Archives West Finding Aid
Table of Contents
Thomas Joseph Burns papers, 1891-1979
- Burns, Thomas Joseph.
- Thomas Joseph Burns papers
- 1891-1979 (inclusive)18911979
- 1.8 cubic feet, (4 document cases)
- Collection Number
- Mss 1101
- Papers, printed ephemera, books and pamphlets collected by Thomas J. Burns, a socialist leader who ran a watch repair shop in Portland, Oregon, through the early 1950s. Includes pamphlets, books, broadsides, and clippings relating to national, local and Oregon politics, and a small amount of personal correspondence.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open to the public.
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Thomas J. Burns was born in England in 1876, and after living in San Francisco he settled in Portland, Oregon in 1904. He was a watch repairman by trade and a well-known local personality, and his shop on West Burnside Street in downtown Portland included political books and pamphlets, as well as curiosities and other memorabilia. He was an executive secretary for the Socialist Party of Oregon and published various political pamphlets, tracts and newsletters, including The red flag, The harpoon, and The fax. Among his many dislikes were Communists, Republicans, fascists, big businesses, and organized religions. He died in 1957.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The papers nclude correspondence, receipts, certificates, news clippings, a journal and various publications, booklets, political and religious leaflets, a bible, handbooks, and a small number of family photos.
Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top
Inlcudes materials formerly designated Mss 1101-1.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.
Thomas Joseph Burns papers, Mss 1101, Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The collection is arranged in two series:
- Series A: Materials formerly designated Mss 1101-1
- Series B: Materials from the original collection
The collection consists primarily of materials found among the effects of Thomas Burns by his daughter Elizabeth after his death in 1957.
Acquired 1958, Library Accession 7392.
Several issues of The fax, a four-page newspaper edited and owned by Burns during the 1930s, and a few issues of other labor newspapers, have been placed in the Oregon Historical Society newspaper collection. Nine oil-cloth posters with anti-religious slogans and a hand-drawn anti-Axis poster are located in the Oregon Historical Society broadside collection.
Most of the books, pamphlets and letters of Thomas J. Burns are now housed in the Knight Library of the University of Oregon, Eugene.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
Series A: Mss 1101-1, 1891-1979Return to Top
Writings by Thomas Burns
Correspondence between family members
Correspondence to Burns
"Buy American watches" campaign
"Resource" files (mostly printed articles)
General materials (mostly broadsides and clippings)
Bible with annotations by Burns, and annotated bookmarks
Books and serials (primarily related to political and social issues)
Newspapers and clippings
NBC recipe bulletins (collected by Elizabeth Burns)
Materials concerning watchmaking in Oregon
Booklets on cooking, sewing, and health (including dress patterns)
Booklets--Mostly from the Little blue bookand People's pocket series
Books, primarily political in nature
Two books: Catholic history of Oregon (1916) by Edwin V. O'Hara, and The kingship of self-controll by William George Jordan (c1899)
Family photographs (3 items and negative strip)
Series B: Original collection, 1899-1957Return to Top
Letters to Thomas Burns
Receipt for insured mail, and certificate of re-registration in watchmaking
|1950 October 9; 1944 January 11|
Postcards and printed leaflets
Tom Mooney labor booklet
"Tom Mooney destroyed by labor leaders," expose of connection between California labor politicians and other forces involved in continued imprisonment of Mooney. Asks for help from every member of organizaed labor in demanding unconditional pardon for Mooney from San Quentin.
Pamphlets, leaflets, and related materials
Assorted religious leaflets
Consolation : a journal of fact, hope and courage (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)
|1943 June 23|
Collection book for FAX, and R. G. Dun & Co. business ratings for Oregon
Clippings which were in store window at various times
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Clocks and watches--Repairing--History.
- Burns, Thomas Joseph--Archives
- Socialist Party (U.S.)
- Oregon--Politics and government
- Portland (Or.)--History.
Form or Genre Terms
- Printed ephemera