Guide to the Elsa Knight Thompson Papers

Processed by Elizabeth Stephens.
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu
© 2004
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Elsa Knight Thompson Papers

Collection number: BANC MSS 2004/101 c

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
Elizabeth Stephens
Date Completed:
April 2004
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 2004 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Elsa Knight Thompson papers,
Date (inclusive): 1935-1987
Collection Number: BANC MSS 2004/101 c
Creator: Thompson, Elsa Knight
Extent: Number of containers: 1 box, 8 cartons, 1 oversize box

Linear feet: 13.3
Repository: The Bancroft Library.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: Consists of personal papers documenting the broadcasting career of Elsa Knight Thompson from World War II through the 1970s. Contains family and personal correspondence, business files, legal files related to litigation with KPFA including transcripts, a draft autobiography, calendars, photographs, and ephemera.
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection 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 appropriate curator or the Head of Public Services for forwarding. 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

Elsa Knight Thompson papers. BANC MSS 2004/101 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Elsa Knight Thompson Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Lincoln Bergman on December 19, 2003.

Scope and Content Note

The Elsa Knight Thompson Papers, 1935-1987, consist of Thompson's personal papers spanning her career at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the 1940s until her death in California in 1983. The collection contains family and personal correspondence, business files, legal files related to her litigation against KPFA, including trial transcripts, a draft autobiography with a series of interviews with Thompson during the 1970s and 80s, calendars, and ephemera.
Thompson, who grew up in Seattle, Washington, was a progressive journalist and one of the first women to break into international broadcasting as a news anchor and commentator during World War II. She spent a large part of her career as Public Affairs Director at KPFA in Berkeley, California. Career highlights at KPFA include the first-ever radio broadcast on what is now called gay liberation and interviews with Paul Robeson, James Baldwin, Malvina Reynolds, and Black Panther members.

Container List

Box 1; Cartons 1-3; Carton 4, folders 1-5; Oversize Box, folder 1

Series 1: Correspondence, 1935-1983

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Divided into two subseries: Family and Personal. Family correspondence is arranged hierarchally. Personal correspondence is arranged alphabetically.
Contains extensive correspondence with family members particularly her sister Jeanne Patterson. Personal correspondence contains letters from colleagues as well as friends and contains a series of letters filed by first name at the end of the subseries.
 

Subseries 1.1: Family, 1935-1982

box 1, folder 1-6

Thompson, Francis Y. 1938-44

box 1, folder 7-10

Knight, Earle W. 1942-52

box 1, folder 11-16

Knight, Murel 1936-67

box 1, folder 16-18

Knight, Murel and Jeanne 1935-43

box 1, folder 19

To Knight family 1936-36, n.d.

carton 1, folder 1-6

Knight, James 1935-82

carton 1, folder 7-22

Patterson, Jeanne Knight 1936-82

carton 1, folder 23

Patterson, Stanley n.d.

carton 1, folder 24-27

Urquhart, Patricia and family ca. 1950-60

carton 1, folder 28

Urquhart, Kevan 1963-64, n.d.

carton 1, folder 29

Knight, Raymond and Dorothy and family 1979

carton 1, folder 30

Knight, Raymond and Hazel F. 1968, n.d.

carton 1, folder 31

Knight, Emmett F. and Emily Hale 1963-72

carton 1, folder 32

Knight E. F. and Margie 1977

carton 1, folder 33-34

Knight, Maureen Val 1954-80

carton 1, folder 35

Wardall, Ray M. and Heloise and family 1946-53

carton 1, folder 36

Williams, Betty and David 1956-76

carton 1, folder 37

Williams, Earle and Virginia 1964-76

carton 1, folder 38

Knight, Elizabeth 1950-67

carton 1, folder 39-40

Family, miscellaneous (contains photos) 1952-77

 

Subseries 1.2: Personal, 1941-1983

carton 1, folder 41

Austin, Ricker and Mary 1964, n.d.

carton 1, folder 42

Axelrod, Beverly 1961-80

carton 1, folder 43

Baker, Frank 1945-46

carton 1, folder 44

Bales, Richard 1951-68

carton 1, folder 45-52

Berger, Clarence Q. 1948-49

carton 2, folder 1

Bergman, Lincoln 1970-90

carton 2, folder 2

Boger, Elizabeth E. 1949, n.d.

