Department Blog

Special Collections

50 Features of Special Collections: Early Oil Fields of Kern County, California

January 25th, 2017 by Dawn Collings

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Beginning in 1864, tar was mined in open pits for asphalt and kerosene in the Kern County region.  After the discovery of the Shamrock Gusher at the McKittrick Oil Field in 1896, oil wells began to replace tar mining as the predominant form of energy harvesting in California.

 

 

The Midway Gusher at the Midway Oil Field blew in 1909 and was followed shortly thereafter by the Lakeview Gusher on March 14th, 1910. To date, the Lakeview Gusher remains the largest gusher to have erupted in the United States and is immortalized as California Historical Landmark 485.

 

 

All of the oil fields showcased in the maps above are still in active use, although the Midway Oil Field shown here in this 1905 map is now part of the larger Midway-Sunset Oil Field. The 2015 Report of California Oil and Gas Production Statistics published by the California Department of Conservation gives detailed statistics regarding how many barrels of oil were produced by each field in 2015:

  • Kern River: 25,693,327 barrels
  • McKittrick: 3,334,448 barrels
  • Midway-Sunset: 28,184,793 barrels

Further examination of the report reveals that the Kern River and Midway-Sunset oil fields were the top two California oil fields in 2015, followed in third place by the South Belridge Oil Field, which produced 22,901,979 barrels. Together, the Kern River and Midway-Sunset oil fields accounted for approximately 26.7% of the state’s 201,711,080 barrel total, lending credence to the claim that these historic fields are still a critical part of California’s natural resource industry today.

For more information on the history of oil in Kern County please visit these websites:

http://www.sjvgeology.org/history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kern_River_Oil_Field

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midway-Sunset_Oil_Field

 

Resources:

California Department of Conservation, 2015 Report of California Oil and Gas Production Statistics, April, 2015,  ftp://ftp.consrv.ca.gov/pub/oil/annual_reports/2015/PR03_2015.pdf. Accessed 25 Jan. 2017

California. Office of Historic Preservation. California Historical Landmarks. 11th Ed.]. ed. Sacramento: Office of Historic Preservation, Dept. of Parks and Recreation, 1990. Print.

Prutzman, Paul W. [Kern County Oil Fields]. Sacramento, CA?: State Mining Bureau, 1905. Print.  (MAP G4361.H8 1905 .C21)

Post created by Dawn Collings & Kristoffer Landes

50 Features of Special Collections: Interaction of Color by Josef Albers

January 20th, 2017 by Jenny Hodge

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Frequently requested by Design and Art classes, Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color is an oft-used instruction piece held in Special Collections and is this week’s highlight for our 50 Features of Special Collections series.
Color is not static. It is constantly in flux due to the perceptions and context that surround its presentation:

The book “Interaction of Color” is a record of an experimental way of studying color and of teaching color. In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is–as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art. In order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually. To this end, the beginning is not a study of color systems. (1)

Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color is a large oversized portofolio, which includes introductions to over 20 color exercises, plates of sample studies and commentary on each plate. The initial text explains the exercise and presents an illustration of the way color was investigated. The plates are done within each exercise and present subtle relationships and presentations of color. The 80 folders of sample study plates visualize the ideas presented in each exercise. They reproduce the illusions and perceptions created by color interactions. These sample studies are the highlight of the book as they offer hands-on practice in the art of seeing. The point of the book is not to provide an answer to what color is but to provide a framework to aid in the study of color.

Below are two samples for Exercise IV- 1 Color looks Like 2

Plate IV-1 (b) yellow and blue flap down

Note the color of the square on the right and that it is actually equal to the square on the left.

Plate IV-1 (b) yellow and blue flap up

 

Plate IV-4 (b)

Note that the inner smaller violets are in fact alike as the ends of the same rectangle.

Plate IV-4 (b)

In 2013 for the 50th anniversary, a digital version was created as an App for the iPad. More information on Josef Albers and his work can be found on the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation website.

Works consulted:

  1. Albers, Josef. Interaction of Color. New Haven: Yale UP, 1963. Print.

 

New exhibit: Davis 1917-2017: Celebrating 100 Years of Community

January 18th, 2017 by Sara Gunasekara

Special Collections is pleased to announce our latest exhibit, Davis 1917-2017: Celebrating 100 Years of Community. The exhibit, which is located in the display cases in front of Special Collections, can be viewed anytime that Shields Library is open.

2017 marks the centennial of the incorporation of Davis, California as a city. In this exhibition, 100 years of Davis history come to life through photographs, newspaper clippings and other archival materials from Special Collections.

You’ll learn about some of the people and stories that shaped the city of Davis, including:

Jerome C. Davis, a stock farm owner for whose family the city is named.

The disastrous fire that destroyed the downtown business district and brought attention to the need for city services.

The evolution of Davis real estate, from when you could buy a $9,250 home in Oeste Manor in 1950 to a community site map for the Cannery, which is still being built today.

The display draws from more than 15 separate collections, ranging from professional and personal photographs to the institutional archives of the Sacramento Union newspaper and UC Davis.

The collections include:

Alfred F. Smith Papers – Materials related to the 300-acre Stonegate development, designed and developed by Alfred Smith.

California Collection – Contains nearly 3,000 pamphlets, brochures, and flyers from various California cities and counties documenting events which played a role in the formation of the West.

