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Finding Aid to the Cottrell Laurence Dellums Papers, 1920-1971
BANC MSS 72/132 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Cottrell Laurence Dellums papers
    Date (inclusive): 1920-1971
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 72/132 c
    Creator: Dellums, C.L. (Cottrell Laurence)
    Extent: 43 cartons, 15 boxes, 1 oversize-folder 59.80 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Cottrell Laurence Dellums Papers, BANC MSS 72/132 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    Partial collection is available on microfilm: Notebook (May 5, 1936-January 11, 1944) BANC FILM 2712.

    Related Material

    Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters papers, BANC MSS C-A 393.
    C.L. Dellums oral history, International President of The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and civil rights leader, BANC MSS 74/127 c.
    Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters work card: Oakland, Calif., 1948, BANC MSS 2011/86.
    Cottrell Laurence Dellums Papers, MSS 14, African American Museum and Library of Oakland, 5606 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, Ca 94608.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Dellums, C.L. (Cottrell Laurence) - Archives
    Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
    California State. Fair Employment Practice Commission
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    Pullman Company
    United States. Committee on Fair Employment Practice
    African American labor union members - History
    African Americans - California - Oakland
    African Americans - Civil rights
    Discrimination in employment - United States - History
    Porters - Labor unions - United States - History
    Porters - United States
    Railroads - Employees - Labor unions - Pacific Coast (U.S.)

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Cottrell Laurence Dellums papers were given to The Bancroft Library by C.L. Dellums on February 8, 1972.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Janice Otani in 2014.

    Biographical Information

    Cottrell Laurence Dellums was born in Corsicana, Texas and moved to Oakland, California as a young man. He worked for the Pullman Company as a sleeping car porter and observed the difficult working conditions and discrimination towards African Americans on the job. He joined A. Philip Randolph who formed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) and became a union organizer and an International Vice President for the organization. Dellums became involved in the civil rights movement, eventually serving as the Western Regional Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown to serve on the California Fair Employment Practice Commission. He participated in working for the passage of the California Fair Employment Practice Act, the first anti-discriminatory law in the country, and continued his involvement with racial discrimination cases in employment and housing. Dellums died in 1989 in Oakland, where later the Oakland Amtrak Station was dedicated in his name. He was also the uncle of Ron Dellums, who represented Oakland as Mayor and United States Congressman.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection mainly represents C.L. Dellums' years as an International Vice President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) and contains the organization's records, including correspondence, Executive Board meeting minutes, district administrative papers, agreements with railroad companies, convention proceedings, financial reports, porters' grievance cases and claims, membership information, publicity, and publications. There are also many materials from other organizations, institutions, and agencies relating to Dellums' involvement as a civil rights activist and labor leader. Of note are the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), California Fair Employment Practice Commission, The Pullman Company, and Southern Pacific Railroad Company. There are a few personal papers, including correspondence with family and personal property papers.