Department Blog

Special Collections

50 Features of Special Collections: Ruth Finney Papers

October 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara


This week we are highlighting the Ruth Finney Papers as part of our 50 Features of Special Collections series.

Ruth Finney (1898-1979) grew up in Downieville and Sacramento, California and attended San Jose Normal School where she received a teaching certificate in 1918. After substitute teaching in Sacramento for three months, she resigned to join the staff of the Sacramento Star as a reporter.

In 1922, Finney received statewide recognition for her reporting of the Argonaut Mine disaster in Jackson, California. She was transferred to the San Francisco Daily News and there received national attention for her coverage of President Warren G. Harding’s death at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. As a result, she became the Washington, D.C. correspondent for the four California Scripps-Howard newspapers. During her first years in Washington, Ruth Finney covered the Teapot Dome Oil scandal, monitored the passage of the Boulder Canyon Project Act (which authorized the construction of Hoover Dam and the allocation of its resources), and investigated the corruption in the electric and gas utilities industry, for which she received a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in 1931.

She began writing a weekly column, “Washington Calling,” in 1941, which contained news, political and economic analyses, and forecasts and was distributed to all Scripps-Howard newspapers. She wrote numerous magazine articles and was a member of the Washington Press Club. Though she partially retired in 1965, Finney continued writing her column through 1974.

The Ruth Finney Papers consist of materials related to her career as a newpaper reporter. This includes her correspondence, scrapbooks, diaries, manuscripts, clippings, photographs, research materials, legal documents, and personal mementos.

The diaries, spanning from 1916 to 1952, recount her experiences from age 18 as a student at San Jose Normal School, through her years as a Western correspondent at the Scripps-Howard Washington Alliance. She describes current events as well as reporting assignments, personal relationships, particularly with her mother and Robert S. Allen, and colleagues and acquaintances, most notably California Senator Hiram Johnson, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Included in the manuscripts is a copy of Finney’s unpublished autobiography, Journey from the Star; her unpublished history of Downieville, Rogues and Riches; several unpublished plays; a musical, Now Is the Time; and many short stories. The feature articles appear in both draft and final form, and include her articles about Justice Department espionage agents written in 1927 at the encouragement of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and her articles about the women’s labor force in weapons factories during World War II.

All of the correspondence is incoming and has been divided into three groupings. The first contains letters from Hiram Johnson dating from August 1926 to September 1928, written during the height of the Boulder Dam filibuster. The second contains letters written between September 1944 and July 1945, pertaining to her husband’s (Robert S. Allen) war experiences and subsequent discharge after being wounded. The third group contains letters from editors, readers and politicians spanning the period from July 1917 to April 1978.

More information about Finney and the collection can be found in the finding aid here.

 Ruth Finney in front of the Washington Daily News office, 1933.

Ruth Finney in front of the Washington Daily News office, 1933.

Workshops about Library Space Planning next week

October 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Throughout 2016, the University Library is talking with students, faculty, and researchers about how the Library’s physical space, technology, and services can best meet their needs.

Next week, there are four workshops for you to share your ideas on the future of space in the Library buildings. If you are interested in attending, please register at the link for the specific workshop. The workshops are:

  1. The Library as a Place for Individual and Small-Group Study and Research,  October 24, 2016
  2. The Library as a Partner in Research and Scholarship, October 25, 2016
  3. The Library as a Place for Collaboration, October 25, 2016
  4. The Library as Academic Hub, October 26, 2016
  • Shields Library First-Floor Conference Room
  • Limited to 20 attendees
  • Refreshments served
  • Register at the link for the specific workshop

More information is available here.

Debuting our first gif

October 19th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

We’re excited to debut our first gif with the image below from our Eastman’s Originals Collection.

Up and Over from the Eastman's Originals Collection

Up and Over from the Eastman’s Originals Collection


If you’re interested in viewing the original image, you can see it here. Stay tuned as we create more gifs from images from our collection!

Flashback to Pajamarino on October 13, 1916

October 14th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the annual Pajamarino tradition which occurs tonight, here’s a flashback to how the event looked 100 years ago in 1916.

