530K Primary Resources Now Available Online through The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive

Map of Minidoka War Relocation Center.
BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder P1.05, Blueprints and charts, general layout, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

The Bancroft Library has recently completed the digitization of nearly 150,000 items related to the confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II as part of a two-year effort to select, prepare, and digitize these primary source records as part of a grant supported by the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. This program helps to support the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. This recent project, The Japanese American Internment Sites: A Digital Archive, represents our fourth grant from this program, which together have culminated in over 530,000 primary resource materials being made available online.

Annual Report cover with image of Arizona landscape.
BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder fJ2.18, Annual report, photograph album, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

The project focused on the U.S. War Relocation Authority (WRA) files from the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records (BANC MSS 67/14 c). The WRA was created in 1942 to assume jurisdiction over the incarceration of Japanese Americans during the war. Between 1942-1946, the agency managed the relocation centers, administered an extensive resettlement program, and oversaw the details of the registration and segregation programs. These newly digitized records from the Washington Office headquarters and the district, field, and regional offices, formally document WRA management of internment of Japanese Americans in “relocation” centers and resettlement of approved individuals under supervision in the eastern states. Digitized materials document the registration of individuals; disturbances such as strikes; policies and attitudes; daily life in the camps including educational and employment programs; correspondences and other writings by evacuees; Japanese American service in the armed forces; and public opinion.

Out of the Desert cover with a red cross and image of desert landscape.
Poston I High School, “Out of the Desert”, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder fJ2.92B, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Topaz Scrap Book cover.
BANC MSS 67/14c, folder fH1.46, Topaz scrapbook, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Since 2011, the Bancroft has been awarded four grants from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. The previous grants have digitized records from the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study and archival collections selected from individual internee’s personal papers, photographs, maps, artworks, and audiovisual materials. The Bancroft’s Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive website (http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/jacs) brings together all the digitized content and the recently published LibGuide (https://guides.lible.berkeley.edu/internment) that explains how to use and access these collection resources.

As we now embark on our recently awarded fifth grant from this program, we look forward to bringing even more collections online to support researcher access. We are honored and grateful to be able to make these important resources available to help interpret this period in American history and to preserve them for future generations.

 

Page of a typewritten report.
BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder E2.91, Miller, Ray, Evolution of a Wartime Procedures Manual, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

The project was led by digital project archivist Lucy Hernandez and principal investigator Mary Elings, Assistant Director of Bancroft and Head of Technical Services. Special thanks to Julie Musson, digital collections archivist at Bancroft and Jennafer Prongos, BackStage Library Works technician for their work on this project, as well as support from Theresa Salazar, Bancroft curator of Western Americana. Many thanks to the Library Information Technology group at the University Library for their work in managing the files, maintaining the information systems used in the project, and ensuring the publication and long term preservation of the digitized collections through our partnership with the California Digital Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This project was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.  


Scenic Views, Civic Pride, and Silly Gags: Edward H. Mitchell Postcards at The Bancroft Library

We all feel our wings are clipped this holiday season, but you can enjoy a tour around turn-of-the-century California, journey up the Pacific Coast, around the American West, or even visit Hawaii and the Philippines, thanks to newly published content on the Berkeley Library’s Digital Collections site.

Over 10,000 postcards issued by San Francisco publisher Edward H. Mitchell, circa 1898-1920, are now online. This nearly-comprehensive collection was compiled over many decades by Walt Kransky, who generously donated it to The Bancroft Library. Walt’s website has been the go-to site for collectors interested in Mitchell cards; there he compiled a checklist of all known Mitchell postcards, whether he owned examples or not. And he did own the vast majority!

Color postcard, circa 1905, of the exterior of a Victorian hotel on the floor of Yosemite Valley, among evergreen trees
Sentinel Hotel, Yosemite Valley, California
Color postcard of well-dressed crowds on the beach at Long Beach, with pier in background, circa 1905
Beach and Sun Pavilion, Long Beach, California

Must-see tourist sites from Yosemite to Southern California beaches and the mountains and forests of the Northwest are in abundance, but so are local industries, agriculture, and countless examples of small town pride.

