Department Blog

Special Collections

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.

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!

50 Features of Special Collections: Eastman’s Originals Collection

August 9th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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In celebration of the centennial of Lassen Volcanic National Park which occurs today, we are featuring our Eastman’s Originals Collection, which holds a number of historic images of the park. The Eastman Originals Collection contains photographs, negatives, and postcards for a wide variety of northern California locations and events, including dam construction, logging, mining, food processing, and community buildings and activities from circa 1890-1960.

Jervie Henry Eastman was born on July 20, 1880 in White Cloud, Michigan and moved with his family to northern California in 1886. In 1921, he moved to Susanville and established Eastman & Company as a commercial photography and post card studio. In 1936, Eastman hired Mirl Simmons, a young photographer from Hillsborough, West Virginia, to help with the postcard photography. Later, Eastman and Simmons became partners and the business expanded to provide photographic supplies to southeastern Oregon and studios in Westwood, Weed, and Susanville.

Eastman, who retired from photography in 1959 and sold his share of the business to Simmons, passed away in Susanville on February 11, 1969. Simmons ran the Eastman Studios until 1980, when he retired and sold the business to John and Shirley Castle. The Eastman’s Originals Collection (the historical postcards and negatives) was sold to Anne Fisher in 1982. She managed the collection until her retirement in 1994, when she donated it to UC Davis.

Special Collections has digitized 13,212 negatives in the collection. Those images can be viewed on Calisphere.

Several 16mm films from the collection have recently been digitized through our participation in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP). The films, which are of scenes of Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity Counties, can be viewed here.

Cinder Cone and Butte Lake, Calif, 1938.

Cinder Cone and Butte Lake at Lassen Volcanic National Park (Calif.), 1938.

50 Features of Special Collections: Sanfield Papers and Hunold Collection

July 22nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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As the 31st Sierra Storytelling Festival takes place in Nevada City, California this weekend, we decided to feature two of our collections that are related to the annual event.

An author and phenomenal storyteller,  Steve Sanfield founded the Sierra Storytelling Festival in 1985 and served as its director until his retirement in 2002. He was also the author of more than thirty books, including The Adventures of High John the Conqueror, Bit by Bit, The Great Turtle Drive, and A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry, among others.

The Steve Sanfield Papers contains files related to the Sierra Storytelling Festival, as well as personal journals, manuscripts, correspondence, publications, audio tapes, and ephemera relating to his life and career.

In 1988, photographer Ray Hunold accompanied his wife, Bernice, to the Sierra Storytelling Festival where they met Sanfield. When a hired photographer did not show up, Ray Hunold was asked to step in and shoot photographs for the Festival’s files. He then became the official photographer for the Sierra Storytelling Festival from 1988 through 2002. He also served as the photographer for the National Festival of Storytelling in Jonesboro, Tennessee.

The Raymond Hunold Photograph Collection contains over 70,000 images documenting the resurgence of storytelling in the United States as an art form.  Another aspect of the collection is his work as a nature and travel photographer which includes subjects such as San Francisco city scenes, western flora and fauna, Native American sites, and national parks and monuments.

You can find out more about the Hunold Collection via the web exhibit here.

 

Steve Sanfield, director, surrounded by his storytellers, by Ray Hunold.

Steve Sanfield, director, surrounded by his storytellers, by Ray Hunold.

Entrance to the outdoor stage, Sierra Storytelling Festival, 1989. Photograph by Ray Hunold.

Entrance to the outdoor stage, Sierra Storytelling Festival, 1989. Photograph by Ray Hunold.

 

National Pancake Day

March 8th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of National Pancake Day today, here is a photograph from the Milton Halberstadt Papers.

Seven pancakes in a round cast iron pan, undated.

Seven pancakes in a round cast iron pan, undated.

 

PPIE Centennial: C.F. Sauer Company’s exhibit

September 11th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Here is this week’s post in our Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) centennial series. This image is from our Panama-Pacific International Exposition Collection.

C.F. Sauer Company's exhibit in the Food Building at the PPIE, 1915.

C.F. Sauer Company’s exhibit in the Food Building at the PPIE, 1915.

Travel Tuesday: Yuba Pass

September 8th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

The last feature in our Travel Tuesday series takes us to Yuba Pass, California. The image below,  from our Eastman Originals Collection, was taken in 1941.

"Camp Pioneer Lodge" on the Yuba Pass, Calif., 1941.

“Camp Pioneer Lodge” on the Yuba Pass, Calif., 1941.

PPIE Centennial: The Zone

September 4th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Here is this week’s post in our Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) centennial series. This image is from our Panama Pacific International Exposition Collection.

Street scene in the Zone at the PPIE, 1915.

Street scene in the Zone at the PPIE, 1915.

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.

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Travel Tuesday: Yreka

September 1st, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

This week’s feature in our Travel Tuesday series takes us to Yreka, California. The image below,  from our Eastman Originals Collection, was taken in 1941.

"Yreka Inn" Yreka, Calif., 1941.

“Yreka Inn” Yreka, Calif., 1941.