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California History

Over 100 linear feet of materials from 1850 to the present

Most collections in this subject category chronicle the details of rural family, community, and business life in early California, and the growth and development of the University Farm. The richness of community life is depicted in two large photograph collections – Eastman’s Originals Collection and the Westgate collection – and several manuscript collections. Other materials include journals, letters, typescripts, maps, deeds of trust and property titles, brochures, pamphlets, court records and other records.

Most of the materials are in English. For related materials, see collections under the heading of Agriculture and Animal Science.


  • Anderson Valley Advertiser Archives.

    The Anderson Valley Advertiser (AVA) Archives features correspondence, secondary research, ephemera, photographs, and other materials related to Bruce Anderson, editor of the Anderson Valley Advertiser. The collection features materials related to Earth First!, environmental activist Judi Bari, the Mendocino County School Board, the Wanda Tinasky controversy, and the New Boonville Hotel. The collection also features newspaper clippings from various Bay Area newspapers and magazines, such as the San Francisco Chronicle, and includes back issues of the AVA from 1978-2011. Founded in 1956 by Elizabeth and Steven Malgrem, the Anderson Valley Advertiser operates as a local weekly newspaper in Boonville, California. In 1984, Bruce Anderson purchased the paper and changed its focus, emphasizing environmental and political issues.
  • Bancroft, Philip. Collection.

    Speeches by Phillip Bancroft and printed material about him and his candidacy for United States Senator.
  • Bidinian, L. J. Papers.

    Material about the Old Campus Landfill/University of California, Davis.
  • Boniface, John B. Collection.

    Untitled history of the Central Valley area, covering the late 19th century, concerning agriculture, pioneers, and Native Americans in the area. The Boniface family settled in the Capay Valley in 1893.
  • Bradbury Family Papers

    Personal and legal materials of the Bradbury family as well as business documents and records pertaining to the family's estate and subsidiary companies in both California and in Mexico. Also found in the collection are documents related to various properties prior to their acquisition by the Bradbury Estate Company. Lewis Leonard Bradbury (circa 1823-1892), originally from Bangor, Maine, moved to Rosario, (Sinaloa) Mexico in the early 1860s. He began accumulating shares in the "Tajo" mines, eventually gaining controlling interests in 1873. Around 1883, he acquired Rancho Azusa de Duarte in southern California which is now part of the present-day cities of Duarte and Bradbury (both incorporated in 1957) in Los Angeles County, California. Lewis Bradbury, Junior (circa 1881-1948) assumed control of the family business in 1902, and the Bradbury Estate Company was incorporated in 1904. The Estate Company was dissolved in 1965.
  • Briedenback, William. Collection.

    Manuscript of Reminiscences of E. D. Pierce, discoverer of gold in Idaho, relating the story of Irish immigrants in California.
  • Burnett Family Papers

    The collection contains correspondence related to Lester, his wife Olive, and their son Wellington, as well as other Burnett family members. Also included in the collection are legal and financial documents connected to the family. Lester Burnett (1804-1870) settled in Yuba County, California in 1850. His son Wellington Burnett (1829-1907) served as city and county attorney of San Francisco.
  • California Agricultural Teaching Aid Photograph Collection.

    The collection contains mounted photographs used presumably by the Alameda County Schools Curriculum Materials Center and later by the Hayward Unified School District as a teaching tool. The photographs are related to three subjects: dairy farming, the Delta Mendota Canal Fish Diversion Facility, and cattle ranching in Alameda County.
  • California State Fair Photograph Collection.

    Copy prints and original photographs of California State Fair exhibits, circa 1919-1925.
  • Chan, Rosemary. Papers and photographs

    The collection consists of photographs of family and travels throughout the world and information about the Square and Circle Club of San Francisco. Rosemary Chan, born December 16, 1921 in Suisun, California. She was a teacher, traveler and philanthropist. She was very active in the Square and Circle Club of San Francisco, a Chinese woman's culture.