El Mundo Digital Archive (Puerto Rico): 1919-1990 [Open Access]

I am glad to report that the Center for Research Libraries, in collaboration with Eastview’s Global Press Archive platform, has released the full text of El Mundo newspaper published in Puerto Rico from 1919-1990.

Established in 1919, El Mundo was a well-respected and conservative newspaper hailing from Puerto Rico, widely acknowledged as a prominent news source until its cessation in 1990. The publication diligently aspired to uphold its motto of “Verdad y Justicia” (Truth and Justice). El Mundo extensively covered a range of significant topics, including the industrialization of Puerto Rican society, the impact of the Great Depression, territorial relations with the United States encompassing citizenship, activities of independence movements such as the Macheteros and FALN, the emergence of the Popular Democratic Party, the Ponce massacre, the enactment of the Ley de la Mordaza (Gag Law), and more. In 1986 El Mundo temporarily closed due to a labor strike, which inflicted lasting damage on the newspaper. Despite reopening in January 1988, the publication faced ongoing union difficulties and ceased operations permanently in 1990.

Landing page of El Mundo digital archive on the Global Press Archive. This is an open access resource. Please click on the image to go to the archive.


Oral History Center Celebrates “Graduates”

Spring is a time of year when things begin anew. Flowers bud new petals, days have new length, and college graduates embark on new careers. It’s also a time when we at the Oral History Center celebrate an exciting phase of our narrators’ lives: a new life in our archive, where their story will live on in perpetuity. Not only can a narrator’s loved ones, friends, and colleagues access their interviews for years to come, students, researchers, and scholars can learn something about a time and a place, illuminating an aspect of history they might not have previously considered.

One way the UC Berkeley Oral History Center (OHC) likes to usher in this new phase of a narrator’s life is to have a “graduation” ceremony to honor their participation in the oral history process. Traditionally, we did this in person at the Morrison Library here on UC Berkeley’s campus, but like many things, we’ve had to adjust in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we like to list their names and the projects for which they were interviewed online and in our newsletter so that all those in the OHC’s community can celebrate their contributions with us from near and far. 

Please join us in expressing our appreciation for our latest cohort of narrators, spanning from fall 2021 to spring 2023. We are grateful to have their voices in our collection and their stories a new part of the historical record.

We also want to thank the OHC team—Paul Burnett, David Dunham, Roger Eardley-Pryor, Shanna Farrell, Todd Holmes, Jill Schlessinger, and Amanda Tewes—for their work in making these interviews come to fruition, along with the support from our student employees, who are a valuable part of our process: Max Afifi, Mollie Appel-Turner, Hue Bui, Mina Choi, William Cooke, Georgia Cutter, Nikki Do, Adam Hagen, Jordan Harris, Vivien Huerta-Guimont, Ashley Sangyou Kim, Ricky Noel, Deborah Qu, Mela Seyoum, Lauren Sheehan-Clark, Joe Sison, Erin Vinson, Shannon White, Serena Williams, and Timothy Yue.

Bravo, Oral History Center Class of 2023!

transcripts on shelves

Anchor Brewing Co.

