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Guide to the Meyer Lissner Papers, 1903-1923 (inclusive), 1910-1920 (bulk)
Special Collections M0070  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Biographical Note
  • Access Terms
  • Additional Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Meyer Lissner Papers ,
    Date (inclusive): 1903-1923 (inclusive), 1910-1920 (bulk)
    Creator: Lissner, Meyer, 1871-1930.
    Collection number: Special Collections M0070
    Extent: 30 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: Correspondence, legal and financial papers, photographs, clippings and miscellaneous printed material including circulars, new releases, speeches, and political hand bills. The papers are predominantly political with particular emphasis on the non-partisan reform movement in Los Angeles beginning about 1906, the organization of the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League (1907), and the Progressive movement especially in California through Hiram Johnson's presidential campaign (1920).
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of the Lissner family, 1934, 1963.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Meyer Lissner Papers , M0070, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Scope and Content Note

    The Meyer Lissner Papers consist of approximately 40,000 items from 1903 to 1923. Most of the material falls between 1910 and 1920 and is primarily in the form of correspondence. There are also legal and financial papers, pamphlets, clippings, miscellaneous printed matter (form letters, news releases, political hand bills, etc.) and photographs.
    The subject matter is almost entirely political. It shows the growth and decline of the Progressive movement, particularly in California; the formation of the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League; and the Los Angeles non-partisan reform movement, to name only a few. The correspondence between notable political figures either in the lime-light or behind-the-scenes is very open and frank. Goals, ideals and disappointments are discussed at length, revealing as much about personalities as the times. The letters between Lissner, Hiram Johnson and Chester Rowell are excellent examples. Campaign policies on local, state and national levels is another interesting subject. This material shows the inner workings of a political organization, the tactical maneuvering and the interplay and manipulation of the various participants.
    A few items may be found of a business or personal nature, relating to the law firm, real estate interests and family. These form a very small percentage and give only a hint of Lissner's private life. Even these usually discuss public issues as well as private affairs.
    The reference and printed materials cover a variety of subjects in which Lissner was interested. Among these are topics related to the various boards or commissions on which he served, such as the Los Angeles Public Utilities Board and the California Industrial Accident Commission. As editor of the California Outlook, organ of the Progressives in that state, he collected typescripts of articles, news releases and clippings and corresponded with many subscribers, advertisers, trustees and contributors. Other materials show interest in the various clubs, political and social, in which he held membership. But here too the emphasis is political and includes information on public figures, political parties and clubs, the Los Angeles charter revision, the conflict with various newspapers on political matters and the Southern Pacific machine.
    The correspondents are many and varied, making a complete listing, even of the more important ones, almost impossible. The most important single correspondent for both bulk of material and content is Hiram W. Johnson. Lissner was one of a number of men who pushed Johnson to political prominence and one of the few Progressives who remained loyal after the death of that movement and Johnson's apparent dessertion of its ideals. Related to Johnson's correspondence and important in its own right is the material pertaining to his gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns and particularly his 1920 presidential campaign. A few other important names are: Chester Rowell, Edgar A. Luce, John M. Eshleman, -dwin T. Earl, Francis J. Heney, William D. Stephens, C.C. Young, William Allen White, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. LaFollette, Harold L. Ickes and George W. Perkins. The list includes politicians on every level of government, newspapermen and publishers, business and professional men and women, civil servants and civic leaders. Most of these are of particular importance in California, but there are many of national interest and prominence.

