Event: Maps & More: Post-War SF in Aerial Photographs, with Dave Ruiz

Friday, February 22, 11am – 1pm
Earth Sciences & Map Library, 50 McCone Hall

This exhibit highlights three air photo sets recently purchased by the UC Berkeley Library that cover San Francisco in the critical post-war years through 1958. Flown by Pacific Aerial Surveys, these large-scale images capture detailed snapshots of the rapidly developing city. We’ll be joined by special guest Dave Ruiz, Imagery Analyst & Data Archivist at Quantum Spatial’s Novato office, to learn about how these air photos were produced.


OHC Director’s Column, November 2018

California governors Pat Brown and Jerry Brown in 1992. Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

The Oral History Center is excited to announce that we have joined forces with local public radio station KQED on a significant new partnership. The occasion for this collaboration is a new oral history of four-term California governor Jerry Brown. The project is expected to encompass at least 30 hours of conversations with Brown, taking place over a series of months, beginning later this year. The interviews will span most of Brown’s adult life, including his time in the seminary, lessons learned from his father’s governorship, his terms as secretary of state, attorney general and governor of California, and mayor of Oakland, and three presidential bids. They will address a life lived in and out of the public eye, and a long and extraordinary career devoted to public service.  

Research and interview duties will be shared by my colleague, Todd Holmes, and I. We’ll be joined by Scott Shafer, senior editor for KQED’s Politics and Government Desk and co-host of the weekly radio program and podcast Political Breakdown. “Jerry Brown is a singularly important figure in California political history,” Shafer says. “His long and remarkable time in and out of public life in California, including his personal reflections and insights, should be documented for posterity, and we’re delighted to be a part of doing just that.”

The final interviews will join our collection of political oral histories, which include major interview projects on four earlier California governors, including Jerry’s father Pat Brown, who was elected in 1958 and again in 1962. Transcripts and audio and video of the Brown interviews will be made available on our website. We are thrilled to partner with KQED to see that Governor Brown’s oral history is completed and made available to everyone — and we are humbled to be the ones with the honor of making sure that this history is recorded and preserved.

 

Like all Oral History Center projects, we are obliged to raise funding to help support this endeavor as neither the state or the university will provide funding this extraordinarily important project. We are happy to accept donations large and small for those who agree that this oral history needs to be recorded and that we cannot miss this window of opportunity to get it done. Please contact me directly (mmeeker@berkeley.edu or 510-643-9733) with questions or think about making a donation online: http://ucblib.link/givetoOHC

 

Martin Meeker, @MartinDMeeker

Charles B. Faulhaber Director

Oral History Center


Event: Bancroft Roundtable: California’s Place in Anti-Slavery Litigation on the Eve of the Civil War

The second Bancroft Library Roundtable talk of the spring semester will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, March 15. Alexandra Havrylyshyn, J.D. and Ph.D. candidate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at UC Berkeley and Bancroft Library Study Award recipient, will present “California’s Place in Anti-Slavery Litigation on the Eve of the Civil War.”

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Between 1846 and 1851 New Orleans trial judge John McHenry ruled in favor of nearly twenty enslaved petitioners who sought freedom on the basis of having touched free soil. These rulings directly contravened Louisiana state legislation, but McHenry reasoned that they were in keeping with higher sources of law: constitutional, federal, and international. He migrated to California, and his personal and legal papers are now preserved in The Bancroft Library. Havrylyshyn’s presentation will explore McHenry’s political identification and the ways that anti-slavery litigation influenced California before the start of the Civil War.

We hope to see you there.

José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez and Kathi Neal

Bancroft Library Staff


Event: Maps and More: Mapping Indigenous California History

Mapping Indigenous California History

Friday, March 9 | 11 AM – Noon

Earth Sciences & Map Library

50 McCone Hall

Guest curated by Julia Lewandoski, History Department graduate student

This event explores just one chapter in California’s complex and on-going indigenous history, by featuring maps of Native American land claims made in the 1850s. After the 1830s secularization of the Spanish Franciscan missions where many Native Californians were forced to live and labor, some Native peoples still living at former missions managed to obtain titles to land from Mexican authorities. After the U.S. conquest of California in 1848, these proprietors had to claim their land again, this time to U.S. officials. Alongside broader maps that show California’s rich indigenous past and present, these land claim maps tell a story of indigenous resilience in the aftermath of the mission system and in the face of U.S. conquest.