Color postcard, circa 1900, of a Southern California ostrich farm and feather factory.
Feather Factory, Cawston Ostrich Farm, South Pasadena, California.
Color postcard of a factory wth workers and many dead salmon to be canned.
Interior of a Salmon Cannery, Bellingham, Washington
Color postcard, circa 1905, of a hayfield and three large barns in the distance, near Hollister, California
Largest Hay Warehouses in the World, Hollister, California

There is quite a range of court houses, schools, asylums, and even irrigation works on view.

Color postcard, circa 1900-1910, of courhouse building exterior
Placer County Court House, Auburn, Cal.
Color postcard, circa 1905, of a Spanish Mission Style high school in Watsonville, California
High School, Watsonville, California
Black and white photographic postcard of a concrete irrigation canal in a flat and treeless landscape near Patterson, California
Irrigation canal – Patterson, Cal. (a “real photo postcard”)

Period humor, for better or worse, is a recurring feature.

Color postcard, circa 1905, of the Alameda County Jail with humorous text printed in upper left, suggestive of a hotel advertisement
Alameda County Jail, Oakland, California. (words added — Barnet Hotel)
Humorous color postcard, circa 1905, of an enormous watermelon that fills and entire flatbed railroad car
A California Watermelon
Color cartoon postcard with a giant sequoia tree at left and a giant beet (vegetable) at right with two "beat cops" asleep on it, making a pun about beets and beat cops
San Francisco. There are Big Trees in California. Also big vegetables. I saw two policemen asleep on one beat

In addition to great images, Kransky’s Mitchell collection provides insight into the business of early postcard production. This was a new form when 1898 “Private Mailing Cards” were first issued as  “authorized by act of Congress.”

Front (picture side) of a color postcard, circa 1898, of large Victorian resort hotel, with writing around the sides of the image
Hotel Del Monte, Monterey County, Cal. (front of postcard)
Back side, for address only, of early postcard with "Private Mailing Card" text and reference to 1898 act of Congress authorizing postcards
(Back of postcard referencing 1898 Act of Congress:) Hotel Del Monte, Monterey County, Cal.

Walt Kransky arranged his collection by back type and imprint style and he collected duplicates of given images in all their various styles of presentation. This variety, all from a single publisher, offers great opportunity for scholarship and close studies of visual culture early in the 20th century.

So, whatever your interest, make a cup of cocoa and enjoy an armchair tour, courtesy the Walter Robert and Gail Lynn Kransky collection of Edward H. Mitchell postcards at The Bancroft Library!

Color postcard, in red and green, of poinettia blossoms and leaves
Poinsettia Blossoms

 

Many Library staff collaborated to bring this collection online. Bancroft curatorial and acquisitions staff worked with the donor to preserve this collection at Berkeley, and hundreds of hours of work on descriptive data and inventory alignment were carried out in Bancroft Technical Services’ Pictorial Unit. Library Imaging Services created the thousands of high resolution scans, and the descriptions and images were linked together and brought online through the efforts of Library IT. Most importantly, thanks are due to Walt and Gail Kransky for their generosity, his decades of collecting, and the years of expertise he committed to documenting his collection.


Romance Language Collections Newsletter no.5 (Fall 2020)

This year’s welcome back newsletter for those working in the romance languages focuses mostly on digital resources. After abrupt closures in March due to the global pandemic, the UC Berkeley Library has recently resumed acquisitions of non-digital formats but the bulk of this material remains in transit or is still being processed. For the most up-to-date information about the evolving services in the Library, please consult the Library services and resources during COVID-19 page.

Dibs Earth
Dibs Earth by Philip Chapman-Bell on Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Romance Language Collections Newsletter no.5 (Fall 2020)

  • Remote Reference & Instruction
  • New Databases
  • HathiTrust ETAS
  • New books and more
  • Library Research Guides
  • New Journals
  • Open Access
  • bCourses
  • Digital Collections
  • Library Workshops (Online)
  • Featured Digitized Work

See also:


Art History: Social justice and anti-racism library resources guide

Explore the new resource guide for Social Justice and Anti-Racism located under Art History Research Guides on the Art History/ Classics Library page.   Gain online access to the publications featured below by U.C. Berkeley Faculty: Lauren Kroiz, Darcy Grigsby, Julia Bryan- Wilson, and Keyatta A.C. Hinkle, and Alumnus Huey Copeland.