    Biographical Note

    1871, June 16 born in San Francisco; son of Louis and Mathilda (Block) Lissner.
      education: public grammar and high school in Oakland.
    c. 1886 began successful jewelry and pawnshop business.
    1896, August 12 married Ermine Greenhood of Okland; three children: Louis Meyer, Jay Greenhood and Aline Mathilda.
    1898-1899 Los Angeles Law School.
    1899 practiced law in Los Angeles, first 6 years as partner of Edgar W. Camp, later Joseph L. Lewinsohn.
    1906 organizer and secretary of Non-Partisan City Central Committee (of Los Angeles).
    1906-1910 member of the executive committee of the Municipal League of Los Angeles. (2nd vice president in 1909.)
    1907 an organizer of the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League in California. (chairman of Los Angeles County Executive Committee 1908, vice president, 1910.)
    1907 secretary and organizer of Owens River Campaign Committee.
    1907 organizer of City Club of Los Angeles. (member of the Board of Governers, vice president, 1908 and president, 1911.)
    1909 president of the Good Government Organization.
    1909-1911 organizer and secretary of the Good Government Fund.
    1909-1911 member of the executive committee of the Direct Legislation League of California.
    1909-1911 president of the Board of Public Utilities, City of Los Angeles.
    1909-1916 member of executive committee of National Municipal League, 1909-1916.
    1917 vice president of National Municipal League
    1910-1916 chairman of California Republican State Central Committee.
    1912-1916 member of National Executive Committee, Progressive Party (or Progressive National Com.)
    1914-1917 editor of California Outlook
    1915-1919 and 1928 member of California Industrial Accident Commission.
    1921-1925 member of U.S. Shipping Board (resigned 1925.)
    1930, July 28 died.

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Anderson, George B.
    Bancroft, Philip, 1881-
    Baumgartner, J. P.
    Chenoweth, L. E. (Lawrence E.)
    Dickson, E. A.
    Heney, Francis J., 1859-1937.
    Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
    Hughes, Charles Evans, 1862-1948.
    Ickes, Harold L. (Harold LeClair), 1874-1952.
    Johnson, Hiram Warren, 1866-1945.
    Kent, William, 1864-1928.
    Krehbiel, Henry Edward, 1854-1923.
    La Follette, Robert M. (Robert Marion), 1855-1925.
    Lewinsohn, Joseph L.
    Lissner, Meyer, 1871-1930.
    Luce, Edgar A., 1881-
    Mc Cabe, Alexander.
    Nelles, Fred C.
    Neylan, John Francis, 1885-1960.
    Older, Fremont, 1856-1935.
    Otis, Harrison Gray, 1837-1917.
    Perkins, George W., 1862-1920.
    Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946.
    Pope, Arthur Upham, 1881-1969.
    Robinson, Leo S.
    Rolph, James.
    Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919.
    Rowell, Chester Harvey, 1867-1948.
    Russell, Charles Edward, 1860-1941.
    Shoup, Paul, 1874-1946.
    Spreckels, Rudolph.
    Stephens, William D. 1859-1944.
    Stone, George W.
    Taft, William h. (William Howard), 1857-1930.
    Thompson, Newton Wayland, 1882-
    White, William Allen, 1868-1944.
    Willard, C. D.
    Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924.
    Woodruff, Clinton Rogers, 1868-?.
    Young, Clement Calhoun, 1869-1947.
    California Railroad Commission.
    Hetch Hetchy Reservior (Calif.)
    League of Nations.
    Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League.
    Los Angeles.
    Progressive Party.
    Sierra Club.
    Southern Pacific Company.
    Title Insurance and Trust Co. (Los Angeles)
    Democratic Party--California.
    Eight-hour movement.
    Election law.
    Elections, nonpartisan.
    Employer's liability--California.
    Initiative, Right of.
    Insurance, unemployment.
    Proportional representation.
    Republican Party--California.
    Single tax.