Primary Sources: Golden State Mutual Insurance Company records (UCLA)

photograph of gathering of young black men Over 2400 digitized items have been made available online at Calisphere from the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company records held at UCLA’s Spccial Collections in the Charles E. Young Research Library. The company was founded in 1925 in Los Angeles to provide dignified employment for African Americans and to provide them with insurance protection. The collection includes moving images, sound recordings, photographs, film strips, and slides. A finding aid for the entire collection is available at the Online Archive of California.


Trial: San Francisco Chronicle 1869-1984

The Library has a trial for the NewsBank digital archive of the San Francisco Chronicle, covering 1869-1984. This includes 61 years not covered by our purchase of the ProQuest digitized San Francisco Chronicle.

You can access the paper until November 9 through this link:

http://infoweb.newsbank.com/?db=EANX-NB&s_browseRef=decades/142051F45F422A02/all.xml

Please send your feedback to me at dorner@berkeley.edu.


Primary Sources: UCLA KTLA News Project

screenshot of news broadcast
Martin Luther King, Jr. campaigns for civil rights in Los Angeles.
The UCLA Film & Television archive recently added to its collection 100 clips of news footage from the 1950s to the 1980s filmed by Los Angeles station KTLA-TV.

According to the press release, “The curated news segments document local, national and international issues, covering politics, economics, civil rights and women’s activism, as well as African-American, Asian-American, Mexican-American, Native American and LGBT communities. Additional news stories on an expanded range of topics will be added to the portal on a periodic basis.”


Protecting the California Coast: New Interviews with Joe Bodovitz and Will Travis

Just over 50 years ago the California State Legislature established the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). This commission was charged with protecting the San Francisco Bay from unchecked development and with providing access to this great natural resource. In 1972, citizens throughout California voted to establish the Coastal Commission, which had a charge similar to the BCDC but its authority ran the entire coastline of California. Today we are pleased to release to new oral history interviews with two of the most important figures in both of those organizations: Joe Bodovitz and Will “Trav” Travis.

Joseph Bodovitz was born Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1930. He attended Northwestern University, where he studied English Literature, served in the US Navy during the Korean War, and then completed a graduate degree in journalism at Columbia University. In 1956 he accepted a job as a reporter with the San Francisco Examiner, reporting on crime, politics, and eventually urban redevelopment. He then took a position with SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research) where he launched their newsletter. In 1964 he was enlisted to lead the team drafting the Bay Plan, which resulted in the creation of the San Francisco Bay Conversation and Development Commission (BCDC) by the state legislature in 1969. Bodovitz was hired as the first executive director of BCDC. In 1972 he was hired by the newly-established California Coastal Commission to be its first executive director. He left the Coastal Commission in 1979 and shortly thereafter was named executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission, a position he held until 1986. He served as head of the California Environmental Trust and then as the project director for BayVision 2020, which created a plan for a regional Bay Area government. In this interview, Bodovitz details the creation of the BCDC and how it established itself into a respected state agency; he also discusses the first eight years of the Coastal Commission and how he helped craft a strategy for managing such a huge public resource ? the California coastline. He further discusses utilities deregulation in the 1980s and the changing context for environmental regulation through the 1990s.

Will Travis was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1943. He attended Penn State University as both as an undergraduate and graduate student, studying architecture and regional planning. From 1970 to 1972 he worked as a planner for the then nascent San Francisco Bay Conversation and Development Commission (BCDC). In 1972 moved to the newly established California Coastal Commission, where worked in various capacities until 1985. In 1985 Travis returned to BCDC first as deputy director then as the agency?s director beginning in 1995. He retired from BCDC in 2011 and continues to work as a consultant. In this life history interview, Travis discusses his work both the BCDC and the Coastal Commission, focusing on accounts of particular preservation and development projects including the restoration of marshland areas around the San Francisco Bay. The interview also covers in detail Travis?s work documenting the threat of sea level rise as a result of climate change and how the Bay Area might plan for such a transformation.