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Environmental Collections at The Bancroft Library: Key Collections

Key Collections

Documents pertaining to the adjudication of private land claims in California, 1852-1904
BANC MSS Land Case Files
 (microfilm use only, original documents restricted due to fragility)

The Land Case Files originally formed part of the private land claims adjudicated by the U.S. District Courts of California (Northern and Southern Districts). Materials include transcripts, witness depositions, materials presented as evidence, and other legal documents. There are 857 total cases represented. This collection is instrumental in determining early land and water boundaries and usage of early California.
► Collection Finding Aid

Maps of private land grant cases of California, 1852-1904
Land Case Map
 (original documents restricted due to fragility, available online)

This collection contains the maps removed from the Land Case Files.
► Collection Finding Aid (contains digital images)

Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund records, 1890-ongoing
BANC MSS 71/296

This collection contains substantial research files gathered by SCLDF attorneys during the ten years of litigation against Walt Disney Productions' planned ski resort in Sequoia National Forest at Mineral King, California. Recent additions cover environmental litigation cases of the SCLDF as well as amicus briefs where the SCLDF role was that of amicus curiae (friend of the court).
Collection Finding Aid

Alan Cranston papers, 1914-1993
BANC MSS 88/214
(partially restricted collection)

This collection consists of material relating to Cranston's pre-Senatorial career, Senate career, and other political activities. Of interest are the legislative files on environmental issues.
Collection Finding Aid

John Arthur Elston papers, 1918-1921
BANC MSS 79/64

This small collection contains correspondence regarding proposed legislation to enlarge Sequoia National Park along with copies of congressional bills, with related maps and reports.

California State Parks Council records, 1925-1929
BANC MSS 68/125

This collection relates to the campaign for a comprehensive state park program. Included are copies of letters written by Newton B. Drury and staff, incoming correspondence, interoffice memoranda, minutes of meetings, press releases, articles prepared for newspapers and magazines, speeches and statements, lists of speakers and speaking engagements, clippings, and reference materials, particularly relating to parks in other states.
Collection Finding Aid

Bernice Hubbard May papers, 1930-1975 (bulk 1959-1975)
BANC MSS 76/174

Of interest is substantive documentation of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), including reports on a wide variety of bay issues, preparatory to the Commission's master plan. Also included are reports and other documents from the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and its Citizens' Task Force, focusing on land acquisition efforts.

National Lawyers Guild records, 1936-1999
BANC MSS 99/280

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) was founded in 1937 as an alternative to the conservative and racially segregated American Bar Association. In the 1990s, it helped defend environmental activists, and in 2005, founded the Environmental Justice Committee. This collection is minimally processed, but some anti-nuclear files are identified.
► Collection Finding Aid

League of Women Voters of the Bay Area records, 1939-2001 (bulk 1960-1996)
BANC MSS 2004/162

This collection consists of administrative files and program records. Of interest is the subseries on natural resources that addresses local issues of air and water quality, environmental mitigation, land use, solid waste, and hazardous materials management.
► Collection Finding Aid

Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute collections, 1940-1998
BANC MSS 99/281
 (portion of collection is unprocessed and unavailable for use, select documents available online)

This collection documents 20th century American legal battles over civil liberties, human rights, labor rights, anti-war, peace law, nuclear proliferation and academic freedom. Of interest are the environmental protection case files on preservation of natural resources, water rights and quality, air and noise pollution, and nuclear and war hazards.
► Collection Finding Aid

Robert T. Matsui papers, 1940-2006 (bulk 1979-2004)
BANC MSS 2008/101
 (restricted collection, permission of Doris O. Matsui required for access)

This collection consists primarily of files Matsui compiled during his career as a politician, the bulk from his work in the United States House of Representatives as Congressman for California's Sacramento district. Of interest are the files on environmental and water issues.
► Collection Finding Aid

Collection of newspaper clippings, press releases, pamphlets, and ephemeral material on California politics and government: additions, 1944-1979 (bulk 1965-1970)
BANC MSS 74/152

Of interest in this small collection are the files on Pollution, California and the Atomic Energy Commission as well as those on water use.

Phillip Burton papers, 1945-1986 (bulk 1956-1983)
BANC MSS 87/233

This collection consists primarily of material Burton compiled during his career as a politician. Of interest are his files pertaining to the United States National Parks system kept during his service on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs during his tenure in the United States House of Representatives.
► Collection Finding Aid

David Pesonen papers, 1953-1987 (bulk 1961-1984)
BANC MSS 98/133

This collection consists primarily of environmental reports, court proceedings, newspaper clippings, and correspondence accumulated by Pesonen during his time as an environmental activist, lawyer, and judge in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Collection Finding Aid

Alan Stein papers, 1955-1994
BANC MSS 2018/199

This collection documents the work the Point Baker and Salmon Bay Protective Associations on environmental legislation in Alaska. Included are legal documents as well as legislation and lobbying materials.
Collection Finding Aid

David Donald Mulford papers, 1957-1970
BANC MSS 76/156

This collection contains material amassed during Mulford's time as California State Assemblyman for the 16th District and the 18th District (Oakland-Berkeley-Piedmont) from 1957 to 1970. Of interest are the Assembly and Senate Bill files which include environmental legislation.
► Collection Finding Aid

Robert Jasperson papers, 1958-1984
BANC MSS 2007/135

This collection contains records relating to Jasperson's involvement with the Conservation Law Society of America, the Sierra Club Foundation, Save-the-Redwoods League, and the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation. The files include correspondence, research notes, legal documents, and general organizational papers, such as articles of incorporation, meeting minutes, and memoranda.
► Collection Finding Aid

Katharine Miller Johnson papers pertaining to Point Reyes, 1961-1987 (bulk 1969-1971)
BANC MSS 90/67

This small collection chronicles the fight for the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore, and later lobbying to purchase additional land and limit development.

John T. Knox papers, 1961-1980 (bulk 1967-1980)
BANC MSS 81/58

This collection documents Knox's career as a member of the California Assembly representing the 11th district, with files encompassing 1967-1980. Of interest are the Legislative Bill files and Subject files on various environmental, water, and energy issues.
► Collection Finding Aid

Sierra Club California Legislative Office records, 1970-ongoing
 (portion of collection is unprocessed and unavailable for use)

The best-documented issues are energy-related, including liquefied natural gas, nuclear energy, and the California Energy Commission. Water quality, hazardous substances, pesticides, and all terrain vehicles on public lands are subjects which can be found in the papers of the state directors, legislative representatives, and the subject files.
► Collection Finding Aid

Thomas Graff papers, 1971-2009
BANC MSS 2009/134

This collection documents the activity of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) California office, in particular its involvement in water rights, water marketing, emissions, and other ecological projects in California. Included are correspondence, financial records, legal documents and case files, reports and project proposals, administrative records and meeting minutes, and program and publicity documents.
Collection Finding Aid

Sally Millhauser Reid papers, 1972-1992
BANC MSS 96/61

This collection contain material relating to the passage of the California Wilderness Act (1984) and the Condor Range and Rivers Protection Act (1992).
Collection Finding Aid

Douglas P. Wheeler papers, 1984-1998
BANC MSS 2005/268

This small collection contains files created during Wheeler's time as Secretary for Resources for the State of California, including correspondence, memoranda, reports, and clippings. Major topics include water rights issues, urban sprawl and development, biodiversity, wetlands preservation, and other conservation matters.