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Guide to the Illa Collin papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents

  • Language of Material: English
    Physical location: MP B:18:I:06 – B:18:K:07
    Contributing Institution: Center for Sacramento History
    Title: Illa Collin papers
    creator: Collin, Illa
    Identifier/Call Number: MS0001
    Physical Description: 39 Linear feet (39 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1839-2007
    Date (bulk): 1978-2007
    Abstract: The Illa Collin Papers document the political career of Sacramento County Supervisor Illa Collin. Collin sat on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for 28 years, which at the time made her the board's longest-serving member. Her political career included supporting social programs for children, the elderly, the homeless, people with mental illness, and the poor, as well as efforts to protect the environment. She was instrumental in the creation of the region's light-rail system, the American River Parkway, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Received from Sandy Burnett in July 2007 and Judy Gee in May 2015 by the Center for Sacramento History.

    Processing Information

    Processing and finding aid by Nicole Allison, Alex Dilley, Laurie Frazier, Francis Macias, Nathan Roberts, Matthew Walker, James Wheeler, Jamie Wilson, 2017. ArchivesSpace data input by Lynn Aiello, 2018.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], MS0001, Illa Collin papers, Center for Sacramento History.

    Related Materials

    Materials related to those in the Illa Collin Papers may be found in the following collections at the Center for Sacramento History: the Suttertown News Collection (1995/026), the National League of American Pen Women (2003/051), and the Faces and Places Collection (2007/046).

    Biographical / Historical

    Illa Collin was born January 24, 1932, in Rock Springs, Wyoming. After her father passed away in a mining accident during World War II, her mother moved the family to Portland, Oregon. She finished high school in Portland and then graduated from the University of Oregon. Collin met her husband, Don, while attending college. After graduating, she taught at schools in Portland, and then she and her husband moved to California, where she first taught at schools in Piedmont. In 1968, the couple moved to Sacramento, where they raised their three daughters, and Collin began working for different political movements and campaigns. She was active in the Women's Movement, and from 1973-1975 led the League of Women Voters in Sacramento. She also worked on improving social services and community planning in Sacramento before taking a seat on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in 1977.
    Collin represented District 2, which encompassed the southern region of Sacramento County from Broadway just south of Downtown Sacramento (including the Sacramento neighborhoods of Land Park, South Land Park, Pocket, Meadowview, and Valley Hi) to Galt on the Sacramento County line. Collin had a passion for issues like women's rights, Asian American rights, providing education for the underprivileged, helping revitalize the urban downtown and surrounding communities, protecting all areas of the environment, and creating an efficient public transportation system in Sacramento. While in office, she was instrumental in the creation of the region's light-rail system, the American River Parkway, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation.
    Collin sat on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors from 1978 to 2005 and, at the time, was the board's longest-serving supervisor.


    The collection is arranged into 10 series:
    • Series 1. Project and Subject Files
    • Series 2. Resolutions
    • Series 3. Ask Illa
    • Series 4. Media
    • Series 5. Correspondence
    • Series 6. Elections
    • Series 7. Calendars and Schedules
    • Series 8. Reference Publications
    • Series 9. Newspaper Clippings
    • Series 10. Certificates, Resolutions, and Awards

