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

 

 

 

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!

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From the February 2, 1916 Weekly Agricola

May is Bike Month

May 5th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of May is Bike Month, here is an  image from the University Archives Photograph Collection.
Here is a recap of previous posts that we have done on some of our collections that focus on bicycles and bicycling.

The William Clauson Cycling Collection contains bicycling books, journals, trade publications and directories, racing programs, rule books, posters, comics and other materials relating to bicycling.

The Matthew Sarna-Wojcicki Collection contains periodicals that focus on bicycles and cycling. Titles include: Velo-News, Winning, Berkeley Bike Club Newsletter/Pneusletter, Cycle, Cycling USA, NCNCA (Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association) Newsletter, and NORBA News: official publication of the National Off-Road Bicycle Association.

Dale Lott (1933-2004), Professor of Psychology and Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, worked on the design of bicycle paths in Davis. His Papers contain some materials related to the usage, design, and evaluation of bicycle lanes, as well as 35mm slides of bicycle lanes.

Our University Archives Photographs contain images of bicycles and bicyclists on campus.

Print  Image caption: Bicycles outside of Roessler Hall, undated.

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.

Then & Now

February 4th, 2015 by Sara Gunasekara

Our latest Then & Now installment takes us to a place near and dear to us, the Main Reading Room of Shields Library.

The north wing of the Library, which houses the Reading Room, was completed in 1940. Prior to the completion of this building the Library was housed in the Creamery (1908-1915), the Classroom Building (1915-1938), and in temporary quarters in the recreation building behind West Hall (1938-1940).

The north wing which is comprised of 114,857 square feet, cost $265,750 to build and was financed by state appropriations. Designed by Starks & Flanders, the building anchored the south side of the Quad. Originally, the campus administration shared the building with the Library.

Several years after the completion of the building, it was used for purposes other than those of a Library. During the fall of 1942 the U.S. Army negotiated with university President Robert Sproul for the use of the Davis campus as a military training school. On January 1, 1943 the entire Davis campus was officially converted into a training facility for the Western Signal Corps School (WSCS). The WSCS, administered as a subunit of Camp Kohler by Lt. Col. E.A. Allen, 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 historic image below shows the radio school students in the Reading Room of the Library. In October 1944 the WSCS closed, having trained a total of about 1,800 men for active duty during the 22 months that the campus was under the jurisdiction of the Army.

As the Library’s collections grew, subsequent additions were made to the original building including: the East wing (1963), South wing (1967), and West wing (1990).

You can find additional information about the history of the Library here.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the completion of the north wing of the Shields Library building. Be sure to watch the Library’s Facebook page for posts highlighting this anniversary and the history of the Library.

Captions for the historical photographs below:

Radio school students in the Reading Room of the Library, circa 1943-1944

Main Reading Room, Shields Library, circa 1981

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On This Day: October 24, 1922

October 24th, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s post in the On This Day series features the October 24, 1922 dedication of the Dairy Industry and Horticulture Buildings. Both buildings were designed by architect William C. Hays and financed through state appropriations.

The Horticulture Building, located near the present day site of Wellman Hall, housed the Botany, Pomology, and Viticulture Departments.

The Dairy Industry Building, located at the present day site of the School of Education building, contained a creamery and administrative offices. On October 26, 1963, the Dairy Industry Building was named for Chester Roadhouse (1881-1969), Professor of Dairy Science.

Built of masonry and stucco rather than wood, both buildings were considered the first two “permanent” structures on campus. However, both were razed in the 1960s.

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Roadhouse Hall (Dairy Industry Building), 1951

Roadhouse Hall (Dairy Industry Building), 1951

 Horticulture Building, 1922

Horticulture Building, 1922

 

On This Day: October 23, 1959

October 23rd, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

Today’s feature in our On This Day series takes us back fifty-five years to October 23, 1959 and the inauguration of Emil Mrak as the second Chancellor of UC Davis. Mrak’s appointment as Chancellor began on July 1, 1959 following the retirement of Chancellor Stanley Freeborn and the official inauguration ceremonies followed several months later in October.

Some 1500 University students, faculty, community members, and delegates from 42 other California colleges and universities attended the inauguration ceremony which took place in the Sunken Garden (now the site of the courtyard of Shields Library). University of California President Clark Kerr conducted the ceremony which included a speech by President Conrad A. Elvehjem of the University of Wisconsin. As part of the ceremony, honorary degrees were presented to Elvehjem and food engineer David Peebles.

Mrak (1901-1987) was appointed as an instructor in Food Technology in 1937 at UC Berkeley. He became Professor and Department Chairman in 1948, and in 1951 transferred with most of his staff to the UC Davis campus to reorganize and expand the Department of Food Science and Technology here.

Mrak served as Chancellor during a time of unprecedented growth for the campus. When he became Chancellor, UC Davis had approximately 2,000 undergraduates and more than 600 graduate students. By 1967, student enrollment was over 10,000. During Mrak’s tenure the following campus units were established: Graduate Division (1961), College of Engineering (1962), National Center for Primate Biology (now the California National Primate Research Center) (1962), School of Law (1964), Crocker Nuclear Laboratory (1965), and the School of Medicine (1966).

Mrak retired as Chancellor in 1969 and was succeeded by James Meyer.

 

President Clark Kerr of the University of California grips the hands of Chancellor Emil M. Mrak, right, and Vice-Chancellor Everett Carter at the conclusion of inaugural ceremonies in the Sunken Garden of the Davis campus, 1959 October 23.

President Clark Kerr of the University of California grips the hands of Chancellor Emil M. Mrak, right, and Vice-Chancellor Everett Carter at the conclusion of inaugural ceremonies in the Sunken Garden of the Davis campus, 1959 October 23.

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.

Then & Now

June 26th, 2014 by Sara Gunasekara

Our latest installment in the Then & Now series brings us back to Shields Library, specifically to the Circulation Desk. The “then” photo was taken in 1979 when the Loan Desk (as it was then known) and the main entrance were located in the East Wing of the building. When the West Wing was completed, the Circulation Desk  and the main entrance moved to their present locations. In 2008, the Interlibrary Loan service desk was merged with the main Circulation Desk.

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