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Politics and Protest: Collections from The Bancroft Library

Overview of Collections

The Bancroft Library actively collects the professional papers of California politicians, including those of city mayors, governors, assemblymembers , senators, and congresspeople. The scope of these archives range from municipal affairs to nation-wide issues and capture the evolution of California as a state. Within these collections are campaign ephemera, copious official correspondence, and drafts of bills and legislation, all documenting the efforts to represent the people of California.

James D. Phelan

As the twenty-fifth Mayor of San Francisco from 1897 to 1902, James Phelan successfully led the campaign for the adoption of a new city charter in 1900, which separated the executive and legislative divisions of city government, called for election at large of supervisors, and gave appointive powers to executive decision. He was also directly involved in the Hetch-Hetchy water dispute when in 1901 he proposed damming the Hetch-Hetchy valley to secure a source of fresh water for the city San Francisco. Phelan served as a U.S. Senator from California from 1915 to 1921 and was involved in legislation regarding immigration and land ownership, particularly those of anti-Japanese nature.

James D. Phelan

Portrait of James D. Phelan
Image citation: Bancroft Portrait Collection, BANC PIC Phelan, James:04--POR, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Hiram Johnson

Hiram Johnson ushered in a new progressive Republican administration when he was elected as California's twenty-third governor in 1910. Under his leadership from 1911 to 1917, the California legislature passed a series of progressive measures including women's suffrage, restrictions on child labor, and workingmen's compensation which led to a major revision of the state's constitution. It should be noted, however, that in 1913, Johnson signed the California Alien Land Law that prevented Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Indian immigrant farmers from owning land. Johnson went on to serve as a U.S. Senator from California for five terms, 1917-1945. His papers at The Bancroft Library document his gubernatorial and senatorial work on state and national legislation.

Hiram Johnson Platform

Hiram Johnson Platform
Image citation: Hiram Johnson papers, BANC MSS C-B 581, Pt.I Box 12, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Harry Everett Drobish

Harry Everett Drobish was the State Director of Rural Rehabilitation in the California Emergency Relief Administration from 1934 to 1936, and then Chief of Farm Laborer Projects for the Resettlement Administration. As State Director, he conceived the idea of federally owned camps for migrant farm workers and built the first two camps at Marysville and Arvin. From 1947 to 1950, while a California State Senator, he served on the Agriculture, Education, Institutions, and Public Utilities Committees and was vice chairman of the Committee on Public Health and Safety. He was also a member of the Senate Interim Committee on Statutory Salaries and the Joint Legislative Committee on Soil Conservation.

Arvin Migratory Labor Camp

Spring, 1936, Kern County: Arvin Migratory Labor Camp
Image citation: Migrant labor camp photographs from the Harry Everett Drobish papers, BANC PIC 1954.013:20--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Edmund “Pat” Brown

Edmund "Pat" Brown served as the thirty-second Governor of California, from 1959 to 1967. His collection encompasses a range of materials, most notably documenting such topics as: criminal justice and capital punishment, especially in regards to the Caryl Chessman case; the Watts Riots in Los Angeles and subsequent McCone Commission; and other civil rights issues, including the Rumford Fair Housing Act, the farm labor movement, and the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley.

Edmund G. Brown campaigning in an automobile, 1958

Edmund G. Brown campaigning in an automobile, 1958
Image citation: Photographs from the Edmund G. Brown papers, BANC PIC 1968.011--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

William Byron Rumford

William Rumford, the first African American elected to public office in Northern California, served as the California State Assemblyman for the 17th District from 1949 to 1967. A proponent of fair housing and employment legislation, Rumford equally concentrated his efforts on curbing youth unemployment and working towards a higher minimum wage. A pharmacist by training and profession, he also focused on a number of health issues including the effects of air pollution and tuberculosis. His papers at The Bancroft Library are a great resource not only for local Berkeley and California political history, but moreover for the multifaceted snapshot of the racial climate in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Rumford Certificate of Nomination

Certificate of Nomination issued to William Rumford, 1948
Image citation: William Byron Rumford papers, BANC MSS 73/112, Oversize Folder 1, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Bernice Hubbard May

