Department Blog

Special Collections

October is American Archives Month

October 2nd, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Archives Month is a collaborative effort by archivists around the nation to highlight the importance of historical records. More information about Archives Month events in California is available on the California Archives Month website.

Special Collections is celebrating Archives Month by participating in the fifth annual Sacramento Archives Crawl on Saturday, October 3. We’ll have a table at the California State Library. Stop by and say hello.


Happy 100th Birthday to the California Aggie newspaper!

September 29th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

On this day in 1915, publication of the Weekly Agricola, a four page student newspaper, began. Renamed the University Farm Agricola in 1916, the paper became the California Aggie in November 1922.

Happy 100th Birthday, California Aggie!






Gerome says “Welcome Aggies!”

September 24th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

On this, the first day of instruction of the fall quarter, Gerome says Welcome Aggies! This week he presents the publication titled, Welcome Aggies which served as an orientation handbook for new students. Published during the 1950s-1960s, it contained information about orientation week, housing, traditional activities, ASUCD, campus publications, musical organizations, sports, songs and yells, the Library, as well as traffic rules.




Recent additions to our patron published project list

September 15th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

We compile a list of works by researchers who have used Special Collections resources and have cited our collections in their publications. The list is available on our website. Recent additions to the list include:

-Longhurst, James. Bike Battles: a History of Sharing the American Road. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015.

-Purcell, Hugh. A Very Private Celebrity: The Nine Lives of John Freeman. New York: Biteback Publishing, 2015.

-Schneider, David. Crowded by Beauty: the Life and Zen of Poet Philip Whalen. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2015.

-Vanderhoef, Larry N. Indelibly Davis: a Quarter-century of UC Davis Stories … and Backstories. Davis, Calif.: The Regents of the University of California, Davis Campus, 2015.


We welcome additional information that can be added to the list. Please contact us at

New Calisphere site release

September 15th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

The California Digital Library (CDL) is pleased to announce the official, public release of the new Calisphere website, currently in beta mode. Calisphere provides free access to unique and historically important artifacts for research, teaching, and curious exploration. The collections on Calisphere have been digitized and contributed by all ten campuses of the University of California and other libraries, archives, and museums throughout the state. You’ll find digital images from UC Davis Special Collections here.

The new Calisphere boasts a clean modern look, user-centered design, and new features, including:

-Collection and institution browse and landing pages, for more context

-Filters for type, decade, collection, and institution to help users drill down into search results

-View and sort options for further customizing and making sense of search result sets

-Intuitive item-level controls like “get citation” and “contact owner” buttons

-A “sticky” search results carousel that keeps track of a user’s search while on a selected item

-Fully responsive design, meaning users can access the site on tablets and mobile devices

CDL will be adding more collections and functionality over the coming months (including migrating the Themed Collections, California Cultures, and the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive to the new site), with the goal of replacing the old site in late 2016.


horizontal Calisphere banner

Music Monday: You’re a Million Miles from Nowhere

September 14th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s Music Monday feature is the song, You’re a million miles from nowhere: when you’re one little mile from home, from the Sheet Music Collection.



PPIE Centennial: C.F. Sauer Company’s exhibit

September 11th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Here is this week’s post in our Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) centennial series. This image is from our Panama-Pacific International Exposition Collection.

C.F. Sauer Company's exhibit in the Food Building at the PPIE, 1915.

C.F. Sauer Company’s exhibit in the Food Building at the PPIE, 1915.

Mark your calendar for the 5th annual Sacramento Archives Crawl on October 3

September 10th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Special Collections is excited to be participating again this year in the Sacramento Archives Crawl. This year’s event will occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, 2015.

The California State Library, California State Archives, Center for Sacramento History and Sacramento Public Library will serve as hosts and open their doors in celebration of National Archives Month. This year’s theme is Powered by the Past.

As with past Sacramento Archives Crawls, participants will start at any of the four host locations and gather stamps in their passports as they view treasures from dozens of archives and special collections libraries, visit with archivists, and go on special behind-the-scenes tours. Those who visit at least three host locations during the 2015 Archives Crawl will receive a set of beautiful limited-edition coasters. The coasters, which you can preview below, are available while supplies last.

Special Collections staff will be hosting a table at the California State Library, 900 N Street, Sacramento. Stop by and say hello!

More information about the Sacramento Archives Crawl can be found here.

Image on the homepage is Sacramento, Calif, 1953 from our Eastman Originals Collection.

2015 Archives Crawl Coaster Quad

Gerome Celebrates California Admissions Day, 165th Anniversary

September 9th, 2015 by Dawn Collings

California was admitted as the 31st state on Sept 9, 1850, and it was the first territory to become a state from land acquired from Mexico under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo which ended the Mexican-American War.

Gerome found the oldest original map of the State of California in the Map Collection room: A new map of the Gold Region in California by Charles Drayton Gibbes, 1851. (Call Number: MAP G4360 1851 .G4 Old Maps)

Of particular interest, this map focuses on Northern California and shows Lake Tahoe–named “Mountain Lake”–located entirely in Nevada. County lines are very different than current counties. “Lake D. L. Tulares”–a large lake in southern Central Valley –no longer exists.

The Map Collection holds other original California maps in the Old Maps cabinet (1920 and older) along with newer maps in the rest of the collection showing progression of change in California over the past 165 years. The Map Collection room is located on the lower level of Shields Library and is open Monday-Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Travel Tuesday: Yuba Pass

September 8th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

The last feature in our Travel Tuesday series takes us to Yuba Pass, California. The image below,  from our Eastman Originals Collection, was taken in 1941.

"Camp Pioneer Lodge" on the Yuba Pass, Calif., 1941.

“Camp Pioneer Lodge” on the Yuba Pass, Calif., 1941.