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Inventory of the Arthur K. Bierman Papers, 1959 - 1969
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Scope and Content
  • Additional Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Arthur K. Bierman Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1959 - 1969
    Accession number: 1991/026
    Creator: Bierman, Arthur K.
    Extent: 1.75 cubic feet
    Repository: San Francisco State University. Labor Archives & Research Center
    San Francisco, California 94132
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Center's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives & Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives & Research Center 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], Arthur K. Bierman Papers, 1991/026, Labor Archives & Research Center, San Francisco State University.


    San Francisco State University Professor Arthur K. Bierman donated this collection to the Labor Archives and Research Center in 1991. This collection covers his activities for the years 1959 through 1969 and includes Bierman's early organizing for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), his work to abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), and other efforts in the field of civil liberties. It precedes and supplements the chronological scope of an earlier collection donated in 1986 which reflected the activities of an AFT organizer over the period 1966-1984 (Acc. #1986/2).


    This material was collected during a very turbulent period in San Francisco history. It covers the proposed visit of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1959 when 140 California teachers were subpoenaed. (This hearing was later postponed and ultimately canceled.) Bierman was instrumental in forming a group called San Franciscans for Academic Freedom and Education (SAFE) to protect the civil rights of the subpoenaed teachers. The following year, in May 1960, HUAC again focused on California and held hearings at San Francisco City Hall which provoked mass opposition from students, teachers and other groups who demonstrated at City Hall. The Committee limited attendance at the hearings by issuing passes; on the second day, the demonstrators were attacked with water hoses and the resulting riot was a dramatic beginning of the 1960s, a forerunner of the student "Free Speech" movement and the anti-Vietnam War protests which followed.
    Bierman collected material reflecting the acceleration of opposition to HUAC following the 1960 City Hall riots. Its goal was abolition of HUAC. His participation is recorded as a member of many different groups, and his name appears on public petitions. There are also papers from other campaigns for civil liberties from the early 1960s: Californians Against State Executions (1960-1961); an ad opposing Richard Nixon's campaign for California governor (1962); support to Pacifica Foundation (KPFA), an investigative target of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (1963), and support to victims given harsh sentences in the San Francisco sit-in trials (1964).
    Bierman's papers on union organizing on California State University campuses include the major issues of collective bargaining for teachers, the organizing of state college professors, studies on teachers' salaries, and academic freedom. The focus of the collection is the organizing of San Francisco State College Federation of Teachers, Local 1352. There is additional material from the AFT State College Council which reflects organizing activity throughout the state college system during that time.

    Scope and Content

    The bulk of this collection of the personal papers of Arthur K. Bierman is divided into two major series: 1) American Federation of Teachers, and 2) Anti-HUAC Activities. The AFT material is focused primarily on organizing activities in Local 1352, San Francisco State College Federation of Teachers, and includes a draft constitution, correspondence, circular letters, a membership list, and various faculty lists. There is printed material and publications generated by the California Federation of Teachers and two files of clippings--one covering collective bargaining rights for teachers.
    There is one folder with printed material and a publication from the Association of California State College Professors.
    The second major series is Anti-HUAC Activities. Seven folders constitute the records of SAFE, including correspondence, fund raising actions, bank statements, mailing lists, and a survey made of subpoenaed teachers which includes interviews on the effect this action had on their careers. Five folders contain Bierman's activities with other anti-HUAC groups-- correspondence, drafts of articles and reports, and his participation in collecting signatures for petitions. Three folders contain printed material from these groups. There are two folders on films: HUAC's "Operation Abolition," and a proposed video series for PBS titled "The Vocal Generation" (not produced). Bierman collected a large quantity of clippings and these are arranged chronologically, covering the years 1959-66.
    The final series contains folders on other civil liberties campaigns in which Bierman participated concurrently with his anti-HUAC activities.

    Additional Information

    Material Cataloged Separately

    The following title was transferred to the book collection of the Labor Archives and Research Center:
    • President's Commission On Campus Unrest. The Report of the President's Commission on Campus Unrest. Washington: GPO, 1970.

    Related Collections

    For further papers pertaining to Arthur K. Bierman, see descriptive guide for Arthur K. Bierman Papers, Accession No. 1986/2. The Archive also has an oral history interview with Arthur K. Bierman on the San Francisco State College Faculty Strike conducted by Peter Carroll, 1992.