    Additional Information


    This report on the Lissner Collection includes a summary of the work done on the collection between September 1, 1936, and June 6, 1937, and in addition an estimate of work which should be done to render the collection usable. A statement on the collection as a whole is included.
    The report prepared by Mr. Harry N. M. Winton on August 13, 1936, provided the basis for such rearrangement of the files as was undertaken. Mr. Winton had rearranged the folders within the various files, with the result that in September, 1936, they were in general alphabetical order within the chronological subdivisions. Extensive refiling was indicated and all letters were arranged alphabetically within the letter folders. The correspondence of Meyer Lissner occupies seven filing drawers, labeled as follows: 1903-1909, 1910-1911, 1912, 1913, 1914-1915-1916, and two drawers 1917-1921. In addition, two drawers are devoted, respectively, to California Outlook correspondence and the Johnson-for-President Campaign of 1920; neither of these files have been touched by the writer. A small amount of 1914 correspondence is filed with the 1915-1916 correspondence, though the bulk is, presumably, in the California Outlook file. All used folders in the files through 1916 have been replaced by new, clearly labeled folders.
    Calendar cards have been made for each of the letters in the five cases running from 1903 to 1916. The cards are filed in chronological order and are located in the following places: File 1 -- Drawers 5, 6; File 2 -- Drawers 1, 2; File 3 -- Drawers 1, 2; File 4 (cardboard box); File 5 (cardboard box). Additional files for 3 x 5 cards are needed.
    These cards, whose preparation consumed the bulk of time during the year, contain all essential information about each letter, including the date of writing, names of writer and addressee, and a synopsis of the contents. The cards are filed under the name of the person with whom Lissner corresponded and are filed in chronological order. Combined use of the alphabetical letter files and chronological calendar cards should provide an effective index to the correspondence.
    Calendar cards must be made for the two drawers of 1917-1921 correspondence, and the California Outlook - and Johnson-for-President materials. The indexing and reorganization of the remaining correspondence, and of the reference files will probably require nine or ten months of fulltime work.
    In addition to indexing the correspondence, the Lissner reference materials have been filed in Cabinet 3 in Room 404 of the Library and may be located on the Shelf List. The Lissner clipping scrapbooks were placed on top of Cabinet 3 as they were too large to be placed inside. The seven drawers of Reference Materials have not been opened. Drawer 8 of the Reference Materials contains mounted clippings from the first crate of clippings. These have been pasted on bond paper, the size of this page, and filed in chronological order to correspond with the calender card files. There are four unopened crates of clippings which should be mounted if possible.
    It is difficult to evaluate the materials that compose the Lissner Collection, materials ranging from letters to pamphlets, and bearing on California politics from 1903 to 1921, with emphasis on the period from 1907 to 1917. The period of Meyer Lissner's influence in state politics ended with his appointment, in June, 1921, to the United States Shipping Board.
    Meyer Lissner seems less important as an actor in California politics, than as a motivator. If ever a man was a power behind the scenes of state governor, that man was Meyer Lissner. He was ridiculed and criticized by the newspapers of his time, accused of all political misdemeanors; today his name is a memory only to those few people who knew him intimately. His name is not mentioned in accounts of state politics written since his death, yet his influence was far-reaching. The campaigns with which he was connected were those which made California of great political importance some twenty years ago.
    Certain policies interested Meyer Lissner throughout his life. They were first, activities aiming at the improvement of municipal government -- such as the Good Government Organization of Los Angeles, the National Municipal League, and the Municipal Conference of 1913. From 1906 until 1920 Lissner participated in uncounted campaigns for nonpartisanship in local and state government; during the same period he was in the vanguard of partisan campaigns in national politics.
    Lissner's second group of activities were directed at progressive government. A Republican in his early years, he was instrumental in founding the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League. In 1912 a member of the Progressive National Committee, by 1920 a Regular Republican, his course was typical of his era. Lissner's associates were contemporaries, young men thirty years ago. Unfortunately Lissner died at an early age but his companions are still leaders in California and the nation. A casual list of friends supports this contention: Hiram Johnson, former Governor, owed much to Lissner, even the Senatorship which he has held these twenty years. Chester Rowell worked with Lissner in the Lincoln-Roosevelt League, campaigned with him for their then close, mutual friend Johnson, progressed during Lissner's active years in the state from the Fresno Republican to the San Francisco Chronicle, from editorial reputation only, to political leadership.
