Papers, 1894-1957. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Administrative files of the University Librarian, 1920-1978. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Collection of Material About B. Traven, 1925-1959 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
creatorOf Stein, Diana. La Galeria de Los Artesanos collection, 1953-2004. Museum of New Mexico Library
referencedIn La Galeria de Los Artesanos Collection, 1953-2004 Fray Angélico Chávez History Library.
creatorOf Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968. Letters to Lawrence Clark Powell and essays, 1936-1939. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Eddy, Harriet G. (Harriet Gertrude), 1876?-1966. Harriet G. Eddy papers, 1918-1967. California State Library
referencedIn Carpenter, Edwin H. Collection of material about Lawrence Clark Powell, 1934-1974. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Helen Amestoy Collection of Materials on Lawrence Clark Powell, 1957-1998 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
referencedIn Fisher, M. F. K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908-. Papers, 1860-1995 (inclusive) 1929-1992 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1853-2005 (inclusive), 1939-2003 (bulk). Houghton Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
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correspondedWith Altschul, Arthur G. (Arthur Goodhart), 1920-2002 person
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correspondedWith Archer, H. Richard (Horace Richard), 1911-1978 person
correspondedWith Argus Book Shop (Chicago, Ill.). corporateBody
associatedWith Austin, Mary Hunter, 1868-1934. person
correspondedWith Ballou, Robert O. (Robert Oleson), 1892-1977 person
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associatedWith Bentz, Dale M., person
associatedWith Bird, Remsen Du Bois, b. 1888. person
correspondedWith Black Cat Press. corporateBody
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correspondedWith Bynner, Witter, 1881-1968 person
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associatedWith Combs, Virgil E. person
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correspondedWith Covici, Friede Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Dahlstrom, Grant Edward. person
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correspondedWith Eccles, Mary Hyde. person
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associatedWith Ellen B. Frink. person
associatedWith Fisher, M. F. K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908- person
correspondedWith Fitzgerald, Gerry. person
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correspondedWith Monterey County Free Library. corporateBody
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correspondedWith Zamin Ki Dost, 1866-1947. person
associatedWith Zamorano Club corporateBody
associatedWith Zeitlin, Jake person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Los Angeles (Calif.)
California--Los Angeles
Southwest, New
Los Angeles (Calif.)
California--Los Angeles
Subject
Southwest, New
Historians--Archival resources
American literature--20th century
Library science--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
Library science
Librarians--Archival resources
Authors--Archival resources
Library science--Archival resources
Occupation
Authors--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
Historians--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
Librarians--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources
Collector
Function

Person

Birth 1906-09-06

Death 2001-03-14

Americans

English

Information

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