Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: David P. Barrows papers,
Date (inclusive): 1890-1954
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 1005
Barrows, David P. (David Prescott), 1873-1954
Number of containers: 35 boxes, 23 cartons, 2 oversize volumes, 1 oversize folder
Linear feet: ca. 45
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please
consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Letters written to him and copies of his replies; diaries and notebooks;
biographical sketches and obituaries; personalia; bibliographies; MSS, tear sheets and reprints of his
writings; speeches and radio addresses; collegiate class notes; lectures, with related notes, syllabi,
etc. for courses taught by him; MSS and clippings of his syndicated INS articles on world affairs;
subject files reflecting his many interests, activities and associations; scrapbooks; and
Cover his service in the Philippines and his continuing interest in the Islands;
experiences during World War I and after with the AEF in Siberia; interest in California Indians;
military associations; his teaching career; his writings; civic activities; travels in Africa,
Philippines, Central and South America, Germany, etc.; his speaking engagements and other professional
activities; and interests in education, foreign policy, and military and political science.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for
publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not
intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the
[Identification of item], David P. Barrows papers, BANC MSS C-B 1005, The Bancroft Library,
Universtity of California, Berkeley
David Prescott Barrows was born in Chicago on June 27, 1873. The family moved to California in 1874, and
Barrows was reared on a ranch in Ventura County. After his graduation from Pomona College in 1894, he
received his M. A. degree from the University of California in 1895 in political science and his Ph.D.
degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1897. Particularly interested in the life and
customs of the American Indians, he spent almost every summer during the period 1890-1899 in research
work among the tribes of southern California and the Colorado desert, and the thesis for his doctoral
degree was entitled,
The Ethno-Botany of the Coahuilla Indians of Southern
After teaching history for two years in the state normal school in San Diego, he was appointed
superintendent of schools for Manila in 1900 by William H. Taft, president of the Philippine Commission.
Later he became chief of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes of the Islands, and for the next two years
he was largely engaged in reconnaissance of the little known areas of the Philippines. In 1903 he was
appointed general superintendent of education for the Islands and completely reorganized the educational
Returning to the U.S. in 1909, he was appointed professor of education at the University of California in
January 1910 and in August of the same year, Dean of the Graduate School. In 1911 he succeeded Bernard
Moses as professor of political science and in 1913 was appointed Dean of the Faculties.
During World War I, Barrows served as a member of the American Commission for Relief in Belgium. When the
U.S. entered the war, he volunteered for military service, was commissioned a major of cavalry, and was
on active duty until 1919, serving in the Philippines as intelligence officer, and, in that same
capacity, with the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia. Although Barrows returned to teaching at
the University of California in 1919, he continued his association with the military, serving with the
U.S. National Guard until 1937, when he retired with the rank of major general.
In December 1919 Barrows was elected president of the University of California, occupying that position
until June 1923 when he resigned and spent the next year on sabbatical leave, traveling in Africa,
visiting Timbuktu and crossing the Sudan. Returning to the University in 1924, he became chairman of the
Department of Political Science and continued teaching until his retirement in 1943.
His many public services included membership on the Board of Trustees of Mills College, the California
State Commission on Rural Credit and Land Colonization, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, and the
Board of Trustees of California College in China. In World War II, unable to qualify for active service,
he became consultant to the Secretary of War and the Office of Strategic Services.
After his retirement from the University faculty, he devoted his energies to writing syndicated newspaper
The World in Review, for International News Service and
doing radio commentary sponsored by the Union Oil Company of California.
His publications include
A History of the Philippines (1903),
A Decade of American
Government in the Philippines
Government in California (1925) and
Berbers and Blacks (1927), and many contributions to professional journals and
He died of a heart attack on September 5, 1954, at the age of 81. His papers were given to the University
Library shortly after his death by his family and were transferred from University Archives to the
Manuscripts Division in 1966. His daughter, Mrs. Ella Hagar, also made an addition to the collection in
Scope and Content
Housed in 35 boxes and 23 cartons, the collection includes letters written to him and copies of his
replies; diaries and notebooks; biographical sketches and obituaries; personalia; bibliographies; MSS,
tear sheets and reprints of his writings; speeches and radio addresses; some class notes for his
undergraduate and graduate studies; lectures, lecture notes, syllabi, etc., for courses taught by him;
MSS and clippings of his syndicated articles; subject files reflecting his many interests and
associations; scrapbooks; and clippings. Spanning the years 1892 until his death, they cover his student
years; his service in the Philippines and his continuing interest in matters affecting the Islands; his
experience during World War 1 and after with the AEF in Siberia; his anthropological interest in
California Indians; his military associations; his writings; his teaching career; his civic activities;
his speaking engagements and other professional activities; his travels; his appointment as president of
the University; and his interest in education, foreign policy, and military and political science. The
papers are described in greater detail in the Key to Arrangement which follows. Documentation for his
administration as president of the University may be found in the University Archives. Photographs have
been transferred to the Library's Pictorial Collection.