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Finding aid to the James Duval Phelan Papers 1852-1937 (bulk 1886-1921)
SFH SF MSS 10/1-12  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Materials
  • Processing Information note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: James Duval Phelan Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1852-1937
    Date (bulk): 1886-1921
    Collection Identifier: SFH SF MSS 10/1-12
    Creator: Phelan, James D., (James Duval), 1861-1930
    Physical Description: 12 folders (0.56 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    info@sfpl.org
    Abstract: Miscellaneous collection of correspondence, ephemera, poetry, with small amounts of clippings, personal and business documents, speech notes, and a photographic montage of Villa Montalvo. Most of the collection spans Phelan's terms as Mayor and Senator, including the years in between.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the San Francisco Public Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], James Duval Phelan Papers (SF MSS Box 10), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Provenance

    This collection was donated to the San Francisco History Center in two accessions (April 1982 and December 1986) by Louise Melcher. Many of the items in the collection appear to have been removed from a scrapbook.

    Related Materials

    Researchers are encouraged to see the San Francisco History Center's subject and biographical files, the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, and to check the San Francisco Public Library online catalog. The Book Arts and Special Collections Center includes the James D. Phelan California Authors Collection. Researchers are also directed to the James D. Phelan Papers, 1880-1930, at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Processing Information note

    Originally, a 6-page typewritten inventory of the "Phelan Collection" was created, apparently after the first accession arrived, to which was then appended pages 7 through 14 (comprising the second accession, presumably.) Many items were individually foldered (with a total of 58 folders), and the box order had little relation to the inventory. Over the years, a few items relating to James D. Phelan that were not part of the original accessions found their way into the collection. These included a News-Call-Bulletin metal 'cut' and printed material, which have been relocated or cataloged. The current arrangement gathers material into twelve folders.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Phelan was the son of a pioneer California banker. He was elected as a reform mayor of San Francisco, serving 1897-1902. He was then elected to the U. S. Senate and served from 1915 to 1921. A Democrat and a supporter of Woodrow Wilson generally, he also advocated for the exclusion of "Orientals." A patron of the arts, his home at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California served as a hub for writers and artists. Many of these are represented in the correspondence.

    Scope and Contents

    Miscellaneous collection of correspondence, ephemera, and poetry, with small amounts of clippings, personal and business documents, speech notes, and a photographic montage of Villa Montalvo. Most of the collection spans Phelan's terms as Mayor and Senator, including the years in between. Correspondents include George T. Bromley, Ina Coolbrith, Edward Robeson Taylor, Woodrow Wilson, and others. There are also a handful of anonymous cards and letters against him, one of which contains an explicit death threat. Poems are a combination of manuscripts, typescripts, and print; most are dedicated to Phelan by writers he patronized. Ephemera includes guest membership cards to social clubs, invitations, tickets, calling cards, a few election items, and other materials documenting Phelan's involvement with high society.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged by type of material. Correspondence is divided into "received" and "sent," with "received" arranged alphabeticaly by sender.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Phelan, James D., (James Duval), 1861-1930 -- Archives
    Legislators--California
    Mayors--California--San Francisco