Department Blog

Special Collections

Look Familiar???

March 23rd, 2012 by Jenny Hodge

Spring Break is here! Time to sit back, relax and grab a drink. This photograph from the University Archives show’s a couple of people doing just that.  Does this place look familiar to you? As you can see on the menu behind the counter they serve wine and beer. So was this a bar on or off campus? Is it even a bar? Was this a former restaurant on campus or an eatery run by students like the CoHo? Besides looking for answers of who, what, when and where this photograph took place, we’d welcome any memories of former places to eat and drink on or off campus.

New exhibit: Happy 150th Birthday, Peter J. Shields

March 22nd, 2012 by Sara Gunasekara

April 4, 2012 marks what would have been Peter J. Shields 150th birthday. Have you ever wondered about the namesake of Shields Library? Peter J. Shields (1862-1962) was a Superior Court Judge in Sacramento, California. Shields, often referred to as one of the founding fathers of the University Farm, (now the University of California, Davis), helped to write the legislation for the creation of the Davis campus.

Special Collections has created a small exhibit to celebrate Shields and his 150th birthday. The exhibit, which is located in the case to the right of the main stairway in Shields Library, will be on display until April 6, 2012.

Happy Spring!

March 20th, 2012 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the first day of spring, here is an image from our Eastman Originals Collection.

Dogwood in bloom, 1943.

Look Familiar???

March 16th, 2012 by Jenny Hodge

Finals are here and at this time of year all over campus classrooms are full as students prepare to be tested on all they’ve learned in the past quarter. The image below is from the University Archives and is of a classroom of students doing just that. Can you identify this classroom? Any guesses as to what year this may have been taken? Which subject is being taught?

Whether you’ve been diligently taking notes and studying all year or procrastinating til the last possible moment, be sure to take advantage of the library. Not only does it house classroom resources it is also a great location for a study break nap! The image below, again from the University Archives, is of a student taking that necessary shut eye, possibly in the library. Where is your favorite place to take a study break during finals?


March 14th, 2012 by Admin

It is 314159. Enjoy your pi[e].  This is one of over 5000 images we have from the great photographer, Hal Halberstadt as part of the Milton Halberstadt Papers and Photograph Collection, D-468.

Celebrating 60 Years of the College of Letters and Sciences

March 14th, 2012 by Sara Gunasekara

This year the College of Letters and Sciences is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Here’s an excerpt about the beginnings of the College from Abundant Harvest: the History of the University of California, Davis:

“In May 1951, the new college was formally organized. More than 50 faculty members were drawn from service divisions in the College of Agriculture to become founding members of Letters and Science departments. In 1951 Herbert A. Young was named the founding dean of the new college.

Because of slightly reduced campus enrollments in 1951 and concern over the Korean War, 1951 was a transitional year. The decision was made to offer initially just five majors in the fields already well represented on campus: Botany, Chemistry, Zoology, English, and History, along with courses equivalent to the first three years of majors in Mathematics and Physics. No new faculty were hired that year, for, out of a total 1,562 students enrolled that fall, only 76 were declared L&S majors. In 1952, after a concerted effort to publicize the expanded academic programs, growth of the college began in earnest with the appointment of several new faculty.”

Today, the College of Letters and Sciences is comprised of three divisions: the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and the Division of Social Sciences. There are 667 faculty in the college, 48 major programs, 10,376 student majors, and 1,347 graduate students.

Congratulations to the College of Letters and Sciences on their 60th Anniversary!

Anthropology Department, during 1966, anthropology students at Davis have been probing the remnants of Sacramento's historic waterfront community in a program uniting public service with practical experience. In addition to laboratory instruction during the fall and spring in archaeological methods, a number of UCD students worked last summer (1966) for the State Division of Beaches and Parks, uncovering artifacts and useful data for a museum, 1966

Look Familiar???

March 9th, 2012 by Jenny Hodge

Here is a photograph from the University Archives (UAP 02952) featuring four young women in what appears to be a Home Ec classroom. Does anyone recognize these women, the date of this photograph or what course they may have been taking? Which buildings held these classrooms? What kind of courses were offered?  Any information would be wonderful including memories of similar types courses held at UC Davis.

As a side note: Any guesses as to what these ladies are preparing to bake?

Check back here on March 14 for one possible idea!

Happy California Arbor Day!

March 7th, 2012 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of Arbor Day, which occurs today, Wednesday, March 7, in California, here is an image from the University Archives Photographs of Arbor Day activities on campus in 1965.

Arbor Day, Honoring Louis Proebsting, a flowering crab apple tree was planted in front of Wickson Hall. Pictured, left to right: student James Jordan, Chancellor Emil Mrak, Mrs. Proebsting, and Louis Proebsting, 1965 March 8

New FAQ posted: Using Special Collections

March 2nd, 2012 by Sara Gunasekara
We just posted the following FAQ to our website. Please let us know if you have ideas for other FAQs that you’d like to see answered.

I’ve never done research in Special Collections before. Can you tell me what to expect?

The Special Collections staff will guide your through the steps needed to access the UC Davis manuscript and archives collections either on your first visit or via e-mail at

The Society of American Archivists has published a guide for the public to learn more about archives, Using Archives: An Effective Guide to Research by Laura Schmidt. This online publication outlines the functions and procedures of archives, and is designed both for first-time archives users and scholars who have already conducted research in archives.