Bernice Hubbard May served on the Berkeley City Council from 1959 to her retirement in 1971. While active in Berkeley government, May also worked on a regional scale, serving as commissioner for both the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (1965-1971) and the Bay Area Transportation Study Commission (1969-1970), as well as a member of the executive committee for the Association of Bay Area Governments (1968-1971). As a member of the Citizens' Task Force of the East Bay Regional Park District (1972-1973), May continued a lifelong interest in conservation and worked to make the bay accessible to urban populations. Her papers at The Bancroft Library document the role of women in politics, the conflict over housing discrimination in Berkeley, and the issue of regional government in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Bernice Hubbard May campaign poster

Bernice Hubbard May Campaign Poster
Image citation: Bernice Hubbard May papers, BANC MSS 76/174, Oversize Folder 1, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Phillip Burton

Phillip Burton served as California State Assemblyman (1957-1964) and as a U.S. Representative from California (1964-1983). Known as a forceful advocate of liberal politics, Burton opposed the Vietnam War from the onset, helped abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and promoted labor, civil rights, and social welfare. Moreover, Burton campaigned for environmental causes and was instrumental in bolstering the National Park System and the establishment of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in his home district. The bulk of his papers at The Bancroft Library is composed of materials documenting his work as Congressman for the California district encompassing San Francisco as well as his tenure in the California State Assembly.

Burton for Assemblyman Campaign Poster

Burton for Assemblyman Campaign Poster
Image citation: Phillip Burton papers, BANC MSS 87/233, Oversize Folder 1, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California's 6th district (1983-1993) and as a United States Senator from California (1993-2017). She was the vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she founded and led the first subcommittee to focus on global women’s issues. Boxer holds the distinction of being the first woman ever to chair the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

In 2016, Boxer donated more than two decades of her congressional papers to The Bancroft Library. Her archives contain material from her campaigns, speech transcripts from throughout her career, photographs, as well as the largest digital collection Bancroft has ever received. She also helped launch the Barbara Boxer Lecture Series at UC Berkeley in 2017, an annual event that focuses on women in leadership. Please note that her archives at Bancroft will not become accessible to the public until after 2031.

Barbara Boxer and Elaine Tennant

Barbara Boxer and Elaine Tennant, Director of The Bancroft Library
Photo by Peg Skorpinski for the University Library

Key Collections

Horace Davis collection of Davis-Bancroft-King family papers, 1667-1976 (bulk 1667-1939)
BANC MSS 2015/182

► Horace Davis: U.S. Representative from California, 1877-1881
Collection Finding Aid

James William Denver papers, 1832-1925 (bulk 1832-1892)
BANC MSS 92/759

► California State Senator, 1851-1853; California Secretary of State, 1853-1855; U.S. Representative from California, 1855-1857
Collection Finding Aid

Waterman family papers, 1839-1906
BANC MSS C-B 491

► Robert W. Waterman: 17th California Governor, 1887-1891
Collection Finding Aid

Peter H. Burnett papers, 1849-1885
BANC MSS C-B 345

► First Governor of California, 1849-1851
Collection Finding Aid

Adolph Sutro papers, 1853-1915
BANC MSS C-B 465

► 24th Mayor of San Francisco, 1895-1897
Collection Finding Aid
► Related Collection: Magnes collection on Adolph Sutro, 1858-1993, BANC MSS 2010/613

Joseph R. Knowland papers, 1857-1966 (bulk 1905-1960)
BANC MSS 79/128

► California State Senator, 1903-1904; U.S. Representative from California, 1904-1915
Collection Finding Aid

Hart Hyatt North papers, 1865-1966
BANC MSS 81/55

► California State Assemblyman, 1894-1898; U.S. Commissioner of Immigration for California and Nevada, 1898-1910
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: Photographs from the Hart Hyatt North papers, 1890-1943, BANC PIC 1980.098-100

Frank Finley Merriam papers, 1867-1953 (bulk 1925-1935) (unprocessed collection)
BANC MSS C-B 577
► California State Assemblyman, 1917-1927; California State Senator, 1929-1931; Lieutenant Governor of California, 1931-1934; 28th Governor of California, 1934-1939
► Related Collection: Frank F. Merriam papers: additions, 1934-1938, BANC MSS 69/143

