Special Collections

Posts by Sara Gunasekara

On This Day: Johnny Cash performed at Folsom Prison

November 8th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

You’ve probably heard Johnny Cash’s famous song, “Folsom Prison Blues,” and may know that Cash performed his live album, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, at the prison in January 1968. But did you know that his first concert at Folsom Prison was 50 years ago today?

On November 8, 1966 (the same day that Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California), Johnny Cash performed at Folsom Prison in front of approximately 1,800 inmates. Although Cash wrote his famous song “Folsom Prison Blues” in 1955, it wasn’t until this 1966 concert that he first stepped foot in Folsom Prison.

According to the November 9, 1966 Sacramento Bee article, “Folsom Inmates Brave Chill for ‘Friend’ Cash,”  the concert also featured the four female singers, Maybelle Carter, June Carter, Helen Carter, and Anita Carter, who were known as the Carter Family. The Statler Brothers, another opening act, provided takeoffs on Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, The Ink Spots, and the McGuire Sisters.

The photographs of the concert, seen below, are from the Sacramento Union Newspaper Archives. Until it closed its doors in 1994, the Sacramento Union was the oldest daily newspaper west of the Mississippi.

 

Johnny Cash performs at Folsom Prison on November 8, 1966. Photograph from the Sacramento Union Archives, D-350

Johnny Cash performs at Folsom Prison on November 8, 1966. Photograph from the Sacramento Union Archives, D-350.

 

Johnny Cash performs with the Carter Family at Folsom Prison on November 8, 1966.  Photograph from the Sacramento Union Archives, D-350

Johnny Cash performs with the Carter Family at Folsom Prison on November 8, 1966. Photograph from the Sacramento Union Archives, D-350.

50 Features of Special Collections: Toby Cole Archives

November 3rd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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This week we are highlighting the Toby Cole Archives as part of our 50 Features of Special Collections series.

Toby Cole was born Marion Cholodenko on January 27, 1916 in Newark, New Jersey. She developed an interest in theatre at an early age, and embarked upon her theatrical career under the auspices of The Workmen’s Circle, a Jewish socialist fraternal organization. From 1938 to 1956, she demonstrated her penchant for socially committed theatre, participating in such groups as The Newark Jack London Club, The Newark Collective Theatre, The New Theatre League School, and the Federal Theatre Project. She also served as assistant to the producer on Broadway productions of Counterattack and Finian’s Rainbow, and as producer for Children’s Holiday Theatre in New York.

Cole established an actor’s agency in 1957, operating from an office in the Sardi Building. Zero Mostel, whom she represented for many years, was her first “star.” With the founding of the Toby Cole Actors and Authors Agency, Cole added playwrights and translators to her clientele. She concentrated on playwrights whose works appealed to the Off-Broadway producers. That is, she promoted plays that she considered high quality and socially/politically relevant, thereby introducing to the U.S. such seminal playwrights as Sam Shepard, Edward Bond, and Simon Gray. She also brought to the New York stage translations of foreign plays by Brecht, Pirandello, and Witkiewicz, among others. Moreover, Cole circulated plays outside of New York and acted as agent for amateur as well as professional rights.

Cole passed away on May 22, 2008.

The Toby Cole Archives consist of materials relating to her activities as a theatrical-literary agent. These materials include books, business records, clippings, correspondence, financial papers, legal documents, photographs, programs, promotional materials, and scripts.

Among numerous scripts are those by Saul Bellow and Sam Shepard. Some of these works are originals, some are unpublished, and some are in several versions. These plays are supported by extensive correspondence discussing them and their production.

Correspondence also reveals Cole’s arrangements with many other playwrights and actors such as William Alfred, John Arden, Eric Bentley, Edward Bond, Bertolt Brecht (estate), Barbara Garson, Simon Gray, Sam Jaffe, Zero Mostel, and Luigi Pirandello (estate), among others.

The collection as a whole offers a remarkable look at the activities of a theatrical agency.

Toby Cole Letterhead

Toby Cole Letterhead

50 Features of Special Collections: Ruth Finney Papers

October 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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This week we are highlighting the Ruth Finney Papers as part of our 50 Features of Special Collections series.

Ruth Finney (1898-1979) grew up in Downieville and Sacramento, California and attended San Jose Normal School where she received a teaching certificate in 1918. After substitute teaching in Sacramento for three months, she resigned to join the staff of the Sacramento Star as a reporter.

In 1922, Finney received statewide recognition for her reporting of the Argonaut Mine disaster in Jackson, California. She was transferred to the San Francisco Daily News and there received national attention for her coverage of President Warren G. Harding’s death at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. As a result, she became the Washington, D.C. correspondent for the four California Scripps-Howard newspapers. During her first years in Washington, Ruth Finney covered the Teapot Dome Oil scandal, monitored the passage of the Boulder Canyon Project Act (which authorized the construction of Hoover Dam and the allocation of its resources), and investigated the corruption in the electric and gas utilities industry, for which she received a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in 1931.

