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     MANUSCRIPTS and ARCHIVAL MATERIAL

Francis H. Fife papers

 File
Identifier: MSS 16075

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The Francis H. Fife papers (1947-2015; 168.4 cubic feet) document the personal and professional life of Mr. Fife with an emphasis on his civic and community interests. Types of materials include reports, meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, journals, and some family documents. The collection is organized into three series: Oak Lawn 1, Oak Lawn 2, and Westview.

Please note, the file titles in this collection have been transcribed. The file titles were created by Mr. Fife or his staff.

Dates

  • 1785 - 2015
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 2015

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. The collection is stored offsite; 72 hours notice is required to access the collection.

Preservation Note

Boxes 31 and 73 have been treated for mold. Mold damage may be seen, but is not active. Patrons are encouraged to wear gloves when accessing materials in these boxes.

Biography

Francis H. Fife was born in Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia, graduating in 1941. He then joined the military and served in World War II. He received a graduate degree in banking from Rutgers University in 1950 and made his first run for public office that same year, losing his bid for a seat on the Charlottesville City Council. Fife was married to fellow former mayor Nancy O'Brien.

He led the fight for civil rights and adequate housing throughout the 1950s and 1960s as a founder of the housing foundation and by serving on the city’s Housing Advisory Committee, which pushed for several public housing sites to better integrate communities.

Fife sat eight years on the Charlottesville City Council, including two years as mayor from 1972 to 1974.

Fife was a member of the governance board of several government agencies and non-profit organizations. They included the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Housing Authority, the Charlottesville Housing Foundation and the Piedmont Housing Alliance. He was also a founder and former President of the Rivanna Trails Foundation. He was also on the Board of Directors for the group Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population. Fife served as Chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission in the early 1980s and was also a former chair of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.

Fife died on October 16, 2015 at the age of 95. A city park, street and neighborhood are named in honor of Fife family members.

Sources:

“Francis H. Fife.” CVillepedia, https://www.cvillepedia.org/index.php?title=Francis_Fife&oldid=39248. Accessed 2 November 2018.

McKenzie, Bryan. “Charlottesville community icon Francis H. Fife dies.” The Daily Progress, 16 Oct. 2015. https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/charlottesville-community-icon-francis-h-fife-dies/article_dcf08922-7444-11e5-afc2-a79b5cef5b97.html. Accessed 2 November 2018.

Extent

168.4 Cubic Feet (168 cubic foot boxes, 1 document box)

Arrangement

Series 1: Oak Lawn 1, 1960-2013 (46 cubic feet). Materials in this series are from Fife's filing cabinets at Oak Lawn and consist primarily of political papers and civic organizations files. The files within the boxes mirror the order they were in within Mr. Fife's filing cabinets. No further organization has been done.

Series 2: Oak Lawn 2, 1947-2015 (49.4 cubic feet). Materials in this series consist of political papers and civic organizations files. The files wihin the boxes mirror the order they were in within Mr. Fife's filing cabinets. No further organization has been done.

Series 3: Westview, 1785-1994 (73 cubic feet). Materials in this series consist of political papers that document Francis Fife's involvemnet in Charlottesville's local government where he spent years on the city council, and where he served one term as mayor, as well as serving as the chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. Also included are persoanl papers that document his life during and after World War II, and a small number of family papers.

Physical Location

All 169 boxes are stored at Ivy Stacks.

Provenance

Gift of Nancy O'Brien, 23 November 2013.
Title
Francis H. Fife papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
E. Wilkinson, J. Azizi
Date
2 November 2018
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Contact:
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States