    E. A. Dickson, third member, with Lissner and Rowell, of the spearhead of Lincoln-Roosevelt League organization, in 1907 an impecunious college graduate and newspaperman, is today a civic leader in Los Angeles, a Regent of the University of California. Others with whom Lissner engaged in politics were Friend Richardson, State Printer and later Governor of California; U. S. Webb, then nd now State Attorney General; John Francis Neylan, then member of the State Board of Control, now active in the Hearst enterprises; Max Thelen, former president of the State Railroad Commission; Philip Bancroft, Franklin Hichborn; Dr. John Randolph Haynes; and many others.
    Many of Lissner's fellow-workers in the progressive movements are now deceased. Among the leaders were John Eshleman, brilliant attorney and onetime Lieutenant-Governor; Harris Weinstock of Sacramento; C. D. Willard, writer, secretary of the L. A. Municipal League, publisher of the old Pacific Outlook; A. J. Pillbury, Industrial Accident Commissioner, publisher of the California Weekly; Lincoln Steffens; Fremont Older, crusading editor of the San Francisco Bulletin; E. T. Earl, Los Angeles publisher; and scores of others.
    Lissner's contacts with national figures were as important as those with California leaders, and there are extensive files of correspondence with Clinton Rogers Woodruff, longtime secretary of the National Municipal League; with Theodore Roosevelt (originals of which are in Los Angeles in possession of the Lissner family); Sen. Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin; Medill McCormick of Illinois; Senator Joseph M. Dixon; Joseph Fels; and others.
    The Lissner correspondence is rich with material bearing on California politics -- there is basic material for a history of the Lincoln-Roosevelt League, earliest Progressive group to attain statewide power. There is material for a study of Los Angeles politics from 1907 to 1913 in detail, and considerable information bearing on civic organizations throughout the state, and pressure groups such as the Direct Legislation League of California. There is adequate data for the life of Meyer Lissner which should some day be written, and material for an annotated list of California politicians of the present century, a list that should be prepared and which would be of reference value to all students in the period.
    Of primary interest are the stories of the Hiram Johnson gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns, and the material bearing on the 1916 presidential election and Hughes' visit to California. There is much data on the organization of various state departments, and a plenitude of material demonstrating the manner in which appointments were made in the Johnson administration, including the workings of the unofficial advisory board of Lissner, E. A. Dickson, E. T. Earl, and others whom Johnson consulted.
    But the Lissner collection alone is inadequate. Renewed effort should be made to secure the papers of Chester Rowell and E. A. Dickson. Because of the nature of the Lincoln-Roosevelt League Organization these three collections complement each other -- without them the full picture cannot be drawn. The Hichborn and Haynes papers would be invaluable. Other persons whose correspondence would be desirable include A. J. Pillsbury, George Perkins, George Pardee, Daniel A. Ryan, Edgar A. Luce (for the San Diego records), Harris Weinstock, and lastly the papers of Alexander McCabe, Martin Madsen, and Mrs. Harriet Odgers French, secretaries to Governor Hiram Johnson. Most valuable of all would be the Hiram Johnson papers. Some are in possession of the Borel Collection, a great many are in possession of the Lissner family in Los Angeles. In the event of Johnson's death, these could probably be secured, but an effort should be made to secure the papers which Johnson has, and his general correspondence.
    It is Utopian to dream of securing all of these collections, but it would seem well worth while to have a research assistant, some time in the near future, devote considerable time to systematically contacting all surviving members of the political groups of ten, twenty and thirty years ago, and the heirs of those who are deceased. To this end continuation of attempts to publicize the Borel Collection is essential. Press releases are inadequate as there is no guarantee of publication. The campaign, for it must be that if the collection is to be increased, should consist of interviews, personal letters, and the publication of a brochure explaining the purpose of the collection. The fact should be emphasized at all times that a study of recent state politics belongs outside of a state university and can be properly and fairly dealt with in such a private university as Stanford.
    In the opinion of the writer the future program for the Lissner Collection should include: completion of the calendar; indexing of all reference materials; attempts to increase the collection; and opening of the collection to graduate students and faculty from Stanford and other universities. The Lissner Collection can properly become the corner stone of a superb collection of California political materials.
    June 6, 1937
    -- Elinor Kahn