Along with these titles, find additional ebooks on art, race, and social justice; image collections from the Bancroft Library on Calisphere; and films and videos available through our Kanopy subscription.  This resource guide provides a sample of some of the resources available online through the U.C. Berkeley Library’s collections.


New Resources: Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels (Digital Collection)

new resources at the library

The UC Berkeley Library has acquired a new online resource with the Underground and Independent Comic, Comix, and Graphic Novels digital collection from Alexander Street Press, Volumes I and II.

This collection contains full-text, digitized collection of comics, comix, and graphic novels from the pre-Comics Code era works to modern sequential releases from artists in the US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Korea, Japan, and more. This includes:

  • Titles like Essex County by Jeff Lemire, From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, 120 Days of Simon by Simon Gardenfors, Gen Manhwa by various artists, Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason, and God of Comics: Osamu Tezuka and the Creation of Post-World War II Manga.
  • Selected works from artists such as Alex Toth, Boody Rogers, Fletcher Hanks, Steve Ditko, Joe Kubert, Bill Everett, Joe Simon, and Jack Kirby
  • Series such as Crime Does Not Pay and Mister Mystery.
  • 25,000 pages of interviews, commentary, theory, and criticism from journals, books, and magazines, including The Comics Journal.
  • The Seduction of the Innocent by Dr. Frederick Wertham and the complete transcripts of the senate subcommittee hearings that led to the Comics Code Authority and, inadvertently, the underground comix movement.

The library has also acquired additional resources from Drama Online and OverDrive.



New Resources: Additional Drama Online Modules

drama online

The UC Berkeley community now has access to new content through our subscription to Drama Online. Drama Online is an online resource of primary and secondary sources for the study and performance of drama. It contains 1700 playtexts, 350 audio performances, and 150 hours of video. The new resources include:

This strengthens existing content in Drama Online, including:

  • 1,100+ playtexts from Methuen Drama, Faber and Faber, and Arden Shakespeare, as well as contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides.
  • Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen 1
  • Early modern drama titles staged and filmed specifically for educational use (Doctor Faustus, The Duchess of Malfi, Volpone and School for Scandal).
  • BBC Drama Films

For more of recent library acquisitions, see our posts on Underground and Independent Comic, Comix, and Graphic Novels and OverDrive.



New Project Release: Marion and Herb Sandler Oral History Project

New Project Release: Marion and Herb Sandler Oral History Project

Herb Sandler and Marion Osher Sandler formed one of the most remarkable partnerships in the histories of American business and philanthropy—and, if their friends and associates would have a say in things, in the living memory of marriage writ large. This oral history project documents the lives of Herb and Marion Sandler through their shared pursuits in raising a family, serving as co-CEOs for the savings and loan Golden West Financial, and establishing a remarkably influential philanthropy in the Sandler Foundation. This project consists of eighteen unique oral history interviews, at the center of which is a 24-hour life history interview with Herb Sandler.

Marion Sandler in 1987
Marion Sandler in 1987

Marion Osher Sandler was born October 17, 1930, in Biddeford, Maine, to Samuel and Leah Osher. She was the youngest of five children; all of her siblings were brothers and all went on to distinguished careers in medicine and business. She attended Wellesley as an undergraduate where she was elected into Phi Beta Kappa. Her first postgraduate job was as an assistant buyer with Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, but she left in pursuit of more lofty goals. She took a job on Wall Street, in the process becoming only the second woman on Wall Street to hold a non-clerical position. She started with Dominick & Dominick in its executive training program and then moved to Oppenheimer and Company where she worked as a highly respected analyst. While building an impressive career on Wall Street, she earned her MBA at New York University.

Herb Sandler was born on November 16, 1931 in New York City. He was the second of two children and remained very close to his brother, Leonard, throughout his life. He grew up in subsidized housing in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood of Two Bridges. Both his father and brother were attorneys (and both were judges too), so after graduating from City College, he went for his law degree at Columbia. He practiced law both in private practice and for the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor where he worked on organized crime cases. While still living with his parents at Knickerbocker Village, he engaged in community development work with the local settlement house network, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council. At Two Bridges he was exposed to the work of Episcopal Bishop Bill Wendt, who inspired his burgeoning commitment to social justice.

