Finding Aid for the T. Perceval Gerson Papers, 1886-1960

Processed by Eileen R. Roth; machine-readable finding aid created by Alight Tsai and Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2002
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid for the T. Perceval Gerson Papers, 1886-1960

Collection number: 724

UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections

Manuscripts Division



Los Angeles, CA

Contact Information

  • Manuscripts Division
  • UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
  • Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
  • Box 951575
  • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
  • Telephone: 310/825-4988 (10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Pacific Time)
  • Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
  • URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
Processed by:
Eileen R. Roth, 14 May 1962
Encoded by:
Alight Tsai and Caroline Cubé
Online finding aid edited by:
Josh Fiala, April 2002 and Caroline Cubé, November 2006
Text converted and initial container list EAD tagging by:
Apex Data Services
© 2002 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: T. Perceval Gerson Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1886-1960
Collection number: 724
Creator: Gerson, T. Perceval (Theodor Perceval), 1872-1960
Extent: 13 boxes (6.5 linear ft.) 2 oversize boxes
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Abstract: T. Perceval Gerson (1872-1960) was a member of the Severance Club, a cultural conversation group, serving as president from 1917 until his death. He founded the Hollywood Bowl Association serving as charter board member and leader. Gerson was also a trustee of the Metropolitan University, director of the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, physician to the California State Personnel Board as well as a member of the California State Medical Society and the Los Angeles County Medical Association. The collection consists of correspondence, papers, journals, newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia relating to Dr. Gerson's medical practice, his presidency of the Severance Club of Los Angeles, leadership of the Hollywood Bowl Association, and interests in various social and political issues.
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

  • 1953, Purchase.
  • Gift of T. Perceval Gerson, 1955.
  • Gift of Mrs. T. Perceval Gerson, 1961.
  • Gift of Mrs. Harold H. Story, 1968.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], T. Perceval Gerson Papers (Collection 724). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Biography

Gerson was born on May 27, 1872 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; awarded MD, University of Pennsylvania, 1895; pursued post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins Medical School for three years; interned in large eastern hospitals, and taught pathology at Johns Hopkins; practiced medicine in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, 1899-1903; in 1903 moved to Los Angeles, California; member of the Severance Club, a cultural conversation group, serving as president from 1917 until his death; founder, charter board member and leader of Hollywood Bowl Association; trustee of the Metropolitan University; director, the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union; physician to the California State Personnel Board; also a member of the California State Medical Society and the Los Angeles County Medical Association; died in Glendale, California in 1960.