Mark Carpenter

Gordon MacDermott

Fritz Maytag

Linda Rowe


Bay Area Women in Politics

Louise Renne

Ruth Rosen

J.J. Wilson

California Business

Fred Martin 


California Cannabis

Oliver Bates


California State Archives State Government Oral History Program

Wesley Chesbro

Fran Pavley

Lois Wolk 

Bill Lockyer 


Chicana/o Studies

Adele de la Torre 

Ignacio García 


East Bay Regional Park District

Ira Bletz

Ginny Fereira

Neil Havlik

Carol Johnson

Doug McConnell

Ruth Orta

Bethia Stone

Jeff Wilson

Mark Taylor

Mae Torlakson

Tom Torlakson

Will Travis

Nancy Wenninger


Environment/Natural Resources

Mary D. Nichols


Getty Research Institute’s African American Art History Initiative

Marion Epting

Maren Hassinger

Leslie King-Hammond

Thaddeus Mosley

Sylvia Snowden

William T. Williams

Vickie Wilson

Richard Wyatt


Getty Trust

Jerry Podany

Uta Barth

Tobey Moss

Katrin Henkel


Japanese American Intergenerational Narratives

Miko Charbonneau

Bruce Embrey

Hans Goto

Patrick Hayashi

Jean Hibino

Mitchell Higa

Roy Hirabayashi

Carolyn Iyoya Irving

Susan Kitazawa

Naomi Kubota Lee

Ron Kuramoto

Jennifer Mariko Neuwalder

Kimi Maru

Lori Matsumura

Alan Miyatake

Margret Mukai

Ruth Sasaki

Steven Shigeto Sindlinger

Masako Takahashi

Peggy Takahashi

Nancy Ukai

Hanako Wakatsuki-Chong

Rev. Michael Yoshii


Moore Foundation

Edward Penhoet

Kenneth Siebel

James C. Gaither


National Park Conservancy

Greg Moore


Sierra Club

Rhonda Anderson

Bruce Nilles

Verena Owen

Rita Harris


Resources and Planning

Anders Hauge


San Francisco Politics

Norman Yee 


University History

Doris Sloan

Carolyn Merchant 

Randy H. Katz

“Doris Sloan: Geologist, Educator, and Environmental Activist,” oral history release

New oral history: Doris Sloan

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history on living in the Bay Area, on deep time, and on thinking like a geologist:

Doris Sloan is a geologist and paleontologist who earned her PhD at UC Berkeley and who taught, wrote, and engaged in environmental activism and education throughout the Bay Area, across California, and beyond. Sloan and I recorded nine hours of her then 92-year life history at her home in Berkeley, California, in May 2022. Our four recording sessions resulted in a 162-page oral history volume that includes an appendix of photographs with family as well as documents from her efforts in the early 1960s to stop PG&E’s construction of a nuclear power plant atop Bodega Head, under which runs the seismic San Andreas fault. Today, the coastal outcrop of Bodega Head is preserved as part of California’s scenic 17-mile-long Sonoma Coast State Park.

Black and white photograph of Doris Sloan
Doris Sloan in 1963 as the Sonoma County Coordinator of the Northern California Association
to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor (NCAPBHH).

Sloan’s involvement in the “Battle for Bodega Head” helped inspire her later career as a geologist and teacher—a career she began by returning to graduate school as a mother in her early forties with children still at home. Sloan overcame numerous challenges, including gender discrimination in what were then male dominated departments and academic fields, to earn her MS in Geology in 1975 and her PhD in Paleontology in 1981. Her dissertation was an ecostratigraphic thesis on the sedimentary fossils of tiny creatures that once lived the San Francisco Bay. For many years, Sloan taught research-driven senior seminars in Environmental Science at UC Berkeley as well as geology courses for UC Extension. She lectured on travel excursions and field trips around California and across much of the Earth. Sloan became a board member with Save the Bay and a founding member of Citizens for East Shore Parks. In 2006, she published with UC Press the popular California natural history guide, Geology of the San Francisco Region. In her rich oral history, Sloan discussed all of the above, with details on her formative childhood experiences, her environmental and anti-nuclear activism, her experiences as a pathbreaking female geology graduate student at UC Berkeley, as well as her diverse teaching career.

Black and white photo of a Doris Sloan as a child standing in front of three adults, including her father who is who wearing wading boots.
Doris Sloan, age 6 (front center), on a salamander egg collecting trip with father, Viktor Hamburger (right), and two of his graduate students in St. Louis County, Missouri, circa 1936.

Doris Sloan was born in October 1930, in Freiburg, Germany. At age four, she and her family fled Germany after the Nazis removed her father, preeminent embryologist Viktor Hamburger, from the faculty at the University of Freiburg because of his Jewish ancestry. Her family settled in Missouri after her father secured a faculty appointment at Washington University in St. Louis. As a young girl, Sloan accompanied her father and his embryology students on field research trips to collect salamander eggs. She also shared fond memories of youthful summers working in Woods Hole on Cape Cod at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Sloan attended Bryn Mawr College from 1948 to 1951 and began attending Quaker meetings, which she continued throughout much of her life. Upon her mother’s deteriorating health, Sloan returned to St. Louis and graduated in 1952 from Washington University with a BA in Sociology. In that same year Sloan moved to San Francisco, California, with her then-husband, with whom she had four children. In 1957, she and her young family moved to Sonoma County, where she was neighbors with Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz. It was there in Sonoma County where, in the interests of protecting her children from nuclear radiation and preserving the beauty of the Sonoma Coast, that Sloan began her environmental activism that would, among other experiences, inspire her later career as a geologist and teacher.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about her role in the “Battle of Bodega Head, Part 1:

Color image of Doris Sloan standing beside a wooden railing in front of a pond and green plants.
Doris Sloan at the now water-filled “Hole in the Head” on Bodega Head on Mother’s Day in 2022. Photograph by her daughter Christy Sloan.

Sloan detailed her engagements in the multi-year “Battle of Bodega Head” that, in 1964, successfully stopped PG&E’s construction of a nuclear power plant on Bodega Head. After being told by an official from California’s Office of Atomic Energy Development and Radiation Protection to let go of concerns about the forthcoming nuclear plant and “leave it to the experts,” Sloan enlisted in the activist organization called the Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor (NCAPBHH)—a name others created and she described as “dreamt up on a Friday night after too many beers.” In her role as Sonoma County Coordinator of NCAPBHH, Sloan organized an eclectic mix of anti-nuclear citizen activists that included communist chicken farmers, libertarian land owners, conservative cattle ranchers, Bodega fisherman, UC Berkeley professors, Sierra Club members, jazz musicians and songwriters, and an internationally recognized geophysicist and geologist named Pierre Saint-Amand. Fortuitously, on a rainy and wind-swept day, Sloan accompanied Saint-Amand on a clandestine and consequential visit to the “Hole in the Head,” the site on Bodega Head where PG&E had already drilled a deep pit into granite rock to place its nuclear reactor. It was on that visit, while looking into that hole, that Saint-Amand and Sloan discovered evidence of the San Andreas fault running directly through the reactor’s containment site, a discovery that eventually halted further nuclear construction there.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about her role in the “Battle of Bodega Head, Part 2:

Black and white image of Doris Sloan driving a station wagon full of balloons.
Doris Sloan driving with her children and many helium-filled balloons to a NCAPBHH event at Bodega Head on Memorial Day, 1963. (Original film negative slightly damaged.)

As Sloan recalled about their activist victory in the early 1960s, “to have a group of citizens win out over a major institution was really pretty unique. … Bodega was a very important story at the very beginning of a huge cultural shift for not only environmental matters on nuclear energy, but in so many other ways, too. Basically, citizen involvement at every level, from students to housewives. And to be a part of that, I look back on that and think, wow, how could anybody have been so lucky in so many ways?” The story of this citizen-led anti-nuclear activism has been told elsewhere, including in Oral History Center interviews with David Pesonen and Joel Hedgpeth, as well as by nuclear historians J. Samuel Walker and UC Berkeley alumnus Thomas Wellock. Sloan’s storytelling on her personal role in the “Battle of Bodega Head”—like launching over a thousand helium-filled balloons from Bodega Head to the accompaniment of live jazz playing “Blues Over Bodega”—adds both flourish and important details to the eventual successes of NCAPBHH.

Sloan’s involvement at Bodega Head played a crucial role in launching the next phase of her life as a geologist and teacher. After moving with her children to Berkeley in 1963, Sloan worked for the Friends Committee on Legislation, a Quaker lobbying group. Yet, by the early 1970s, Sloan’s long-standing fascination of nature, a desire to experience more of it, and her memory of discovering fault seams on Bodega Head led her to take UC Extension courses on geology taught high up in the Sierra Nevada’s Emigrant Wilderness by a remarkable UC Berkeley professor named Clyde Wahrhaftig. Wahrhaftig eventually became a significant mentor and friend to Sloan on her academic journey, as were UC Berkeley geologists Garniss Curtis and William B.N. (Bill) Berry. In her oral history, Sloan shares many joys from her field research and academic experiences at Berkeley, including mapping rock formations in California’s Mazourka Canyon, communing with ancient bristlecone pines in the White Mountains, learning about limestone deposition in Florida, a fascinating question about an imaginary dinosaur civilization from Walter Alvarez during her PhD oral examination, and her own work deciphering the sedimentary mysteries of fossils from mud under the San Francisco Bay. Sloan also shared some of the challenges she faced in the late 1970s as one of the few women in Berkeley’s geology and paleontology departments that, by her account, then included more than a few male chauvinistic dinosaurs.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about Clyde Wahrhaftig, a UC Berkeley geologist, mentor, and friend:

Color image of Doris Sloan talking to adults who surround her.
Doris Sloan lecturing during a University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) field trip to the Marin Headlands in 2010. Photograph by John Karachewski.

