The Claire Sprague Collection consists of materials relating both to
Mrs. Sprague's teaching and to her writing career. One important component is a
set of letters written to Mrs. Sprague by interned Japanese American 6th
graders, formerly of French Camp School. Another element consists of the
various drafts of Mrs. Sprague's local history writings and poetry. Lastly,
there is a small file of correspondence from Mrs.Sprague's son, Irvine, who was
an aide to President Lyndon Johnson, as well as brief notes from President
Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird.
Claire D. Kelly Sprague (1896-1989) was an teacher and author who was
educated at San Francisco Normal School---now San Francisco State
University---(1916) and the University of the Pacific (B.A., 1955). She taught
in the Stockton, Calif. public schools, where she worked with Japanese American
children at the time of their relocation to internment camps (1942). Later
Sprague taught gifted students when special programs were first created for
their benefit (1957-1961). In 1952 Clair Sprague took coursework in California
history at COP with Rockwell D. Hunt. In her work with Hunt, she focussed on
the early history of her hometown, San Francisco. Later, Sprague published
articles on local history in various periodicals (incl. "Making it with bread,"
Pacific Historian 17:2 [Sum 1973]). She also published a book of verse, as well
as an autobiography styled Rocking Chair Memories (1967). Mrs. Sprague gave her
papers to Holt Atherton Special Collections in 1975.
Collection is open for research.