Biographical Narrative

Doctor Theodore Perceval Gerson was long accorded a position of prominence in Hollywood. He was a skilled physician and surgeon. He also played a leading role in various cultural activities and socio-economic and political movements.
He was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 27th, 1872, the son of Isidor Isaac and Ella Hemenway (Woodruff) Gerson. His maternal grandfather, Theodore Tuttle Woodruff was the pioneer inventor of the sleeping car for railroads, an elaboration of which later became the Pullman Car. Dr. Gerson died in Glendale, California, on March 3, 1960.
Doctor Gerson was graduated from Central High School of Philadelphia in 1891, and was awarded the M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1895. In 1896, he pursued post-graduate studies at the Medical School of Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, following which he spent three years in internships at large Eastern hospitals, and taught pathology at his Alma Mater. From 1899 to 1903 Dr. Gerson practiced medicine in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania and in the latter year moved to Los Angeles.
He was married January 7th, 1899 to Harriet Anna Thompson of Chicago. His second wife, the former Vera Madeline Daniels of Ontario, Canada, and later of Saginaw, Michigan, he married in Pasadena, November 3rd, 1923. His children by his first marriage were Lowell Woodruff, Gerald Perceval and Cecil Alice. By his second marriage he had one son, Cedric.
From boyhood Doctor Gerson had taken an active interest in music, drama, literature, science, and various cultural pursuits. In addition to medical articles, he wrote several articles on music and allied subjects.
In August 1906, he was elected to membership in the Severance Club, a cultural conversation group in Los Angeles, and after service in minor offices, became its President in 1917. He remained in that position by unchallenged annual elections until his death.
In 1918 he asked a group of prominent men and women to meet with him to discuss plans for the promotion of greater participation in cultural activities by the citizens of Southern California. This meeting raised almost a thousand dollars, appointed a development committee of ten, made plans for incorporation, and secured a tract of land as site for its activities in the hills of Hollywood. From this meeting the famous Hollywood Bowl plans originated.
Dr. Gerson, besides being the founder, Charter board member, and for many years the single driving force of the Hollywood Bowl Association, was a Trustee of the Metropolitan University, a Director of the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, Physician to the California State Personnel Board, Director and Secretary of the Los Angeles Mothers Clinic Association, Inc. and a member of the Municipal Newspaper Commission. He was also a member of the Advisory Board of Yenching University in Peiping China, the American Medical Association, California State Medical Society, Los Angeles County Medical Association, Chicago Pathological Society and Alpha Mu Pi Omega Medical Fraternity.
In 1953 the library purchased, with the assistance of contributions by friends of Dr. Gerson, his distinguished autograph collection of Americans prominent in political and social history from 1850 to the present.
Some of the autographs in Dr. Gerson's collection were collected by William Henry Knight, a member of the research staff of the Pacific coast historian, Hubert Howe Bancroft; others are addressed to Dr. Gerson. Also included were autographed letters addressed to Senator John D. Works and Benjamin Fay Mills. Those addressed to Knight, Mills and Works were removed and cataloged separately. The scope and content of these letters are indicated in the numbered collections catalog under the entries for these individuals. The letters addressed to Dr. Gerson were added to his papers.
The many photographs, clippings and related ephemeral material as well as the autographs, not falling within either the correspondence of Dr. Gerson or Mills, Knight and Works, were added to the Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Picture and Ephemera Collections. An inventory of the original Gerson Autograph Collection is in the Collections File, Gerson folder.
In 1961 the department received additional papers of Dr. Gerson as a gift from his wife. Included in these papers were correspondence, photographs, clippings memorabilia and the diaries of Dr. Gerson covering the major part of his career. Of particular interest are the papers relating to the Hollywood Bowl Association and the Severance Club.
In 1966 the department received additional papers of Dr. Gerson that were contained in the Harold H. Story papers (Collection #995). These papers were added to the Gerson collection in appropriate categories and in Box 13, January 1968. Included in these papers were correspondence, photographs, clippings and memorabilia covering the major part of Dr. Gerson's career. Of particular interest are the papers relating to the Hollywood Bowl Association.

Scope and Content

Collection consists of correspondence, papers, journals, newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia relating to Dr. Gerson's medical practice, his presidency of the Severance Club of Los Angeles, leadership of the Hollywood Bowl Association, and interests in various social and political issues. Correspondents include: Jane Addams, William Jennings Bryan, Luther Burbank, Clarence Darrow, Eugene Debs, Theodore Dreiser, John Foster Dulles, Thomas Edison, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry Ford, Hamlin Garland, Emma Goldman, Averill Harriman, Charles Evans Hughes, Estes Kefauver, William Gibbs McAdoo, Richard M. Nixon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, Adlai Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, and Earl Warren.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  1. Letters to T.P. Gerson (Boxes 1-3).
  2. Letters from T.P. Gerson (Box 4).
  3. Misc. correspondence and scrapbook (Boxes 4,14).
  4. Hollywood Bowl (Box 5).
  5. Severance Club (Box 6).
  6. Memorabilia (Box 7).
  7. Journals (Boxes 8-13).
  8. Hollywood Bowl Posters, Gerson University class photograph (Box 15).

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Gerson, T. Perceval (Theodor Perceval), 1872-1960--Archives.
Severance Club.
Hollywood Bowl Association (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Physicians--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources.
Civic leaders--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources.

Genres and Forms of Material

Journals (accounts).


Container List

 

Letters to T.P. Gerson

Box 1, Folder 1

1886-1896.

Box 1, Folder 2

1897-1899.

Box 1, Folder 3

1900.

Box 1, Folder 4

1901-1902.

Box 1, Folder 5

1903-1904.

Box 1, Folder 6

1905.

Box 1, Folder 7

1906.

Box 1, Folder 8

January-June 1907.