    The Lissner Papers were brought to the library packed in two three drawer filing cabinet, in one six-drawer filing cabinet, and in three packing cases. The Lissner correspondence---- most of which was contained in the packing cases and in one cabinet----was rearranged in the six-drawer filing cabinet, only one small lot remaining over. The correspondence had been bound into bundles and indentified by slips of paper. These bundles were untied and placed in the filing cabinet, each category being separately filed.
    • Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League 1907-1909;with scattered Lissner Correspondence 1903-1906, 1 drawer
    • Lissner Correspondence 1910-1911, 1 drawer
    • Lissner Correspondence 1912, 1 drawer
    • Lissner Correspondence 1913, 1 drawer
    • California Outlook , Correspondence; with scattered Pacific Outlook correspondence 1910, 1 drawer
    • Lissner Correspondence 1915-1916, 1 drawer
    • Lissner Correspondence 1917-1921, 2 drawers
    • Johnson for President Executive Committee (Los Angeles Organization) 1920, 1 drawer
    • Lissner & Lewinsohn 1919-1920, overflow
    • Lissner, Lewinsohn & Barnhill 1920-1921, overflow
    • Lewinsohn & Barnhill (scattered) 1921-1922, overflow
    The Lissner correspondence, after being unpacked and placed in the cabinet, was examined drawer by drawer, the folders checked for orderly filing and completeness and replaced when too badly damaged for further use. The folder contents were straightened out and cleaned when necessary. Some files were in bad shape because of exposure to moisture and mice, although, fortunately, but few documents were damaged seriously. Many letters were, however, badly rumpled and discolored.
    Only two of the files (Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League 1907-1909, and California Outlook Correspondence 1911-1914) were examined and rearranged beyond the gross alphabetization of folders. These two files were carefully gone over and extensive refiling done, so that order, chronological, alphabetical and logical prevails----according to the examiner's lights. This process will be required for the remaining files, since there is a great deal of inconsistent filing.
    For these remaining files cleaning, checking and ordering as far as gross alphabetization of the folders were the principal tasks. In the last respect there was little to be done, since nearly all file folders were already arranged in orderly succession.
    Within each folder, however,----except for the two files mentioned above----further ordering is necessary. This was too extensive a job for the present undertaking, since it can properly be carriedout only with an understanding of the desired final arrangement of the whole collection according to definite plan, complementary to which will be the indexing of the contents.
    The correspondence, as now filed, is contained in lettered folders as originally filed or as now supplied. One bundle had been supplied with alphabetical dividers only, the letters resting between theseupon the bottom of the drawer; folders were here provided. On the other hand, all dividers were removed, to reduce bulk, while the marked folder-tabs serve as convenient guides. In some instances several folders were combined when the slimness of their contents warranted.
    In the subsequent description of the gross contents of the correspondence these two terms will be used in the following sense:
    (1) MISSING----papers not contained in the files, but which ought, apparently, to be there, a presumption based on the file label, the gaps in the sequence of letter folders, or the inclusion of empty labeled folders. In the latter instance it is reasonable to suppose that most such file-folders were empty because there was no correspondence to be filed therein in certain alphabetical categories (under Q, for instance).
    (2) LACKING----papers not contained in the files which are apparently not embraced in the descriptive file labels, but which may be supposed to have been preserved by Lissner and are yet to be acquired, unless they have been lost or destroyed.