She began writing a weekly column, “Washington Calling,” in 1941, which contained news, political and economic analyses, and forecasts and was distributed to all Scripps-Howard newspapers. She wrote numerous magazine articles and was a member of the Washington Press Club. Though she partially retired in 1965, Finney continued writing her column through 1974.

The Ruth Finney Papers consist of materials related to her career as a newpaper reporter. This includes her correspondence, scrapbooks, diaries, manuscripts, clippings, photographs, research materials, legal documents, and personal mementos.

The diaries, spanning from 1916 to 1952, recount her experiences from age 18 as a student at San Jose Normal School, through her years as a Western correspondent at the Scripps-Howard Washington Alliance. She describes current events as well as reporting assignments, personal relationships, particularly with her mother and Robert S. Allen, and colleagues and acquaintances, most notably California Senator Hiram Johnson, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Included in the manuscripts is a copy of Finney’s unpublished autobiography, Journey from the Star; her unpublished history of Downieville, Rogues and Riches; several unpublished plays; a musical, Now Is the Time; and many short stories. The feature articles appear in both draft and final form, and include her articles about Justice Department espionage agents written in 1927 at the encouragement of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and her articles about the women’s labor force in weapons factories during World War II.

All of the correspondence is incoming and has been divided into three groupings. The first contains letters from Hiram Johnson dating from August 1926 to September 1928, written during the height of the Boulder Dam filibuster. The second contains letters written between September 1944 and July 1945, pertaining to her husband’s (Robert S. Allen) war experiences and subsequent discharge after being wounded. The third group contains letters from editors, readers and politicians spanning the period from July 1917 to April 1978.

More information about Finney and the collection can be found in the finding aid here.

 Ruth Finney in front of the Washington Daily News office, 1933.


Ruth Finney in front of the Washington Daily News office, 1933.

Workshops about Library Space Planning next week

October 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Throughout 2016, the University Library is talking with students, faculty, and researchers about how the Library’s physical space, technology, and services can best meet their needs.

Next week, there are four workshops for you to share your ideas on the future of space in the Library buildings. If you are interested in attending, please register at the link for the specific workshop. The workshops are:

  1. The Library as a Place for Individual and Small-Group Study and Research,  October 24, 2016
  2. The Library as a Partner in Research and Scholarship, October 25, 2016
  3. The Library as a Place for Collaboration, October 25, 2016
  4. The Library as Academic Hub, October 26, 2016
  • Shields Library First-Floor Conference Room
  • Limited to 20 attendees
  • Refreshments served
  • Register at the link for the specific workshop

More information is available here.

Debuting our first gif

October 19th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

We’re excited to debut our first gif with the image below from our Eastman’s Originals Collection.

Up and Over from the Eastman's Originals Collection

Up and Over from the Eastman’s Originals Collection

 

If you’re interested in viewing the original image, you can see it here. Stay tuned as we create more gifs from images from our collection!

Flashback to Pajamarino on October 13, 1916

October 14th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the annual Pajamarino tradition which occurs tonight, here’s a flashback to how the event looked 100 years ago in 1916.

The University Farm Agricola provided the following account of the October 13, 1916 rally:

“As for the rally program itself, it was entertaining, pleasing and hilariously enjoyed by all. Some 400 pajama clad youths paraded through Davis about 8 o’clock, led by yell leaders, Swift, Kydd, and Hazen. They gave rousing cheers for that wonderfully pleasing Davis-University Farm publicity structure, the [Davis] arch, and then listened to a short but characteristically eloquent speech by Attorney F.A. Plant, who explained the true significance of the noble edifice, now almost finished. Then back to the pavilion where many speeches by President Steward and former “Prex” Street of U.C., Prof. Crocheron, Journal Editor Ryerson, Mr. Voorhies, Mr. Titus, and Pres. Heron were heard. Music by the public-spirited 25-piece Davis band, Allan’s good orchestra, etc., following and lastly coming two 3-round boxing matches.”

The poster and photograph from the 1916 event below are from the Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm.

Visit the Cal Aggie Alumni Association website for information about this year’s Pajamarino.

 

Pajamarino, 1916

Pajamarino, 1916

mc275_pajamarino_1916_poster

50 Features of Special Collections: Henry Dart Greene Papers

October 13th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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This week we are highlighting the Henry Dart Greene Papers as part of our 50 Features of Special Collections series.  Henry Dart Greene (1900-1978) was the son of noted architect Henry Mather Greene and his wife Emeline Dart Greene. His professional life spanned several careers: he served as the Executive Manager of the Feather River Project Association; conducted public relations campaigns for the American Fruit and Produce Auction Association; and ran his own film production company.

