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Register of the Burns (Robert E.) California State Parks Commission Papers, 1951-1958
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Burns (Robert E.) California State Parks Commission Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1951-1958
    Collection number: Mss179
    Creator: Robert E. Burns
    Extent: 2.5 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Burns (Robert E.) California State Parks Commission Papers, Mss179, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


    The California State Parks Commission was established in 1927. It was a body of five persons appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor. The Commissioners were laymen who were paid their expenses while on duty. They oversaw the Division of Beaches and Parks, appointed the Chief of the Division, approved budgets and policies, and reviewed land acquisitions and park improvements.
    Early in its existence the Commission established a set of criteria for the creation of state parks which include the following principles: areas selected for parklands should be of statewide and not local significance; they should possess features of special significance that make their preservation and public recreational use a matter of statewide concern; they should be equitably distributed so as to assure proper balance in their use by all citizens of the state.
    Gov. Earl Warren appointed Robert Burns, President of the College of the Pacific, to the California State Parks Commission in 1951. Burns served through 1958. He represented central California at a time crucial to the preservation of the southern grove of the Calaveras Big Trees. Other parks created during his tenure include the Hearst/San Simeon State Historical Monument and the Jack London Home State Historical Monument. In 1958 Burns participated in the Commission's major reorganization of the Division of Beaches and Parks.

    Scope and Content

    The Robert Burns State Parks Commission Papers consists of: correspondence and memos from the Director of the Division of Beaches & Parks, the public and various legislators; the agendas and minutes of Park Commission meetings (1953-1958); reports or proposals regarding various lands being considered for state park status or for expansion; summaries and texts of enabling legislation creating the diverse parks (1953-58); and a miscellany of related printed materials, maps, and photographs.