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Special Collections

50 Features of Special Collections: The Blind Men and the Elephant

March 17th, 2017 by Christine Cheng

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What comes to mind when you think of a book? What are the typical parts of a book? How about the purpose of a book? The parts that go into forming a book usually consist of the covers, pages, text, binding, and its spine. When you consider elements of art, you may think of color, line, shape, form, space, and texture.

Artists’ books are works of art that use elements of the traditional book form in combination with elements of art. Together these different elements encourage readers and the audience to reflect on relationships between image, form, and text; they also prompt the re-imagining of the reception of text. If the work is the physical object represented by the book, which is tangible and can be held in your hands or occupy a space on a shelf, then the text is what is experienced and interpreted through the activity of reading. The text is fluid and shaped by the reader’s knowledge, personal experiences and opinions. What happens to interpretation when in an artist’s book everything from the materials used to the presentation of text (its design and placement on a page), along with the shape and format of the book, are all meant to help convey the meaning of the artist’s book? Reading the text alone isn’t enough to grasp the full meaning of the artist’s book – not without also reflecting on its shape, format, and the artwork. These elements help to complement and augment each other.

The artist’s book we’ll focus on comes from our Fine Press and Book Arts Collection, The Blind Men and the Elephant: the Indian Legend as a Poem. It is based on an Indian parable that was introduced to the west as a poem by American poet, John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887). In the story, blind men are led to an elephant to describe what it feels like. Each blind man gets to feel a single, different part of the elephant:

    

    

After comparing their thoughts on the touch and feel of the elephant, the blind men realize that they are at odds with each other. For example, if touching the elephant’s tail, which might feel like a rope with hair on one end, how can the elephant also feel solid, smooth, and pointy like the tusk? If touching one of the elephant’s legs, it will certainly feel different than touching its belly. Who is telling the absolute truth in this situation? While an individual’s experience can be true, we should make sure that we’re not limited by our own experiences and consider the experiences of others.

There are two pieces to this artist’s book. The first piece is a codex of Saxe’s poem and the second is a maze book with an illustration of an elephant. Both pieces are held together by a wraparound tie that looks like an elephant’s tail while the covers are made of crumple-textured paper dyed to resemble elephant hide:

To see all the parts come together to complete the full elephant, visit Special Collections in Shields Library.

Work referenced:

Saxe, John Godfrey, 1816-1887. Trujillo, Rae. The Blind Men and the Elephant: the Indian Legend as a Poem. Pleasant Hill, Calif.: Rae’s of Sun, 2009.

50 Features of Special Collections: Gay and Lesbian History and Culture Collection

March 12th, 2017 by Christine Cheng

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The Gay and Lesbian History and Culture Collection in Special Collections is comprised of over 3,000 rare books and serials (any publication issued in successive parts), as well as pamphlets. This collection originally came from a donation of gay and lesbian books, serials, and pamphlets in the mid-1990s.

The materials in this collection help document the birth of the gay rights movement and the development of the LGBT community in California and the rest of the U.S. Highlights from the collection include the first issue of the first lesbian serial published in the U.S. (Vice Versa, 1947), as well as openly gay and lesbian novels from the late 1920s and 1930s. It also has publications of earlier gay organizations from the 1960s, such as the Society for Individual Rights (1964-1976), the Association for Responsible Citizens (1965-1967), and the Janus Society (1964-1969). In addition to publications from gay communities, there are also publications from the 1970s from lesbian and feminist organizations, including The Amazon Quarterly, The Furies, Lesbian Tide, and Womanspirit.

One serial from the collection that caught our attention is the San Francisco publication Black Lesbian Newsletter (BLN), especially since the newsletter was published before novelist and poet Alice Walker defined black feminism as “womanism” in 1983. For submissions, the BLN welcomed “any and all written and graphic work by local black lesbians.” The format of the newsletter included “news, reviews, personal perspectives, political commentaries, interviews, poetry, letters, ads, announcements, humor, and journal entries.”

Throughout the newsletters, contributors to the BLN not only addressed issues of gender inequality but also of racism – notably how out of place black lesbians felt among white feminists in “The Need for a Black Lesbian Front”:

When the [feminist] movement first started, there seemed to be total denial that there were any Black women active in this struggle for equal rights, which perpetuated this “savior syndrome” on the parts of white women. The resistance to working equally and intelligently with Black women intensified when our white sisters found out that Black women didn’t need to be “saved.” There seemed to have been this stereotypic mentality that Black women needed saving…The reality is that the Feminist movement, as it stands now, is just another racist and oppressive mechanism of this racist society…We as Black lesbians need to take control of our lives by creating a strong political front that directly addresses our needs as Black lesbians…We must change the face of the Feminist movement. By using our knowledge and strength, the movement can be a strong force again.

Another contributor expressed frustration with the lack of workshops on racism in feminist studies at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, “Few workshops addressed the issue of race or racism in feminist education, and few women of color participated in panels or events that did not have a racial/ethnic focus.” The author pointed out that women of color “discovered…that race was the only thing they were asked to talk about, even if they felt quite competent in other areas as well.”

Covers of the BLN:

        

For more information about the BLN, visit Special Collections in Shields Library. You can also search for pamphlets and serials through the library catalog at:

Pamphlets:

Gay and Lesbian History and Culture Collection

Serials:

Gay and Lesbian History and Culture Collection

Works cited:

Gaines, Eileen. “The Need for a Black Lesbian Front.” Black Lesbian Newsletter (August 1982): 3.

Stewart, Helen. “Going…Going…Gone??” Black Lesbian Newsletter vol. 1, no. 3 (September 1982): 3-4.

Pop-up Exhibit: Spring Blooms – Botanical Watercolors by Margaret Stones

March 10th, 2017 by Sara Gunasekara

Special Collections is pleased to present this pop-up exhibit which can be viewed in our Reading Room during the hours of Monday-Friday from 10am-5pm.

 

Spring Blooms: Botanical Watercolors by Margaret Stones

Special Collections Reading Room, Shields Library

March 10 – June 16, 2017

 

Margaret Stones (1920- ), botanical artist, served for twenty-five years as the principal illustrator for Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and worked under commission for the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, England.

 

Special Collections holds six original watercolors of Northern California plants, painted by Stones in March-April 1987, while she was visiting California. We are presenting this small exhibit on the thirtieth anniversary of that visit.

 

For further information, contact: speccoll@ucdavis.edu

Iris macrosiphon by Margaret Stones, Occidental, California, April 7, 1987.

Iris macrosiphon by Margaret Stones,
Occidental, California, April 7, 1987.

 

50 Features of Special Collections: The Gary Snyder Papers

March 3rd, 2017 by Jenny Hodge

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Professor Gary S. Snyder (1930-   ) renowned poet, essayist, translator, Zen Buddhist, environmentalist continues to make an indelible mark on late-twentieth and twenty-first century thought. He is considered one of the most significant environmental writers and a central figure in environmental activism.

The Gary Snyder Papers, (D-050) document the personal and professional activities of Gary Snyder.  He has written more than twenty books of poetry and prose including his forty-year work, Mountains and Rivers Without End and Turtle Island for which he won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. The collection spans the years 1910-2009 (1945-2002 bulk) and continues to grow. Drafts as well as final versions of poems and prose pieces are found in the collection along with correspondence, recordings of poetry readings and interviews, subject files, manuscripts and publications by other authors, serials, ephemera, and memorabilia.  The collection draws the most national and international visitors to Special Collections.  It has led to hundreds of queries for information, research and publication use.  Faculty, students, and other researchers find an extensive collection of over 274.8 linear feet to explore in Gary Snyder’s personal journals, writings, correspondence, essays, and publications, and ephemera.

Penciled note on the back by Gary Snyder reads, “My last of the original ‘Smokey the Bear’ run. 18.III.95, better protect it!”

The Gary Snyder Papers was cataloged and a  finding aid created with the support from a  2002/03  U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant administered by the California State Librarian.

Further information about the collection may be found on the Online Archive of California, including a detailed inventory of the collection.

