Department Blog

Special Collections

On This Day: February 2, 1916

February 2nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post takes us back one hundred years to February 2, 1916 when the article, “Beautiful Snow Again In Davis,” ran in the Weekly Agricola.

The snow, which fell off and on during Thursday, January 27, 1916, remained on the ground until late the next day. As the article notes, the weather provided the students with the ammunition necessary for a snowball fight to take place between the residents of the North, South, and West Hall dormitories.

1916 wasn’t the only time that Davis has seen snow. Another storm in 1973 was captured in this image from our University Archives Photograph Collection.

Here’s hoping we see snow in Davis again!


From the February 2, 1916 Weekly Agricola

Third group of materials digitized by CAVPP now online

October 8th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

We are excited to announce that the next group of audiovisual materials digitized through our participation in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) are now online at the Internet Archive. The recordings include a panoramic view of the UC Davis campus from nearly sixty years ago, early footage of the UC Blackwelder tomato harvester, and audio recordings from a number of the UC Davis oral history interviews that were conducted with faculty and community members in the 1970s.

Here is the list of items with links to the digitized versions:


Audiovisual Collection

Panoramic View of the UC Davis Campus


Roy Bainer Papers

Windrow Loader at George Wilson’s Place, Clarksburg, Calif.


Blackwelder Manufacturing Company Records

Almond Harvest

Fordson Cultivator

Harvesting Operation with the University of California; Johnson, Hume, FMC

UC Blackwelder Tomato Harvester


UC Davis Oral History Office Records

The College Cowboy–Reuben Albaugh: Interviews

The Engineering of Abundance: An Oral History Memoir of Roy Bainer

Adventurer in Animal Science–Harold H. Cole: Interviews

Earl Coke Oral History: Reminiscences on people and change in California Agriculture

Chemical Weed Control Researcher, Alden S. Crafts

James P. Fairbank: Engineer on the Land

An Old Professor Ruminates: Interviews With Max Kleiber

William J. “Bill” Kuhrt, Dean of California Marketing Programs

Ben A. Madson, Pioneer in Agricultural Education

John O. Rowe:  Johnnie Shorthorn: Interviews

The World is My Campus: Interviews with Knowles A. Ryerson

Henry Schacht and the Art of Agricultural Communication: Interviews

Bernie Sisk in the House: An Oral History

An Heir To a Land Grant: Julius Trescony

C. John Tupper

Henry A. Weinland:  Recollections of Forty Years Work with California Farmers as County Farm Advisor


From Interviews With Persons Involved in the Development of the Mechanical Tomato Harvester:

Gordie C. Hanna

Coby Lorenzen

Eugene Winters

Mel Zoble

From Selected Recollections of the Founding & Early Years of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine:

Ronald Bolstad

Donald R. Cordy

Donald E. Jasper

Logan M. Julian

Stewart H. Madin

Margaret Meyer & Paul D. DeLay

Happy 100th Birthday to the California Aggie newspaper!

September 29th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

On this day in 1915, publication of the Weekly Agricola, a four page student newspaper, began. Renamed the University Farm Agricola in 1916, the paper became the California Aggie in November 1922.

Happy 100th Birthday, California Aggie!






Gerome says “Welcome Aggies!”

September 24th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

On this, the first day of instruction of the fall quarter, Gerome says Welcome Aggies! This week he presents the publication titled, Welcome Aggies which served as an orientation handbook for new students. Published during the 1950s-1960s, it contained information about orientation week, housing, traditional activities, ASUCD, campus publications, musical organizations, sports, songs and yells, the Library, as well as traffic rules.




Paul Stumpf Slides of UC Davis now online

September 2nd, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

We’re pleased to announce that the Paul K. Stumpf Slides of the University of California, Davis and the City of Davis are now online. Paul K. Stumpf (1919-2007) served as Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California, Davis from 1959-1984. While serving as a member of the Campus Building Committee during the 1960s, he photographed construction of various buildings on campus. These slides are part of a slide show that Stumpf assembled in 1990 to illustrate the “then and now” images of the University of California, Davis campus. Several images of the city of Davis are also found in the collection.

You can view the images via the finding aid on the Online Archive of California and via Calisphere.

