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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William F. Masterson papers
    Dates: 1960-2001
    Bulk Dates: 1990-2001
    Collection number: CSLA-19
    Creator: Masterson, William F.
    Creator: PICO
    Collection Size: 65 archival document boxes
    Repository: Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Abstract: The William F. Masterson Papers consist of the records of his work with PICO (Pacific Institute for Community Organization) and covers the development of various PICO organizing projects throughout the United States, as well as the internal growth and workings of PICO.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, William F. Masterson Papers, CSLA-19, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of William F. Masterson. Accession number: 2000.23

    Biography / Administrative History

    PICO (Pacific Institute for Community Organization),of Oakland, California, is dedicated to organizing local communities--usually low-income--for social action. Founded by Jerry Helfrich, S.J., and John Baumann, S.J., PICO carries on the tradition of community organizing developed by Saul Alinsky, the person most responsible in the United States for this type of social activism. William F. (Bill) Masterson has been closely involved with PICO since 1980, serving as its director of strategic planning from 1992 through 2002.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    In 1972, Jerry Helfrich, S. J., and John Baumann, S. J., founded in Oakland, California, the Oakland Training Institute, which would evolve into the Pacific Institute for Community Organization (PICO). PICO develops grass-roots organizations in local communities, usually low income, with the goal of enabling them to combat directly the social and political problems afflicting them. Community organizing is thus a populist movement with a profound belief in the ability of ordinary people to govern themselves. In this sense, PICO can be solidly identified as part of the community organizing movement that Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) was responsible for creating in the United States. Both of the Jesuits Helfrich and Baumann, for example, received much of their training in community organizing from Thomas Gaudette, one of the foremost organizers of the field, and one whom Alinsky had personally influenced.
    Both Gaudette and Baumann trained William F. (Bill) Masterson (b. 1950) in the tactics of community organizing. Thus, Masterson's involvement in community organizing was well-developed, even before his official union with PICO as a board member in 1980. Like Gaudette and Baumann, Masterson has a strong background in Roman Catholicism: he attended both Xavier University and Loyola of Chicago and was once a Jesuit novice himself. As a result, the materials in this collection, besides documenting the growth and work of a major organization in community organizing, shed light on the approaches and philosophy of contemporary Roman Catholic social activism.
    William F. Masterson either created the materials of this collection or else gathered them from PICO or PICO-affiliated community organizations in the course of his work for PICO, either as board member or as Director of Strategic Planning, a position he held from 1992 to 2002. In the latter position, Masterson was responsible for advising PICO-affiliated organizations in their community activism and also has played a significant role in the growth of PICO itself as an organization. These materials, almost exclusively textual, are now considered inactive and, as a consequence, PICO, through Masterson, donated them to the CSLA Research Collection. Because of Masterson's long association with PICO, the chronological breadth of the collection is extensive, covering sixteen years of PICO's thirty year existence. These records are incomplete for PICO for each of these sixteen years, though, since they represent the work of only one PICO official, albeit an important one, William F. Masterson. The majority of the holdings date from the 1990s, with the overall dates of materials in the collection running from 1960 to 2001. Holdings include board meeting agendas and minutes, faxes, reports on PICO-affiliated organizations, correspondence (both e-mail and postal), PICO memoranda, financial records, handbooks, newspaper and journal articles, research reports, flyers and brochures, PICO membership and board rosters, donor reports, conference materials, strategic and planning documents, grant applications, and annual reports. In short, there exists a broad range of valuable sources on the organizational and administrative history of a leading organization in the field of community organizing.
    Persons of note in this collection are, among others, John Baumann, S.J., Thomas Gaudette, Richard Riordan, Scott Reed, and Monsignor John Egan. Community organizations with materials in this collection include, but are not limited to, Camden Churches Organized for People, Kansas City Church Community Organization, Oakland Community Organizations, All Congregations Together (New Orleans), and People Acting Together (San Jose, California).


    This collection has been divided into series based on the arrangement that the materials came to the CSLA Research Collection, in an effort to maintain intact the original filing structure, wherever possible. Series 1 consists of materials from notebooks originally labelled as "Correspondence" documenting three years of Bill Masterson's service as a PICO board member (1981-1983). Series 2 contains materials related to PICO affiliated-organizations and programs ("PICO Projects"). Series 3 documents the role of PICO and Bill Masterson in the passage of California State Bill 643, a vocational program for secondary school students in California, as well as other PICO efforts in education. Series 4 is subject files related to the work of William F. Masterson and PICO, while the holdings of Series 5 are made up of materials from conferences on organizing that Bill Masterson attended. Series 6 consists of resource materials for PICO studies of states and communities in which it was organizing. Some loose materials were found in the collection; they have been placed in the series--Series 4: Subject Files--to which they most closely correspond. Loose materials are recorded as such in the subject field entry of the box and folder list.
    Specific research strengths and types of materials for a series are noted in the series descriptions.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    PICO (Organization)
    Masterson, William F.
    Community organization -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources