Department Blog

Special Collections

The first commencement held on the Davis campus

May 24th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

Since commencement season is upon us, we decided to travel back in time to the first commencement held on the Davis campus.

Prior to 1948, students completing the requirements for the certificate of graduation in the two-year curricula or the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the College of Agriculture, were awarded their degrees at the commencement exercises at the University of California, Berkeley.

The first commencement held on the Davis campus occurred on June 17, 1948 and took place in the Sunken Garden. The courtyard of Shields Library marks the present day location of the Sunken Garden. A plaque there commemorates the site.

Student addresses were delivered by William D. Zanker (certificate of graduation) and Albert C. Hansen (B.S. in agriculture) with  remarks to the graduates provided by Knowles A. Ryerson, Assistant Dean of the College of Agriculture and Claude B. Hutchison, Vice-President and Dean of the College of Agriculture. Robert Gordon Sproul, President of the University of California, also gave an address.

Below is an image, from the University Archives Photographs, of the 1949 commencement.

Commencement in the Sunken Garden, 1949

National Train Day

May 5th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of National Train Day on May 7, here is an image from our Eastman’s Originals Collection.

S.P. Trestle at Redding, California, 1945.

42nd Whole Earth Festival

May 4th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

This weekend, May 6-8, 2011 marks the 42nd Whole Earth Festival on campus.

According to an article titled “Whole Earth Festival” in the April 1972 UCD Spectator:

“The idea was brought to the Davis campus during the Christmas vacation break of 1969. A member of the ASUCD Experimental College attended a San Francisco lecture by Swami Satchidananda where the Indian spiritual leader’s close friend, John McConnell, described the concept of an Earth Day.

UCD art historian Jose Arguelles seized upon the idea and 400 of his Art 147 and Art 138B classes took on planning of a Whole Earth Week as a final examination. It happened March 17-21, 1970 and was repeated again last April 2-4 under the sponsorship of the Experimental College.”

Here is an image from our University Archives Photographs of the Whole Earth Festival, circa 1977-1979.

Karma patrol, Whole Earth Festival, circa 1977-1979. Photograph by Sue Cockrell.

A Glimpse into Special Collections.

May 3rd, 2011 by Jenny Hodge

Ever wonder what exactly is stored in Special Collections?  Well the link below provides a visual overview of just a few examples of the kinds of materials we work with and work to make accessible to students and researchers like you.  Next time you are in the area stop by!

Treasures in Special Collections


May 3rd, 2011 by

Here in Special Collections, we have a number of scrapbooks created for a variety of reason but all showing us how important historical artifacts are. Preservation of scrapbooks is especially complicated because of the need to preserve the paper, the photographs, the writing, etc. Today Scrapbooking is a very popular hobby with lots of decorative options. How do you know that what you are creating will last many, many years? Here is a website that tries to answer just those questions: I highly recommend the article called “Science of Scrapbooking, preservation Q & A.”

May is Bike Month: Sampling of Bicycle Collections

May 2nd, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

Since May is Bike Month, here is a sampling of some of our collections that focus on bicycles and bicycling.

The William Clauson Cycling Collection contains bicycling books, journals, trade publications and directories, racing programs, rule books, posters, comics and other materials relating to bicycling.

The Matthew Sarna-Wojcicki Collection contains periodicals that focus on bicycles and cycling. Titles include: Velo-News, Winning, Berkeley Bike Club Newsletter/Pneusletter, Cycle, Cycling USA, NCNCA (Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association) Newsletter, and NORBA News: official publication of the National Off-Road Bicycle Association.

Dale Lott (1933-2004), Professor of Psychology and Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, worked on the design of bicycle paths in Davis. His Papers contain some materials related to the usage, design, and evaluation of bicycle lanes, as well as 35mm slides of bicycle lanes.

Our University Archives Photographs contain images of bicycles and bicyclists on campus. Below is one image from that group.

Students riding bicycles, University of California, Davis, circa 1960