George Cooper Pardee papers, 1871-1968 (bulk 1902-1906)
BANC MSS C-B 400

► 21st Governor of California, 1903-1907
Collection Finding Aid

James D. Phelan papers, 1880-1930 (bulk 1906-1930)
BANC MSS C-B 800

►25th Mayor of San Francisco, 1897-1902; U.S. Senator from California, 1915-1921
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: James D. Phelan photograph albums,1900-1928, BANC PIC 1932.001--ALB (some images online)

Frederick Smith Stratton papers, 1886-1917
BANC MSS C-B 771

► California State Senator, 1896-1899; Collector of the Port of San Francisco, 1900-1913
Collection Finding Aid

Hiram Johnson papers, 1895-1945
BANC MSS C-B 581

► 23rd Governor of California, 1911-1917; U.S. Senator from California, 1917-1945
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: Hiram Johnson photograph albums, 1910-1924, BANC PIC 1956.004-007--ALB
► Related Collection: Frank P. Doherty papers on Hiram Johnson, BANC MSS 74/180

John A. McCone papers, 1904-1991 (bulk 1978-1989)
BANC MSS 95/20

► Chair of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1958-1961; Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1961-1965; Chairman of the California Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots, 1965
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: John A. McCone pictorial collection, 1925-1978, BANC PIC 1995.065

Edmund G. Brown papers, 1907-1996 (bulk 1950-1966)
BANC MSS 68/90
(partially restricted collection)
► Attorney General of California, 1951-1959; 32nd Governor of California, 1959-1967
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: Photographs from the Edmund G. Brown papers, 1905-1990, BANC PIC 1968.011--PIC (some images online)
► Related Collection: Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots records, 1965, BANC MSS 74/115
► Related Collection: Florence McChesney Clifton collection on California Democratic Party, 1938-1966 (bulk 1938-1950), BANC MSS 80/116

John D. Works papers, 1910-1917
BANC MSS C-B 423

► Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, 1888-1891; U.S. Senator from California, 1911-1917
Collection Finding Aid

Culbert L. Olson papers, 1912-1959
BANC MSS C-B 442

► California Sate Senator, 1934-1938; 29th Governor of California, 1939-1943
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for a preliminary container listing

Jesse Washington Carter papers, 1912-1948
BANC MSS C-B 842

► California Sate Senator, 1939; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, 1939-1959
Collection Finding Aid

Alan Cranston papers, 1914-1993
BANC MSS 88/214
(partially restricted collection)
► U.S. Senator from California, 1969-1993
Collection Finding Aid
► Related Collection: Eleanor Fowle Cameron papers [on Alan Cranston], 1955-1985, BANC MSS 90/177
► Related Collection: Bruce Bolinger collection of Max Rafferty materials: assembled for Alan Cranston for U.S. Senate campaign 1968, 1934-1971, BANC MSS 2000/135

Harry Everett Drobish papers, 1917-1954
BANC MSS C-B 529

► State Director of Rural Rehabilitation in the California Emergency Relief Administration and Chief of Farm Laborer Projects for the Resettlement Administration, 1934-1936; California State Senator, 1947-1950
Collection Finding Aid
► Related Collection: Harry Everett Drobish papers: additions, 1922-1950, BANC MSS 80/97

Robert Walker Kenny papers, 1920-1947
BANC MSS C-B 510

► California State Senator, 1939-1942; Attorney General of California, 1943-1946
Collection Finding Aid

George J. Hatfield papers, 1923-1953
BANC MSS C-B 556

► Lieutenant Governor of California, 1935-1939; California State Senator, 1943-1953
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for a preliminary container listing

John Joseph Allen papers, 1926-1985 (bulk 1941-1963)
BANC MSS 86/207

► U.S. Representative from California, 1947-1958
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for a preliminary container listing
► Pictorial Collection: John Joseph Allen photograph collection, 1950-1959, BANC PIC 1985.073--PIC (unprocessed collection)

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

► Berkeley City Councilwoman, 1959-1971

William S. Mailliard papers, 1930-1984 (bulk 1950-1977) (unprocessed collection)
BANC MSS 75/109
► U.S. Representative from California, 1953-1974
► Pictorial Collection: Pictorial materials from the William S. Mailliard papers, 1940-1970, BANC PIC 1974.033--C
► Related Collection: Mailliard family papers, 1818-1979 (bulk 1920-1960), BANC MSS 80/88

