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Finding Aid to the Florence Richardson Wyckoff Papers, 1869-2000 (bulk 1940-1990)
BANC MSS 78/55 c  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • List of Commonly Used Acronyms

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Florence Richardson Wyckoff papers
    Date (inclusive): 1869-2000
    Date (bulk): 1940-1990
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 78/55 c
    Creator: Wyckoff, Florence Richardson, 1905-
    Extent: Number of containers: 32 cartons, 9 boxes, and 2 volumes Linear feet: circa 45
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Papers of Florence Richardson Wyckoff document Wyckoff's personal and professional life. Raised in Berkeley, California and trained as an artist, Wyckoff became interested in social service during the Great Depression. Over the course of her life, this early interest led to her involvement on a number of fronts, from public health and housing to literacy and children's rights. She remained active in national, state, and local politics until her death. Wyckoff described herself as a "packrat" and her papers give great insight into her personal character and childhood that further leads to an understanding of the development of her social consciousness. Her work with various Boards and Committees, including the State Board of Public Health, the Migrant Health Project Review Committee, and the Governor's Advisory Committee on Children and Youth are especially well documented in the collection. Manuscripts in the collection date from 1869, in the form of family papers collected by Wyckoff in the course of her genealogy research, and continue on through her death in 2000 at the age of 94. The bulk of the collection spans from the 1940s to 1990s, documenting the most active periods of Wyckoff's professional career.
    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

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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 the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited 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: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Florence Richardson Wyckoff Papers, BANC MSS 78/55 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Related Collections

    Title: Fifty Years of Grassroots Social Activism: Oral History Transcript, Florence Richardson Wyckoff,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 89/51 c
    Title: Berkeley Culture, University of California Highlights, and University Extension, 1892-1960: Oral History Transcript, Leon Josiah Richardson,
    Date: BANC MSS C-D 4048
    Title: Leon Josiah Richardson Papers,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 1001
    Title: Warring Wilkinson Papers,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 815
    Title: Photographs Relating to the Leon J. Richardson and W.W. Wilkinson families,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC PIC 1983.140-AX

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-
    Olson, Culbert Levy, 1876-
    Richardson, Leon Josiah, 1868-1964.
    Wilkinson, Warring, 1834-1918.
    Wyckoff, Florence Richardson, 1905- --Archives.
    California. Dept. of Public Health.
    California. Governor's Advisory Committee on Children and Youth.
    California. Governor's Advisory Committee on Children and Youth. Subcommittee on the Migrant Child.
    Conference on Families who Follow the Crops.
    Children of migrant laborers.
    Housing, Rural--United States.
    Migrant agricultural laborers--California.
    Public health--California.
    Berkeley (Calif.)--History.
    California--Politics and government--1951-
    Santa Cruz County (Calif.)

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Florence Richardson Wyckoff Papers were donated to The Bancroft Library in increments, ending in 2001, by Florence Richardson Wyckoff.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Teresa Maria Mora in 2006.