City of Davis Collection – Records describing local politics, city administration, business activity, and more.

Davis Boy Scout Troop No. 1 Photographs – Featuring the troop during scout meetings, events, and construction of the Boy Scout cabin circa 1922-1927.

Davis Food Co-op Collection – This small collection includes brochures, fliers, and materials related to cooperatives and small farms.

Eastman’s Originals Collections – Photographs, negatives, and postcards of Northern California events such as dam construction, logging, mining, food processing, and community activities.

Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm – Photographs and memorabilia collected by Harry Hazen, a student who studied at the University Farm (now UC Davis) from 1916-1918.

Institute of Government Affairs Collection – Clippings about Davis/Yolo County, Sacramento City/County, and the California State Government.

John Lofland Papers – Research materials on demonstrations in or near the California State Capitol building in 1977 for two of his books. Also included are materials relating to the formation of the sister city relationship between the City of Davis and the Ukrainian city of Uman.

Julie Partansky Papers – Reports, memos, clippings, and correspondence created during Partansky’s terms as Davis City Council member and Mayor.

Map Collection, Aerial photographs – Extensive collection of aerial photography for the Central Valley of California with special emphasis on the immediate area, i.e. Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Counties, California.

Norman Riley Photographs – Negatives and silver gelatin prints of scenes in the Davis and Sacramento areas.

Pierce Family Papers – George Pierce Jr. was the foremost advocate of Davis as the location for the University Farm (now UC Davis). Items include diaries, photographs, business records, travel guides, and more.

Robert Laben Papers – Materials related to the campus dairy herd and dairy operations as well as Laben’s personal photographs of the local area.

Sacramento Union Records – Archives of the Sacramento Union newspaper, which was the oldest daily newspaper west of the Mississippi until it closed its doors in 1994.

University Archives Photographs – A visual record of the history of UC Davis, including images of campus grounds, staff, annual events, classrooms, student clubs, and sporting events.

Every Tuesday through June, we will share another archival item about Davis history — using the hashtag #DavisCA100. Look for them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or use the same hashtag to share your own memories.

If you have materials related to the history of Davis that you would like to donate to Special Collections, please send an email to SpecColl@ucdavis.edu.

Exhibit visitors are welcome to take home a free souvenir postcard that depicts what downtown Davis looked like in 1945.

50 Features of Special Collections: Chinese Cookery in the U.S.

January 13th, 2017 by Christine Cheng

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Special Collections holds one of the largest English language Chinese cookbooks collection in the U.S. – second to Stony Brook University’s Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection. The collection at UC Davis, established in 1991, of over 1,100 books was donated by Gardner Pond and Peter Hertzmann. Pond from Santa Cruz and Hertzmann from Palo Alto met while working as docents for Chinatown walking tours in San Francisco.

The reason Pond began gathering cookbooks was to answer tourists’ questions while Hertzmann collected them during his travels. Pond selected UC Davis as the home for his collection due to the fact that one of his favorite authors of Chinese cooking, Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook fame, graduated from Davis in 1977 with a master’s in food science (his thesis was about rice). Hertzmann donated his cookbooks to Davis at Pond’s suggestion.

The oldest cookbook in the Chinese Cookbook Collection is from 1901 and the most recent is from the early 2000s. The collection offers a way to study the history of Chinese cuisine and how it has evolved since Chinese workers provided a significant source of labor in 1849 during the time of the Gold Rush and railroad construction. Interest in Chinese food and culture developed after Nixon’s historic visit to the People’s Republic of China in 1972. Previously in the 1970s, it was difficult – if not impossible – to find bean sprouts to add to Chinese dishes since they were mainly available canned rather than fresh in grocery stores.

Chinese cuisine did not gain popularity until the 1980s, so the cookbooks from our collection published in the earlier part of the 20th century do not contain the familiar type of dishes found in Chinese American food today, such as Mongolian Beef and General Tso’s Chicken (there are plenty of chop suey recipes though!). According to Dr. Newman, more authentic Chinese recipes did not start appearing in Chinese cookbooks until around 1940. The recipes in cookbooks published before 1920 contained much simpler recipes. What follows is a recipe for pepper steak from a booklet published in 1924:

PEPPER STEAK

Beef tenderloin, 1 cup

Green pepper, 1 cup

Slice meat about 1/8 inch and cut into one inch squares. Slice green pepper same size as meat. Fry meat, to which add a pinch of salt, in a well greased pan not more than a minute; add green pepper and ½ cup of water or meat stock in which are dissolved ½ teaspoon cornstarch, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon chop suey sauce, 4 drops sesame oil; stir thoroughly in all together, let simmer a minute, then serve with hot rice.

How Long Chinese Chop Suey Cook Book

 

Here’s a recipe for one of this blog post’s author’s favorite Chinese dishes, mapo tofu:

Szechuan Dishes to Be Demonstrated: Western series A

Mapo Tofu from SimonQ on flickr.

Works consulted:

How Long & Co. How Long Chinese Chop Suey Cook Book. New York: How Long & Co., 1924.

Szechuan Dishes to be Demonstrated: Western series A.

Jung, Carolyn. “Department of Chinese Cooking: Huge UC-Davis Cookbook collection offers a Feast of Cooking Lore.” San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, CA), Oct. 23, 2002.