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.”


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:


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.

Primary Sources: Los Angeles Sentinel, 1934-2005

A fairly recent edition to the Library’s collection of ProQuest historical newspapers is the Los Angeles Sentinel, with an almost complete run from 1934-2005. The Sentinel was established in 1933 by Col Leon H. Washington who began his career in newspapers at the The California Eagle, the oldest black newspaper in the state. The Sentinel started out as a free-circulation publication, but within a year readership increased enough for Washington to turn it into a subscription-based publication, soon rivaling The California Eagle in prominence and readership. To to this day the newspaper puts emphasis on issues concerning the African-American community and it’s readers.

Event: Patty Enrado Presents: A Village in the Fields

Patty Enrado Presents: A Village in the Fields
Thursday, October 22, 2015 | 6-8pm | Ethnic Studies Library

Celebrate Filipino American History Month with Patty Enrado, Eastwind Books of Berkeley, and the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library.

In her debut novel, A Village in the Fields, Patty Enrado highlights a compelling but buried piece of American history: the Filipino-American contribution to the farm labor movement. 50 years ago, September 8, 1965, Filipino farm workers walked out of the fields and sparked the United Farm Workers Union movement.

To write this novel, Patty Enrado, the daughter of a farm worker, researched and interviewed Filipino farm laborers who were involved in the labor movement including her own family members. This intricately detailed story of love, loss, and human dignity spans more than eight decades and sweeps from the Philippines to the United States. In the vein of The Grapes of Wrath, A Village in the Fields pays tribute to the sacrifices that Filipino immigrant farm workers made to bring justice to the fields.

Published by Eastwind Books of Berkeley (2015). This book was debuted at the Delano celebration of Filipino Farm Labor activism on September 5, 2015.

Event: Presentations by Architectural Historian Dan Gregory and CED Assoc. Professor Andrew Shanken

September 17, 2015, 6-7 pm
112 Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley

$10.00 cash, at door or purchase online https://www.regonline.com/ced-fairslecture
**free to students with UCB ID

In conjunction with opening of Exceptional Expositions the Environmental Design Archives will host a program of presentations by Architectural Historian Dan Gregory and CED Assoc. Professor Andrew Shanken. Gregory’s talk “Fire Up the Scintillator!: Architecture, Allusion, and Re-Affirmation at the PPIE,” concerns the hyperbolic architectural character of the exposition — from the 435 foot-tall Tower of Jewels covered in 100,000 cut glass “Novagems” to the Oregon State Pavilion treated as a redwood tree-replica of the Parthenon.

Shanken, author of the recently published monograph Into the Void Pacific will give a talk entitled “Very Empty, But Not False: the Architecture of the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair” addressing the ways the architects of the GGIE felt Californian, thought regionally, and aspired to a “Pacific Architecture” just as modernism was radically changing the aesthetic of design.

This will be followed by a book signing of Shanken’s monograph on the Golden Gate International Exposition. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Contact: 510.642.5124 Designarchives@berkeley.edu

Chris Marino, Reference and Outreach Archivist
Environmental Design Archives
College of Environmental Design
University of California
230 Wurster Hall mc 1820
Berkeley, CA 94720-1820

Exhibit: California: Captured on Canvas

California: Captured on Canvas represents a first for the Bancroft Library Gallery: it consists exclusively of paintings from The Bancroft Library Pictorial Collection. These paintings depict many aspects of California from the 1840s to the 1960s, including landscapes both vast and intimate, colorful urban scenes, and depictions of its inhabitants from the Californios of early Mexican California to a vibrant likeness of tennis great Helen Wills.

More than 40 paintings have been selected from the Library’s collection, including scenes of Yosemite, the Gold Rush, and turn-of-the-century Chinatown. Artists represented include William Keith and Thomas Hill along with more contemporary painters. A six by eight foot painting by Charles Grant, of “The Great White Fleet entering the Golden Gate in 1908,” is only one of the numerous and varied artistic interpretations of the Golden State on exhibit.

The gallery is open Mon-Fri, from 10am-4pm.