The University Farm Agricola provided the following account of the October 13, 1916 rally:

“As for the rally program itself, it was entertaining, pleasing and hilariously enjoyed by all. Some 400 pajama clad youths paraded through Davis about 8 o’clock, led by yell leaders, Swift, Kydd, and Hazen. They gave rousing cheers for that wonderfully pleasing Davis-University Farm publicity structure, the [Davis] arch, and then listened to a short but characteristically eloquent speech by Attorney F.A. Plant, who explained the true significance of the noble edifice, now almost finished. Then back to the pavilion where many speeches by President Steward and former “Prex” Street of U.C., Prof. Crocheron, Journal Editor Ryerson, Mr. Voorhies, Mr. Titus, and Pres. Heron were heard. Music by the public-spirited 25-piece Davis band, Allan’s good orchestra, etc., following and lastly coming two 3-round boxing matches.”

The poster and photograph from the 1916 event below are from the Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm.

Visit the Cal Aggie Alumni Association website for information about this year’s Pajamarino.


Pajamarino, 1916

Pajamarino, 1916


50 Features of Special Collections: Henry Dart Greene Papers

October 13th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara


This week we are highlighting the Henry Dart Greene Papers as part of our 50 Features of Special Collections series.  Henry Dart Greene (1900-1978) was the son of noted architect Henry Mather Greene and his wife Emeline Dart Greene. His professional life spanned several careers: he served as the Executive Manager of the Feather River Project Association; conducted public relations campaigns for the American Fruit and Produce Auction Association; and ran his own film production company.

The Henry Dart Greene Papers contains photographs, motion picture films and a small amount of personal and business papers. The photographs date from 1914 to the late 1960s, and are a mix of personal and professional subjects. Images from Greene’s years at UC Berkeley and of his wife Ruth Haight Greene’s childhood in Sacramento are the earliest ones in the collection. The collection includes photographs from Argentina, where Greene worked with the Argentine Fruit Distributors from 1928 to 1931 and from his public relations work with the American Fruit and Produce Auction Association (AFPAA) from 1933 to 1941.

The collection also contains films made by Greene between 1933 and 1970. The films include footage of Eastern fruit auctions, including New York City and Chicago during the 1930’s; the California State Fair; and films made for the Feather River Project Association. As part of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project, we digitized five of Greene’s films. The films, listed below, can be viewed on the Internet Archive.


California Scenes and Other Sites, circa 1933-1934.

Packing fruit in California and Other Scenes, circa 1934-1935.

Sacramento River Association and Nevada County, Calif., 1936.

California Waterama: The Story of the Feather River Project, 1957.

Oroville Dam Site, 1961.


You can find out more information about Henry Dart Greene and the collection via the finding aid here.

 Henry D. Greene outside California State Capitol, circa 1925-1928.

Henry D. Greene outside California State Capitol, circa 1925-1928.

50 Features of Special Collections: Will of Ximenes Petri, Tudela, Spain, 1287 September 13.

October 7th, 2016 by Jenny Hodge


This week’s feature highlights a 1287 A.D. Will of Ximenes (“Eximinus”) Petri, conveying to the Veruela Monastery (“Monasterio Berolensi”) his vineyards and buildings in Tudela, and detailing the boundaries of the property. According to the Will the donation was for the benefit of the souls of his father, mother and himself. Besides the original manuscript written in Latin there is also a typed transcription, photocopy and maps of the Tudela and the Kingdom of Navarre. The Veruela Abbey or Monastery was founded in 1146 by Pedro de Atarés and is a Cistercian Abbey. The monastery had a major role in the development of viticulture and wineries in the area.

The Cistercian monastery of Veruela, is still in existence and is located at the foot of Moncayo, between the regions of Borja and Tarazona and Moncayo. There you can also visit the Museo del Vino del Campo de Borja and learn about the regions cultivation of vines, production and aging of wines as well as view the tools and machinery used during the process.
Will of Ximenes Petri

Will of Ximenes Petri

Stop by Special Collections if you are interested in learning more about our holdings in viticulture and enology.

50 Features of Special Collections: Direction of the Road, Artist’s books

September 30th, 2016 by Jenny Hodge


This week we are highlighting one of our artists’ books Direction of the Road by Ursula K. Le Guin. The story is narrated by an oak tree on the side of the road. As someone approaches the tree it grows in size and as the viewer walks away the tree diminishes in size. As time passes, modes of transport and traffic increase forcing the tree to work extra hard to grow and shrink in quick succession.