Gary Snyder became a faculty member in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis in 1986. He was instrumental in founding the “Nature and Culture” program (1993), an undergraduate academic major for students of society and the environment. He was also active in establishing “The Art of the Wild” (1992), an annual conference on wilderness and creative writing. The Academic Senate selected Snyder as the 2000 Faculty Research Lecturer, the University of California, Davis’ highest faculty peer honor. He retired in 2002. Recognition of Snyder’s achievements includes the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book Turtle Island, his appointment to the California Arts Council (1975-1979), and his induction into both the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1987) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993). After his long poem cycle and forty-year work, Mountains and Rivers Without End, was published, he was presented with the 1997 Bollingen Prize for Poetry.

PS 3569. N88 M62

PS 3569. N88

In conferring the award, the judges observed,

Gary Snyder through a long and distinguished career has been doing what he refers to in one poem as ‘the real work.’ ‘The real work’ refers to writing poetry, an unprecedented kind of poetry, in which the most adventurous technique is put at the service of the great themes of nature and love. He has brought together the physical life and the inward life of the spirit to write poetry as solid and yet as constantly changing as the mountains and rivers of his American — and — universal landscape.

Snyder received the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Grant in 1998. Also in 1998, he was honored with the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (Society for the Propagation of Buddhism) award for his outstanding contributions in linking Zen thought and respect for the natural world across a lifelong body of poetry and prose. In 2001, he was awarded the California State Library Gold Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Science.

A detailed biography of Gary Snyder can be found on the Online Archive of California.

A research project written by John Sherlock entitled Gary Snyder; a bibliography of works by and about Gary Snyder may be found at:

https://www.library.ucdavis.edu/dept/specol/researchprojects/

For further information on the collection contact Special Collections.

50 Features of Special Collections: The Many Faces of Davis Maps

February 22nd, 2017 by Dawn Collings

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The Map Collection include maps of the local area and California communities.  Various types of maps show different aspects and concerns which are important to the development and growth of a city or region.  The Map Collection includes street maps, zoning maps, school districts, voting precincts, census tracts, bus routes, bicycle paths, and flood zones.  Maps printed over a period of time show historical changes in city boundaries, street names, neighborhood development, park and recreation facilities, schools and city buildings, and sometimes names of buildings such as hospitals.

In the spirit of celebrations, Special Collections is also honoring the Centennial of the City of Davis.   Let’s celebrate with the panel covers of some Davis maps available in the Map Collection.

Davis + UC Davis guide + map  MAP G4364.D3 2011 .Y6

 

 

Street map of Davis                  MAP G4364.D3 2004 .T2

 

 

Davis bike map                                 MAP G4364.D3E63 2016 .U6

 

Welcome to Davis, California  MAP G4364.D3P2 2013 .D3

 

Davis Art Walk        No Call Number                     (Ask staff for help)

 

Davis, California : home of UC Davis MAP G4364.D3P2 2015 .D3

 

Map of Davis
MAP G4364.D3 1988 .C6

Map of Davis
MAP G4364.D3 1990 .C6

Map of Davis, Yolo County, California
MAP G4364.D3 1980 .C6

The Map Collection room is located on the Lower Level of Shields Library.  Doors open to the public Monday-Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Contact the Special Collections Department for map related questions by email at speccoll@ucdavis.edu or by phone at 530-752-1621.

Post created by Dawn Collings and Kristoffer Landes

50 Features of Special Collections: The Noling (A.W.) Hurty-Peck Library of Beverage Literature

February 16th, 2017 by Daryl Morrison

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The Noling, (A.W.) Hurty-Peck Collection is one of the world’s largest collections of beverage literature containing over 6,000 volumes. The collection was donated by the family of A.W. Noling, an Indiana businessman who built a successful beverage flavoring firm, the Hurty-Peck Company. The company was subsequently taken over by Universal Foods Corporation.

The collection presents itself as an industrial collection meant for study and use rather than collected for rarity and condition. Yet, many scarce items are to be found in the collection. The majority of the works date from the middle of the 19th century to mid- 20th century with a number dating back to the 17th century. The oldest work, the Latin book De Naturali Vinorum Historia, is dated 1596. Several other valuable works include: The Compleat Housewife: or accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion a popular cookbook from 1729; A Rational Discourse on the Inward Uses of Water from 1725; and the 1691 Vinetum Britannicum or a Treatise on Cider, and other Wines and Drinks Extracted from Fruits Growing in this Kingdom.

