The Thelma Gibson Radden papers consist of photographs, correspondence, artifacts, clothing, ephemera, and legal records documenting
her life and professional career as a nurse and her family’s long history in California and Michigan.
Nurse and educator Thelma Gibson Radden (1903-2004) was born on February 18, 1903 in Oakland, California to Charles Nelson
Gibson and Maude Esther Gibson. She was a fourth-generation Californian with her family tracing their roots in the state to
1864, when her great-grandfather Nelson Ray moved to Placerville, California from Lexington, Missouri. Born a slave on the
Verlinder Ray Plantation, he was freed following the death of his slave owner and he purchased the freedom of his wife, Lucinda
Ray, and their three daughters after arriving in California and they were reunited as a family in Sacramento in 1877.
8.75 linear feet
(9 boxes + 2 oversized boxes)
Permission to publish from the Thelma Gibson Radden Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.