carton 2, folder 3

Bolgar, Robert 1978-82

carton 2, folder 4-5

Bradnum, Dada Tutaeff 1945-83

carton 2, folder 6

Butler, William and Lindsey and family 1956-70

carton 2, folder 7

Collins, John 1949-55

carton 2, folder 8

Collinson, Nancy 1960-64

carton 2, folder 9-12

D'Arcy, Lady Margaret 1945-75

carton 2, folder 13

D'Arcy, Philippa 1950-77

carton 2, folder 14

Davidson, Basil 1949-61

carton 2, folder 15

DeAlessi, Gene 1970-71

carton 2, folder 16-17

DuBois, David Graham 1976-82

carton 2, folder 18-19

Ellmendorf, Alice (Katy) 1947-73

carton 2, folder 20

Emery, Helen B. 1961-75

carton 2, folder 21

Emmons, H. Eugene and Pearl 1953-55

carton 2, folder 22

Farley, Alan 1963-82

carton 2, folder 23

Farrell, Charline 1968-72

carton 2, folder 24

Felig, James 1941-82

carton 2, folder 25

Franck, Peter 1975-81

carton 2, folder 26

Freed, Donald 1975-76

carton 2, folder 27

Gow, Daphne and Heinz 1947-51

carton 2, folder 28-29

Hagland, Margaret and Joseph Nolan 1962-82

carton 2, folder 30

Haines, Fred 1962-66

carton 2, folder 31

Hausske, Al and Mary 1955-80

carton 2, folder 32

Hindson, Curtis 1947-51

carton 2, folder 33

Hingeley, Kathleen 1946-62

carton 2, folder 34-37

Hoffman, Alexander P. (Sascha) 1963-81

carton 2, folder 38

Hoffman, Helene (Hella) 1971-80

carton 2, folder 39

Hulse, Lady 1953-76

carton 2, folder 40

Jacobsen, Susan R. 1976-81

carton 2, folder 41

Jessner, Jean 1980-85

carton 2, folder 42

[Knatvold?], Bea 1965-76

carton 2, folder 43

Knatvold, Camilla M. 1956-75

carton 2, folder 44

Lachs, Manfred 1947-48

carton 2, folder 45

Lanfinger, Pixie 1943-54

carton 2, folder 46

Lewis, Emy 1971-82

carton 2, folder 47-48

Mage, Carroll and Betty 1949-82

carton 2, folder 49

Mage, Allen 1962-73

carton 2, folder 50

Mage, Thomas 1962-79

carton 2, folder 51-52

Makins, William and Mary 1949-56

carton 2, folder 53-55

Messing, Alexandre 1946-81

carton 2, folder 56-57

Millspaugh, Frank 1965-87

carton 2, folder 58

Morley, Diana and family 1964-72

carton 2, folder 59

Nathan, Otto 1949-72

carton 2, folder 60

Osborne, Dede and Harry 1949-56

carton 2, folder 61

Orlin, Lonny and Leah 1971-80

carton 2, folder 62

Park, Clara 1951

carton 2, folder 63-66

Philbrooks, Marge and Floyd 1961-82

carton 3, folder 1-3

Polster, Edythe 1949-83

carton 3, folder 4

Poole, Jessamy and Peter 1949-77

carton 3, folder 5

Refn, Torben 1943-51

carton 3, folder 6

Savio, Mario and Lynne 1970-80

carton 3, folder 7-10

Schultz, Willard 1956-83

carton 3, folder 11

Steiner, John 1972-83

carton 3, folder 12-13

Stender, Fay 1968-80

carton 3, folder 14

Stevens, Barry 1961-63

carton 3, folder 15

Sundsten, John 1946-56

carton 3, folder 16

Swanzy, Henry V. L. 1943-81

carton 3, folder 17-18

Tigar, Michael 1962-79

carton 3, folder 19

Tobey, Mark 1953-61

Oversize box 1, folder 1

Clippings n.d.

carton 3, folder 20

Wald, George 1971-80

carton 3, folder 21

Wald, Karen 1942-69

carton 3, folder 22

Wald, Ruth 1969-82

carton 3, folder 23

Wittmer, Helen and family 1969-82

carton 3, folder 24

Zilliacus, Konni and Janet 1955-66

carton 3, folder 25-37

A-Z, by last name 1937-82

carton 3, folder 38-45

A-L, by first name n.d.

carton 4, folder 1-4

M-W, by first name n.d.

carton 4, folder 5

Unidentified 1953-62, n.d.

Carton 4, folders 6-31; Cartons 5-6; Carton 7, folders 1-32; Oversize box 1, folders 2-4

Series 2: Professional Files, 1940-1983

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically and grouped by company worked for, followed by affiliated organizations.
Contains material related to Thompson's work in radio and broadcasting including transcripts of broadcasts, correspondence, memos, and related material.
 

Writings and interviews

carton 4, folder 6-7

Articles ca. 1940s

carton 4, folder 8-9

Poems n.d.

carton 4, folder 10

Personality sketches/short stories 1950

carton 4, folder 11

Interview with Maggie Nolan n.d.

carton 4, folder 12-14

American Committee for the Evacuation of Children 1940-46

 

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

carton 4, folder 15

Cadett, Thomas 1946-54

carton 4, folder 16

Pooley, Peter 1941-46

carton 4, folder 17-18

Correspondence 1941-47

carton 4, folder 19-23

Memos 1941-47

carton 4, folder 24

Radio Scripts 1941-49

carton 4, folder 25-28

Broadcast transcripts 1941-49

carton 4, folder 29

Empire News Talks 1942

carton 4, folder 30-31

Radio News Reel 1941-49

Oversize box 1, folder 2

London Calling, no. 128 n.d.