The Henry Dart Greene Papers contains photographs, motion picture films and a small amount of personal and business papers. The photographs date from 1914 to the late 1960s, and are a mix of personal and professional subjects. Images from Greene’s years at UC Berkeley and of his wife Ruth Haight Greene’s childhood in Sacramento are the earliest ones in the collection. The collection includes photographs from Argentina, where Greene worked with the Argentine Fruit Distributors from 1928 to 1931 and from his public relations work with the American Fruit and Produce Auction Association (AFPAA) from 1933 to 1941.

The collection also contains films made by Greene between 1933 and 1970. The films include footage of Eastern fruit auctions, including New York City and Chicago during the 1930’s; the California State Fair; and films made for the Feather River Project Association. As part of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project, we digitized five of Greene’s films. The films, listed below, can be viewed on the Internet Archive.

 

California Scenes and Other Sites, circa 1933-1934.

Packing fruit in California and Other Scenes, circa 1934-1935.

Sacramento River Association and Nevada County, Calif., 1936.

California Waterama: The Story of the Feather River Project, 1957.

Oroville Dam Site, 1961.

 

You can find out more information about Henry Dart Greene and the collection via the finding aid here.

 Henry D. Greene outside California State Capitol, circa 1925-1928.

Henry D. Greene outside California State Capitol, circa 1925-1928.

Flashback to the tank rush on September 23, 1916

September 23rd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today, we flashback to the tank rush held one hundred years ago on September 23, 1916. The photos of the event below are from the scrapbook in the Harry Hazen Papers.

The tank rush tradition dates back to at least 1913 when a class “fight” took place at the swimming tank. In subsequent years, a tank rush was formalized and the freshmen and upperclassmen battled to push each other into the tank.

The 1917 Farm Rodeo yearbook offers the following description of the 1916 event:

“At the given signal, the Seniors jumped on the Fresh with a loud cry, and for five or ten minutes the action was fast and furious. During this time as many, if not more, upper classmen than Freshmen went into the tank with a loud splash and many bubbles. But soon experience and team work began to show itself.

The upper classmen broke up into bunches of six or seven, and then it was just a procession, the ‘veterans’ carrying the Fresh up one by one and dumping them in.”

In later years, the tank rush tradition evolved into the Frosh-Soph Brawl. At different times, the Brawl, which was held during the first month of classes, consisted of the following events between the freshmen and sophomores: a tug-of-war, obstacle race, jousting, a haystacking contest, and the tank rush.

Stay tuned for our next installment from the Harry Hazen Papers.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Throwback to the University Farm Agricola on September 22, 1916

September 22nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the California Aggie‘s return to a weekly print edition which launched today, here is a throwback to the Weekly Agricola issue from September 22, 1916.

Publication of the Weekly Agricola, a four page student newspaper, began on September 29, 1915.  The September 22, 1916, issue debuted the new title of University Farm Agricola. In November 1992, the newspaper became the California Aggie.

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola

 

50 Features of Special Collections: Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm

September 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

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As today marks the first day of instruction for the 2016 Fall Quarter, we’ve chosen to highlight the collection of Harry Hazen, a student who enrolled at the University Farm (now UC Davis) exactly one hundred years ago in the Fall of 1916.

The Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm document student life during the earliest years of the Davis campus. The collection, which includes a scrapbook of photographs and memorabilia from 1916-1918, the booklet “Harry and I on the University Farm,” Hazen’s 1918 diploma, two family photographs, as well as booklets on apiculture, was donated in April 2016 by Hazen’s granddaughter.

Harry Edward Hazen was born in 1897 in Los Angeles, California to Reverend E.A. and Eleanor Hazen. He attended Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, graduated in 1915, and attended the University of California beginning in the fall of 1916. In 1918, Hazen was awarded his diploma from the University of California Farm, College of Agriculture. He then moved to Modesto, California, and became a commercial beekeeper. In 1920, Hazen married Ethel Thamer Blackburn; their daughter Lorraine was born in 1923. Later that year, the Hazen family returned to Los Angeles, where Harry founded the Hazen Hardwood Flooring Company in North Hollywood. Harry Hazen remained in Los Angeles until his death in 1953.

The photo shown below is found on one of the first pages of the scrapbook. Taken on September 19, 1916 it shows the student body in front of West Hall, a dormitory which was located where the Memorial Union now stands.

Stay tuned throughout the year as we’ll be posting other items from Harry’s scrapbook while we look back at campus one hundred years ago.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.