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Special Collections

50 Features of Special Collections: Final Feature


It is with great enthusiasm that UC Davis Special Collections celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2016/2017. The Department was established in 1966 to house the library’s rare and unique collections. Holdings consist of over 183,000 rare books and pamphlets, 17,200 linear feet of manuscript collections and University archives and over 2 million historical photographs. The Map Collection joined the department in 2014 and contains over 400,000 maps and aerial photographs with an emphasis on the Central Valley.

Langstroth beehive box structure and colophon

In honor of our 50th year we acquired the artist book Hive: Poems designed by artist Linda Broadfoot and containing nine poems from The Bees: Poems by Carol Ann Duffy. Hive is in the form of a half-scale replica of a Langstroth hive, invented in the 1850s, which allowed the beekeeper to look inside the hive without destroying the bees, their honeycomb or their young. Each “page” is a wooden slat modeled after the ten brood-and honey frames that hang inside the hive box. Each “page” holds a poem and images of bees in flight. Each wooden “page” can be removed and inspected. The work, which will be of interest to our Art Design students and fun for our apiculture students, is number 7 of an edition of 30. Because of the importance of our apiculture collections and the UC Davis role in trying to save the honey bee, we thought this would be a good anniversary purchase.


The staff celebrated throughout the year by creating 50 blog posts to highlight some of the special treasures and collections found in the department. This post represents our 50th and final post of the project. These were staff selected and represent highlights of just a few of our wonderful treasures.

Capping off our celebration is an exhibit in the lobby of the library prepared by Sara Gunasekara, Public Services and Archives Specialist called “Striking Gold: Research in Special Collections”. Featured are some of the books, scholarly articles, films, and other publications that have made use of the Special Collections resources over the years.





Archives and Special Collections


50 for our 50th Artists' Books Collections Exhibits Rare Books Research Special Collections