The story by Ursula K. Le Guin was published in 1974, however, we are highlighting an artists’ book published in 2007 by Foolscap Press.  The story is printed on linen paper with occasional pressed leaves which makes a sort of rustling sound as you turn the pages. The book is presented in a portfolio box with an original woodcut illustration and a mirror made of plastic tubing to view the image.

“The art on this portfolio box is an original woodcut by Aaron Johnson. It is done in a form called anamorphic art … Aaron Johnson’s woodcut … casts the viewer into an active role in relation to the art and, most important for the story, it allows the image freedom of movement. The image may be viewed by removing the mirrored cylinder from its elastic stays and standing it on end within the printed circle on the woodcut. The “corrected” image can then be seen reflected in the mirror. The woodcut, handprinted by Aaron Johnson at Foolscap Press, is limited to 150 copies, signed by the artist.”–Colophon to portfolio box.

The beauty of an artists’ book is that not only is the story a work of art but also the form the book is presented in. Upon approaching the portfolio the reader becomes part of the story watching as the tree grows and then shrinks as the reader retreats. This presentation mirrors the idea of the story and further encourages the reader to reflect on differences in perception.


For more artists’ books in Special Collections look for the Fine Press and Book Arts Collection.


Flashback to the tank rush on September 23, 1916

September 23rd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today, we flashback to the tank rush held one hundred years ago on September 23, 1916. The photos of the event below are from the scrapbook in the Harry Hazen Papers.

The tank rush tradition dates back to at least 1913 when a class “fight” took place at the swimming tank. In subsequent years, a tank rush was formalized and the freshmen and upperclassmen battled to push each other into the tank.

The 1917 Farm Rodeo yearbook offers the following description of the 1916 event:

“At the given signal, the Seniors jumped on the Fresh with a loud cry, and for five or ten minutes the action was fast and furious. During this time as many, if not more, upper classmen than Freshmen went into the tank with a loud splash and many bubbles. But soon experience and team work began to show itself.

The upper classmen broke up into bunches of six or seven, and then it was just a procession, the ‘veterans’ carrying the Fresh up one by one and dumping them in.”

In later years, the tank rush tradition evolved into the Frosh-Soph Brawl. At different times, the Brawl, which was held during the first month of classes, consisted of the following events between the freshmen and sophomores: a tug-of-war, obstacle race, jousting, a haystacking contest, and the tank rush.

Stay tuned for our next installment from the Harry Hazen Papers.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Throwback to the University Farm Agricola on September 22, 1916

September 22nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the California Aggie‘s return to a weekly print edition which launched today, here is a throwback to the Weekly Agricola issue from September 22, 1916.

Publication of the Weekly Agricola, a four page student newspaper, began on September 29, 1915.  The September 22, 1916, issue debuted the new title of University Farm Agricola. In November 1992, the newspaper became the California Aggie.

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola


50 Features of Special Collections: Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm

September 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara



As today marks the first day of instruction for the 2016 Fall Quarter, we’ve chosen to highlight the collection of Harry Hazen, a student who enrolled at the University Farm (now UC Davis) exactly one hundred years ago in the Fall of 1916.

The Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm document student life during the earliest years of the Davis campus. The collection, which includes a scrapbook of photographs and memorabilia from 1916-1918, the booklet “Harry and I on the University Farm,” Hazen’s 1918 diploma, two family photographs, as well as booklets on apiculture, was donated in April 2016 by Hazen’s granddaughter.

Harry Edward Hazen was born in 1897 in Los Angeles, California to Reverend E.A. and Eleanor Hazen. He attended Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, graduated in 1915, and attended the University of California beginning in the fall of 1916. In 1918, Hazen was awarded his diploma from the University of California Farm, College of Agriculture. He then moved to Modesto, California, and became a commercial beekeeper. In 1920, Hazen married Ethel Thamer Blackburn; their daughter Lorraine was born in 1923. Later that year, the Hazen family returned to Los Angeles, where Harry founded the Hazen Hardwood Flooring Company in North Hollywood. Harry Hazen remained in Los Angeles until his death in 1953.

The photo shown below is found on one of the first pages of the scrapbook. Taken on September 19, 1916 it shows the student body in front of West Hall, a dormitory which was located where the Memorial Union now stands.

Stay tuned throughout the year as we’ll be posting other items from Harry’s scrapbook while we look back at campus one hundred years ago.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.