 

 

Bookplate for the A.W. Noling Hurty-Peck Library

The Hurty-Peck Beverage Company, first in Indianapolis and then in Southern California, developed and sold flavors for the beverage industry, especially for colas. The company president A. W. Noling amassed a significant collection of books and pamphlets on beverages. The collection began in a very casual way around 1946. Books on soft drinks and soft drink flavors were first collected but then the collection expanded to other types of beverages. The need for more information on the source and processing of the materials required for beverage production became apparent as the search for soft drink literature (and that of the flavorings which went into them) developed. Serious efforts to collect beyond the soft drink field began in the 1950s when Noling relinquished his responsibilities as chief executive officer of the company and had time to devote to building a collection of beverage literature.

Noling TP570 .C43

The collection began to expand to include books on brewing, fermenting, distilling and rectifying which in turn led to collecting books on beer and ale, wine, spirits, etc. and their manufacture. The search for literature also included beverages associated with food such as coffee, tea, and chocolate. Books on fruits and other foodstuffs that could be developed into a flavor, such as bananas, are also found in the collection. Evident are books that illustrate manufacturing equipment and techniques such as introducing carbonation into liquids and water purification.

Prior to today’s world of on-line searching a remarkable collection was built through extensive work. A printed bibliography Beverage Literature: A Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J., The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1971) was created by compiler A. W. Noling.

Noling had always wanted the collection to go into a research institution. Subject Specialist, Axel Borg, had been instrumental in the collection coming to UC Davis. He had first contacted the company to gain access to the collection for a wine bibliography with Maynard Amerine. In 1996 the collection was donated to Special Collections, Shields Library at the University of California, Davis, a particularly appropriate fit for our interest in food, wine, chocolate, tea, and other related interests in food and food science. John Skarstad of Special Collections, hand carried rare books back from Indianapolis for the first transport of books to the department. The collection is fully cataloged and may be found by searching Noling Collection of Beverage Literature. For the catalog record see: https://www.library.ucdavis.edu/dept/specol/collections/books/?collection=noling

Sources: Beverage Literature: A Bibliography compiled by A. W. Noling and “A Toast to Rare Books,” UC Davis Magazine Spring 1997.

Our newly digitized recordings from the California Audiovisual Preservation Project

February 15th, 2017 by Sara Gunasekara

We are excited to announce that our fifth and sixth groups of audiovisual materials digitized through our participation in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) are now online at the Internet Archive. The moving image recordings include footage of: several McClellan Air Force Base events which were related to the community lobbying effort to keep the base in Sacramento off the federal base closure list in 1993; Greenville (Plumas County, Calif) High School activities in 1936; and a sugar beet harvester.

 

Here is the list of items with links to the digitized versions:

 

Eastman’s Originals Collection

[Autumn Scenes in Shasta County, Calif.]

[Greenville, Calif. High School Activities]

 

Vic Fazio Papers

President Bill Clinton Visit to McClellan Air Force Base 

Save McClellan Air Force Base Celebration

Vic Fazio and Bill Clinton at Armed Forces Day at McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento, California

Sacramento Veterans Day Parade with Vic Fazio as Grand Marshall 

 

UC Davis Oral History Office Records

Helen Harbison Power Oral History interview

 

Blackwelder Manufacturing Company Records

Marbeet Harvester 

 

Dan Crawford Papers

Boating Scenes

 

50 Features of Special Collections: Holland Land Company Records

February 9th, 2017 by Sara Gunasekara

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With the recent rains, the opening of the Sacramento Weir, and the flooded Yolo Bypass, we thought that it was fitting to feature the Holland Land Company Records this week.

The following information is drawn from the collection finding aid.  Be sure to check out the photographs below which show the Sacramento Weir as it looked almost exactly ninety-two years ago to the day.

Operations headquarters for the Holland Land Company were in Clarksburg, California, located at the northwestern edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Situated in the southeastern corner of Yolo County, Clarksburg is on the west side of the Sacramento River about fifteen miles south of and across the river from the city of Sacramento. There was no bridge across the Sacramento River near Clarksburg (until the Freeport Bridge opened in 1929), so Clarksburg area residents depended on ferryboats for river crossings. Clarksburg was also physically isolated from the rest of Yolo County by miles of tule marshes. Clarksburg, Lisbon, and Merritt Island were all part of Merritt Township, Yolo County.