Herb Sandler
Herb Sandler

Given their long and successful careers in business, philanthropy, and marriage, Herb and Marion’s story of how they met has taken on somewhat mythic proportions. Many people interviewed for this project tell the story. Even if the facts don’t all align in these stories, one central feature is shared by all: Marion was a force of nature, self-confident, smart, and, in Herb’s words, “sweet, without pretentions.” Herb, however, always thought of himself as unremarkable, just one of the guys. So when he first met Marion, he wasn’t prepared for this special woman to be actually interested in dating him. The courtship happened reasonably quickly despite some personal issues that needed to be addressed (which Herb discusses in his interview) and introducing one another to their respective families (but, as Herb notes, not to seek approval!).

Within a few years of marriage, Marion was bumping up against the glass ceiling on Wall Street, recognizing that she would not be making partner status any time soon. While working as an analyst, however, she learned that great opportunity for profit existed in the savings and loan sector, which was filled with bloat and inefficiency as well as lack of financial sophistication and incompetence among the executives. They decided to find an investment opportunity in California and, with the help of Marion’s brothers (especially Barney Osher), purchased a tiny two-branch thrift in Oakland, California: Golden West Savings and Loan.

Golden West—which later operated under the retail brand of World Savings—grew by leaps and bounds, in part through acquisition of many regional thrifts and in part through astute research leading to organic expansion into new geographic areas. The remarkable history of Golden West is revealed in great detail in many of the interviews in this project, but most particularly in the interviews with Herb Sandler, Steve Daetz, Russ Kettell, and Mike Roster, all of whom worked at the institution. The savings and loan was marked by key attributes during the forty-three years in which it was run by the Sandlers. Perhaps most important among these is the fact that over that period of time the company was profitable all but two years. This is even more remarkable when considering just how volatile banking was in that era, for there were liquidity crises, deregulation schemes, skyrocketing interest rates, financial recessions, housing recessions, and the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, in which the entire sector was nearly obliterated through risky or foolish decisions made by Congress, regulators, and managements. Through all of this, however, Golden West delivered consistent returns to their investors. Indeed, the average annual growth in earnings per share over 40 years was 19 percent, a figure that made Golden West second only to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and the second best record in American corporate history.

Golden West is also remembered for making loans to communities that had been subject to racially and economically restrictive redlining practices. Thus, the Sandlers played a role in opening up the dream of home ownership to more Americans. In the offices too, Herb and Marion made a point of opening positions to women, such as branch manager and loan officer, previously held only by men. And, by the mid-1990s, Golden West began appointing more women and people of color to its board of directors, which already was presided over by Marion Sandler, one of the longest-serving female CEOs of a major company in American history. The Sandlers sold Golden West to Wachovia in 2006. The interviews tell the story of the sale, but at least one major reason for the decision was the fact that the Sandlers were spending a greater percentage of their time in philanthropic work.

One of the first real forays by the Sandlers into philanthropic work came in the wake of the passing of Herb’s brother Leonard in 1988. Herb recalls his brother with great respect and fondness and the historical record shows him to be a just and principled attorney and jurist. Leonard was dedicated to human rights, so after his passing, the Sandlers created a fellowship in his honor at Human Rights Watch. After this, the Sandlers giving grew rapidly in their areas of greatest interest: human rights, civil rights, and medical research. They stepped up to become major donors to Human Rights Watch and, after the arrival of Anthony Romero in 2001, to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Sandlers’ sponsorship of medical research demonstrates their unique, creative, entrepreneurial, and sometimes controversial approach to philanthropic work. With the American Asthma Foundation, which they founded, the goal was to disrupt existing research patterns and to interest scientists beyond the narrow confines of pulmonology to investigate the disease and to produce new basic research about it. Check out the interview with Bill Seaman for more on this initiative. The Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research at the University of California, San Francisco likewise seeks out highly-qualified researchers who are willing to engage in high-risk research projects. The interview with program director Keith Yamamoto highlights the impacts and the future promise of the research supported by the Sandlers. The Sandler Fellows program at UCSF selects recent graduate school graduates of unusual promise and provides them with a great deal of independence to pursue their own research agenda, rather than serve as assistants in established labs. Joe DeRisi was one of the first Sandler Fellows and, in his interview, he describes the remarkable work he has accomplished while at UCSF as a fellow and, now, as faculty member who heads his own esteemed lab.