William Byron Rumford papers, 1934-1982
BANC MSS 73/112

► California State Assemblyman, 1949-1967
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: William Byron Rumford photograph collection, 1915-1980, BANC PIC 1985.055 (unprocessed collection)

Robert T. Matsui papers, 1940-2006 (bulk 1979-2004)
BANC MSS 2008/101
(restricted collection, permission of Doris O. Matsui required for access)
► U.S. Representative from California, 1979-2005
Collection Finding Aid

Tom Lantos papers, 1944-2008 (bulk 1979-2008)
BANC MSS 2008/121
(restricted collection, permission of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice required for access)
► U.S. Representative from California, 1981-2008
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: Tom Lantos pictorial collection, 1975-2007, BANC PIC 2008.064 (unprocessed collection)

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

► California State Assemblyman, 1957-1964; U.S. Representative from California, 1964-1983
Collection Finding Aid
► Pictorial Collection: Photographs from the Phillip Burton papers, 1880-1983, BANC PIC 1987.062--PIC (unprocessed collection)

Roger Kent papers, 1947-1974
BANC MSS 74/160

► Chairman/Vice Chairman of the California Democratic State Central Committee, 1954-1965
Collection Finding Aid
► Related Collection: Roger Kent papers, 1908-1979, BANC MSS 78/40

Thomas H. Kuchel papers, 1952-1969
BANC MSS 69/70
(partially unprocessed collection)
► California State Assemblyman, 1937-1941; California State Senator, 1941-1945; U.S. Senator from California, 1953-1969
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for a preliminary container listing
► Pictorial Collection: Photographs from the Thomas H. Kuchel papers, 1950-1969, BANC PIC 1969.043

Nicholas Petris papers, 1952-2001
BANC MSS 2006/204

► California State Assemblyman, 1958-1966; California State Senator, 1966-1996
► Pictorial Collection: Photographs from the Nicholas Petris papers, 1958-1993, BANC PIC 2007.001--PIC

John F. Baldwin papers, 1954-1967
BANC MSS 71/215
(partially unprocessed collection)
► U.S. Representative from California, 1955-1966
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for a preliminary container listing for Cartons 1-19

Clement Woodnutt Miller papers, 1956-1962
BANC MSS 69/102
(partially unprocessed collection)
► U.S. Representative from California, 1959-1962
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for a preliminary container listing

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

► California State Assemblyman, 1957-1970
Collection Finding Aid

John V. Tunney papers, 1960-1980 (unprocessed collection)
BANC MSS 81/25
► U.S. Representative from California, 1965-1971; U.S. Senator from California, 1971-1977
► Pictorial Collection: Photographs from the John V. Tunney papers, 1965-1980, BANC PIC 1981.005--PIC (unprocessed collection)

William T. Bagley legislative papers, 1961-1974
BANC MSS 77/109

► California State Assemblyman, 1960-1974
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for a preliminary container listing

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

► California State Assemblyman, 1960-1980
Collection Finding Aid

Jerome R. Waldie papers, 1966-1972 (unprocessed collection)
BANC MSS 75/61
► California State Assemblyman, 1959-1966; U.S. Representative from California, 1966-1975

George Miller papers, 1975-2014 (unprocessed collection)
BANC MSS 2014/213
► U.S. Representative from California, 1975-2015

Mary Moore papers, 1977-1995 (unprocessed collection)
BANC MSS 2016/111
► Oakland City Council Councilwoman, 1977-1994

Sala Burton papers, 1983-1987
BANC MSS 87/234
(partially restricted collection)
► U.S. Representative from California, 1983-1987
► Please email bancref@library.berkeley.edu for container listing
► Pictorial Collection: Photographs from the Sala Burton papers, 1983-1987, BANC PIC 1987.073--PIC

Barbara Boxer papers (not accessible until after 2031)
BANC MSS 2016/262
► U.S. Representative from California, 1983-1993; U.S. Senator from California, 1993-2017
► Pictorial Collection: Pictorial material from the Barbara Boxer papers, 1980-2010, BANC PIC 2017.025 (partially unprocessed collection)