    LINCOLN-ROOSEVELT REPUBLICAN LEAGUE, 1907-1909 (and----not on original label---Lissner correspondence, 1903-1906 MISSING (no folders found)

    • Bro
    • By
    • Ca-Ce
    • Em-Er
    • Fi-Fl (1 correspondent, Fleming)
    • Fu-Fy
    • Ge-Gh (1 correspondent, Gerberding)
    • Gi-Gl
    • Je-Ji
    • La-Lo (1 correspondent, L. A. Storage)
    • Me (1 correspondent. Merriam)
    • Moa-Mon (1 correspondent, Monrovia News)
    • My
    • Na-Ne
    • O
    • Pa
    • Sc (1 correspondent, Schaller)
    • Se
    • Sm-So
    • Su-Sz
    • Te-Ti
    • U-V
    • Wim-Viz (2 correspondents, Wing, Wininger)
    • Wu-Wy


    Note: This was one file thoroughly rearranged; in consequence the excepted letters above, usually 1 apiece, were transferred from other folders, but were not found in folders marked as above. Some of these letter-combinations were undoubtedly represented by correspondence at some time.

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1910-1911 MISSING (no folders found)

    • Fu-Fy
    • Gy
    • Haa-Haf
    • Schu-Schy
    • Ti
    • Wem-Wez

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1910-1911 MISSING (folders empty)

    • Daa-Dam
    • Dim-Diz
    • Gi
    • Goa-Gol
    • My
    • Q
    • Schi-Schm

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1912 MISSING (no folders found)

    • Cop-Cor
    • Dw-Dy
    • Schi-Schm

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1913 MISSING (no folders found)

    • Daa-Dam, Fu-Fy, Haa-Haf
    • Hes-Hez
    • Lea-Lem, Mea-Mem
    • Raa-Ral, Roc-Ron
    • Ps-Pz
    • Sci-Scy
    • Sk-Sl
    • Ti (but a folder for Title Insur. & Trust Co.)
    • Z

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1913 MISSING (folders empty)

    • Bua-Buc
    • Ge-Gh
    • Goa-Gol
    • Je-Ji
    • Sca-Sce
    • Wea-Wel


    • Apparently nothing missing in bulk (as a folder-file)

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1915-1916 MISSING (folders empty)

    • Cas-Caz
    • Has-Hau
    • Mea-Mem
    • Q
    • Schn-Schr

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1917-1921 MISSING (no folders found)

    • Dim-Diz
    • Pa

    LISSNER CORRESPONDENCE, 1917-1921 MISSING (folders empty)

    • Bes-Bez (1 correspondent only, Beveridge; but this a rearrangement)
    • By
    • Cas-Caz
    • Fu-Fy
    • Q
    • Raa-Ral
    • Pu-Py


    Had no folders, only alphabetic 1 dividers; no missing categories

    LISSNER & LEWINSOHN... 1919-1922 MISSING (no folders found)

    • Ta
    • Wr-Wy

    LISSNER & LEWINSOHN... 1919-1922 MISSING (folders empty)

    • Bru-Bry
    • By
    • Ce
    • De
    • Fu-Fy
    • Haa-Haf
    • Hav-Haz
    • Lu-Ly
    • Ni
    • Pe
    • Q
    • S(ain)t
    • Sma-Sme
    • Te
    • Wim-Wir
    • Wis-Wiz


    Note: This file, an overflow, is almost entirely legal correspondence; political correspondence of Bissner is presumably to be found in the file for 1917-1921. A few references to politics may be found in certain letters to political correspondents announcing the formation of the lawfirm, and on other occasions.


