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Guide to the Clara Shirpser Papers, [ca. 1948-1968]
BANC MSS 74/41 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Clara Shirpser Papers,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1948-1968]
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 74/41 c
    Creator: Shirpser, Clara, 1901-
    Extent: Number of containers: 3 boxes, 1 carton Linear ft.: 2.5
    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: Correspondence, speeches, press releases, personalia, clippings and subject files, relating primarily to political activities, particularly her role as Democratic National Committeewoman from California, 1952-1956, and the Stevenson-Kefauver presidential primary campaign.
    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], Clara Shirpser papers, BANC MSS 74/41 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Portraits transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1973.011--POR)

    Scope and Content

    Clara (Garfinkle) Shirpser, Mrs. Adolph J. Shirpser, was born in San Francisco in 1901. A long-time Berkeley resident, Mrs. Shirpser was active in many civic functions, clubs and philanthropic associations. These included the Berkeley Women's City Club, Young Women's Christian Association, Children's Hospital Association, Menninger Foundation, World Affairs Council of Northern California, Red Cross and the City of Berkeley Taxation, Franchise and Charter Amendment Committees. She served as president and treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley and was a member of their executive board for eight years until she resigned in 1950 to enter an unsuccessful campaign for the California State Assembly.
    In June 1952 Mrs. Shirpser was elected Democratic National Committeewoman for California, a position she held for over four years. As national committeewoman, she helped to create and develop the Democratic club movement as a viable force in the California Democratic Party during the early 1950s.
    At the time of the presidential primary campaigns of 1955, Mrs. Shirpser avidly supported Senator Estes Kefauver over Adlai Stevenson for the democratic nomination. As vice-chairman of the national Kefauver for President Committee, she was responsible for women's primary campaign activities in 22 western states until Stevenson won the nomination at the August 1956 Chicago Democratic National Convention.
    It was as a direct result of her enthusiastic and outspoken support of Kefauver that Mrs. Shirpser was forced to relinquish her position as California Democratic National Committeewoman effective August 16, 1956.
    This collection of correspondence and papers was given to The Bancroft Library in September 1973 as the gift of Mrs. Shirpser. The collection, which is fragmented and obviously incomplete, consists of 3 boxes and 1 carton and spans the period from circa 1948 through 1968 with particular emphasis on her activities on behalf of Senator Kefauver's presidential campaign, 1955-1956. Included are outgoing and incoming letters and a small subject file. All of the portraits have been removed and indexed separately in the portrait collection.
    The papers as a whole are described in greater detail in the Key to Arrangement which follows.