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Guide to the Claire Giannini Hoffman Papers, 1887-1997
BANC MSS 98/178 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: Claire Giannini Hoffman papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1887-1997
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 98/178 c
    Creator: Hoffman, Claire Giannini
    Extent: 2 cartons, 1 oversize box
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: The Claire Giannini Hoffman Papers (1887-1997) consist of correspondence; biographical materials, including writings related to economic issues, clippings about Hoffman, the Bank of America, and her father, Amadeo Peter Giannini; and a small amount of family papers.
    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 is 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

    [Identification of item], Claire Giannini Hoffman Papers, BANC MSS 98/178 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    Giannini Hoffman pictorial collection, BANC PIC 1998.075

    Separated Material

    Printed materials have been transferred to the Book Collection of The Bancroft Library.
    Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
    Videotapes/sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.
    Medals have been transferred to the Objects Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Hoffman, Claire Giannini, 1904-1997.
    Giannini, Amadeo Peter, d 1870-1949.
    Giannini, Amadeo Peter, d 1870-1949 x Family.
    Giannini family.
    Italian Americans z California.
    Bankers z United States.
    Bankers z California z San Francisco.
    Bank of America.
    Bank of America x History.
    Bank of Italy, San Francisco.
    Banca d'Italia.
    Banks and banking z United States x History.
    Banks and banking z California x History.

    Administrative Information


    The Claire Giannini Hoffman Papers were given to The Bancroft Library in April and June 1998 at the bequest of the Claire G. Hoffman estate.


    Funding for processing provided by the Estate of Claire Giannini Hoffman.

    Biographical Information

    Claire Evelyn Giannini was born on December 30, 1904 to Amadeo Peter Giannini (died 1949) and Clorinda Agnes Cuneo (also called Clara Cuneo; died 1941) in San Mateo, California.
    She was educated at San Mateo Grammar School, Rosemary Hall in Greenwich, Connecticut, Ransom School in Piedmont, California, Mills College in Oakland, California; she also attended business school in Beverly Hills, California.
    Hoffman's father, A.P. Giannini was the founder of the Bank of Italy, later renamed Bank of America, and of the Banca d'America e d'Italia. Her brother, L. M. Giannini, was president of the Bank of America from 1936 to his death in 1952. Her husband, Clifford P. Hoffman, was an investment banker. He died in 1954.
    Since an early age, Claire Giannini Hoffman accompanied her father on business trips nationwide and abroad. She was appointed on June 14, 1949 to a seat on the Board of Directors of the Bank of America left vacant by the death of her father, from which she resigned in 1985. Upon the death of her brother in 1952, she became a member of the General Executive Committee of the Bank of America. In 1957, she was elected a Director of the Banca d'America e d'Italia. She was also Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bank of America-Giannini Foundation, established in 1945.
    Claire Giannini Hoffman was active in many national and international banking organizations, where she often was the only woman member. She was a United States delegate to the Atlantic Congress held in London in 1959. In 1960, she was appointed as a member to the Council of Consultants on the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 1973, she was the first woman to be asked to be a governor of the Federal Reserve Bank.
    Claire Giannini Hoffman was a committed supporter of women pursuing careers and strove to secure equal opportunities for women in business. She was committed to continuing her father's legacy until her death in 1997 at her childhood home in San Mateo.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Claire Giannini Hoffman Papers (1887-1997) consist of correspondence; biographical materials, including writings related to economic issues, clippings about Hoffman, the Bank of America, and her father, Amadeo Peter Giannini; and a small amount of family papers.
    Most of the correspondence in this collection is from Hoffman's friends and colleagues, rather than her family. The majority of the correspondence concerns Hoffman's social activities and her father A.P. Giannini. There is a small amount of correspondence that relates to Hoffman's business life, however, very few letters document her activities as bank director. No banking papers are held in this collection.
    Except for a speech about her father, Hoffman's writings are about the economic issues and policies of the 1970's. The collection contains a small amount of writings about Hoffman, such as interviews with her regarding her involvement in Bank of America, and those related to her experiences with her father.
    The biographical materials are comprised mostly of newspaper and magazine clippings dating from the 1960s-1970s. They are further subdivided into clippings about Hoffman, clippings about Bank of America, and materials regarding legislation. Clippings about Hoffman detail her social activities and opinions about economics and about her father's work. Clippings about the Bank of America are concerned particularly with books published about Bank of America, including Roller Coaster by Moira Johnston, and Breaking the Bank: The Decline of BankAmerica, by Gary Hector, and Hoffman's opinions on issues related to Bank of America and her father. These clippings illustrate Hoffman's opinions on bank policy and her committed interest in preserving her father's legacy. The small amount of legislation and related clippings are concerned with the control and regulation of bank holding companies and the gold reserve requirement.
    The Giannini family papers include materials related to A.P. Giannini and Hoffman's mother, Clorinda Agnes Cuneo Giannini, and miscellaneous materials about Hoffman's husband, Clifford P. Hoffman, and her niece, Anne Giannini. The materials concerning A.P. Giannini are comprised mostly of newspaper and magazine clippings about him, with very few letters or personal biographical materials. The small amount of materials about Clorinda Agnes Giannini (also called Clara Cuneo) consist of a book of school work, an autograph book, and a memoriam of her death.
    Hoffman's papers reflect her opinions about the development of the Bank of America from the 1950's, when she assumed the position of director, to her resignation in 1985. They illustrate Hoffman's consistent efforts to maintain her father's standards in both her personal and professional life and her devotion to preserving his legacy of equality and fairness in banking.