Sloan’s oral history also explores her ensuing years as a teacher, travel guide, author, and environmental activist. Sloan discussed several senior research seminars in Environmental Studies that she taught at UC Berkeley, some records of which are preserved in UC Berkeley’s Library including East Bay Parklands: Planning and Management (1978), Seismic Safety in Berkeley (1979), San Pablo Bay: An Environmental Perspective (1980), and Hazardous Substances: A Community Perspective (1984). Sloan recorded stories and samples from lectures she delivered in her UC Extension geology courses and in her field classes for numerous organizations, including the Oakland Museum, Sierra Club, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association, and the Yosemite Association. And she shared some of her travel experiences as a guide for Cal Alumni groups on journeys all across the Earth, from the Himalayas to Central Asia, and from South America to Scandinavia. Sloan also spoke about her local environmental activism as a board member of Save The Bay, as a founding member of Citizens for East Shore Parks, and on her friendship with Save The Bay co-founder Sylvia McLaughlin, including efforts to secure what is now named as McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.

Doris Sloan’s enlightening oral history records marvelous stories from the first ninety-two years of her remarkable life—from fleeing Nazi Germany to summers in Woods Hole; from raising children in northern California to stopping construction of a nuclear power plant on the San Andreas fault; from graduate school in her forties at UC Berkeley to lecturing across California and much of the world. I am honored to have become one of Doris’s friends, and I’m lucky for the opportunity to become one of her students. Now, with the publication of Doris Sloan’s oral history, you also have the chance to learn from her deep wisdom and experience.

Doris Sloan, “Doris Sloan: Geologist, Educator, and Environmental Activist” conducted by Roger Eardley-Pryor in 2022, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2023.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about the Bay Area’s complicated geology:


The Oral History Center of The Bancroft Library preserves voices of people from all walks of life, with varying political perspectives, national origins, and ethnic backgrounds. We are committed to open access and our oral histories and interpretive materials are available online at no cost to scholars and the public. You can find our oral histories from the search feature on our home page. Search by name, keyword, and several other criteria. Sign up for our monthly newsletter featuring think pieces, new releases, podcasts, Q&As, and everything oral history. Access the most recent articles from our home page or go straight to our blog home.

This week in Summer Reading

Book cover for Enders Game

Ender’s Game
Orson Scott Card

An alien threat leads world leaders to recruit and train child geniuses as military commanders using a series of increasingly complex and morally ambiguous war games. Ender Wiggin’s gradual mastery of each of these games leads him to see beyond the structures imposed by their rules, and confronts readers with challenging questions about the rules of childhood, warfare, and survival.

Assistant Professor
Department of Statistics



Book cover for A Children's Bible

A Children’s Bible
Lydia Millet

In a not-too-distant future America plagued by climate change and government dysfunction, a divide grows between children and parents living together in a rural commune. The children recognize and adapt to a changing world that their myopic parents cannot fully understand, reshaping familial rules and roles.

Assistant Professor
Department of Statistics

This week in Summer Reading

Book cover for Americanah

Americanah: A Novel
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is a novel that follows the story of Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman who moves to the United States to pursue higher education. Her experiences in America allow her to gain firsthand insight into the complexities of racism and discrimination, prompting her to document her ideas on race and identity in a widely-read blog. However, after spending many years in the U.S., she begins to feel a sense of disconnection and a lack of belonging. This leads her to move back to Nigeria, where she seeks to rediscover her roots and reconnect with her cultural identity.

This novel is an excellent example of (Re)Writing the Rules, as it encourages readers to critically evaluate their views on race, identity, and the biases and prejudices they may have.

Intended Molecular and Cell Biology major
Class of 2025


Book cover for Pachinko

Min Jin Lee

Pachinko is a compelling work of fiction that tells the story of a Korean family in Japan from the early 1900s to the 1980s. The novel explores the challenges faced by the family navigating life as Koreans in Japan during a time of political and social unrest. The family’s experiences are shaped by discrimination, poverty, war, and colonialism. Despite these struggles, they draw strength from their community and traditions. This novel fits the theme of (Re)Writing the Rules by exploring narratives of the human experience and challenging stereotypes about minority communities. It is a powerful story that highlights the importance of culture and identity and prompts readers to reflect on their biases and gives them an empathetic and nuanced way of understanding and relating to others.

