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Howard W. Campen Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Custodial History
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Howard W. Campen collection
    Dates: 1946-1996
    Collection number: 2006-012
    Creator: Campen, Howard W.
    Collection Size: 2 archives boxes
    Repository: Santa Clara County Archives.
    San Jose, CA 95112-2527
    Abstract: This collection consists of miscellaneous materials documenting the life of County Executive Howard W. Campen.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Archives staff.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Archives can claim physical ownership only for some collections. Users are responsible for securing permission of the copyright holder for publication or quotation.

    Preferred Citation

    Howard W. Campen collection, 2006-012, Santa Clara County Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was transferred to the Archives by County Executive Pete Kutras, Jr.

    Custodial History

    These materials were given by the Campen family to County Executive Pete Kutras, Jr., who in turn transferred them to the County Archives.

    Processing Information

    This collection was processed by Michael Griffith working under NHPRC grant RA-10047-07, the Santa Clara County Archives Project. A fuller account of the grant project is available at the Archives website. The collection was largely unorganized when received. The materials were separated into series, placed in chronological order when appropriate, and foldered.


    Howard Campen served as County Executive for Santa Clara County from 1957 until 1976, overseeing a period of tremendous change and development in the county. Born in San Jose in 1914, Campen graduated from Stanford University in 1937 and received his law degree from Stanford University School of Law in 1940. After service in the Navy during World War II, Campen began work for the county in the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office in 1946. In 1948, he was appointed to the newly created position of County Counsel, in which he remained until 1955, when he resigned to enter private law practice. In 1957, the county selected him as County Executive, a position he retained until his retirement in 1976. During his tenure, the county underwent significant development, with county government undertaking major capital investments, especially in the county freeway system. Campen withdrew from county affairs after his retirement. He died in 2005.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Campen collection consists of two boxes of a variety of materials, primarily documenting his years as county executive. Included are correspondence, chiefly letters upon his resignation as county counsel and upon his appointment as county executive. There are three photograph albums and 145 additional pictures. These photographs are largely unidentified and undated. There are several sets of notes for speeches and some speech texts as well. Finally, the collection contains several certificates, awards, and plaques given Campen and miscellaneous other material.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Santa Clara County (Calif.) Office of the County Executive
    Campen, Howard W.