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Finding Aid to the Phillip Burton Papers, 1945-1986, bulk 1956-1983
BANC MSS 87/233 c  
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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: Phillip Burton papers
    Date (inclusive): 1945-1986,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1956-1983
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 87/233 c
    Creators : Burton, Phillip
    Extent: Number of containers: 34 cartons, 1 oversize volume, 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 43 linear feet
    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: The Phillip Burton Papers document the career of an American politician who served in the United States Congress. He served 10 terms, from 1964-1983, in the United States House of Representatives as Congressman for California's San Francisco district.
    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

    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 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 .

    Use Restrictions

    Even though all reasonable and customary best-practices have been pursued, this collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the University of California, Berkeley assumes no responsibility.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Phillip Burton Papers, BANC MSS 87/233 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Related Collections

    Sala Burton papers, 1983-1987, BANC MSS 87/234 c

    Separated Material

    Photographs and slides transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1987.062--PIC). Motion pictures transferred to the Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library (classified as: Motion Picture 457). Audiotapes transferred to the Microforms Division of The Bancroft Library (classified as: Phonotape 1976).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Burton, Phillip--Archives
    Burton, Sala Galant, 1925-1987
    Burton, John L., 1932-
    California. Legislature. Assembly
    United States. Congress. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
    United States. Congress. House. Committee on Education and Labor
    United States. National Park Service
    United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
    Legislators--United States
    Apportionment (Election law)--West (U.S.)
    Election districts--West (U.S.)
    National parks and reserves--Law and legislation--United States
    National parks and reserves--California
    Supplemental security income program--Law and legislation--United States
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Politics and government
    Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Calif.)
    United States--Insular possessions
    United States--Territories and possessions

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Phillip Burton Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Joy Temes in 1987.


    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by David Uhlich in 2012.

    Biographical Information

    Phillip Burton (1926-1983) was an American politician who served in the United States Congress. He served 10 terms in the United States House of Representatives as Congressman for California's San Francisco district; prior to that he served four terms in the California State Assembly.
    Born on June 1, 1926 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Burton moved to California during high school, graduating from San Francisco's George Washington High School in 1944. Between tours of duty in the military during World War II and the Korean War, Burton attended the University of Southern California, graduating with an undergraduate degree in Political Science in 1947, and then returned to San Francisco to earn his legal degree from Golden Gate Law School in 1952. Burton married his wife, Sala Galante, in 1953 and embarked on a legal career after his return from the Korean War; he was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 1956.
    Burton's political career began with his election to the California State Assembly in 1957, where he served 4 terms; in 1959, he represented the United States at the Atlantic Treaty Association Conference in France. In February 1964, Burton won a special election to the House of Representatives to replace John Shelley, who had been elected mayor of San Francisco and resigned his seat.
    During his time in Congress, Burton served on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Committee on Education and Labor, and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Known as a forceful advocate of liberal politics, Burton opposed the Vietnam War from the onset, voting against all appropriations for the conflict; helped abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities; and promoted labor, civil rights and social welfare, including helping to author bills such as the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act and the Supplemental Social Security for the aged, blind, and disabled, as well as legislation that expanded the minimum wage and provided funding for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Moreover, Burton was greatly known for promoting environmental causes, and during his time on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs was instrumental in bolstering the National Park System and the establishment of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in his home district. In 1976, Burton missed becoming the youngest House Majority Leader in the history of the House of Representatives by a single vote. Burton was also a delegate for the California State Democratic convention from1968-1982 and a delegate for the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and 1970.
    Burton died of an aneurysm in San Francisco on April 10, 1983. In a special election held only two months later, his wife, Sala Galante Burton, was elected to fill his vacant Congressional seat.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Phillip Burton Papers consist primarily of files Burton compiled during his career as a politician. The bulk of the collection is comprised of materials documenting Burton's work in the United States House of Representatives as Congressman for the California district encompassing San Francisco, especially pertaining to his service on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, as well as his tenure in the California State Assembly; also prominent in the collection are Burton's office and press files, and campaign and political files. The collection encompasses a range of materials-including correspondence, legislative addresses and hearings, campaign literature, press releases, and ephemera-most notably documenting such legislation and issues as: National Parks, including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; United States Territories; Social Welfare and Civil Rights; the House Un-American Activities Committee; and California Reapportionment.
    The Phillip Burton Papers are subdivided into seven series:
    • Series I: Personal Files
    • Series II: Campaign and Political Files
    • Series III: California State Assembly Files
    • Series IV: Office Files
    • Series V: Press Files
    • Series VI: Constituent Service Files
    • Series VII: Legislative Files