Information for Researchers
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection Title: Samuel J. and Portia Bell Hume papers
Date (inclusive): 1848-1990
Date (bulk): 1920-1971
Collection Number: BANC MSS 88/206 c
Hume, Samuel J. (Samuel James), 1885-1962
Hume, Portia Bell
Number of containers: 7 boxes, 18 cartons, 2 oversize boxes, 8 volumes, 9 oversize
folders, 2 tubes
Linear feet: circa 28
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: The Samuel J. and Portia Bell Hume Papers, 1848-1990, contain the
professional and personal papers of Samuel J. Hume, theatrical entrepreneur, and Portia Bell
Hume, psychiatrist. Included in Samuel J. Hume's papers are writings, speeches, theater
memorabilia, correspondence, and papers related to his work with the Council on Oriental
Relations. Portia Bell Hume's papers include her writings, work for the California
Department of Mental Hygiene (1943-1972), teaching files, other professional work, and
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
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:
[Identification of item], Samuel J. and Portia Bell Hume Papers, BANC MSS 88/206 c, The
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Alternate Forms Available
There are no alternate forms of this collection.
Samuel J. and Portia Bell Hume photograph collection, BANC PIC 1989.054--PIC
Portraits of Samuel James Hume and Portia Bell Hume, BANC PIC 1977.022--POR
Samuel J. Hume residence in Berkeley, California, ca. 1930 ca. 1939, BANC PIC
Earl Warren and the State Department of Mental Hygiene, BANC MSS 74/131 c
Portia Bell Hume interview on psychiatry in California, Phonotape 880 A, Phonotape 3016
Earl C. Bolton papers, 1960-1966, BANC MSS 73/183 c
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Hume, Samuel J. (Samuel James),
Hume, Portia Bell--Archives
Hume, James B., 1827-1904
California Council on Oriental
Berkeley Festival Association
Pageants--United States--History--20th century
Women in medicine
The Samuel J. Hume Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Portia Bell Hume and
Linda L. Shaw between 1976 and 1990 (a portion was originally cataloged as BANC MSS 77/87
c). A purchase was added on August 15, 2000.
No additions are expected.
System of Arrangement
Arranged to the folder level.
Processed by Elizabeth Stephens in 2004.
Samuel J. Hume
Samuel James Hume, a leading scholar of drama and a nationally known theatrical director
and producer, was born in San Francisco in 1885. Hume graduated from the University of
California and Harvard.
He traveled widely in Europe, studying theaters and working under Edward Gordon Craig
between 1908 and 1912. A member of the American Pageant Association, he directed pageants
in Newark, N. J., Boston, St. Louis, St. Paul, Detroit and other cities. He was director
of the Arts and Crafts Theater in Detroit from 1916-1918. Returning to California in 1918,
Hume became Director of the Greek Theater and assistant professor of dramatic literature
and art at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1924 he left the Greek Theater for a
return to Europe to write Twentieth Century Stage Decoration with Walter Rene Fuerst. He
married Portia Bell, who was studying sculpture in Paris, in 1927.
Hume returned again to California where he headed the Council on Oriental Relations from
1928-1936. He also served as a founder and director of the Berkeley Art Museum, director
of the Berkeley Festival, and as the first Director of Avocational Activities for the
State of California.
In 1949 Hume opened a bookstore called At the Sign of the Palindrome in Berkeley, a
business he had conducted for several years from his home at, 2900 Buena Vista Way. The
business specialized in books on fine arts, archaeology, decorative and graphic arts,
textiles, the theater, costume, and ballet. Hume died in 1965.
Portia Bell Hume
Portia Bell Hume, Psychiatrist, was born in Napa, California on July 26, 1901. Hume was
educated at the University of California. After graduation she studied sculpture in Paris,
marrying Samuel J. Hume while there. When they returned to Berkeley, they built a home at
2900 Buena Vista Way. She returned to the university to study medicine, receiving her M.D.
in 1938. She taught psychiatry at the Medical School in San Francisco, and at the Schools
of Social Welfare and Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley from 1940
Hume began working for the State of California in 1942, first at the Langley Porter
Clinic, then in 1947 she organized the Berkeley State Mental Hygiene Clinic. From
1951-1961 Dr. Hume was Deputy Director of the State Department of Mental Hygiene with
offices in Sacramento and Berkeley. She was responsible for developing and administering a
program for health services and clinics throughout the state. In this connection, she
exercised considerable leadership in the passage of the Short-Doyle Act passed in 1957 by
the California legislature. In April 1961 she was appointed Director of the new Center for
Training in Community Psychiatry at Berkeley. With State support and federal training
grants the Center offered a program of continuing education in the research, prevention
and administration of comprehensive community psychiatry.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Samuel J. and Portia Bell Hume Papers, 1843-1990, contain the professional and personal
papers of Samuel J. Hume, theatrical entrepreneur, and Portia Bell Hume, psychiatrist.
Included in Samuel J. Hume's papers are writings, speeches, theater memorabilia,
correspondence, and papers related to his work with the Council on Oriental Relations.
Portia Bell Hume's papers include her writings, work for the California Department of Mental
Hygiene (1943-1972), teaching files, other professional work, and personal ephemera.