Information for Researchers
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection Title: Phillip Burton papers
Date (inclusive): 1945-1986,
Date (bulk): bulk 1956-1983
Collection Number: BANC MSS 87/233 c
Number of containers: 34 cartons, 1 oversize volume, 2 oversize folders
Linear feet: 43 linear feet
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: The Phillip Burton Papers document the career of an American politician who served in the United States Congress. He served
10 terms, from 1964-1983, in the United States House of Representatives as Congressman for California's San Francisco district.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information
on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for
any use rests exclusively with the user.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See:
Even though all reasonable and customary best-practices have been pursued, this collection may contain materials with sensitive
or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are
advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection
without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the University of California, Berkeley assumes
[Identification of item], Phillip Burton Papers, BANC MSS 87/233 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Alternate Forms Available
There are no alternate forms of this collection.
Sala Burton papers, 1983-1987, BANC MSS 87/234 c
Photographs and slides transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1987.062--PIC). Motion pictures
transferred to the Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library (classified as: Motion Picture 457). Audiotapes transferred
to the Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library (classified as: Phonotape 1976).
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Burton, Sala Galant, 1925-1987
Burton, John L., 1932-
California. Legislature. Assembly
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Education and Labor
United States. National Park Service
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
Apportionment (Election law)--West (U.S.)
Election districts--West (U.S.)
National parks and reserves--Law and legislation--United States
National parks and reserves--California
Supplemental security income program--Law and legislation--United States
San Francisco (Calif.)--Politics and government
Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Calif.)
United States--Insular possessions
United States--Territories and possessions
The Phillip Burton Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Joy Temes in 1987.
No additions are expected.
System of Arrangement
Arranged to the folder level.
Processed by David Uhlich in 2012.
Phillip Burton (1926-1983) was an American politician who served in the United States Congress. He served 10 terms in the
United States House of Representatives as Congressman for California's San Francisco district; prior to that he served four
terms in the California State Assembly.
Born on June 1, 1926 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Burton moved to California during high school, graduating from San Francisco's George
Washington High School in 1944. Between tours of duty in the military during World War II and the Korean War, Burton attended
the University of Southern California, graduating with an undergraduate degree in Political Science in 1947, and then returned
to San Francisco to earn his legal degree from Golden Gate Law School in 1952. Burton married his wife, Sala Galante, in 1953
and embarked on a legal career after his return from the Korean War; he was admitted to practice before the United States
Supreme Court in 1956.
Burton's political career began with his election to the California State Assembly in 1957, where he served 4 terms; in 1959,
he represented the United States at the Atlantic Treaty Association Conference in France. In February 1964, Burton won a special
election to the House of Representatives to replace John Shelley, who had been elected mayor of San Francisco and resigned
During his time in Congress, Burton served on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Committee on Education and Labor,
and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Known as a forceful advocate of liberal politics, Burton opposed the Vietnam
War from the onset, voting against all appropriations for the conflict; helped abolish the House Committee on Un-American
Activities; and promoted labor, civil rights and social welfare, including helping to author bills such as the Coal Mine Health
and Safety Act and the Supplemental Social Security for the aged, blind, and disabled, as well as legislation that expanded
the minimum wage and provided funding for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Moreover, Burton was greatly known for
promoting environmental causes, and during his time on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs was instrumental in bolstering
the National Park System and the establishment of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in his home district. In 1976,
Burton missed becoming the youngest House Majority Leader in the history of the House of Representatives by a single vote.
Burton was also a delegate for the California State Democratic convention from1968-1982 and a delegate for the Democratic
National Convention in 1968 and 1970.
Burton died of an aneurysm in San Francisco on April 10, 1983. In a special election held only two months later, his wife,
Sala Galante Burton, was elected to fill his vacant Congressional seat.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Phillip Burton Papers consist primarily of files Burton compiled during his career as a politician. The bulk of the collection
is comprised of materials documenting Burton's work in the United States House of Representatives as Congressman for the California
district encompassing San Francisco, especially pertaining to his service on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs,
as well as his tenure in the California State Assembly; also prominent in the collection are Burton's office and press files,
and campaign and political files. The collection encompasses a range of materials-including correspondence, legislative addresses
and hearings, campaign literature, press releases, and ephemera-most notably documenting such legislation and issues as: National
Parks, including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; United States Territories; Social Welfare and Civil Rights; the
House Un-American Activities Committee; and California Reapportionment.
The Phillip Burton Papers are subdivided into seven series:
- Series I: Personal Files
- Series II: Campaign and Political Files
- Series III: California State Assembly Files
- Series IV: Office Files
- Series V: Press Files
- Series VI: Constituent Service Files
- Series VII: Legislative Files