    1. Lissner Correspondence (political) prior to 1907. The scattered letters of this period (back to 1903) in the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League file are non-political in character, almost all relating to the Lissner Building or to personal matters. Are there files of political correspondence for this period?
    2. Lissner Correspondence for February-December 1909. The special folders in the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League Correspondence 1907-1909 contain letters of the following terminal dates: Dickson (Feb. 6, 1909), Heney (March 10, 1909), Rowell (Dec. 4, 1908), Weinstock (Feb. 17, 1908). This fact suggests that somewhere should be a file of Lissner correspondence for 1909, apparently after the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League had wound up its work. Unless Lissner went away during this period, one should not expect the Lissner files to be broken here.
    3. Lissner Correspondence for 1914. This, however, is probably all here contained within the Californi Outlook file, since Lissner took over the management apparently. I mention this as a lack merely for appearance sake since Lissner files run from 1910-1921 as such.
    4. Lissner Correspondence 1921-1930. This is the U. S. Shipping Board period (1921-1925) till death. Where is this correspondence? Surely he did not refrain from all correspondence, although in Washington and later inactive politically.
    Of course, it cannot be said now, after so brief an examination, that every letter is present when the folders appear to be intact in their contents. When one considers the vagaries of filing clerks, the handing over of a letter to X for his perusal, and the requests for a return of certain documents to the writer, one can expect certain gaps. After an examination of the reference materials in the Lissner Papers, it became evident that a great many letters are to be found scattered through all the subject-indexed folders of these materials. This fact will have to be considered when indexing the letters.
    It may also be observed that certain letters were reproduced for political purposes, or certain others were open letters, both kinds present at times in considerable numbers in various forms (printed, mimeographed letters; cards; pamphlets, leaflets). This type of literature was widely reproduced in newspapers. It may be assumed, therefore, that here, at least, is one connection between the Newspaper Clippings and the Lissner Correspondence, although this direct tie is less important than the relationship between the Correspondence and the Reference Materials.
    The examiner does not presume to offer any suggestions in respect to the ultimate form of filing and indexing----except to express the pious hope that the intention be kept in mind to take this great opportunity which the ordering of the Lissner Papers presents to lay a firm foundation for a definitive system which shall hold good for all the other political materials yet to be collected. Already, in the Lissner Papers, is to be seen a direct connection with the Irish and work Papers (correspondence and speeches of these gentlemen) now in the Borel Collection. If further papers are added it is of paramount importance that the same methods of cataloguing be followed. To this end the examiner will make one suggestion after all: let a dictionary catalog be now begun of the persons and organizations (publications, associations, organized political groups) involved in the Lissner Correspondence, based for the time being simply upon the information in the papers. Each correspondent ought to be listed (after his signature or letterhead), with his official status. Each organization ought to be listed by full title and appropriate cross-references if necessary, its card bearing the principal officers and backers as listed on its stationary (the ones involved in correspondence could be marked with see-reference). Each publication should be indexedunder its name and location, its editor and publisher listed, togetherwith such other information as Ayer's Guide for the period might furnish which would be useful, and with such other employees as are involvedin the correspondence. This index would be the means of locating correspondence and identifying political figures. Political office-holders may also be so identifiedif indexed under their positions. The file should embrace all the materials in the Borel Collection which are related, and should be both brief and accurate, more detailed information being sought in the index to each group of papers or in the papers themselves. Fiat Index!
    The same sort of examination was made of these materials. Here, however, the examiner removed a considerable portion of their contents to the shelves. The materials removed were books and pamphlets, alphabetically filed on the shelves, and in nearly every case of removal a slip was put into the folder listing the pamphlet briefly by author and title. By such means a great deal of room was found, so that all the Lissner Reference materials now are contained in the two four-drawer cabinets. A good deal of cleaning was necessary. Much overlapping was eliminated, but very likely some other method of arrangement may be felt desirable. As stated above, there is considerable correspondence in these files. Likewise, there are many newspaper clippings. All three principal types of materials are thus interconnected. Many folders contain but one clipping, a card, or a photograph; others are exceedingly bulky. It is probalbe that these materials formed sortof morgue for the California Outlook. The pamphlets are arranged alphabetically by author (or title if no author), but should be catalogued with reference to Library of Congress entries or indentifications. It may be well also to check these pamphlets with the Stanford University Library and the Union Listof Serials.
    In this connection, it may be remarked that if the Lissner Papers and their present and future neighbor papers are to be housed and used as a small reference library for specific purposes, that a file of the California Outlook ought to be placed in the room, along with the California Weekly and the Pacific Outlook. Copies of the California Blue Book for these years would also be very useful.
    There are many articles cut, torn or clipped from papers and periodicals among these reference materials. They should be properly bound in folders. It would also be wiseto bind manuscript speeches.
    Allen's Bureau furnished Lissner for many years with hundreds of clippings relating to him and various topics and persons in whom he was interested. These clippings are filedin folders arranged chronologically and now contained in four wood-and-fiber boxes and a fiber transfer case. There was no time to examine them beyond identifying the contents sufficiently for labeling.
    Scores of newspaper clippings are contained in the Reference Materials and the Correspondence, both from Allen's and from personal snipping and tearing. The examiner will leave the problem of what to do about this to his successors.
    One suggestion may be made: it would be wise (perhaps) to mount the clippings on sheets of regular paper (mimeograph paper would do). This would form a better-looking file, easier to handle, making possible the proper use and preservation of the clippings. At present they are bunched and even wadded together; irregular clippings are in constant danger of being torn or mangled. Long and wide clippings (or pages) stick out of folders only to be frayed and torn. The folders are hard to handle since they are designed for flat contents, but great wads of small narrow clippings in the bottom of each folder distort its shape, take up too much room in the drawer and make spilling too likely. Imagine filing sausages in correspondence folders! After mounting it would be farless easy to lose a small clipping in the shuffle, while the paper could be marked for filing under subject if necessary.
    Clippings and tear-sheets from other sources than Allen's should also be trimmed and mounted. At present they are scattered through the Correspondence and Reference Materials.
    Harry N.M. Winton
    August 13, 1936

