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Ric and Billie Barbara Masten papers

Identifier: MS-007

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1894-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1929-2008


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for research by appointment only. Please contact Archives and Special Collections staff in advance to request access.

Conditions Governing Use

California State University, Monterey Bay does not hold copyright to all materials in this collection. Archives and Special Collections recognizes that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of copyright.


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.


15.73 Linear Feet (7 record cartons, 4 file boxes, 1 half file box, 2 flat boxes, and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Writings, correspondence, clippings, photographs, business records, recordings, publications, fliers, posters, artwork, notes, scrapbooks and other personal papers of Ric Masten and Billie Barbara Masten, from 1894, 1929-2008. The bulk of the collection documents Ric’s career as a traveling poet and folk singer. Additional items include materials documenting Billie Barbara’s work as a poet, artist, and performer.


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

Donated by Billie Barbara Masten and April F. Masten, 2010.

Processing Information

This collection was processed based on its original organization at the time of its donation to CSUMB. This collection was processed by Robin Guthrie, with the assistance of Josiah Peralta and Peter Alvarez.



Guide to the Ric and Billie Barbara Masten papers
Finding aid prepared by Robin Guthrie, with the assistance of Laura Berger.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the California State University, Monterey Bay Archives and Special Collections Repository

Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library
100 Campus Center
Seaside CA 93955 United States