Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid of the Ernest R. Chamberlain Papers
2019  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (138.41 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Ernest R. Chamberlain Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1923-1972
    Collection number: 2019
    Creator: Chamberlain, Ernest R.
    Extent: 6 boxes (3 linear ft.) 91 cartons (91 linear ft.) 2 oversize boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Ernest R. Chamberlain's was a political publicist. He worked for Clifford E. Clinton in his clean-up campaigns against Los Angeles vice and corruption, for Fletcher Bowron's election after the recall of Mayor Frank Shaw in 1938, and worked for Bowron's first reelection in 1941. Chamberlain also publicized many of Clinton's other projects, including Meals for Millions, various issues in Los Angeles Politics, and Clinton's own campaign for mayor in the 1945 primary. In 1942, he collected material for a projected Citizen's yearbook about Los Angeles. The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, notes, publications, and memorabilia relating to Oklahoma, and Los Angeles and California politics, as well as Chamberlain's personal subject files relating to his work with Meals for Millions.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Ernest R. Chamberlain Papers (Collection 2019). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4232674 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Ernest Chamberlain, 1973 & 1977.

    Biography

    Chamberlain's career as a political publicist began in high school, when he worked for William Howard Taft and Senator Charles Curtis; attended Washburn College, then went to Washington, D.C., where he worked for several government bureaus; AB and LL.B from George Washington Univ.; after World War I, he attended the University of Paris, where he earned a Certificate d'Etudes Superieures; moved to Oklahoma, where he played the flute in movie theaters, wrote reviews, and taught dance; did publicity work for Governor J.C. Walton of Oklahoma; moved to Los Angeles where he worked for Clifford E. Clinton, helping him in his clean up campaigns against Los Angeles vice and corruption; worked with him for Fletcher Bowron's election after the recall of Mayor Frank Shaw in 1938, and worked for Bowron's first reelection in 1941; he also publicized many of Clinton's other projects, including Meals for Millions, various issues in Los Angeles politics, and Clinton's own campaign for mayor in the 1945 primary; also worked on publicity for Clinton's Cafeterias; in 1942 he collected material for a projected Citizen's yearbook about Los Angeles.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, notes, publications, and memorabilia relating to Oklahoma, and Los Angeles and California politics, as well as Chamberlain's personal subject files relating to his work with Meals for Millions. Includes materials regarding Los Angeles social conditions, government organization, city planning, transportation, and material by and about Mayor Fletcher Bowron.

    Expanded Scope and Content Note

    Ernest R. Chamberlain's career as political publicist began with his interest in politics while still in high school, when he worked for William Howard Taft and Senator Charles Curtis. After leaving Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas, he went to Washington to work in several governmental bureaus. There he received the degrees A.B. and LL.B. from George Washington University. He then served nearly two years in the Army during World War I. After the war, he went to the University of Paris, earning a “Certificate d'Etudes Superieures.” He moved to Oklahoma and for a while made a living from his musical training, by playing the flute in movie theaters, writing reviews and teaching dance.
    One of the earliest figures who benefited from Chamberlain's skill at political publicity was Governor J.C. Walton of Oklahoma. It was in Los Angeles that he worked for Clifford E. Clinton, perhaps the person with whom he was longest associated. He helped Clinton in his clean-up campaigns directed at Los Angeles vice and corruption, worked with him for Bowron's election after the recall of Mayor Frank Shaw in 1938 and worked for Bowron's first reelection in 1941. He also publicized many of Clinton's other projects and interest, including Meals for Millions, various issues in Los Angeles politics and Clinton's own campaign for mayor in the primary of 1945. He also worked on publicity for Clifton's Cafeterias.
    The Chamberlain papers consist mostly of files relating to Los Angeles politics of the late 'thirties and early 'forties. The material about Bowron, which is the most extensive, is double-edged. Clinton and Chamberlain first worked for Bowron, then decided that his reforms were not extensive enough and waged a campaign against him in the primary of 1945. A note on a luncheon program for Bowron rather succinctly states Chamberlain's disenchantment: “No mention of old backers.” Next in importance to the files kept on Bowron are the files on Los Angeles transportation. When certain franchises for public transportation expired in the 'forties. Chamberlain became interested in the problems of Los Angeles transportation, so that there are numerous clippings, files of correspondence, notes from seminars and statements on positions of whether or not the franchises should be renewed. He was an early advocate of rapid transit in Los Angeles. Among the documents he collected are several printed brochures about monorail transportation along Wilshire Boulevard.
    In 1942, Chamberlain collected material for a projected Citizen's Yearbook about Los Angeles, modeled after similar yearbooks he had worked on when in Oklahoma City. The material is still in manuscript. Many of the files were perhaps collected for that work. Copies of the Oklahoma yearbooks are in the collection.
    The organization of the collection follows, for the most part, the folder titles used by Chamberlain himself. The broad divisions are listed in the Series Description of the collection. To get the most from this collection, also consult the register for the papers of Clifford E. Clinton, many of whose files were actually organized and kept by chamberlain.

    Arrangement

    Series Description

    • Boxes 1-3: Files kept by Chamberlain, arranged alphabetically by subject.
    • Box 4: Subject files (cont'd.); memorabilia; writings of Chamberlain (notes, manuscripts, printed materials)
    • Box 5: Printed books collected by Chamberlain.
    • Box 6: Card file of typed notes on political personages, issues, etc.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Chamberlain, Ernest R.--Archives.
    Meals for Millions Foundation.
    Political consultants--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources.