Critique of Bancroft’s production methods


Bancroft published a renowned set of local histories.  Pertaining to the history of the Pacific Cost, he formed a huge compilation of materials.  After that, in order to organize and produce statement of facts for large section of proposed general history, he employed research and writing assistants.   In the beginning he gives the impression to have planned to use these statements of facts as the basis of a sequence of events which himself would write.  But as the work developed, he came to use the statements as they were with only minor changes.

My review hereThe book of wealth by hubert howe bancroft

His argument was that his assistants were proficient investigators, and there is proof that some of them ought to have his confidence.  He failed to acknowledge each contribution made doubt about the authenticity of the work.  The critics say Bancroft is eligible to have the designation of an editor or compiler than an author as he considered himself.

The contributors of the book did not overcome the instinct to state their personal opinion and enthusiasm.  Still their works were generally well accepted in their time.


In 1905, the University of California purchased Bancroft’s book collection and The Bancroft’s Library at UC Berkeley was founded and named in his honor.  The Ruth Bancroft Garden is the part of a property Bancroft bought in Contra Costa County, California.  His daughter collected the family correspondence and is held in Mandeville Special Collections Library in the Fiesel Library at University of California, San Diego.


A National Historic Landmark, The Hubert H. Bancroft Ranch House is the ranch with an adobe located in Spring Valley, in San Diego County purchased by Bancroft in 1885 as his retirement home.

Several schools are named for Bancroft, including Bancroft Middle School (Long Beach, California), Bancroft Middle School (Los Angeles, California) and Hubert H. Bancroft Elementary School in Sacramento.


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