Intended Molecular and Cell Biology major
Class of 2025

50 Years in San Francisco’s Mission District: The Archives of Acción Latina

Photographic prints and posters from the archives of Acción Latina and El Tecolote newspaper are now available for research at Bancroft Library, with an online finding aid newly published at the Online Archive of California. This is the result of the dedicated work of Isabel Breskin, an intern in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington. Below we have Isabel’s reflections on the collection, along with snapshots of a few photographs encountered while she arranged and described the files. Organizational records and other materials from Acción Latina will be made available in the coming months. -JAE

A Guest Posting by Isabel Breskin

Acción Latina is a community organization based in San Francisco’s Mission District. The roots of the organization’s work go back to 1970, when San Francisco State University journalism professor Juan Gonzalez launched a newspaper with his students. That newspaper, El Tecolote, is still published bimonthly and is now the longest-running bilingual newspaper in the country. In 1982, volunteers from El Tecolote and New College of California staged the first Encuentro del Canto Popular, a festival celebrating Latin American music. The festival became an annual event; the 41st Encuentro was held in December 2022. 

The Acción Latina and El Tecolote Pictorial Archive contains thousands of photographs, hundreds of posters and artists’ prints, as well as negatives, slides, cartoons and other drawings, and digital images. The photographic print collection and the poster and artists’ print collection are now available to researchers. 

The photographs capture all aspects of life in the Mission beginning around 1970 and continuing into the first decade of the 21st century, as people took to the streets to protest and celebrate, as they went to work and school, played music and danced, painted murals and listened to poetry. I found the photographs of protests particularly compelling — and I think researchers will, too. They are both rich in information about the issues and causes of the times, and moving evidence of the passion and belief that stirred people to action.

Here are just a few snapshots I took as I worked to arrange and rehouse the photographs.

As I’ve been working on the collection I’ve been thinking about all the people involved: the many people who have been part of Acción Latina over the decades, who have lived and worked in the Mission District and have contributed to the vibrancy of its community, the photographers and artists who created these materials, and the people who will now turn to the images and learn from them.

We recently had our first researcher come to use the newly available collection. He was interested in Bay Area events related to the politics and culture of Chile. Among the relevant images in the collection is this photograph.

Protest photograph from the Acción Latina archive: woman with sign placard for human rights in Chile

I am struck by the look on this unknown woman’s face – she looks both tragic and absolutely determined. It is meaningful to me that her decision to go out and protest that day is being preserved in the collection, and is being recognized and honored in the work of scholars.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2023

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

This May, celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with our wonderful and diverse collection of works by Asian American and Pacific Islander American authors. Encompassing books penned by Americans with roots from Sri Lanka to India to Hawai’i, with stories of college life, immigrant families, and much more, there are plenty of great novels to pick from. Check out more titles through Overdrive.

This week in Summer Reading

Book cover for The Swimmers

The Swimmers
Julie Otsuka

The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka rewrites the rules of novel-writing – if such rules exist. Hilarious at times, as the narrator assumes the first-person plural “we” from the POV of a diverse group of lap swimmers at a community pool, and poignantly heartbreaking later, as the voice shifts to the second-person “you” in the form of one of the swimmers’ daughters, a Japanese American novelist. Masterfully crafted, this novel delivers – in a slim 176 pages.

College Writing Programs


Book cover for Twenty Five Chickens

Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride
Evangeline Canonizado Buell

In Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride: Growing Up in a Filipino Immigrant Family, Buell recounts her experiences as one of the few Filipino families growing up in West Oakland during the 1930s and ’40s, detailing her and her family’s triumphant struggles over racial and gender discrimination in the Bay Area. This wonderfully written and engaging memoir gives us a firsthand window into Buell’s family life, starting in the early 1920s when her parents immigrated to the United States, into her adult life, two marriages, and numerous achievements, which include helping to co-found the East Bay Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society. In addition to the engaging narrative, Buell welcomes us into her story through a series of family photographs.

Buell was recently interviewed on East Bay Yesterday, a great accompaniment to the book, and the Bancroft Library has an oral history with her, which is part of the Rosie the Riveter World War II American Homefront Oral History Project.

UCB IGS Library Director

Vincent H. Resh: Water, Insects, and Friendships, oral history release

New oral history: Vincent H. Resh

Vince Resh standing before a lake with mountains in the background
Vincent H. Resh in China, circa 2009.

