Department Blog

Special Collections

Patron Published Project: Maxfield Parrish

October 26th, 2011 by Admin

One of the distinct pleasures of working in Special Collections is working with authors who publish books after using our collections. Today we received the latest book: Maxfield Parrish: Painter of Magical Make-Believe by Lois V. Harris. Her book contains 2 of the 4 Maxfield Parrish paintings we have in our Reading Room. The author states that, “Parrish’s paintings are fine examples of the advertising changes sweeping the world in the early 1900’s: using high-quality art to sell products.” These painting are part of the Ferry-Morse Seed Co. archives. Come see our famous paintings soon.

UC Davis Traditions: Little I

October 26th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

The Little International Livestock Show or “Little I” was started in 1937 by the Golden Hoof Club to provide competition in grooming and showmanship for students working with animals from the University herds.

At some point, ASUCD assumed sponsorship of the event which was then advertised as an event designed for students, experienced or not, who were interested in showing animals. ASUCD awarded trophies and ribbons to the winners.

“Little I”  is still held on campus and is now sponsored by the UCD Young Cattleman’s Association.

Below is a photograph from the University Archives Photographs of the “Little I” from circa 1950-1959.

Little International Livestock Show, Robert Laben at microphone during cattle judging, circa 1950-1959

Look Familiar???

October 21st, 2011 by Jenny Hodge

This week features a photograph with an entirely unknown back story.  Do you recognize the location? The people? The activity?  Any ideas about a possible date range?  Could this be a performance in a dormitory or is it a campus hosted music event?  Clues can be gathered from the outfits, objects in the foreground and the design on the back wall.  If anyone has any insight as to the who, what or where of this photograph from the University Archives please comment below.

UC Davis Traditions: Wild West Days

October 19th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s post in our UC Davis Traditions series features Wild West Days.

Wild West Days were originally held on the Davis campus in the fall of 1960. The event, which occurred over a weekend, wasn’t held during 1961-1962 but resumed again in the spring of 1963. According to the Centennial Record: “for the two days before the activities, western clothes are worn to classes and it is permissible for students to ride horses on campus.”  The weekend activities included bronc riding, wild cow milking, calf roping, steer riding, hog calling, a greased pig scramble, and barrel racing contests. Wild West Days were held at least until 1969.

Below is an image from the University Archives Photographs of Wild West Days in 1964.

Wild West Days, 1964

Look Familiar???

October 13th, 2011 by Jenny Hodge

Tonight the 99th annual Pajamarino will take place beginning at the Davis Amtrak Train Station and continuing on into the evening with entertainment, games, face painting, food and prizes.  Below is an undated photograph from the University Archives of a past Pajamarino.  The students are awaiting the arrival of the train and alumni to kickstart homecoming weekend.  Do any of these students look familiar?  Any clues as to when this picture may have been taken?  Were those cheerleaders waiting to greet the train?  Were the two people walking on the tracks the leaders of the parade that year?  Was there any kind of formal structure to Pajamarino?  We’d love to see any commentary and memories this photograph may bring to mind.

UC Davis Traditions: Pajamarino

October 12th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

Our latest feature in the UC Davis Traditions series highlights Pajamarino.

The present day Pajamarino traces its roots back to 1912 when according to the 1913 El Rodeo Yearbook: “A big pajama rally was held for the basketball team on December 6, 1912. A large bonfire, quartets, and violin solos were the features of the evening.”

By 1915 the rally was known as Pajamarino and was held on the eve of a football game in October. During the 1920s, the pajama clad rally students “serpentined” through the main streets of Davis and returned to campus for a bonfire. The tradition evolved and the pajama clad students began marching to the train station to meet returning alumni. They accompanied the alumni back to the campus for the rally around the bonfire. After the rally, a dance was held.

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

Below is an image from the University Archives Photographs of Pajamarino in 1959.

Pajamarino, 1959

Look Familiar???

October 7th, 2011 by Jenny Hodge

Who are these students and what are they doing?  Well we know the answer to the latter half of that question.  This photograph from the University Archives shows students taking part in the Pajamarino rally during Homecoming, circa 1950-1959.  Students wore pajamas and other adornments on their way to the train station to welcome back alumni the night before the big homecoming game. In looking at this picture can anyone identify these participants?  Narrow down the year?  As the 2011 Homecoming Week culminates next week with welcoming back alumni for the football game we thought we’d see if any alumni could offer up their own reminiscences of Pajamarinos past.  What kind of memories do you have?  Did you march in and out of local businesses to the beat of the marching band on your way to the station?  This pajama clad group seems to have appropriated an old fire truck, how did you make your way to the station to greet alumni returning by train?

World Smile Day

October 7th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of World Smile Day, here is an image from our Eastman’s Originals Collection.

Happy World Smile Day!

Unidentified portrait of a young child, undated.

October is American Archives Month

October 4th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

Archives Month is a collaborative effort by archivists around the nation to highlight the importance of historical records. Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has issued a proclamation making October 2011 “Archives Month” in California.

For more information about events in California, visit the California Archives Month website.

Special Collections staff (pictured below) celebrated Archives Month by participating in the Sacramento Archives Crawl on October 1.  The Archives Crawl was a huge success and plans are already in the works for next years “crawl”.  Follow the link to learn more about the first annual Sacramento Archives Crawl:

UC Davis Traditions: President’s Reception

October 3rd, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

Each fall during the 1950s and 1960s, the University of California President would visit Davis to welcome new students to the University and those returning to the campus. The 1956 El Rodeo Yearbook described the event which was sponsored by the Cal Club as “one of the first and biggest social events in the fall.” The receptions were held in the Memorial Union, Freeborn Hall, Everson Hall or the Faculty Club and often included a dance.

Below is an image from the University Archives Photographs of the President’s Reception in 1961.

President’s Reception, at the opening social event of the year, the President’s Reception for students, are (from right) Chancellor Emil Mrak and Vera Mrak, President Clark Kerr and Catherine Kerr, and Acting Vice Chancellor Vernon I. Cheadle, October 2, 1961