The list of projects, programs, and agencies either supported or started by the Sandlers runs too long to list here, but at least two are worth mentioning for these endeavors have produced impacts wide and far: the Center for American Progress and ProPublica. The Center for American Progress had its origins in Herb Sandler’s recognition that there was a need for a liberal policy think tank that could compete in the marketplace of ideas with groups such as the conservative Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. The Sandlers researched existing groups and met with many well-connected and highly capable individuals until they forged a partnership with John Podesta, who had served as chief of staff under President Bill Clinton. The Center for American Progress has since grown by leaps and bounds and is now recognized for being just what it set out to be.

The same is also true with ProPublica. The Sandlers had noticed the decline of traditional print journalism in the wake of the internet and lamented what this meant for the state of investigative journalism, which typically requires a meaningful investment of time and money. After spending much time doing due diligence—another Sandler hallmark—and meeting with key players, including Paul Steiger of the Wall Street Journal, they took the leap and established a not-for-profit investigative journalism outfit, which they named ProPublica. ProPublica not only has won several Pulitzer Prizes, it has played a critical role in supporting our democratic institutions by holding leaders accountable to the public. Moreover, the Sandler Foundation is now a minority sponsor of the work of ProPublica, meaning that others have recognized the value of this organization and stepped forward to ensure its continued success. Herb Sandler’s interview as well as several other interviews describe many of the other initiatives created and/or supported by the foundation, including: the Center for Responsible Lending, Oceana, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Learning Policy Institute, and more.

Herb and Marion Sandler also played key roles in the formation and funding of two important research centers here on the UC Berkeley campus which have a global reach: the Berkeley Center for Equitable Growth (CEG) and the Human Rights Center. The CEG is directed by economist Emmanual Saez and has supported the influential work of Thomas Piketty which looks at methods for reducing wealth and income disparities around the globe. The Human Rights Center has for the past 25 years investigated and shed light upon human rights abuses around the globe.

Herb and Marion Sandler on their honeymoon in 1961
Herb and Marion Sandler on their honeymoon in 1961

A few interviewees shared the idea that when it comes to Herb and Marion Sandler there are actually three people involved: Marion Sandler, Herb Sandler, and “Herb and Marion.” The later creation is a kind of mind-meld between the two which was capable of expressing opinions, making decisions, and forging a united front in the ambitious projects that they accomplished. I think this makes great sense because I find it difficult to fathom that two individuals alone could do what they did. Because Marion Sandler passed away in 2012, I was not able to interview her, but I am confident in my belief that a very large part of her survives in Herb’s love of “Herb and Marion,” which he summons when it is time to make important decisions. And let us not forget that in the midst of all of this work they raised two accomplished children, each of whom make important contributions to the foundation and beyond. Moreover, the Sandlers have developed many meaningful friendships (see the interviews with Tom Laqueur and Ronnie Caplane), some of which have spanned the decades.

The eighteen interviews of the Herb and Marion Sandler oral history project, then, are several projects in one. It is a personal, life history of a remarkable woman and her mate and life partner; it is a substantive history of banking and of the fate of the savings and loan institution in the United States; and it is an examination of the current world of high-stakes philanthropy in our country at a time when the desire to do good has never been more needed and the importance of doing that job skillfully never more necessary.

Martin Meeker, Charles B. Faulhaber Director, Oral History Center, UC Berkeley

 

List of Interviews of the Marion and Herbert Sandler Oral History Project

Ronnie Caplane, “Ronnie Caplane: On Friendship with Marion and Herb.”

Steve Daetz, “Steve Daetz: Values and Leadership at Golden West Financial and the Sandler Foundation.”

Joseph DeRisi, “Joe DeRisi: From Sandler Fellow to UCSF Professor of Biochemistry.”