    Additional Notes: Lissner Collection


    Johnson Letters:
    Calender cards have been made for the Hiram Johnson correspondence in possession of the family of Meyer Lissner in Los Angeles. The cards are marked with a double red pencil line across the upper right hand corner, diagonally. If the letters are ever acquired, there will be no need to make new cards. A sample card with the red lines and explanation thereof appears at the first of each `year' of cards.


    Roosevelt Letters:
    Copies of Roosevelt letters are found in Shelf B, Case III, though the cards are filed in the regular card index.
    There are no rods in the last four cases of Lissner calendar cards and care should be taken in handling to prevent the cards from being spilled. Additionl 3 ¥ 5 files which are purchased should be, prefereably new, equipped with rods.


    Use of index card files:
    The Lissner correspondence is filed in manila folders according to the name appearing first on the card, unless otherwise stated. The cards are filed chronologically. - cards row in boxes 60-68 m chronological order.
    Use of Lissner correspondence files:
    Letters are filed chronologically under each name in the respective files. In using the Lissner files of letters for the period 1907-1909, it must be noted that carbon copies of letters included were signed by Charles W. Bell, Sidney A. Butler, William Justus Rice, Frank G. Henderson, members of the Lissner office staff, as well as Meyer Lissner. Care must be exercised to detect this as no certain identification mark is used. The following information may be of some help.
    • Sidney A. Butler was chairman of the Los Angeles County Central Committee of the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League
    • Frank G. Henderson was secretary of this Co. Central Committee of the League
    • Meyer Lissner was chairman of Executive Committee
    • Justus W. Rice was secretary of this Executive Committee
    • Charles W. Bell was assistant secretary of the state organization and is referred to in one letter by Lissner as secretary for Southern California
    • Meyer Lissner is mentioned by Dickson and Rowell as having been appointed chairman for Southern California
    signed: Alice Rose