During the second half of the nineteenth century, floods were a serious problem for Clarksburg area residents. They built their homes on high ground and on pilings to protect themselves from rising waters, and some lived in houseboats. Early settlers made their living by fishing, hunting wild ducks and geese, cutting wood, and doing their best to raise crops and cattle in the flood-prone Delta marshland. Roads and bridges were either in terrible condition or non-existent, so through the first two decades of the twentieth century, the Sacramento River was Clarksburg’s main transportation route. Passengers and freight were carried up and down the river on the many riverboats that ran on regular schedules between San Francisco and Red Bluff. Most farm produce left Clarksburg by boat. Elk Slough along the western edge of Merritt Island was also a busy channel for barges.

In the 1860s the California Legislature passed laws authorizing the formation of reclamation districts, which were to be units of local government organized and financed by the residents of an area to build levees along the rivers to keep the water out, and to build canals in the basins to drain the seepage. In 1870, Merritt Island landowners formed the first reclamation district in Merritt Township, Reclamation District (R.D.) 150, which built eighteen miles of levees, around Merritt Island. Organized in 1877, the Lisbon District, R.D. 307, built fourteen miles of levees around land north of Merritt Island to Babel Slough. Though the levees built by these pioneering reclamation districts protected the land against some of the rising waters, the area still suffered from flooding.

It was not until 1911 that the California Legislature adopted the Sacramento Flood Control Plan. The plan called for federal and state governments, reclamation districts, and private companies to cooperate in controlling flooding in the Sacramento River. They would do this by building continuous levees along the entire length of the river, enlarging the mouth of the river, removing debris from the Sacramento and its tributaries, and creating by-passes in the Sutter and Yolo basins to divert excess water from the main channel of the Sacramento River. The large profits that could be made by reclaiming and selling fertile farm land, adjacent to the Sacramento River but protected from flooding, attracted investors to reclamation projects. Many major projects commenced circa 1911 and were completed by the early 1920s, resulting in extensive and effective flood protection for Delta land.

In 1911, Isaac B. Parsons of the Bank of Hayward began buying land in the vicinity of Clarksburg for a group of men who were to form the Netherlands Farms Company. These men petitioned for the formation of a reclamation district, and in 1913 the California Legislature created R.D. 999. Financial difficulties and the outbreak of war in Europe, led to the dissolution of the Netherlands Farms Co. on March 3, 1917.

The Holland Land Company, incorporated on May 26, 1916 with three million dollars in order to protect and profit from the investment made by the Netherlands Farms Co. By the end of 1916, the Holland Land Co. paid off the debts of the Netherlands Farms Co. and began the work of reclaiming the Holland District (R.D. 999), including Clarksburg. The Holland Land Co. divided its capital stock of three million dollars into thirty thousand shares worth one hundred dollars each. In the 1920s, land owned in Solano and Yolo counties by the Holland Land Co. exceeded fifty thousand acres and was bounded by Ryer Island to the south, the Yolo Basin to the west, Elk Slough to the east, and the Lisbon District (R.D. 307) to the north.

When the Holland Land Co. began its reclamation work in 1916, the ground of the Holland District was wet and soft and covered with almost impenetrable tules growing seven to twelve feet high. No roads and levees existed. Reclamation of the Holland District took about two years, cost $2,500,000, and involved using heavy equipment including clamshell dredges, draglines, ditchers, and tractors. To remove excess water from farmland in winter and to provide water for irrigation in summer, the company built thirty-five miles of levees, 150 miles of canals, one 175,000 gallon-a-minute main pumping plant, and eighteen subsidiary pumping plants. The enormous leather-belt-driven pumps at the main pumping plant of R.D. 999 were installed in 1917. The Holland Land Co. also drained Big Lake and constructed twenty-five miles of roads, one hundred bridges, and over ninety farm buildings.

