July 29th, 2016 by Jenny Hodge
In 1958, the University of California acquired the extensive personal library of C.K. (Charles Kay) Ogden, British linguist and philosopher. The University divided the library among the extant campuses: Berkeley, UCLA, Davis, Santa Barbara, and Riverside. The Davis library’s portion was nearly 10,000 volumes.
A Second Folio, the second edition of Shakespeare’s works printed in 1632, was part of the C.K. Ogden library. Second Folio is the term applied to the 1632 edition of the collected plays of William Shakespeare, following upon the First Folio of 1623. There are almost 1,700 changes from the First Folio. When the time came to place it, Berkeley and UCLA both said that it duplicated their holdings. So, the placement fell to Davis, Santa Barbara, and Riverside. Instead of making the placement based on the flipping of a coin, a time-honored ritual, the University Librarians decided to base the placement on the outcome of the 1958 World Series.
In 1958, the American League was represented by the New York Yankees, the National League by the Milwaukee Braves. The same teams had played the 1957 series, with Milwaukee winning in seven games. According to former University Librarian J.R. Blanchard’s Reminiscences, “Davis was fortunate in drawing the New York Yankees, who knocked in the winning run of the 1958 baseball series, which also meant the Second Folio was pitched out to the Davis campus.”
This copy has the ownership signature of Henry Bradshaw. His brother John Bradshaw was president of the court that beheaded King Charles I.
July 22nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
As the 31st Sierra Storytelling Festival takes place in Nevada City, California this weekend, we decided to feature two of our collections that are related to the annual event.
An author and phenomenal storyteller, Steve Sanfield founded the Sierra Storytelling Festival in 1985 and served as its director until his retirement in 2002. He was also the author of more than thirty books, including The Adventures of High John the Conqueror, Bit by Bit, The Great Turtle Drive, and A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry, among others.
The Steve Sanfield Papers contains files related to the Sierra Storytelling Festival, as well as personal journals, manuscripts, correspondence, publications, audio tapes, and ephemera relating to his life and career.
In 1988, photographer Ray Hunold accompanied his wife, Bernice, to the Sierra Storytelling Festival where they met Sanfield. When a hired photographer did not show up, Ray Hunold was asked to step in and shoot photographs for the Festival’s files. He then became the official photographer for the Sierra Storytelling Festival from 1988 through 2002. He also served as the photographer for the National Festival of Storytelling in Jonesboro, Tennessee.
The Raymond Hunold Photograph Collection contains over 70,000 images documenting the resurgence of storytelling in the United States as an art form. Another aspect of the collection is his work as a nature and travel photographer which includes subjects such as San Francisco city scenes, western flora and fauna, Native American sites, and national parks and monuments.
You can find out more about the Hunold Collection via the web exhibit here.
Steve Sanfield, director, surrounded by his storytellers, by Ray Hunold.
Entrance to the outdoor stage, Sierra Storytelling Festival, 1989. Photograph by Ray Hunold.
July 15th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
Since this is our 50th golden anniversary, it is only fitting that our next feature is the collection of UC Davis’ first Olympic gold medalist, Colby E. “Babe” Slater.
Colby E. “Babe” Slater (1896-1965) graduated from the University Farm School (now UC Davis) in 1917. An outstanding athlete, Slater played on the U.S. Olympic rugby team and won gold medals for rugby in 1920 and 1924, when he served as captain of the team. The 1924 Olympic Games were the last to feature rugby – until now. Rugby returns to the Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro.
In celebration of rugby’s return to the Olympic Games after a 92 year hiatus, we’ve created an exhibit and a website highlighting the Slater Collection, which includes correspondence, publications, ephemera, and photographs from his participation in the Olympics Games. You can view the exhibit on display in Shields Library and the website at slater.lib.ucdavis.edu
Additionally, the Library will host a special celebration of the legacy of Babe Slater on July 30. Event and rsvp details are available here.
Colby E. “Babe” Slater, third from left, plays in the gold medal rugby match at the 1924 Olympics.
July 8th, 2016 by Jenny Hodge
The Sumerian Clay Tablet was acquired by the rare book collection in 1966, purchased in 1962 from Dawson’s Book Shop in Los Angeles. The tablet is from Sumeria, modern day southern Iraq, circa 1974 BC/BCE (short chronology). The cuneiform inscription is an administrative text written during the Third Dynasty of Ur at Umma, which was at the center of a large agricultural district in southern Mesopotamia. The text orders the hiring of persons to perform agricultural work on the fields belonging to the temple of Shara, the chief god of Umma.
Not only is the Sumerian tablet the oldest item held in Special Collections, but it is also a source of interest and research on the UC Davis campus. In 1976 Professor R. David Freedman of the Religious Studies Department provided a detailed translation of the 19 lines of cuneiform found on the tablet as well as the seal impression which reads, “Mese, the scribe, son of Dada”.
In 2003 the Sumerian tablet was examined by undergraduate history major Ellen Joyce under the mentor-ship of Professor Stylianos Spyridakis. Working with Special Collections and the Geology Lab on campus Ms. Joyce was able to weigh, photograph and examine with a stereo microscope the tablet as part of her research project through the MURALS program.
The Sumerian tablet is a staple when presenting Special Collections materials to classes on the history of the book and how ideas are recorded. It is also a visitor favorite when brought out to be displayed for groups and patrons. The tablet can be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room from 10-5, Monday thru Friday.
3 sides covered with cuneiform inscriptions, 1 narrow side and both ends blank. 7.7 x 5 x 2 cm.
 Information Sheet kept with tablet in Special Collections, University Library, UC Davis. PJ4071 .S9
 Teng, Santani. “Out of the Past.” The California Aggie 9 Feb. 2003: Print.
July 1st, 2016 by Jenny Hodge
We are excited to celebrate 50 years of Special Collections in the University Library!
“On July 1, 1966 the Department of Special Collections opened its door for service to the public at 201 Library. As announced in the January 21 issue of CUD, Donald Kunitz has been appointed Head of the Department.” From the July 8, 1966 issue of the Library newsletter titled, CUD.
As part of our celebration we will be highlighting 50 features of Special Collections. Each week we will present a unique feature adding up to 50. Stay tuned for our first post in this series!
Birthday celebration, undated. Image from the Eastman’s Originals Collection.