Vincent H. Resh is a world-renowned Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Entomology and an award-winning teacher at UC Berkeley whose decades of humanitarian work, research, and leadership in the Onchocerciasis Control Programme helped protect tens of millions of people from the scourge of river blindness in sub-Saharan West Africa. Resh and I recorded over twenty-eight hours of his oral history over Zoom in the first months of 2021. His fascinating, world traveling, and enlightening oral history produced a transcript over 700 pages long, including a bibliography of his publications with over 400 entries, as well as an appendix of photographs with family, friends, and colleagues.

To me, Vince Resh embodies ubuntu, a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity” or “the quality of being human” that functions more extensively as “humanity towards others.” Ubuntu encapsulates ideas of community and interconnection with human kindness and mutual caring. It offers an African way of seeing self-identity formed in mutual relation to one another that sometimes is explained as “I am because we are.” The ubuntu theology of Archbishop Desmond Tutu popularized the concept, especially in the 1990s when he chaired South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission during their turbulent transition to democratic majority rule. Desmond Tutu described ubuntu as something that “refers to gentleness, to compassion, to hospitality, to openness to others, to vulnerability, to be available to others and to know that you are bound up with them in the bundle of life.” Coincidentally, Vince Resh began his own life-changing and life-giving work in West Africa around that same time.

Vince Resh smiling and standing between his father and mother
Vince Resh with his parents after receiving UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 1995.

I associate Vince Resh with ubuntu for several reasons. Certainly for his decades of self-sacrificing humanitarian and ecological work in West Africa and elsewhere, but perhaps foremost for his genuine love of people. Resh has an infectious joie de vivre that shines brightest while sharing his world-spanning adventures with beloved family, friends, and fellow travelers. His explorations as an entomologist and freshwater scientist took him across the planet to examine nature’s deep and delicate interconnections. On those adventures, Resh created community everywhere he went, forging new friendships or fortifying old ones. His teaching and research provided a means to deepen bonds with people he loved most, friends and science collaborators alike, and often in the service of others. As Resh explored ways that water enables ecological interconnections, he deepened his own human relations, grew into his best self, and lifted up others in the process.

Two people in thick coats stand on a beach with thousands of penguins and mountains in the distance
Cheryl Resh and Vince Resh co-leading a Cal Discoveries trip along with over 500,000 penguins on South Georgia Island, Antarctica, 2021.

Vincent Resh was born September 1945, in Greenwich Village, New York City, and grew up in Westchester County, just north of the Bronx. He earned a B.S. from Georgetown University in 1967, a M.S. from Niagara University in 1969, and his Ph.D. in 1973 in the Water Resources Laboratory at the University of Louisville. His research examined the evolutionary ecology of aquatic insects, and he developed approaches for the biological monitoring of water quality and the control of water-borne disease vectors. Resh was an assistant professor at Ball State University from 1973 to 1975. He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1975, mentored scores of graduate students, and taught over 20,000 Berkeley undergraduates from 1988 to 2011 in his General Biology course. From 1996 to 2001, Resh was Director of the Richard B. Gump South Pacific Biological Research Station on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia. From 1995 to 2009, he served on the Expert Advisory Committee and chaired the Ecological Group in the World Bank and World Health Organization’s Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) Control Programme in West Africa. From 2002 to 2012, he advised the Mekong River Commission on the effects of large Chinese dams by conducting studies throughout Southeast Asia. He was involved in many international aid projects, taught courses at universities throughout the world, lectured across all seven continents, and consulted on numerous science advisory boards and projects. Upon retiring in 2015, Resh received the Berkeley Citation, a high honor for those whose contributions to UC Berkeley go beyond the call of duty and whose achievements exceed the standards of excellence in their fields. His son Jon and stepson Jeff were born in 1970. He is married to Cheryl Resh, a former Vice Chancellor and Director of the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at UC Berkeley who also earned the Berkeley Citation upon her retirement.

Several smiling or laughing people lift Vince Resh entirely off the ground and horizontally
Many of Vince Resh’s PhD students demonstrate how they “carried him” in research at a day-long symposium on research in Resh’s laboratory at the meeting of the Society of Freshwater Science, 2016.