carton 4, folder 32

Roundup of London Opinion 1943

carton 4, folder 33

Programing n.d.

carton 4, folder 34

Desk diary 1949

carton 4, folder 35

Miscellaneous 1945-47

carton 4, folder 36

Related material ca. 1940s

carton 4, folder 37-39

WCFM, Washington D. C. 1950-51

 

Pacifica Foundation, KPFA

carton 4, folder 40

Organization 1962-71

carton 4, folder 41

National Board Meeting Mar. 1971

carton 5, folder 1-2

Correspondence 1958-80

carton 5, folder 3

Speeches and presentations 1979, n.d.

carton 5, folder 4-5

Programming 1963-78

carton 5, folder 6

European Correspondent 1962

carton 5, folder 7

Fund-raising n.d.

 

Broadcasts

carton 5, folder 8-9

George Wald 1969-70

carton 5, folder 10

"The Coming Death of Caryl Chessman" Oct. 1959

carton 5, folder 11

HUAC, parts 1 and 2 1960

carton 5, folder 12

"Bobby Seale From New Haven" Mar. 1971

carton 5, folder 13

Miscellaneous n.d.

carton 5, folder 14

Interviews 1961, n.d.

carton 5, folder 15

Elsa Thompson interview by Cy Schoenfield 1971

carton 5, folder 16

"American Women Look at the United States," seminar 1962

carton 5, folder 17

Lewis Hill Award 1982

carton 5, folder 18

KLRN, Austin TX, E. Decklin Yoes, Jr. 1961-64

carton 5, folder 19-20

KPFK, Los Angeles 1959-71

carton 5, folder 21-22

WBAI, New York, Chris Koch 1962-68

 

Subject Files

carton 5, folder 23-26

Black Panthers 1968-78

carton 5, folder 27-28

Federal Communications Commission 1963-64

carton 5, folder 29-30

Free Speech Movement 1964

carton 5, folder 31

Alexander Meiklejohn 1960-61

carton 5, folder 32

Mexican American 1968

carton 5, folder 33

Prison Law Project 1971-72

carton 5, folder 34

Professional Association of Pacifica Radio Employees of KPFA 1961

carton 5, folder 35

National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) 1961-1971

carton 5, folder 36-37

KPFA strike 1954-64

carton 5, folder 38-39

Bendich, Albert M. 1964

carton 5, folder 40-51

NABET vs KPFA 1964

carton 6, folder 1-39

NABET vs KPFA 1964-65

carton 7, folder 1-7

NABET vs KPFA 1965

Oversize box 1, folder 3

NABET vs KPFA, exhibits 1964-65

carton 7, folder 8-11

Pension Conflict 1971-74

carton 7, folder 12-13

KPFA Folio 1957, 1965, 1971

carton 7, folder 14

Brochure mockup n.d.

carton 7, folder 15-16

Address cards n.d.

carton 7, folder 17-19

Related material n.d.

Oversize box 1, folder 4

Related material n.d.

carton 7, folder 20

Clippings 1964

 

Affiliated Organizations

carton 7, folder 21-23

Center to Reduce the Present Danger 1981

carton 7, folder 24-28

Friends of Fay Stender 1979-80

carton 7, folder 29-30

Media Alliance 1976-83

carton 7, folder 31

Washington State Press Club 1949-51

carton 7, folder 32

Women for Peace 1963

Carton 7, folders 3-42; Carton 8; Oversize Box 1, folders 5-7

Series 3: Personal Papers, 1940-1987

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchally.
Contains photos, biographical material, her draft autobiography, and miscellaneous ephemera.
carton 7, folder 33-34

Elsa Knight Thompson, photos n.d.

Oversize box 1, folder 5

Photos: Elsa and J. F. Knight n.d.

carton 7, folder 35

Passports 1940, 1980

carton 7, folder 36

Biographical information n.d.

carton 7, folder 37

Awards and honors 1960-63

carton 7, folder 38

Horoscope 1982

carton 7, folder 39

Memorial service 1983-84

carton 7, folder 40

Clippings about Elsa Knight Thompson n.d.

carton 7, folder 41-42

Medical files 1948-53

carton 8, folder 1-4

Medical files 1974-81

carton 8, folder 5

Property, Seattle 1955

 

"Ten Seconds from Now: An Autobiography by Elsa Knight Thompson," edited by Lincoln Bergman, unpublished

carton 8, folder 6-23

Autobiographical interviews 1978-82

carton 8, folder 24-28

Draft 2 1982

carton 8, folder 29

Correspondence 1983-87

carton 8, folder 30

Lincoln Bergman, notes n.d.

carton 8, folder 31

Address book n.d.

carton 8, folder 32

Business cards n.d.

carton 8, folder 33-34

Calendars 1973-80

carton 8, folder 35-41

Ephemera 1948-81

Oversize box 1, folder 6-7

Ephemera n.d.

carton 8, folder 42-43

Miscellaneous n.d.

carton 8, folder 44

Clippings, miscellaneous ca. 1940-80