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Inventory of the Helen Thomson Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Related Material at the California State Archives
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Helen Thomson Papers
    Dates: 1997-2002
    Collection number: LP489
    Creator: Helen Thomson, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 18 cubic feet of textual records, 14 videocassettes, 4 audiocassettes, and 1 box of artifacts
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: California legislator Helen Thomson served as a State Assembly Member from 1997-2002. The Helen Thomson Papers consist of The Helen Thomson papers consist of 18 cubic feet of textual records, 14 videocassettes, 4 audiocassettes, and 1 box of artifacts reflecting the interests and political activities of Thomson during her 6 years in the California State Legislature. The records contain three series: bill files, administrative files, committee member files, subject files, research files, correspondence, hearing files, and Artifacts from 1976 to 2002.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Helen Thomson papers, LP489:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial history

    California State Archives acquired the Helen Thomson papers in a series of five transfers beginning in 2000 (Accession Numbers: 2000-07-10; 2002-054; 2002-175; 2002-266; and 2004-188).


    Helen Thomson, Democrat, was a State Assembly Member from 1997 to 2002. Thomson represented the 8th Assembly District, which covered most of Solano and Yolo counties and southwestern Sacramento County. Cities include Benicia, Davis, Dixon, Fairfield, Isleton, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland, as well as the Sacramento Delta communities of Courtland and Walnut Grove.
    Helen Thomson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on June 8, 1940. She graduated from Boston’s McLean Hospital School of Nursing in 1961 and is a Registered Nurse. She established California residence upon moving to Davis in 1965. From 1974 to 1986, she served on the Davis Joint Unified School Board and from 1986 to 1996 on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.
    Helen Thomson was the President of the California Elected Women’s Association for Education and Research (CEWEAR) from 1990 to 1991. She served as the 2nd Vice-President for the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) from 1994 to 1995, and as the 1st Vice-President from 1995 to 1996.
    Heelen Thomson was elected to the State Assembly in 1996 and continued there until she was termed out in 2002. Her areas of particular interest during her tenure concerned mental and physical health and women’s issues. In her first year in the State Assembly, she was recognized by multiple organizations for her accomplishments. She was awarded Legislator of the Year from the Disabled State Service; Disability Advocate Award from the Easter Seals Society of Sacramento; the Water Reuse Award from the Association of California Water Agencies; and Legislator of the Year Award from the State Association of County Auditors. Helen Thomson’s district had a diverse economy ranging from Travis Air Force Base to a large brewery, retail businesses, oil refineries and agriculture. Her district included the University of California, Davis, one of the nation’s leading agricultural research schools.
    After her final term in the California State Assembly, Helen Thomson was re-elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and served there from 2002 to 2010. She retired in 2010.

    Scope and Content

    The Helen Thomson papers consist of 18 cubic feet of textual records, 14 videocassettes, 4 audiocassettes, and 1 box of artifacts reflecting Thomson’s activities during her time as a State Assembly Member from 1997 until 2002. The collection is organized into the following record series: Bill Files, 1997-2002; Administrative Files, 1994-2002; Committee Member Files, 1998-2000; Subject Files, 1996-2000; Research Files, 1987-2001; Correspondence, 1996-2000; Hearing Files, 1997-2001; and Artifacts, 1976-2000.
    The Bill Files document her legislative activity during her term as a member of the California State Legislature. The bills introduced by Helen Thomson include a wide array of subjects. She authored bills concerning mental and physical health, county programs, end of life care, schools and environmental concerns. Administrative Files primarily concern budget issues during her term in the State Assembly. Committee Member Files reflect Thomson’s participation on the Agriculture and Health Committees. Subject Files cover Helen Thomson’s multiple interests, including the Assembly Democratic Caucus, legislative procedure, and teen and women’s health concerns. Research Files concern mental health parity as well as hospital property tax exemptions. Correspondence covers Thomson’s communications with not only her constituents, but also with other elected officials. Hearing Files relate to Thomson’s efforts in the legislature to address mental health issues, including parity and access to care. Artifacts include fruit labels, plaques and other ephemera that document Helen Thomson’s pride in her district as well as interest in women’s and mental health issues.


    No further accruals are expected.

    Related Material at the California State Archives

    Joint Committee on Mental Health Reform

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Thomson, Helen
    Mental health
    Public health
    Environmental protection