Vincent Resh’s oral history recounts his rich personal life and his prolific academic and humanitarian career. The details of Resh’s education and academic career—especially his decades of ecological monitoring and teaching for international aid projects all around the world—highlights various ways that entomological science can be used to improve the human condition, while also creating historic records of human impacts on the natural world. Resh’s oral history also reveals how social connections play a fundamental role in the scientific process of creating new knowledge. Resh regularly developed deep friendships with his many academic collaborators around the planet. He shares numerous stories from his personal relationships with his academic mentors, as well as his own legions of graduate and undergraduate students during his forty years of teaching at UC Berkeley. Resh also taught courses all over the world on the process of scientific writing and publication, much of it drawn from his experiences as a prolific author and an academic editor. From 1976 to 1998, Resh was editor of the leading academic journal Annual Review of Entomology, and he co-edited the award-winning Encyclopedia of Insects in 2003, which was awarded the “Most Outstanding Single-Volume Reference in Science” by the Association of American Publishers and “Best of Reference” by the New York Public Library and Library Journal.

An adult holding the end of a long stick walks behind a small child who holds the front of the long stick
The iconic image of onchocerciasis or river blindness: a blind adult being led by a small child with a stick, here in Bouaké, Ivory Coast, 1995.

Resh’s oral history also provides details from his biomonitoring research and international service projects throughout Europe, India, Russia, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Central America, and North America. Resh discussed extensively his two decades of biological monitoring and decision-making as chair of the Ecological Control Group and member of the Expert Advisory Committee for the OCP, the World Health Organization’s Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) Control Programme in West Africa. The WHO and World Bank’s summary statistics of success for the OCP are astounding. Along with other program leaders, Resh’s decades of work helped protect 40 million of the poorest people on Earth from river blindness, including nearly 25 million children born in the area since the program’s start who are now free from risk of river blindness. Their work prevented an estimated 600,000 new cases of blindness across the eleven participating nations in West Africa, and some 1.5 million people who were once infected no longer experience symptoms. As a result, the OCP opened up 25 million hectares of arable land, which is enough to feed an additional 17 million people per year. Perhaps even more astounding, in order to achieve these successes, the Ecological Control Group that Resh oversaw sprayed carefully controlled pesticides on 30,000 miles of rivers over a geographic area covering over 476,000 square miles across eleven different nations in West Africa. This massive spraying was conducted nearly every week for 10-12 months each year for about 20 years, including while some of the West Africa nations were at war with each other! Resh’s participation in the OCP, or River Blindness Programme, had a profound effect on his life, his teaching, and his health—all of which he described throughout his detailed and moving oral history.

Vince Resh in wading boots stands before a river and forest
Vince Resh working in the Onchocerciasis Control Programme on Niger River near Segou, Mali, 1998.

For me, Vince Resh embodies ubuntu because his life journey and the choices he made throughout his career as a teacher and as a freshwater scientist continually fostered an ethic of mutual caring and community enrichment. Theologian Michael Battle, who was ordained by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, once described a person with ubuntu as open and available to others, affirming of others, not threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, and is elevated when others are lifted up. I had the pleasure of learning about Vince Resh’s many years of incredible service to his many communities—of scholars and learners at Berkeley, of international scientists, of fellow international aid workers in humanitarian projects around the world, and of his friends and neighbors in California’s Bay Area. And now, with the publication of his extensive oral history, you too have the opportunity to learn from and revel in Vincent H. Resh’s adventures of living and sharing ubuntu.

Vincent H. Resh, “Vincent H. Resh: Water, Insects, and Friendships” conducted by Roger Eardley-Pryor in 2021, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2023.

About the Oral History Center

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PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 3 (May): NEH support for PhiloBiblon and the Wikiworld

Metropolitan Museum X.430.1, f. 1r
Metropolitan Museum X.430.1, f. 1r

We are delighted to announce that PhiloBiblon has received a two-year implementation grant from the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program of the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete the mapping of PhiloBiblon from its almost forty-year-old relational database technology to the Wikibase technology that underlies Wikipedia and Wikidata. The project will start on the first of July and, Dios mediante, will finish successfully by the end of June 2025.

The fundamental problem is to map the 422,000+ records of PhiloBiblon’s bibliographies with their complexly interrelated relational tables to the triplestore structure of Wikibase.  A triplestore relates two Items by means of a Property. Thus a Work is linked to an Author by the Property “written by.”