Box 1, Folder 9

July-December 1907.

Box 1, Folder 10

January-June 1908.

Box 1, Folder 11

July-December 1908.

Box 1, Folder 12

1909.

Box 1, Folder 13

January-June 1910.

Box 1, Folder 14

July-December 1910.

Box 1, Folder 15

January-June 1911.

Box 1, Folder 16

July-December 1911.

Box 1, Folder 17

January-June 1912.

Box 1, Folder 18

July-December 1912.

Box 1, Folder 19

n.d.

Box 2, Folder 1

1913.

Box 2, Folder 2

1914.

Box 2, Folder 3

1915.

Box 2, Folder 4

1916.

Box 2, Folder 5

1917.

Box 2, Folder 6

1918.

Box 2, Folder 7

1919.

Box 2, Folder 8

January-June 1920.

Box 2, Folder 9

July-December 1920.

Box 2, Folder 10

1921.

Box 2, Folder 11

1922.

Box 2, Folder 12

1923.

Box 2, Folder 13

1924.

Box 2, Folder 14

1925.

Box 2, Folder 15

1926.

Box 2, Folder 16

1927.

Box 2, Folder 17

1928.

Box 2, Folder 18

January-June 1929.

Box 2, Folder 19

July-December 1929.

Box 3, Folder 1

1930.

Box 3, Folder 2

1931.

Box 3, Folder 3

1932.

Box 3, Folder 4

January-June 1933.

Box 3, Folder 5

July-December 1933.

Box 3, Folder 6

1934. Replies to questionnaire sent out by T.P. Gerson re Hollywood Bowl.

Box 3, Folder 7

1934.

Box 3, Folder 8

1935-1936.

Box 3, Folder 9

1937-1939.

Box 3, Folder 10

1940.

Box 3, Folder 11

1941.

Box 3, Folder 12

1942.

Box 3, Folder 13

1943-1944.

Box 3, Folder 14

1945.

Box 3, Folder 15

January-August 1946.

Box 3, Folder 16

September-December 1946.

Box 3, Folder 17

January-April 1947.

Box 3, Folder 18

May-December 1947.

Box 3, Folder 19

1948-1950.

Box 3, Folder 20

1950- .

Box 3, Folder 21

1946-1956 (Notebook containing letters all sent by F.M. Pottenger mostly concerning political matters of the time).

Box 13, Folder 1

1916-1919.

Box 13, Folder 2

1920.

Box 13, Folder 3

1920, 1922.

Box 13, Folder 4

1923.

Box 13, Folder 5

1924-1925.

Box 13, Folder 6

1926.

Box 13, Folder 7

1927.

Box 13, Folder 8

1928.

Box 13, Folder 9

1930-1931.

Box 13, Folder 10

1932-1933.

Box 13, Folder 11

1934, 1937, 1939.

Box 13, Folder 12

1940-1941.

Box 13, Folder 13

1942-1944.

Box 13, Folder 14

1945-1946, 1948.

Box 13, Folder 15

1913, 1919-1920, 1924, 1930, 1931-1932.

Box 13, Folder 16

1933-1935.

Box 13, Folder 17

1937-1938.

Box 13, Folder 18

1941, 1943.

Box 13, Folder 19

1944-1945.

 

Letters from T.P. Gerson

Box 4, Folder 1

1907-1909.

Box 4, Folder 2

1910.

Box 4, Folder 3

1911.

Box 4, Folder 4

1912.

Box 4, Folder 5

1913-1915.

Box 4, Folder 6

1916-1918.

Box 4, Folder 7

1920-1929.

Box 4, Folder 8

1930-1939.

Box 4, Folder 9

1940-1949.

Box 4, Folder 10

1950-1952.

Box 4, Folder 11

n.d.

 

Misc. correspondence and scrapbook

Box 4, Folder 12

1903-1947.

Box 4, Folder 13

Letters to and from Various People re T.P. Gerson Friendship Dinner 1929.

Box 4, Folder 14

Letters re T.P. Gerson Memorial Fund 1950-1952.

Box 14

Scrapbook ca. 1916-1920.

