Department Blog

Special Collections

Happy Summer!

June 21st, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the first day of summer, here is an image from the University Archives Photographs.

Students at the Hickey Gymnasium pool, undated

Students at the Hickey Gymnasium pool, undated

Then & Now

June 17th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

Our next installment of the Then & Now series takes us to the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library.

The Physical Sciences & Engineering Library (PSE),  located between the Physics Building and the Chemistry Annex, was built in 1971 and opened for the Fall Quarter of the 1971/1972 academic year. The PSE Library initially included collections of material consolidated from the Chemistry Department Library and the Geology and Physics collections, with selected items in the physical sciences transferred from Shields Library.

Today, the PSE Library supports faculty and student research in a broad range of engineering and physical sciences subjects including : Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, Atmospheric Science, Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics and Transportation.



Robert G. Mondavi Papers Open for Research

June 17th, 2013 by Liz Phillips

Robert G. Mondavi: Celebrating the Good Life


Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of the Robert G. Mondavi Papers in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Anyone familiar with California wines has heard the name Robert Mondavi. But do you know how he became one of the most influential figures in the American wine world of the late twentieth century? Special Collections doesn’t have any secret hints for making wine (those remain with the winery), but we can tell you how Mr. Mondavi rose to prominence and how he saw his role in promoting wine, fine food, and the arts.

Robert Mondavi (1913-2008) and his wife Margrit Biever Mondavi have a long-standing relationship with UC Davis. Thanks to their interest in our educational mission, The Robert G. Mondavi Trust donated the Robert G. Mondavi Papers to Special Collections in 2011. Since that time, Manuscript Archivist Liz Phillips has been hard at work cataloging and preserving Robert Mondavi’s papers. This work has been funded by generous donations from the Robert Mondavi Trust, Margrit Mondavi, and supporting friends.

For more information, have a look at the companion website or if you’re in the area, come see our exhibit at Shields Library. The exhibit will be in place through mid-December 2013.

New feature: Subscribe to our blog by email

June 13th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

You can now subscribe to our blog posts by email. Simply enter your email address in the box under “Subscribe to my posts” on the right hand navigation bar and you’ll receive an email when we post a new entry on the blog.


June 6th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

Do you know where the first commencement was 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.

Davis commencements were held in the Sunken Garden from 1948-1956. Subsequent commencements were held at the Quadrangle, Toomey Field, Freeborn Hall, and the Recreation Hall. Many of the commencement ceremonies are still held in the Recreation Hall which is now the UC Davis Pavilion.

Best wishes to all of the 2013 UC Davis graduates!