    Biographical Information

    Florence Richardson Wyckoff dedicated her long life to social reform. Raised in Berkeley, California and trained as an artist, Wyckoff became interested in social service during the Great Depression. Living in San Francisco in the 1930s, Wyckoff worked with and befriended many key figures in the local labor movement. This work piqued her interest in the political process and she campaigned for Culbert L. Olson in the 1938 gubernatorial election. Upon his election, Olson invited Wyckoff to take a position in the State Relief Administration (SRA), which became her first formal job in the social services profession. Over the course of her life, Wyckoff's commitment to the rights of children and laborers led to her involvement on a number of fronts, from public health and housing to literacy and women's rights. She remained active in national, state, and local politics until her death in 2000.
    Wyckoff was born in 1905 to Leon Josiah Richardson and Maude (Wilkinson) Richardson. Her father was a classics professor at the University of California and her mother the daughter of William Wilkinson, director of the Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Berkeley from 1865-1909. The Richardsons were progressive parents and their children were given numerous opportunities. Although not wealthy, the family was well respected within the community and the Richardson children were raised among the intellectual and social elite of the time; family friends included Phoebe Apperson Hearst and John Dewey. Leon took his children on backpacking trips in the Sierras and the family traveled during Leon's sabbatical years, living in New York in 1921 and touring Europe from 1929-1930.
    Florence graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1926 with a degree in sculpture and furthered her studies at the California School of Fine Arts (1928-1929). In 1931, she married Hubert Coke Wyckoff, Jr., a U.S. deputy attorney, and the couple moved to San Francisco. It was there that Florence became involved in the San Francisco Theater Union, which led to her work with other local labor groups. During the Second World War, Hubert Wyckoff served as a Deputy Administrator in the War Shipping Administration in Washington, D.C. While living in Washington, Florence Wyckoff continued to dedicate herself to social service, working for Food for Freedom and serving on the Board of the National Consumers' League. After the war, the Wyckoffs moved to Hubert's hometown of Watsonville, California, a rural farming community. Florence soon became interested in the plight of migrant laborers, specifically the effects of the migrant lifestyle on children. Once again, her work was noticed and Governor Earl Warren appointed her to his Advisory Committee on Children and Youth in 1948. Wyckoff went on to serve on the committee for twenty years under four separate administrations until its dissolution in 1968 by Governor Ronald Reagan.
    During her tenure on the Advisory Committee, Wyckoff was instrumental in developing and organizing the Conference on Families Who Follow the Crops as well as securing passage of both the California and Federal Migrant Health Acts. In 1963, Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Wyckoff to the State Board of Public Health. She continued to serve the state in various other capacities, including representing California at the White House Conference on Children and Youth. In addition to her involvement at the state level, Wyckoff served as a member of the U.S. Department of Public Health, Education and Welfare's Migrant Health Program Review Committee. She also served on President Kennedy's Study Committee for the War on Poverty.
    In her later life, Wyckoff focused on local reform. Between 1970 and her death in 2000, she served on the boards of a number of Santa Cruz County based organizations including The Environmental Community Housing Organization, the Santa Cruz County Housing Authority, the Santa Cruz County Community Foundation, the Corralitos Valley Community Council, Migration and Adaptation in the Americas, Inc., and the Friends of the Freedom Public Library. Her husband died in 1979 after a long period of declining health, which had caused Wyckoff to focus her attentions on more local matters. Wyckoff continued to become involved in new issues, from the promotion of organic farming to the preservation of local history. Wyckoff was a well known figure in the Watsonville community, receiving numerous awards for her work and continuing her active participation in the community until her death on September 20, 2000 at the age of 94.

    Chronology

    1905 Oct. 5 Born, Berkeley, California
    1926 B.A. in art (sculpture), University of California, Berkeley
    1926-1927 Travel in Mexico
    1928-1929 Attended California School of Fine Arts
    1929-1930 Travel in Europe
    1931 Married Hubert C. Wyckoff, Jr.; moved to San Francisco
    1933-1934 Worked for the San Francisco Theater's Union
    1934 Member, Board of Directors, Pacific Coast School for Workers
    1937-1938 Coordinated San Francisco/ Northern California Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Culbert L. Olson
    1938 Culbert L. Olson elected governor of California; Wyckoff appointed to California State Relief Administration
    1941 Moved to Washington, D.C.
    1942-1946 Assistant Director, Food for Freedom; member, National Consumer Advisory Committee
    1947 Moved to Watsonville, California; established Pajaro Valley Community Council
    1948-1968 Served on Governor's Advisory Committee on Children & Youth
    1959 Member, President's Committee on Migratory Labor; first Conference on Families Who Follow the Crops
    1963-1968 Served on California State Board of Public Health
    1963-1967 Member, Migrant Health Project Review Committee
    1970-1980 Member, Santa Cruz County Housing Authority
    1975-1985 Member, Board of Directors, TECHO
    1992 Freedom Public Library opened
    1979 May 30 Hubert Coke Wyckoff died
    2000 Sep. 20 Died, Watsonville, CA

