Department Blog

Special Collections

Lights! Camera! Action!

January 25th, 2013 by Jenny Hodge

You may have noticed some new activity in the Special Collections Reading Room at UC Davis.  Brighter lights may be seen as patrons use digital cameras to take photographs. Special Collections has a pilot project to allow still cameras in the Reading Room.   Camera use reduces the need to handle materials when making photocopies and allows a more cost effective and accessible approach for our faculty, students, and traveling researchers.

Images for publication still need to be processed by staff in order to ensure high quality works. Patrons are required to sign off on handling rules and copyright regulations and to capture the information with each photograph taken that provides the UC Davis ownership and the item location for follow-up reference and retrieval, this is a continuation of current practice.

We have implemented a  daily fee of $10.00 for non-UC researchers and $8.00 for UC researchers when photographing manuscript collections.  This fee covers  the oversight of staff monitoring the handling of manuscript materials and provides the forms needed for our copying record keeping.  Books and serials may be photographed at no charge.  The department still maintains its regular photocopying and digital scanning services.

The new pilot service has already proved very popular with researchers.  In a single week in December, researchers from Great Britain, Finland, and Germany had their cameras in use.

New Service in Special Collections

January 25th, 2013 by Jenny Hodge

Digital cameras are now allowed in the Special Collections reading room! For a daily fee researchers can take photographs of manuscript collections.

photograph taken with patron's permission

Our first patron to use a camera was Dr. Jacqueline Bolton who was working with our theater collections. Dr. Bolton was here working on a project coordinated by the University of Reading and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. We are very pleased to offer this additional feature to our photocopy/reproduction service.

New book on the history of UC Davis

January 15th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

Dennis Dingemans, Professor of Geography at UC Davis and Ann Foley Scheuring, author of Abundant Harvest: The History of the University of California, Davis, recently published a new book titled, University of California, Davis. The publication is part of the Campus History Series by Arcadia Publishing.

Most of the two hundred images in the book came from Special Collections, specifically from the University Archives Photographs and Eastman’s Originals Collection. We were happy to help Professor Dingemans and Ms. Scheuring with this project and were excited to see the final product.

Special Collections gets “wiki-ed”

January 15th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

Special Collections is working on a project to add links to our manuscript collections in Wikipedia. As we’ve learned through our surveys, our students begin with Google searches and Wikipedia searches.  External links were added to pages for individuals whose manuscript collections we hold. Visit the Peter Camejo page on Wikipedia to see an example.

Sacramento aerial view from sixty years ago

January 14th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

Below is an aerial view of Sacramento taken sixty years ago in 1953. The image is from our Eastman’s Originals Collection. Jervie Eastman (1880-1969) owned a commercial photography studio in Susanville, California and shot photographs across Northern California, primarily in the area north of I-80 and east of I-5.

Can you find the following landmarks in the image: Tower Bridge, State Capitol, Old Sacramento, and the Union Pacific Railyard? Much has changed in this view in the past sixty years!

Sacramento, 1953

Patron Published Projects for 2012

January 14th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

We compile a list of works by researchers who have used Special Collections resources and have cited our collections in their publications. The list is available on our website. Works published during 2012 include:

  • Jarnot, Lisa. Robert Duncan, the Ambassador from Venus: A Biography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.
  • Lo, Jung-Pang. China As a Sea Power, 1127-1368. Edited by Bruce Elleman. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2012.
  • Morris, Jane, Frank C. Sharp, and Jan Marsh. The Collected Letters of Jane Morris. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2012.
  • Pinney, Thomas. The Makers of American Wine: a Record of Two Hundred Years. Berkeley: University of California Press, c2012.
  • Smith, Sherry L. Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Whipple, Alison. Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Investigation: Exploring Pattern and Process. Richmond, Calif: San Francisco Estuary Institute, 2012.

We welcome additional information that can be added to the list. Please contact us at

Look Familiar???

January 11th, 2013 by Jenny Hodge

This photograph of an unidentified musical group is from the University Archives Photographs and can be found on the Online Archive of California along with many others. In the photograph there are approx. 35 co-eds practicing. Do you recognize the conductor? Could this be the Glee Club or is it some other choir group on campus? Any information identifying this group or people in the group would be much appreciated. Feel free to also leave comments on your own experience enjoying or participating in choir performances on campus.

Forty years ago today…

January 8th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

… it snowed in Davis!

The January 1973 edition of the UC Davis Spectator noted “Snow flurries for half a day on Jan. 8 pushed vacation-rested students into building snowmen and ’snoopies’ and doing battle with snowballs on the quadrangle and elsewhere.”

Do you remember this snow event or others in Davis?

The image below is from the University Archives Photographs Collection.

Bicycles parked at the corner of Hutchison Drive and California Avenue, 1973 January 8.