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Vera Lee and Berry Clanton papers

Identifier: MSS 16494

Content Description

A collection of 31 souvenir programs, plus approximately 50 ephemeral items, 12 periodical issues, six books, and three folders of Masonic Lodge records and documents.

The majority of the items date from the 1960s and 1970s. The Clantons were prominent members of the San Francisco African American community, active in their local church (Third Baptist) as well as in the National Baptist Convention, their local African American masonic lodges (at the local, district, and state level), the NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs. These programs, ephemera and documents represent their participation in all of these groups at the local, state and national levels. The programs document a wide-ranging variety of events including fashion shows, music and dance shows, church events, memorials, commemorative banquets, political events, and more. There are also four Masonic event programs in the collection, together with Masonic ephemera, periodicals, and records. A small group of booklets and ephemera relate to Third Baptist Church in San Francisco. Finally, the collection includes a collection of African American Baptist ephemera, including roughly 30 mailed fundraising items published by the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, soliciting donations to help support impoverished people in Africa and the Caribbean. Prince Hall Freemason newsletters included.


  • Creation: c.1951-1990


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is minimally processed and open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Vera Lee Clanton (1916-2013) was born in Hallestville, TX, and moved to San Francisco in 1941 where she was very active in her community, including her church, the Third Baptist Church, the The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women. She was an enterprising woman, master tailor, and an entreprenuer. Vera forged her mark in direct multi-level marketing sales businesses.

Source Clanton, Vera Lee Obituary, SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle)June 7-9, 2013.


0.5 Cubic Feet (1 letter and 1 legal document box. )

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Caroliniana by the Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia on November 9, 2020.

Condition Description


Guide to the Vera Lee and Berry Clanton papers
Initial record created by Rose Oliveira.
5 May 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

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