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San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research
SFH 77  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related Materials and Collections
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information

  • Title: San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research scrapbooks
    Date (inclusive): 1915-1931
    Identifier/Call Number: SFH 77
    Creator: San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research
    Creator: San Francisco Committee on Charter Revision
    Creator: San Francisco Real Estate Board
    Physical Description: 4 boxes (1 cubic foot)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    Abstract: Contains scrapbooks of newspaper clippings documenting the San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research's work, beginning with its predecessor organization, the San Francisco Tax Committee of the San Francisco Real Estate Board.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored on site.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.

    Access

    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research Scrapbooks (SFH 77), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Provenance

    Donated by Jack W. Schafer on March 27, 2009. Schafer discovered the scrapbooks while doing Historic American Buildings Survey photographic documentation of the Holbrook Building at 58 Sutter Street. The Holbrook building, a seven-story, 1912 office building, was demolished in 1981 to make way for a new building.

    Related Materials and Collections

    Bulletin, San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research, 1947-1948.
    The City, San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research, 1917-1971.
    Report on a Survey of the Government of the City and County of San Francisco, prepared for the San Francisco Real Estate Board by the Bureau of Municipal Research, New York, 1916.
    Charter of the City and County of San Francisco, 1899-1974, San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
    Sample Ballot, Special Election, March 26, 1931 San Francisco Office of the Registrar of Voters.
    San Francisco Charter Commission Records, SFH 25, 1931-1980, bulk 1979-1980.
    San Francisco Citizens Charter Revision Committee Reords, SFH 33, 1889-1973, bulk 1968-1971.
    San Francisco Select Committee on Charter Reform Records, SFH 32, 1978-1996, bulk 1994-1995.

    Historical Note

    The San Francisco Real Estate Board, which is currently known as the San Francisco Association of Realtors, created the San Francisco Tax Committee in April of 1916 to study municipal effiency and fight unnecessary taxation. The committee hired the Bureau of Municipal Research of New York City to study the structure of San Francisco's government. This produced a 1200-page report, Report on a Survey of the Government of the City and County of San Francisco. As this was taking place, a group of businessmen incorporated the San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), in October of 1916, to continue the work of the tax committee. It was initially financed for five years.
    According to William Issel and Robert W. Cherny in San Francisco, 1865-1932, Politics, Power, and Urban Development, BGR became a fixture in local politics, publishing a journal, The City, devoted to municipal issues. The Real Estate Board remained promininent in the leadership of the BGR, which was largely funded by the Chamber of Commerce. Throughout the 1920s, BGR provided data and analysis on city issues including streetcar and water systems, demand for salary standardization, and low taxes. From its establishment through 1930, its main objective was restructuring government to make it more like a business corporation.
    In May of 1930, BGR created a committee to update the charter. The committee favored a city manager plan, which would take some power from the mayor. Opposition by labor and the Hearst newspapers prompted the Board of Supervisors to call for election of a Board of Freeholders to revise the charter. There were fifteen members. This group proposed the "Freeholders Charter" amendment which was approved by the voters in 1931. The resulting charter was subsequently known as the 1932 charter, based on its effective date. The 1932 charter established a chief administrative officer to direct most of the city's departments.
    BGR continued to operate at least into 1972, with publication of its Bulletin.

    Scope and Contents

    Contains scrapbooks of newspaper clippings documenting the San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research's (BGR) work, beginning with its predecessor organization, the San Francisco Tax Committee of the San Francisco Real Estate Board, and ending with BGR's work on charter revision.

    Arrangement

    Arranged chronologically.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Tami J. Suzuki in 2021.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    County charters -- California -- San Francisco.
    Municipal charters -- California -- San Francisco.
    San Francisco (Calif.) -- Charters.
    San Francisco (Calif.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
    San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research.
    San Francisco Committee on Charter Revision.
    San Francisco Real Estate Board.