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Finding Aid to the Gump family papers, 1871-1990, bulk 1920-1970
BANC MSS 2013/156  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Gump family papers
    Date (inclusive): 1871-1990,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1920-1970
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2013/156
    Creators: Gump family
    Extent: Number of containers: 4 cartons, 2 oversize boxes, 1 box, 1 volume, and 1 oversize folder (Linear feet: 6.4)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Papers of the Gump family of San Francisco, consisting of family correspondence and other personal documents as well as some Gump's Department Store correspondence and business records.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gump family papers, BANC MSS 2013/156, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Gump family--Archives
    Gump, Richard, 1906-1989
    Gump, Albert Livingston, 1869-1947
    Gump, Peter, b. 1931
    Gump, Robert Livingston, 1903-1981
    Gump's (Department store)
    Gump's (Department store)--Catalogs
    Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band
    Department stores--California--San Francisco
    Jews, German--California--San Francisco
    Jewish businesspeople--California--San Francisco
    Jewish families--California--San Francisco
    Business records--California--San Francisco.
    Family papers--California--San Francisco.
    Phonograph records
    Sheet music

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Gump family papers were gifted to the Bancroft Library by Marilyn Gump in 2013.


    No future additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Sibba Hartunian in 2013.

    Biographical Information

    After buying out his brother in-law’s mirror and frame shop in 1861, immigrants Solomon Gump and his brother Gustav founded the S and G Gump Company. They remained owners of the shop until Solomon’s son, Abraham Livingston (widely referred to as A.L.), took over at the turn of the century. When the 1906 earthquake demolished the store, A.L. was forced to start anew. It was this event and his love for far Eastern design that made Gump’s the high-end, San Francisco attraction it came to be. The launch of their catalog in the 1950s made their store nationally recognizable as their goods were now accessible across the country. Following his father, A.L.’s, death in 1947, Richard Gump took control and became president of the company until he retired and sold the store in 1975. Two years later, he began communicating with UC Berkeley about donating his property on the island of Moorea. As of the official signing in 1981, the property became the Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station. The Bancroft Library conducted an oral history with Richard Gump in 1989.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    While a portion of the Gump Family Papers collection includes correspondence and documents related to the S and G Gump Company, the majority of the collection is comprised of Gump family papers. The business papers make up the first series. They consist of financial documents and promotional material (including catalogs) as well as less formal correspondence and memos, documenting the ways in which the business was run. The business papers also document the Gumps’ real estate business and work in Honolulu. Although a majority of the correspondence centers around the Gumps’ store, it also includes World War II related correspondence and business correspondence with William Randolph Hearst. Most business records are from the 20th century. The second, larger series is dedicated to family papers, which also includes correspondence, financial documents, and other family papers. These papers document the Gumps’ charitable involvement, family dynamics, and other aspects of their personal lives. A subseries is dedicated to Richard Gump, as his personal papers are a large portion of the series. The Richard Gump series exhibits his more creative pursuits; much of the material is related to his band, the Guckenheimer Sour-Kraut band and his Polynesian Symphony. Other family members with a significant presence in the collection include Abraham Livingston Gump, his son Robert Gump, and Richard’s son Peter Gump.