Scope and Content Note

Contains miscellaneous correspondence, to and from Gerson, and to and from others than Gerson; Theater Alliance minutes ca. 1919-1920; miscellaneous ephemera material (primarily newspaper clippings) on Theater Arts Alliance, Severence Club, Brotherhood Players (including minutes), Hollywood Bowl, Community Park and Arts Association, etc.
Correspondence in scrapbook is included in attached index.
 

Hollywood Bowl

Box 5

Brotherhood Players (lists of members ca. 1918.

Box 5

Hollywood Bowl Association minutes (October 1, 1929 and September 20, 1951).

Scope and Content Note

Amendments of the Articles of Incorporation, notices of meetings.
Box 5

Hollywood Bowl news clippings.

Box 5

Hollywood Bowl reports.

Scope and Content Note

  • Report of Survey Committee, 1951
  • Budget 1929
  • Chart of expenditures, revenue attendance 1922-1950
  • A Plan for the Hollywood Bowl n.d.
  • Cash position July 14, 1951.
Box 5

Miscellaneous ephemera material

Scope and Content Note

(A Brief History of the Hollywood Bowl; posters, hand bills publicizing Hollywood Bowl activities).
Box 5

Writings by T.P. Gerson on the Hollywood Bowl.

Box 5

Henry A. Wallace Incident

Scope and Content Note

(Use of Hollywood Bowl denied for speech ca. 1942. News clippings, statement by T.P. Gerson, manuscript).
Box 13

Hollywood Bowl Association minutes and notices of meetings [October 4, 1932-May 22, 1934].

Box 13

Hollywood Bowl reports.

Scope and Content Note

  • Budget 1927, 1923
  • Board Reports [April-May 1933]
  • Ticket Sales Campaign. 1927
  • Disbursement and Receipts January-September 1926
  • Financial Report of Julius Caesar
  • Financial Reports 1924-1925
  • Duties of Business Manager 1926).
Box 13

Hollywood Bowl miscellaneous note and manuscripts.

Scope and Content Note

  • 1935 resolution creating nine member commission
  • Ruth St. Denis's suggestions regarding use and planning of Bowl, March 9, 1920
  • Excerpts from Mrs. Stevenson's letters [1920]
  • Prospectus of Light Eternal [1920]
  • Gerson notes on Artie Mason Carter, 1926
  • Mailing list note 1932
  • Gerson notes 1935).
 

Severence Club

Box 6

Addresses by T.P. Gerson before the Severence Club.

Box 6

Constitution and By-laws.

Box 6

Minutes June 22, 1906-February 21, 1915.

 

Memorabilia

Box 7

American Civil Liberties Union

Scope and Content Note

(Report of first organization meeting of Southern California branch, n.d.) and Liberal Press of America.
Box 7

Articles about T.P. Gerson.

Box 7

Gerson Memorial Fund

Scope and Content Note

(For presentation of his autograph collection to UCLA).
Box 7

Invitations, programs, announcements.

Box 7

Miscellaneous lists.

Box 7

Photographs of T.P. Gerson.

Box 7

Writings of others than T.P. Gerson.

Box 7

Writings of T.P. Gerson.

Box 7

Miscellaneous memorabilia

Scope and Content Note

(Memorial tribute to T.P.G., 1960; photographs of those other than T.P. Gerson; receipts, news clippings).
Box 7

Separate volumes.

Box 7

Book of poems, quotations, etc. collected by T.P. Gerson.

Box 7

Common Place book 1907.

Box 7

Harriet T. Gerson recipe book.

 

Journals

Box 8

Journals 1892-1896.

Physical Description: (4 vol.).
Box 9

Journals 1896-1902.

Physical Description: (6 vol.).
Box 10

Journals 1903-1906.

Physical Description: (7 vol.).
Box 11

Journals 1944-1950.

Physical Description: (7 vol.).
Box 12

Journals 1951-1958.

Physical Description: (8 vol.).
 

Hollywood Bowl Posters, Gerson University class photograph

Box 15

Hollywood bowl posters (3) (4).

Box 15

Gerson University Class Photo (1) (2).

Box 16

Diplomas and certificates of Gerson and wife. Prints of University of Pennsylvania.

Physical Description: (21 items).