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Guide to the Lilian Bridgman Papers, 1881-1977
BANC MSS 85/102 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Lilian Bridgman Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1881-1977
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 85/102 c
    Creator: Bridgman, Lilian
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 boxes, 3 oversize folders (size A and B), 5 oversize flat boxes Linear feet: ca. 1.25
    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: Includes a small amount of personal correspondence, manuscripts of Bridgman's short stories and poetry, clippings, and miscellaneous personalia, including diplomas, teaching credentials, and letters of recommendation. The bulk of the collection spans the years from 1881 to the 1940s, and focuses on Bridgman's career as an architect in Berkeley, Calif., including drawings and sketches of much of her work, as well as 2 watercolor paintings.
    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 Head of Public Services. 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], Lilian Bridgman papers, BANC MSS 85/102 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    • Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
    • Commencement Issue, 1910 of The Tiger (vol.vii, no.iv) has been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library for separate cataloging.
    • One map has been transferred to the Map Collection of The Bancroft Library.
    • Case of drawing instruments has been transferred to the Objects Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Lilian Bridgman papers were given to The Bancroft Library in July 1985 by Elton Davies.


    Lilian Bridgman was born in eastern Kansas in 1866 to Israel Noble Bridgman and Sarah Ezilda. She attended the Kansas State Agricultural College, graduating in 1888 with a degree in science, although her transcripts also reveal an interest in drawing, literature, and music. In 1891, she came to the University of California, Berkeley where she studied under Professor Joseph Le Conte. Her thesis, titled The Origin of Sex in Fresh-water Algae, earned her a master's degree in science in 1893.
    From 1893 to 1912, Bridgman taught physics and chemistry at various high schools and junior colleges in California, including the California School of Mechanical Arts in San Francisco. During this time she also wrote short stories and poetry which were published in magazines such as Overland Monthly, Harper's, and Century Magazine. In 1899, drawing upon her natural artistic abilities, she designed her first home, her own, near Blackberry Canyon in Berkeley.
    In 1912 Bridgman again enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, this time to study drawing and architecture. In 1915 she was licensed as an architect by the State of California. While not as well-known as architects like Julia Morgan, Bridgman worked steadily, designing more than fifteen homes during her career. After the Berkeley fire of 1923, which devastated much of North Berkeley, she, along with other local architects, was instrumental in rebuilding the area. Her work was influenced by the writings of the English philosophers John Ruskin and William Morris, embracing a simplicity which they felt had been interrupted by the Industrial Revolution.
    Lilian Bridgman died at her Berkeley home in 1948 at the age of eighty-two.

    Scope and Content

    This collection of Papers of Lilian B. Bridgman includes a small amount of personal correspondence, manuscripts of short stories and poetry by Bridgman, and clippings and tearsheets of interest to Bridgman and which may have had some influence on her architectural work. The bulk of the collection spans the years from 1881 to the 1940s and focuses on Bridgman's career as an architect in Berkeley, with architectural drawings and sketches of much of her work, as well as two watercolor paintings.