In September 1919, the Holland Land Co. formed an additional company, the Holland By-Pass Company, to enclose with levees nearly three thousand acres in the Yolo Bypass. Circa March 1924, when the Holland By-Pass Co. accomplished its purpose, the company was dissolved and all its assets were transferred to the Holland Land Co.

After the levees were built, the Holland Land Co. prepared its land for planting by using teams, plows, and horse-drawn Fresno scrapers. Circa 1918, the Holland Land Co. began planting crops to sell for cash and to set an example for prospective buyers and tenants. Formerly Superintendent of the Netherlands Farms Co., Gus Olson (1888-1970), an engineer and General Manager of the Holland Land Co., farmed successfully on the newly reclaimed land at the company’s headquarters. Under Olson’s direction, the company experimented with a wide variety of crops including alfalfa, asparagus, barley, beans, celery, lettuce, potatoes, sugar beets, and wheat. The company also established a nursery of five hundred thousand fruit and shade trees, and more than one hundred thousand fruit trees were planted in the district. Pear trees were particularly well-suited to the Clarksburg area.

In the spring of 1918, once the Holland Land Co. had completed much of its reclamation work and the Clarksburg area was protected from seasonal flooding, the company began developing and marketing its land. Most of the lots it sold were for farms and residences, but some were for commercial enterprises. The company’s policy was to sell a buyer not more than three thousand acres, at a minimum of $250 per acre, with a ten percent down payment and ten annual payments. The Holland Land Co. sold its land holdings off quickly and paid its first one dollar dividend to its stockholders in 1922. It continued to pay dividends even during the Great Depression years. On December 23, 1942, with all of its land, in private hands and maintenance of the reclamation system the responsibility of R.D. 999, the Holland Land Co. was dissolved

The Holland Land Company Records span the years 1909 to 1953, but the bulk of the materials date from 1916 to 1942.  The collection consists of minute books, scrapbooks, and photographic materials. Five of the minute books were created by the Holland Land Co., and one is the work of a subsidiary, the Holland By-Pass Co. Minute books hold articles of incorporation, by-laws, annual reports, minutes of stockholders’ meetings, and other legal and financial documents. The three scrapbooks contain clippings, flyers, and other materials promoting the Holland Land Co., its properties, and California agriculture in general. The photographs contained in the Holland Land Co. Records are rich sources of information about Clarksburg, California history and land reclamation and agriculture in the California Delta region during the early part of the twentieth century. Included are numerous photographs of Clarksburg area buildings, people, crops and fields, waterways, modes of transportation, hydraulic facilities, and land reclamation and agricultural equipment.

Sacramento Weir, February 7, 1925

Sacramento Weir, February 7, 1925

50 Features of Special Collections: the Story of Lord Eight Deer Jaguar Claw

February 4th, 2017 by Christine Cheng

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It is extremely rare to find manuscripts from the pre-Hispanic times of the Mixtec Indians since the conquistadores destroyed most of their records during the Spanish Conquest. In Robert Lloyd Williams’ The Complete Codex of Zouche-Nuttall, Williams lists the Codex Nuttall as one of five major Mixtec pictogram codices: Selden, Bodley, Zouche-Nuttall, Vindobonensis Mexicanus I, and Codex Alfonso Caso. The screenfold manuscript book, which comes from what is now Oaxaca, Mexico, comprises 47 leaves (one leaf equals two pages of a book, one on each side) made of deer hide and contains vibrant, painted images of Mixtec pictography. According to Williams, this type of pictogram writing was used as a tool in oral traditions to assist bards in reciting stories from memory, “the pre-Hispanic manuscripts were written to be read and performed but not written specifically for us to read.”

The story of how this ancient Mexican codex ended up in a Dominican monastery in San Marco, Florence in 1859 is unknown. Sir Robert Curzon, 14th Baron Zouche, received it as a gift, then loaned it to the British Museum. After his death in 1876, his sister inherited the codex and donated it to the Museum in 1917. While the original codex remains in the British Museum, Special Collections holds the facsimile, Codex Nuttall, published by Zelia Nuttall in 1902 with the support of Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. It is largely due to her efforts – through the hiring of two British artists to copy the manuscript, then pushing for its publication – that the world knows about and can study this codex.