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Papers of Florence Richardson Wyckoff document Wyckoff's personal and professional life. Raised in Berkeley, California and trained as an artist, Wyckoff became interested in social service during the Great Depression. Over the course of her life, this early interest led to her involvement on a number of fronts, from public health and housing to literacy and children's rights. She remained active in national, state and local politics until her death. Wyckoff described herself as a "packrat" and her papers give great insight into her personal character and childhood that further leads to an understanding of the development of her social consciousness. Her work with various Boards and committees, including the State Board of Public Health, the Migrant Health Project Review Committee, and the Governor's Advisory Committee on Children and Youth are especially well documented in the collection. Manuscripts in the collection date from 1869, in the form of family papers collected by Wyckoff in the course of her genealogy research, and continue on through her death in 2000 at the age of 94. The bulk of the collection spans from the 1940s to 1990s, documenting the most active periods of Wyckoff's professional career.
    The collection has been divided into four series: Organizational Work; Correspondence; Reference Files; and Personal Papers. The bulk of the collection documents Wyckoff's work with various organizations and in reviewing the collection, one will discover much overlap among the individual series.
    Wyckoff's early life in Berkeley, as the daughter of a classics professor, was one of privilege that she documented in correspondence and mementos. Her correspondence and reference files depict the breadth of her interests, passions, and friendships. She was an historian of her family and included in the collection are extensive genealogical notes, correspondence with family, and papers of various family members, including her father Leon J. Richardson, mother Maud (Wilkinson) Richardson, and grandfather Warring Wilkinson.
    The collection arrived at The Bancroft Library in little order; existing folder titles have been retained, but for the most part the current organizational structure has been imposed by the archivist. Given Wyckoff's wide range of overlapping interests, material was often duplicated throughout the collection and for the most part duplicates have been discarded. Oftentimes areas of interest extended from Wyckoff's professional to personal life and it may be necessary for the researcher to look at numerous series and subseries to fully comprehend the extent of Wyckoff's involvement with certain issues. Wyckoff had no system with which she organized her correspondence and therefore researchers should look in both subject based series and the General Correspondence series (Series 2) to locate correspondence from particular individuals or relating to particular subjects. The most comprehensive series is Series 1, Organizational Work, which has been further broken out by those individual organizations with which Wyckoff worked most closely, primarily those for which she served in some official capacity.
    Succinct series and subseries descriptions provide a basic outline of the records available. The researcher should consult the container list to determine if the records contain a topic of interest as not all subjects are mentioned in these brief descriptions. The researcher should be aware that many topics might be covered in more than one series or subseries. For example, materials regarding migrant laborers can be found in records of GACY (1.3) and SBPH (1.6) as well as Wyckoff's general Reference Files (Series 3). While SBPH focused on migrant healthcare, GACY was also concerned with issues of education and housing. Often the series description notes similar materials found elsewhere within the collection.
    It should also be noted that another collection of Florence Richardson Wyckoff papers is housed at the University of California, Santa Cruz (MS 96). The collection is described as including "books, periodicals, files, correspondence, research materials, government publications, and miscellaneous materials related to Florence Wyckoff's activism in the fields of health, housing, social work, cultural affairs, education, and the welfare of migrant farmworkers." The guide to that collection can be found online at http://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt9k4009m6.

    List of Commonly Used Acronyms

    AFSC
    American Friends Service Committee
    AHP
    Agricultural History Project
    ANC
    Aid to Needy Children
    AFL-CIO
    American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
    APHA
    American Public Health Association
    APHAWA
    American Public Health Association Western Affiliates
    AWOC
    Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee
    CAP
    Community Action Program
    CCC
    California Community Councils
    COF (aka COFMWC)
    Conference on Families Who Follow the Crops
    CSD
    California School for the Deaf
    CSO
    Community Service Organization
    CVCC
    Corralitos Valley Community Council
    FEPC
    Fair Employment Practices Committee
    FFF
    Food for Freedom
    FFPL
    Friends of Freedom Public Library
    FSA
    Farm Security Administration
    GSCCF
    Greater Santa Cruz County Community Foundation
    MAIA
    Migration and Adaptation in the Americas, Inc.
    MHPRC
    Migrant Health Project Review Committee
    NAACP
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    NAC
    National Association of Consumers
    NCALL
    National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor
    NCCY
    National Committee for Children and Youth
    NCL
    National Consumers League
    NFWA
    National Farm Workers Association
    NSC
    National Service Corps
    OEO
    Office of Economic Opportunity
    OPA
    Office of Price Administration
    PVCC
    Pajaro Valley Community Council, Inc.
    RIF
    Reading is Fundamental
    SBPH (aka BPH)
    State Board of Public Health
    SRA
    State Relief Administration
    TECHO
    The Environmental Community Housing Organization
    UFW
    United Farm Workers
    YPCA
    Youth Participation in Community Action, Inc.
    WHCCY
    White House Conference on Children and Youth