At retirement in 1919, after forty-four years as University Librarian, Rowell was made Librarian Emeritus and University Archivist. He continued at this post for nearly twenty years, until his death in 1938. At his memorial service, President Robert Gordon Sproul remarked, "He did his work quietly and thoroughly, and his death, though it shatters the last living link of the present staff with the small group of men who brought the University of California into being, cannot deprive us of the influence which he exerted upon its character and achievements."
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