Department Blog

Special Collections

New website features historical information about campus buildings

July 9th, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

We’re frequently asked, “Where do I find historical information about UC Davis campus buildings?” To help answer that question, we’ve created a new website that contains such information. The page has entries for many, but not all, campus buildings. The entry for each building includes the following: date completed, building materials, cost, financing, architect, dedication, history, and an image. During the coming year we’re hoping to include information about additional campus buildings.

You can view the new page here.

East Hall, circa 1918.

East Hall, circa 1918.

On This Day: July 2, 1973

July 2nd, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

Today, we’re launching a new series on our blog, On This Day. The series will highlight campus events that happened “on this day” in history.

Our inaugural post features the Transfer Ceremony for the Sacramento Medical Center of the University of California, Davis on July 2, 1973. The Sacramento Medical Center, founded in 1852 as the Sacramento County Hospital, became a community hospital in 1966. That same year the UC Davis School of Medicine was founded. To meet immediate needs for a clinical teaching facility, the university signed an agreement with Sacramento County for the temporary use of its hospital, which was officially renamed the Sacramento Medical Center (SMC) in 1968.

In 1973 UC Davis officially acquired the SMC and the July 2 ceremony celebrated the transfer. On July 1, 1978 the hospital officially became known as the University of California, Davis Medical Center (UCDMC).

Stay tuned for our next installment of On This Day.

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Happy 100th Birthday, Cooperative Extension!

May 8th, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

May 8, 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, the legislation that formally established the Cooperative Extension Service as the outreach arm  of land-grant universities. Visit the University of California Cooperative Extension website for more information about their history.

Below is an image from our University Archives Photograph Collection.

Agricultural Extension Service truck used to convey tools and equipment from one tractor, farm, or water supply school to another, undated.

Agricultural Extension Service truck used to convey tools and equipment from one tractor, farm, or water supply school to another, undated.

Then & Now

February 3rd, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s installment of Then & Now is a place near and dear to us. Any ideas where this spot is located? If you guessed the Shields Library courtyard, you would be correct!

The historic image of the courtyard is undated. However, a few clues in the photo can help us narrow down the date to between 1964-1967. The Library’s East Wing, pictured, was added in 1964. The Library’s South Wing, not seen here, was completed in 1967.

Both the historic and present day views capture the turkey oak in the courtyard.

Here’s a fun fact about the courtyard. Did you know that the first commencement held on the Davis campus took place in the Sunken Garden, the present day site of the courtyard?

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Finding Aid Friday: University Archives Photographs

January 31st, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

Are you interested in historic images of the UC Davis campus? If so, you’ll want to know about this week’s Finding Aid Friday feature, the University Archives Photographs Collection. This collection offers a visual record of the history of UC Davis. The collection, which spans the years 1907-1987, contains photographic prints and negatives, and depicts buildings and grounds, faculty and staff, annual events such as Picnic Day, campus events, classes and classrooms, student clubs and activities, departments, and sporting events.

We’ve been working on a project to provide these photographs online. We’re excited to announce that this week we completed the last stage of the project. Now 3377 images in all eleven series in the collection are available online. You can view the online images via the finding aid which is available here.

We’d be interested to hear if the images bring back any campus memories for you. Also, we’d appreciate knowing if you can provide further identification for any of these images.

Aerial view of campus, circa 1941

Aerial view of campus, circa 1941

Then & Now

January 22nd, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

After a short hiatus, our Then & Now series is back. Do you recognize this campus building? Here is a hint: It is the oldest building on campus. This “Stick and Shingle” style building, built in 1907 on what is now the southeast corner of Shields Avenue and East Quad, was first used as the livestock judging barn and an all purpose meeting place.

In the 1930s it was moved to the corner of California Avenue and Hutchison Drive (the present day site of Rock Hall). In 1963, it was moved to Old Davis Road and remodeled and converted into an Elizabethan Theatre. William Shakespeare’s King Richard II was the inaugural performance in the new theatre in December 1963. The building, then renamed the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre, was dedicated to Fred S. Wyatt (1890-1974) whose monetary donation made the movement of the building and its renovation possible. From 1961-1974, Wyatt served as assistant to the Chancellor of UC Davis as a volunteer gifts and endowments officer.

Today, the theatre, which is still located on Old Davis Road, seats 200 people in a three quarter round fashion. It is used by the Music and Theatre and Dance Departments for performances.

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Finding Aid Friday: UC Davis Web Archives

November 22nd, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s installment in our Finding Aid Friday series is a bit different from the collections that we’ve featured previously. This finding aid isn’t for a physical collection but rather for an entirely digital web archive.

The UC Davis Web Archives, created using the California Digital Library’s Web Archiving Service (WAS), preserves websites in the entire “ucdavis.edu” domain to document the history of the University’s activities and accomplishments. Special Collections, as the repository for the University Archives, collects records of historical value for the University. Previously, many of these records have been in print form, now much of that information can be found on campus websites. This ongoing project, started in 2011, captures the websites of the University’s administration, schools and colleges, academic departments, administrative units, organized research units, intercollegiate athletics, and student organizations. The finding aid for the UC Davis Web Archives is available here.

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Finding Aid Friday: Boxing Team Reports

November 15th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s feature in our Finding Aid Friday series is the collection of Boxing Team Reports. Did you know that UC Davis once had a Boxing Team? Boxing was one of the most popular sports on campus up through the 1930s. By the late 1950s, interest waned and the campus no longer fielded a team.  This small collection, which spans the years 1929-1956, contains match reports and student manager’s reports.

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Finding Aid Friday: Western Signal Corps School Collection

November 8th, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s feature in our Finding Aid Friday series is the Western Signal Corps School Collection. From 1943-1944, in the midst of World War II, the UC College of Agriculture at Davis (now the University of California, Davis) was closed and converted to a training facility for the Western Signal Corps School (WSCS). The WSCS took over the dormitories, the gymnasium and swimming pool, the judging pavilions and most of the academic buildings. The library became the radio school

The WSCS collection contains the school newsletters, a student guide, commemorative album, farewell menu, as well as several photographs including the one below.

Be sure to check out the Yolo at War series in the  Davis Enterprise this week. The series, which focuses on how World War II affected the Davis community and the region, features two of the photographs from this collection.

 At the end of the WSCS activities, the Army returned the keys of the campus to Controller Ira Smith (right), chief acting university officer, 1944 October 31

At the end of the WSCS activities, the Army returned the keys of the campus to Controller Ira Smith (right), chief acting university officer, 1944 October 31

 

Finding Aid Friday: Campus Songs and Song Books Collection

November 1st, 2013 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s installment of our Finding Aid Friday series is the Campus Songs and Song Books Collection. This small collection contains sheet music and song books for Davis campus songs and University of California songs including: Aggie Fight Song, Big C, California Aggies Hail, Hail to California, and Sons of California. While processing this collection we discovered the campus song, We’re California Aggies.

Can you name the first song written expressly for the Davis campus? If not, the article from 1965 that is found below will give you the answer.

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