Department Blog

Special Collections

Look Familiar???

November 23rd, 2011 by Jenny Hodge

So it’s been a few weeks since the last Look Familiar??? post and in those past weeks a lot of activity has taken place on campus, specifically the Quad. The Quad is a central point in campus activities and now, just as in the past, it is a popular location for groups to lead protests and demonstrations. This photograph was taken during a student rally held on the Quad in 1965.  What was happening on campus or the world to spark this rally? Does anyone recall the issues of the day or more specifically this rally? How did the gathering disband and how did the administration react to student gatherings? Please share any memories or information you may recall.

UC Davis Traditions: All University Weekend

November 8th, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s post in the UC Davis traditions series highlights a UC-wide tradition.

All University Weekend, the idea of UC President Robert Gordon Sproul, started in 1948. The event, which occurred in October, alternated between the Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses and was held at the time of the football game between the two campuses. From 1948-1964, a football game between the Davis and Santa Barbara campus teams was also played immediately preceding the Berkeley and Los Angeles game.

Other events held during the All University weekend included: athletic competition in other sports, dances, campus tours, living group open-houses, and an All-University meeting.

The football tradition between UCLA and Berkeley continues. This year’s game took place on October 29 and was won by UCLA.

Look Familiar???

November 4th, 2011 by Jenny Hodge

As you may have noticed there are lots of art pieces that decorate the buildings and grounds of UC Davis. Here is a photograph from our University Archives of such a piece of art. Does anyone recognize this sculpture from their time at UC Davis? Where was it placed? Who designed it? Was this a donation or purchase? Please share any thoughts or information on this piece of art.

Radical Political Pamphlets Debuts in Civility Project Exhibit

November 3rd, 2011 by Sara Gunasekara

The library was pleased to participate in the campus Civility Project. The project was developed in response to recent incidents of incivility across the UC campuses.  The interdisciplinary and interdepartmental approach to the project brought many staff and students together to meet the three- pronged goals that included an exhibit using archival materials from the Department of Special Collections, a website “The Limits of Civility” and an original documentary theater piece based on interviews with members of the UC Davis community, “(Un)Civil (DIS)Obedience.”  The project was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the UC Davis Office of the Chancellor, the UC Davis Humanities Institute, the Office of Campus Community Relations, the Peter J. Shields Library and the Department of History.

Paper Takes: The Power of Uncivil Words

About the Exhibit

Through the support of Associate University Librarians Helen Henry and Amy Kautzman, the Library participated by co-sponsoring the Shields Fellowship.  History graduate student Jessica Mayhew was appointed as the Shields Fellow to study the radical political pamphlet collection in the Department of Special Collections and select examples for the exhibit, “Paper Takes: The Power of Uncivil Words.”  Working closely with the Special Collections staff especially Rare Book Librarian John Sherlock, Ms. Mayhew selected 34 pamphlets for the exhibit and wrote the text that highlighted these “extreme” pamphlets.  The exhibit explores the explanatory power of uncivil words in order to identify and combat their circulation today.  The pamphlets selected for the exhibit cover such topics as miscegenation, African Americans, the Equal Rights Amendments, Gays and Lesbians, and radical views on political candidates. The Department of Special Collections staff also worked closely with Jessica Loudermilk, the co-project director (with faculty member Carolyn De La Pena), advising on the preservation mounting for the safe exhibition of these rare pamphlets.   The exhibit beautifully displays the rare pamphlets in professionally designed exhibit cases.  This most recent use of the collection provides a public forum and greater visibility for the collection. Head of Special Collections Daryl Morrison comments that this is just the type of project that brings these unique resources to the attention of our students for study to gain an understanding of the impact these types of documents can have on society.

Library Support: Daryl Morrison, Head of Special Collections; John Sherlock, Special Collections and Rare Books Librarian; John Skarstad, University Archivist; Patricia Inouye, California State and Local Government Documents Librarian; Sara Gunasekara, Collections Manager; Liz Phillips, Manuscript Archivist; Jenny Hodge, Library Assistant II

The exhibit opened on October 27, 2011 and will be available for viewing during the next month at the Buehler Visitor Center.  Explore the accompanying web page.

About the Radical Political Pamphlet Collection

The Special Collections Department has sought, since its establishment as a department in 1966, to support research on many of the major political and social issues and conflicts of the twentieth century collected the often fugitive literature of protest, dissent and rebellion.  As part of this broader mission, the Department has also made an attempt to document the development of the American Far Right, including the published record of a number of groups on the extremes of political, social, cultural and religious discourse.  The collection has grown to become one of the best research collections on these topics in the United States, if not in the world.  The collection has been used by a number of UCD classes studying these issues, as well as supporting the research Of Davis faculty and scholars.