The Codex Nuttall holds two narratives: on one side (the older side called the obverse), there is the history of Mixtec events and important hubs in the Mixtec region, while the other side (the reverse) depicts scenes of Eight Deer’s military and political conquests, adventures, ceremonies, and genealogy records.

In contrast to a typical book where it’s read from left to right, the codex reads from right to left starting from the top right-hand corner, following the column down from top to bottom, and then over to the next column on the left from the bottom to the top. The red lines serve as dividers within the narratives as can be seen in the following examples:

 

Page 3 (obverse): The War from Heaven – War with the Stone Men in the Northern Nochixtlan Valley at Yucunudahui:

 

 

Page 16 (obverse): Featuring Lady Three Flint Elder and Lady Three Flint Younger:

 

 

Page 27 (obverse): From Tilantongo to Teozacoalco – presenting the other wives of Lord Eight Deer Jaguar Claw, as well as the children of Eight Deer and Five Eagle:

 

 

Page 37 (obverse): After Leaving the Cave and At Sayutepec:

 

 

Page 69 (reverse): Eight Deer in his animal spirit form battles an eagle, a dog is sacrificed, and Lord Nine Flower (Eight Deer’s brother) sacrifices a man:

 

 

Page 81 (reverse): The Assassination of Lord Twelve Motion and the Siege of Hua Chino:

 

 

Works consulted:

Nuttall, Zelia, Zouche, Robert Curzon, Baron; Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. Codex Nuttall: Facsimile of an Ancient Mexican Codex Belonging to Lord Zouche of Harynworth, England. Cambridge, Mass, 1902.

Williams, Robert Lloyd. The Complete Codex Zouche-Nuttall: Mixtec Lineage Histories and Political Biographies. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013.

The Codex Zouche-Nuttall. The British Museum. Accessed February 3, 2017.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=662517&partId=1

50 Features of Special Collections: Early Oil Fields of Kern County, California

January 25th, 2017 by Dawn Collings

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Beginning in 1864, tar was mined in open pits for asphalt and kerosene in the Kern County region.  After the discovery of the Shamrock Gusher at the McKittrick Oil Field in 1896, oil wells began to replace tar mining as the predominant form of energy harvesting in California.

 

 

The Midway Gusher at the Midway Oil Field blew in 1909 and was followed shortly thereafter by the Lakeview Gusher on March 14th, 1910. To date, the Lakeview Gusher remains the largest gusher to have erupted in the United States and is immortalized as California Historical Landmark 485.

 

 

All of the oil fields showcased in the maps above are still in active use, although the Midway Oil Field shown here in this 1905 map is now part of the larger Midway-Sunset Oil Field. The 2015 Report of California Oil and Gas Production Statistics published by the California Department of Conservation gives detailed statistics regarding how many barrels of oil were produced by each field in 2015:

  • Kern River: 25,693,327 barrels
  • McKittrick: 3,334,448 barrels
  • Midway-Sunset: 28,184,793 barrels

Further examination of the report reveals that the Kern River and Midway-Sunset oil fields were the top two California oil fields in 2015, followed in third place by the South Belridge Oil Field, which produced 22,901,979 barrels. Together, the Kern River and Midway-Sunset oil fields accounted for approximately 26.7% of the state’s 201,711,080 barrel total, lending credence to the claim that these historic fields are still a critical part of California’s natural resource industry today.

For more information on the history of oil in Kern County please visit these websites:

http://www.sjvgeology.org/history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kern_River_Oil_Field

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midway-Sunset_Oil_Field

 

Resources:

California Department of Conservation, 2015 Report of California Oil and Gas Production Statistics, April, 2015,  ftp://ftp.consrv.ca.gov/pub/oil/annual_reports/2015/PR03_2015.pdf. Accessed 25 Jan. 2017

California. Office of Historic Preservation. California Historical Landmarks. 11th Ed.]. ed. Sacramento: Office of Historic Preservation, Dept. of Parks and Recreation, 1990. Print.

Prutzman, Paul W. [Kern County Oil Fields]. Sacramento, CA?: State Mining Bureau, 1905. Print.  (MAP G4361.H8 1905 .C21)

Post created by Dawn Collings & Kristoffer Landes