We received an NEH Foundations grant for this project in 2021, as described in detail in PhiloBiblon 2021 (n. 3): PhiloBiblon y el mundo wiki: propuesta de una colaboración. Over the course of the last two years, the pilot project team, consisting of Charles Faulhaber (PI), Patricia García Sánchez-Migallón and Almudena Izquierdo Andreu (doctores por la UCM); Berkeley undergraduate Spanish and data science majors (Julieta Soto, Serena Bai, Tina Lin, Cassandra Calciano, Martín García Ángel); Max Ziff (data engineer); and Josep Formentí (user interface programmer), has analyzed the data structures of PhiloBiblon’s ten relational tables (using BETA for the test cases) and worked out the procedures needed to convert them into triplestore structures.

Almudena and Patricia manually mapped more than 125 BETA records to FactGrid: PhiloBiblon as models for the automated processing of the rest. See for example the records for Alfonso X, BNE MSS/10069 (Cantigas de Santa Maria), and the 1497 edition of the translation of Boccacio’s Fiammeta. These models have been key for establishing the semantic relations between PhiloBiblon’s data fields and the Properties and Items in FactGrid. In many cases appropriate properties did not exist and it was necessary to create them. For example, something as simple as the Watermark property was needed in order to identify the various watermark types set forth in PhiloBiblon’s controlled vocabulary.

Julieta Soto and Martín García Ángel attacked the problem of creating almost 900 FactGrid records for the controlled vocabulary terms in BETA. This meant in the first place a search in FactGrid to make sure that an equivalent term did not already exist, in order to avoid creating duplicate records. Then they had to situate the term in the FactGrid ontology by specifying it as a “basic object” (e.g., fruit) or identifying it as a subclass of an appropriate basic object, for example facsímil impreso as a subclass of facsímil. At the same time they had to link the record to the code in PhiloBiblon, BIBLIOGRAPHY*RELATED_BIBCLASS*FAP, identifying a record in the Bibliography table as a print facsimile, thereby making it possible to search for such items.

The default viewer used in FactGrid, the same as that used in Wikidata, is not user friendly. Therefore Josep has created a prototype user interface, using data from the BETA Institutions table. We encourage you to play with it and tell us what you like or—more usefully—don’t like.

This change to Wikibase technology is designed to allow PhiloBiblon not only to take advantage of the linked open data of the semantic web, but also, and most importantly, to decrease sustainability costs. Because Wikibase is open-source software maintained by WikiMedia Deutschland, the software development arm of the Wikimedia Foundation, software maintenance costs for PhiloBiblon will be minimal in the future. This means that it will no longer be necessary to seek major grant support every five to seven years merely to keep up with technology change.

While this work has been going on, we have not neglected the vital process of cleaning up PhiloBiblon data in order to facilitate the automated mapping nor the equally vital process of adding new information to PhiloBiblon. For example,  Pedro Pinto, a member of the BITAGAP team, has recently discovered a “folha desmembrada” (BITAGAP manid 7862) from the Livro 4 of the chancery records of king Fernando I (1345-1383) (BITAGAP manid 3255), separated from the manuscript in the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo. The newly discovered dismembered leaf contains five previously unknown royal documents. It was being used as the cover of the “Livro de Acordãos, 1620-24,” in the archive of the Santa Casa de Misericórdia in Coruche, a small city in the Santarem district on the Tagus river northeast of Lisbon.

The recycling of  parchment leaves from discarded medieval manuscripts, presumably for more socially beneficial purposes, such as the protection of administrative records, was common in both Spain and Portugal in the sixteenth and seventeenh centuries. Such leaves have been the source of many unknown or poorly documented medieval texts. Perhaps the most spectacular example was Harvey Sharrer’s discovery in 1990 of the eponymous Pergaminho Sharrer (BITAGAP manid 1817), with musical notation for seven poems of king Dinis of Portugal (1279-1325). This had been used as the binding of a collection of notarial documents (Lisboa: Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo: Lisboa, Cartório Notarial de. N. 7-A, Caixa 1, Maça 1, livro 3).

Mariña Arbor Aldea
Arthur L-F. Askins
Vicenç Beltran Pepió
Álvaro Bustos Táuler
Antonio Cortijo Ocaña
Charles B. Faulhaber
Patricia García Sánchez-Migallón
Ángel Gómez Moreno
José Luis Gonzalo Sánchez-Molero
Almudena Izquierdo Andreu
Filipe Alves Moreira
María Morrás
Óscar Perea Rodríguez
Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez
Pedro Pinto
Maria de Lurdes Rosa
Nicasio Salvador Miguel
Martha E. Schaffer
Harvey L. Sharrer
Cristina Sobral
Lourdes Soriano Robles