Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Elsa Knight Thompson Papers
BANC MSS 2004/101 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (97.64 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Elsa Knight Thompson papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1987
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2004/101 c
    Creator: Thompson, Elsa Knight
    Extent: Number of containers: 1 box, 8 cartons, 1 oversize box

    Linear feet: 13.3
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: Consists of personal papers documenting the broadcasting career of Elsa Knight Thompson from World War II through the 1970s. Contains family and personal correspondence, business files, legal files related to litigation with KPFA including transcripts, a draft autobiography, calendars, photographs, and ephemera.
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the appropriate curator or the Head of Public Services for forwarding. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Elsa Knight Thompson papers. BANC MSS 2004/101 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    • Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Elsa Knight Thompson Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Lincoln Bergman on December 19, 2003.

    Scope and Content Note

    The Elsa Knight Thompson Papers, 1935-1987, consist of Thompson's personal papers spanning her career at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the 1940s until her death in California in 1983. The collection contains family and personal correspondence, business files, legal files related to her litigation against KPFA, including trial transcripts, a draft autobiography with a series of interviews with Thompson during the 1970s and 80s, calendars, and ephemera.
    Thompson, who grew up in Seattle, Washington, was a progressive journalist and one of the first women to break into international broadcasting as a news anchor and commentator during World War II. She spent a large part of her career as Public Affairs Director at KPFA in Berkeley, California. Career highlights at KPFA include the first-ever radio broadcast on what is now called gay liberation and interviews with Paul Robeson, James Baldwin, Malvina Reynolds, and Black Panther members.