Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Shirley Cohelan Burton Photograph Collection
SFP 106  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Collection contains photographic prints, contact sheets, negatives and color slides by photographer Shirley Mabel Cohelan Burton of political events and speakers in San Francisco, California from 1966-1997. Includes her professional photographs documenting San Francisco Democratic political events as well as speakers at the Commonwealth Club of California. Political events and gatherings include mayoral, supervisor and governor campaign events; Democratic club meetings and conventions; and candidate receptions. Burton began photographing speakers at the Commonwealth Club of California in 1980 until 1989.
Shirley Mabel Cohelan Burton was born on November 16, 1924 to Adrienne Jeffrey Cohelan and George A. Cohelan in San Francisco, California. Educated in San Francisco public schools, she attended High School of Commerce and graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a degree in history. In 1953 she married Robert Edward Burton. Burton was a political activist who took part in many campaigns and held many Democratic Club offices. Chairperson positions held include California Democratic Council, San Francisco Council of Democratic Club, Sunset-Parkside Democratic Club, Democratic Volunteers for Alioto, Yerba Buena Democratic Club, and San Francisco's Democratic County Central Committee. Burton held leadership positions within Golden Gate Businesses & Civic Organization and National News Service for Women & Minorities. Parallel to her participation in political activities, Burton photographed the campaigns and events she attended in the late 1960s-1970s. By 1980 Burton established herself as a professional photographer with her business Suburban News Service and became one of the photographers of the Commonwealth Club of California speaker series. Burton photographed until her death. Shirley Mabel Cohelan Burton died on December 11, 1997 in Pacifica, California
19 cartons of approximately 30,000 negatives and 25,000 photographic prints
All requests for permission to publish from photographs must be submitted in writing to the Photo Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
The collection is partially processed but available for research. Series 2 is processed and open for research. For Series 1, 3 and 4, please contact the Photo Curator. The collection is available for use during Photo Desk hours.