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Finding Aid to the James Rolph, Jr. Papers, 1909-1930
SFH 19  
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials
  • Conservation Note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: James Rolph, Jr. papers
    Date (inclusive): 1909-1930
    Collection Identifier: SFH 19
    Creator: Rolph, James, 1869-1934
    Physical Description: 3 boxes (1.6 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    Abstract: The collection includes diaries of Rolph's daily mayoral activities in 1917 and 1927, some correspondence, and campaign documents.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


    The collection is open for research. Please call the San Francisco History Center for hours and information at 415-557-4567.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to the San Francisco Public Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items and the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], James Rolph Papers (SFH 19), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Related Materials

    Researchers are encouraged to see also the San Francisco History Center's subject and biographical files, and the Historical Photograph Collection, and to check the catalog holdings of the San Francisco Public Library for related materials. The Historical Photograph Collection houses the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin Photograph Archive, which includes photographs documenting Rolph's time as mayor.
    Researchers are directed to a related collection at the California Historical Society, San Francisco, CA, the James Rolph, Jr. Papers, 1911-1930 (MS 1818). It consists of routine mayoral correspondence, financial information, and campaign material. Researchers are also directed to the Governor's Office Records, 1849-1974, at the California State Archives in Sacramento (California State Archives Inventory No. 4).

    Conservation Note

    During processing, the collection was refoldered and re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Some metal staples remain.

    Biographical/Historical note

    James Rolph, Jr. was San Francisco's 30th mayor, from 1912 to 1931, the longest term served by a San Francisco mayor. Born in 1869 in San Francisco, he attended Mission District schools, graduating from Trinity College in 1888. Rolph became a successful shipbuilder and banker. He married Annie Reid, with whom he had three children. A charming and energetic man, he was known as "Sunny Jim."
    Rolph oversaw the reconstruction of City Hall and the construction of many San Francisco buildings and tunnels and the Hetch Hetchy water system. He was also Vice President of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915.
    A member of the Republican Party, Rolph lost his party's nomination for Governor in 1918 but carried the Democratic ticket. He couldn't accept the minority party's nomination. In 1931, he left City Hall to take office as Governor of California. Rolph died in 1934.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection includes diaries of Rolph's daily mayoral activities in 1917 and 1927, some correspondence, and campaign documents. Included is a note stating police captains should not permit gambling.


    Arranged to the folder level and organized alphabetically by folder title.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Rolph, James, James, 1869-1934 -- Archives
    Mayors--California--San Francisco
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Politics and government--20th century