Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the David Atkins Papers, ca. 1888-1984
BANC MSS 91/18 cp  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope And Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: David Atkins Papers,
    Date: ca. 1888-1984
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 91/18 cp
    Collector: Atkins, David Hadden, 1878-1954
    Extent: Number of containers: 3 boxes, 2 cartons Linear feet: 3.75
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Collection consists primarily of reports submitted to or prepared by Atkins, Kroll & Co. on mining properties, chiefly in California & Nevada. Also contains files of Atkins' personal correspondence, ca. 1898-1907, much of which is addressed to his family in Wales, or to Bruce Porter, a longtime friend and Atkins' literary mentor. A few letters are written to Atkins' brothers (Ernest, Arthur and Henry), and some contain Henry's poems.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Manuscripts Division. 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], David Atkins papers, BANC MSS 91/18 cp, The Bancroft Library.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

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

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The David Atkins papers were given to The Bancroft Library on March 4, 1991 and June 25, 1991, by Anne Atkins Robinson.


    David Hadden Atkins was born on June 10, 1879 in Liverpool, England. He was educated in England and Wales, majoring in chemistry and metallurgy. He came to California in 1898 with his brother, Arthur, and was an assayer and chemist in Sonora in the early 1900s.
    David's brother, Henry, was the first of the family of nine children to leave home. He arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1888, shortly before his twenty-first birthday. Henry joined his uncle, William Kingston Vickery, to form the art and decorating firm of Vickery, Atkins and Torrey in San Francisco. In 1892, another brother, Arthur, arrived in California, stayed for a time, and then left to study painting in Paris. He returned (with David) to California in 1898 and, by the time of his death at an early age in January 1899, had become a noted California painter. The following year, Henry and his wife, Daisy (Howard), took a trip to England. On their return trip they were accompanied by two more family members, Elsie and Ernest. Ernest stayed for only eighteen months, returning to England in 1901 for Christmas with the family. He then took a position in Port Said, Egypt for three years, and returned to California in February, 1905. Another brother and sister, Herbert and Avesia, arrived in California in July, 1906. The remainder of the family, including the parents, Georgina and Henry, and the eldest girl, Marion, arrived in 1908.
    In 1910, David Atkins joined his brother, George Herbert Atkins, and a friend, Clifton H. Kroll, to form Atkins, Kroll and Company, an importing and exporting firm with headquarters in San Francisco. He remained with Atkins, Kroll and Company until his retirement in the early 1940s.
    David Atkins was married January 5, 1910 to Mary de Fremery, daughter of William C. B. de Fremery of Oakland, and fathered seven children. He was the author of several books, among them The Measurement of Economic Value, The Economics of Freedom, A Dimensional National Economy, and Field Notes, a book of poetry. He died on September 26, 1954 in Santa Cruz, California.

    Scope And Content

    The collection includes correspondence, chiefly written by David Atkins, ca. 1898-1907. A few letters are written by his brothers, Ernest, Arthur, and Henry, and a few contain Henry's poems. Many are addressed to his family in Wales or to author Bruce Porter, a long-time family friend. Porter was twelve years senior to David Atkins and, according to Atkins' daughter, Anne Atkins Robinson, had become his literary mentor. The last of the letters were written in October 1907, just before David Atkins started for California. A set of typescript copies of the manuscript letters, prepared by Anne Atkins Robinson and containing her notes on the family, is included.
    The bulk of the collection consists of reports for mining properties, principally in California and Nevada, that were examined by the company. The Papers are divided into property files submitted to the company and files for properties that were actually examined by the firm. Most of these descriptive files had been prepared either by or for Atkins, Kroll and Company prior to 1920 and were found among David Atkins' papers at the time of his death.