Here is one of the images from the collection. Can you identify the location? We’ll give you a hint: this building is currently in a similar state today.


Gerome learns about the Memorial Union

May 22nd, 2015 by Jenny Hodge

MU 2


While many college campuses have a Student Union, here at UCDavis we have a Memorial Union which stands as a memorial to Aggies who lost their lives in the service of their country. With Memorial Day coming up Gerome decided to explore the UC Davis publications, which are part of the University Archives. He discovered a pamphlet from the dedication ceremony for the Memorial Union in October of 1955. The original building served many purposes but the focal point was in the student lounge area where the mosaic fireplace held the memorial plaque listing 112 Gold Star Aggies. The Memorial Union continues to grow, providing many services to the students, faculty, staff and alumni. However, throughout the renovations and changes the Memorial Union remains a tribute to our fallen Aggies, which now number 135.


On This Day: May 4, 1965

May 4th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post takes us to the May 4, 1965 dedication of the Carolee Shields Garden in the UC Davis Arboretum. Carolee Shields (1876-1971), was an avid gardener and wife of Peter J. Shields, a Sacramento Superior Court judge who wrote the legislation that led to the establishment of the University Farm (now UC Davis). The dedication program included remarks by Chancellor Emil Mrak, Judge MacBride, and Knowles Ryerson. The nearby Peter J. Shields Oak Grove was dedicated three years earlier at the 1962 Charter Day ceremonies.

The Shields Garden features a collection of all white flowering plants and shrubs. A large gazebo, added in 1966, has become a popular spot for gatherings and weddings.

 Dedication of the Carolee Shields Garden in the Arboretum, Knowles Ryerson at podium, Chancellor Emil Mrak, right, 1965 May 4.

Dedication of the Carolee Shields Garden in the Arboretum, Knowles Ryerson at podium, Chancellor Emil Mrak, right, 1965 May 4.

Dedication of the Carolee Shields Garden in the Arboretum, in the foreground is the the rock which holds the plaque marking the site of Shields Grove., 1965 May 4.

Dedication of the Carolee Shields Garden in the Arboretum, in the foreground is the the rock which holds the plaque marking the site of Shields Grove., 1965 May 4.

On This Day: April 20, 1990

April 20th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the UC Davis Principles of Community. More information about the history of the Principles of Community can be found on the Office of Campus Community Relations website here.

The photo below, from the Strategic Communication Records, ran in the April 27, 1990 issue of Dateline. The caption reads: “The Principles of Community” document was ceremoniously signed last week by Chancellor Theodore L. Hullar and representatives from five of the six constituent organizations that govern UC Davis. Noting that the document was a group product, Hullar said “We did this together – that’s what community is. Everything we believe about our campus can fit within these principles.” Signers in this photo included clockwise from left seated: Jane Kimball, chair of the Academic Staff Organization; Charles Nash, chair of the Academic Senate; Hullar; Steven Johns, president of the Associated Students of UC Davis; Pierre duVair, chair of the Graduate Student Association; and Davis Heller, chair of the UC Davis Staff Assembly. Margaret Hayes, who represented the sixth constituency as chair of the UC Davis Medical Center Staff Assembly, was on vacation Friday but signed the document this week to complete the signatures.


Davis Enterprise article: Psychedelic rock posters recall 1960s concerts

April 17th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

This article in today’s Davis Enterprise mentions the Thomas Morris posters that we hold in Special Collections as part of the Counter Culture Poster Collection. Stop by Special Collections if you’d like to see the beautiful posters in person.



On This Day: April 9, 1938

April 9th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s feature in our On This Day series takes us to the April 9, 1938 dedication of the Gymnasium and Swimming Pool. President Robert G. Sproul presided over the dedication ceremony which included a speech, Athletics and the Well Rounded Man, by Peter J. Shields.

The concrete building, designed by William C. Hays, replaced the old Recreation Hall and provided the campus with the first swimming pool. Basketball games were held here until the new Recreation Hall was built in 1977. On May 20, 1972 the building was named for Vernard B. Hickey (1900-1988). Hickey served as Football Coach from 1937-1948 and Athletic Director from 1961 until his retirement in 1967. He also coached baseball, basketball, water polo, swimming, and golf.