Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Inventory of the Records of the Human Relations Agency
R401, F3885:1-77  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Human Relations Agency Records
    Dates: 1963-1973
    Collection number: R401, F3885:1-77
    Creator: Human Relations Agency
    Collection Size: 20 cubic feet of textual records
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The records of the Human Relations Agency (HRA), 1963-1973, consist of 20 cubic feet of textual records separated into twenty-one record series. The records reflect the administration of California's many and varied direct service and correctional programs.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Human Relations Agency Records, [ID number] [series number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Human Relations Agency Records in a series of transfers according to state law.

    Administrative History

    In 1966, California voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to delegate to the Governor the power to reorganize the structure of state government (California Constitution, Art. V, Sec. 6), enabling legislation in 1967 (ch. 1540). By order of Governor Reagan's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1968 (Statutes of 1968), the Health and Welfare Agency (H and W) was combined with the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (YACA) and renamed the Human Relations Agency (HRA). The new HRA included the following bodies:
    Board of Corrections
    Coordinating Council on Programs for Handicapped Children
    Coordinating Council on State Programs for the Blind
    Department of Corrections
    Department of Employment
    Department of Human Resources Development
    Department of Industrial Relations
    Department of Mental Hygiene
    Department of Public Health
    Department of Rehabilitation
    Department of Social Welfare
    Department of the Youth Authority
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Division of Industrial Accidents
    Mental Retardation Programs
    Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board
    Narcotic Addict Evaluation Authority
    Narcotics Rehabilitation Advisory Council
    Office of Atomic Energy Development
    Office of Economic Opportunity
    Office of Health Care Services
    The Department of Human Resources Development included The Service Center Program, The California Commission on Aging, and The State Advisory Commission on Indian Affairs.
    In 1973, Governor Reagan returned H and W and YACA to their previous structures of 1967.
    Secretary of the Human Relations Agency:
    Spencer Williams, 1967-1970
    Lucian Vandergrift, 1970-1971
    James M. Hall, 1971-1973

    Scope and Content

    The records of the Human Relations Agency (HRA) consist of 20 cubic feet of textual records reflecting the administration of California's many and varied direct service and correctional programs. The records are dated from 1963 to 1973, and are separated into twenty-one record series. Because all of the agencies under the purview of HRA pre-dated the creation of HRA, many series include records that are from the Health and Welfare Agency (H and W) and Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (YACA) time period as well as the HRA period.
    The Bill Files document the legislation of interest to the various departments, such as Department of Corrections, and the proposals made to the head of the Agency. All of the other series are arranged as subject files, revealing the diversity of the records kept at the executive level of the HRA. Fourteen of the subject series document topics associated with specific departments, offices, or programs of the HRA. For example, the "Department of Employment Subject Files" series.
    The remaining six subject series document the entire agency broadly in terms of administration and subject matter. Rather than combining them into one record series of general subject files, it was decided to keep these as separate series. Researchers seeking information solely about the executive office of the HRA would do well to focus their efforts on the following series: All Agency Components Files, Associations and Agencies Files, Commissions and Councils Files, Meetings and Conferences Files, General Subject Files, and the Human Relations Agency Subject Files.
    Because HRA was comprised of so many bureaucratic components which focused on very different social matters, it is difficult to comprehensively describe the common topical threads to be found within the collection. The service-oriented departments dealt with issues such as health care systems, physical health, mental health, community outreach, the elderly, children, the disabled, farm labor, collective bargaining, continuing education, unemployment, employment discrimination, and the broad umbrella concept commonly known as "social welfare." Meanwhile, the corrections-oriented departments dealt with topics like public safety, internal facility safety, rehabilitation, poverty, crime prevention, and parole reforms. However, all HRA components required an attentive executive office in order to administer the contracts, guide the policy-making, interpret the legislative changes, investigate the external and internal allegations of misconduct, and communicate with the Governor.


    No further accruals are expected.

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    Department of Social Welfare Records
    Health and Welfare Agency Records Relating to Corrections

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California. Mental Health
    California Corrections
    California. Social Welfare