    Scope and Contents

    The Illa Collin Papers primarily document the political activities of Illa Collin while she sat on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. Material dates from 1978 to 2006. Collected during her tenure and preserved by Collin and her staff, the papers consist mainly on her working files and correspondence between her office and her constituents, various local organizations, and schoolchildren. Other series within the collection focus on the many organizations Collin worked with and the causes she supported; correspondence with her constituents as part of a program called Ask Illa; the honorary resolutions that she passed; election campaigns of people she politically supported; publications she collected for reference to projects she oversaw while in office; calendars and schedules of meetings and events she attended; campaign ephemera; publications and reports; and newspaper and magazine clippings that chronicle her time in office. The papers were in a discernable order when transferred to the Center, and that original order was kept. The series hierarchy was created based on the original order of the papers. In general, records are arranged chronologically within each folder. Most newsprint, telegrams, and other brittle paper have been photocopied onto archival paper for preservation purposes. In addition to textual records, the collection contains photographs and compact discs. The geographic focus of the material is Sacramento and California.
    Topics and subjects covered in the collection include Sacramento's poor and homeless community, community development, education, environmental issues, land use, transportation projects, water resource projects, civil rights issues (particularly women's and Asian rights), and activities of the Democratic Party on the national and local levels.
    The following scope and content notes highlight only some of the records in each series; please see the container list for a full listing of the series contents. The numerous project files, correspondences, election material, publications, and newspapers collected by Illa Collin makes up a large percentage of the collection and provides the framework and foundation of each series.
    Series 1. Project and Subject Files. This series contains folders depicting information about the many organizations that Illa Collin was involved with during her time as county supervisor. Subject folders contain photos, news articles, reports, and correspondence. This type of material is also contained in other series files within this collection, but the records contained in this series pertain to a specific organization or subject. This series is arranged alphabetically.
    Series 2. Resolutions. This series is made up of folders that depict resolutions that Illa Collin passed during her time as county supervisor. They honor individuals, organizations, community groups, and businesses for their contributions to the greater good of Sacramento County. The files in this series are arranged chronologically using the date on the official resolution page.
    Series 3. Ask Illa. This series consists of material related to "Ask Illa," a source of outreach where constituents would write to Collin with concerns, and she would then respond via community newsletters.
    Series 4. Media. This series contains photos of Illa Collin, some with attached correspondence, and data compact discs.
    Series 5. Correspondence. This series primarily comprises material documenting communication between Collin and organizations, schoolchildren, various companies, and constituents. Within the correspondences are thank you letters, invitations to events, and form letters concerning matters on the Stone Lakes Project. The form letters came from the different neighborhoods, cities, and groups that she represented while sitting on the Board of Supervisors. This series is arranged chronologically.
    Series 6. Elections. This series contains material related to elections that took place in Sacramento and with the national Democratic Party, which Collin supported. The information is broken down into the following subseries:
    • Subseries 6.1 Statement of the Vote. This subseries includes books that provide a full analysis of different elections through the years. It is arranged chronologically.
    • Subseries 6.2 Political Ads. This subseries contains political ads and other ephemera from electoral campaigns during Collin's time in office. It is arranged chronologically.
    • Subseries 6.3 Jimmy Carter. This subseries documents the re-election campaign of President Jimmy Carter during the 1980 election and includes correspondence, ads, and campaign materials.
    Series 7. Calendars and Schedules. This series includes Collin's daily planners, schedules, and calendars that document appointments and events from her time as a county supervisor. It is arranged chronologically.
    Series 8. Reference Publications. This series contains publications related to projects Collin worked on while in office and issues she was interested in. The publications are sorted by topic and divided into the following subseries:
    • Subseries 8.1 Children. This subseries contains publications pertaining to children's programs.
    • Subseries 8.2 Civil Rights. This subseries contains publications about the civil rights of Asian Americans along with a newsletter called Context.
    • Subseries 8.3 Community Development. This subseries contains publications on community development projects during Collin's time in office.
    • Subseries 8.4 Education. This subseries contains publications pertaining to the UC Davis Extension Campus.
    • Subseries 8.5 Employee Newsletters. This subseries contains Sacramento County employee newsletters.
    • Subseries 8.6 Environmental. This subseries contains reports on environmental projects.
    • Subseries 8.7 Financial. This subseries contains California and Sacramento County financial reports.
    • Subseries 8.8 Government Rosters. This subseries contains publications on government employees.
    • Subseries 8.9 Government Publications. This subseries contains publications on government policies.
    • Subseries 8.10 Healthcare. This subseries contains publications on healthcare projects.
    • Subseries 8.11 Housing. This subseries contains publications on housing projects.
    • Subseries 8.12 Judiciary. This subseries contains publications pertaining to court hearings and legislature.
    • Subseries 8.13 Land Use. This subseries contains publications about the different land use projects.
    • Subseries 8.14 Transportation. This subseries contains publications about different transportation projects.
    • Subseries 8.15 Tributes. This subseries contains publications honoring Collin and Robert Matsui.
    • Subseries 8.16 Water Resources. This subseries contains publications about different water resource projects, most notably the San Francisco Estuary.
    • Subseries 8.17 Women's Rights. This subseries contains publications and laws about women's rights.
    Series 9. Newspaper Clippings. This series includes newspaper articles that quote Collin, are about her, or are written by her. Also included are articles she saved from smaller magazines or newspapers that feature projects she worked on as a supervisor. This series is arranged chronologically.
    Series 10. Certificates, Resolutions, and Awards. This series includes the honors bestowed on Collin during her years in office. Most of the plaques and trophies were first photographed before being disposed of due to volume; prints of these photographs are found in the appropriate folders.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American River (Calif.)
    Civil rights
    Community Development
    Land Use
    Presidential Campaign
    Public Works
    Sacramento (Calif.)—History
    Water Resources
    Youth Groups
    Matsui, Robert T., 1941-2005
    Yurdyga, Chris
    Zanni, Chris
    Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce
    Japanese American Citizens' League
    League of Women Voters
    Sacramento Area Councils of Governments (SACOG)
    Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA)
    Sacramento County Board of Supervisors
    Sacramento County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors
    Sacramento International Airport
    Sacramento International Airport (Calif.)
    Sacramento River Cats
    Sacramento River Cats (Baseball team)
    Sacramento Tree Foundation
    Women's Civic Improvement Center
    Carter, Jimmy, 1924-