Ric and Billie Barbara Masten papers
Writings, correspondence, clippings, ephemera, photographs, business records, notes, scrapbooks and other personal papers of Ric and Billie Barbara Masten. The bulk of the collection documents Ric’s career as a poet and performer from 1959 until his death in 2008 and includes photocopied sheet music of Ric’s songs, correspondence, business records from Sunflower Ink Publishing, contracts, touring calendars, performance materials, promotional items, photographs, artwork, published works, and audio recordings. The collection includes materials related to Ric’s early education and career, as well as materials documenting Ric’s involvement with the Unitarian Universalist Association. It also contains personal documents, correspondence, photographs, and a few items from Ric’s father and grandfather, which date back to 1894. Additional items include materials documenting Billie Barbara’s work as a poet, author, artist, and performer, as well as more personal items of Billie Barbara’s, such as her dream logs and journals.
- Majority of material found within 1929-2008
- Masten, Ric (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
15.73 Linear Feet (7 record cartons, 4 file boxes, 1 half file box, 2 flat boxes, and 1 oversize folder)
Ric Masten was an artist, songwriter, folksinger, poet and Unitarian minister. He was born in Carmel, California on June 20, 1929. Ric graduated from Montezuma High School in Los Gatos, California in 1946, and attended several colleges, but never received a degree. Ric studied painting in Paris at the Institut des Beaux Arts, but upon returning to Carmel, began writing and producing musical comedies at the Forest Theater, where he met his future wife, Billie Barbara. He settled with his family in Palo Colorado Canyon, the area of Big Sur which was often the subject of his 23 books and other performance pieces. Ric started songwriting and eventually began performing his own poetry. Beginning in 1966, he traveled extensively, performing at hundreds of conferences, colleges, schools, and churches. Through the years, Ric received numerous awards and honors, both nationally and internationally. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from CSUMB. Ric Masten died May 9, 2008 of prostate cancer.
Billie Barbara Masten was an actress, poet and artist. She was born Billie Barbara Bolton in San Bernardino, California in 1932 and moved with her parents to Carmel five years later. Billie Barbara studied voice and theatre at Monterey Peninsula College. An aspiring actress, Billie Barbara married Ric Masten after they met at Carmel’s Forest Theatre. After raising their family, Billie Barbara joined her husband on tour in the mid-seventies and began performing with him and on her own at universities, churches, prisons, women’s shelters, and retirement homes. Billie Barbara died December 4, 2012 from a stroke.
Materials are arranged in 8 series:
Series 1: Music and Sun Ink Publishing, 1959-2007
Series 2: Performances, 1959-2008
Series 3: Billie Barbara Masten, 1932-2008
Series 4: Personal, 1894, 1929-2008
Series 5: Clippings, 1952-2008
Series 6: Publications, 1970-2007
Series 7: Audiovisual, 1970-2001
Series 8: Oversize and artifacts, 1947-2008
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Guide to the Ric and Billie Barbara Masten papers
- Finding aid prepared by Robin Guthrie, with the assistance of Laura Berger.
- Description rules