Department Blog

Special Collections

Exhibit for April: Diamond Jubilee of the Shields Library Building: 1940-2015

March 28th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

The year 2015 marked 75 years since the building, now known as the Peter J. Shields Library, opened.

Now through April 2016, Special Collections presents an expanded version of our previous exhibit, Diamond Jubilee of the Shields Library Building: 1940-2015. The exhibit, located in the cases in front of Special Collections, features highlights of the main library building drawing on materials from several University Archives collections including the University Archives Photographs.

Do you know which Sacramento buildings were designed by the same architects as the north wing of the Library? What happened to the Library during World War II? How long was the construction of the west wing? Stop by the exhibit to find out the answers to these questions and more!

North wing of the Library, circa 1940

North wing of the Library, circa 1940


On This Day: Planting the Centennial Tree on March 28, 1968

March 28th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post take us to March 28, 1968 and the dedication of the centennial tree. In the image below from the University Archives Photographs, Chancellor Emil Mrak and Vera Mrak planted a magnolia tree at Howard Way and Russell Boulevard to commemorate the centennial of the founding of the University of California and the 63rd anniversary of the act of the Legislature establishing the University Farm.

Planting the centennial tree, March 28, 1968

Planting the centennial tree, March 28, 1968




New online exhibit: Celebrating A Century of the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department

March 10th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

The Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department celebrated its centennial with a gala dinner held at Shields Library on October 3, 2015. As part of the celebration, Special Collections created an exhibit with highlights from the department’s first century. That exhibit is now presented online.

Agricultural Engineering class in Irrigation Machinery lab, undated.

Agricultural Engineering class in Irrigation Machinery lab, undated.


On This Day: From the March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola

March 8th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s On This Day post features an article from the March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola newspaper which announced the formation of a Fire Department for the University Farm.

You can find more information about the history of the UC Davis Fire Department on their website.


March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola

March 8, 1916 Weekly Agricola

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.