Stephen Hauser, “Stephen Hauser: Establishing the Sandler Neurosciences Center at UCSF.”

Russell Kettell, “Russ Kettell: A Career with Golden West Financial.”

Thomas Laqueur, “Tom Laqueur: On the Meaning of Friendship.”

Bernard Osher, “Barney Osher: On Marion Osher Sandler.”

John Podesta, “John Podesta: Building Infrastructure for Progressive Politics with the Center for American Progress.”

Anthony Romero, “Anthony Romero: Leadership of the American Civil Liberties Union in Times of Crisis.”

Michael Roster, “Michael Roster: Attorney and Golden West Financial General Counsel.”

Kenneth Roth, “Kenneth Roth: Human Rights Watch and Achieving Global Impact.”

Herbert Sandler, “Herbert Sandler: A Life with Marion Osher Sandler in Business and Philanthropy.”

James Sandler, “Jim Sandler: Commitment to the Environment in the Sandler Foundation.”

Susan Sandler, “Susan Sandler: The Sandler Family and Philanthropy.”

William Seaman, “Bill Seaman: The American Asthma Foundation.”

Paul Steiger, “Paul Steiger: Business Reporting and the Creation of ProPublica.”

Richard Tofel, “Richard Tofel: The Creation and Expansion of ProPublica.”

Keith Yamamoto, “Keith Yamamoto: The Sandler Foundation and the Program in Breakthrough Biomedical Research at UCSF.”


Coastal Tales: The Long Struggle to Preserve California’s Coast – New Podcast Just Launched!

by Todd Holmes

“The true history of the Coastal Commission is what you don’t see, namely the developments along the coast the agency either denied or significantly scaled back.”

In 1972, the citizens of California voted overwhelmingly to create a new agency charged with regulating all development along the state’s coastline, an agency that became known as the California Coastal Commission. For nearly 50 years, the Commission has worked with coastal communities to shape development along California’s shore, efforts guided by the dual aims of environmental protection and public access. It is often said that the true history of the Coastal Commission is what you don’t see, namely the developments along the coast the agency either denied or significantly scaled back. This “unseen” history stands at the heart of the 15-episode podcast, Coastal Tales: The Long Struggle to Preserve California’s Coast, a production of the Oral History Center at UC Berkeley in partnership with the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. We’ve just launched the pilot episode about saving Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz, and the rest of the podcast is slated to be released in the fall of 2020.

Title slide
Saving Lighthouse Point: The Pilot Podcast for the Coastal Tales Series

The pilot episode, “Saving Lighthouse Point,” tells the story of the fight in Santa Cruz during the early 1970s against massive development that sought to turn one of the city’s last open parcels of coastal land into a bustling tourist and business hub. Bolstered by the creation of the Coastal Commission, the citizens of Santa Cruz organized and challenged the city council’s support of the project, ultimately saving Lighthouse Point. The successful campaign not only came to stand as a testament to the Coastal Commission and its influence in many coastal communities, but also would prove a watershed moment in the history of Santa Cruz.

Each episode of the podcast will feature a specific site on the state’s coastline and detail the story of a proposed development that, if not for the Coastal Commission, would have significantly altered those sites and communities forever. Led by Todd Holmes, a historian at the Oral History Center and affiliated scholar with Stanford’s Bill Lane Center, the podcast draws on oral history interviews currently underway with former staff and commissioners of the agency, as well as community activists closely involved with the Commission over the decades. The project also draws on Holmes’ research conducted with the California Coastal Commission Project, which the Bill Lane Center initiated in 2014. When complete, the 15 episodes of Coastal Tales will be housed on a dedicated website that will feature the full transcripts of the interviews along with additional information and resources on the history of the Commission. The public will also eventually be able to access the episodes at the sites themselves with the scan of a QR code.

If you’d like to learn more about this project, please contact Todd Holmes at todd.holmes@berkeley.edu or 510-666-3687. You can also support our future episodes by writing California Coastal Commission in the special instructions section of the donation form.

Listen to the pilot episode, read the oral histories, and and be sure to stay tuned for more information!


Environmental Justice Grit in the Borderlands

Environmentalists make terrible neighbors, but great ancestors. – David Brower

It would be difficult not to notice a common thread of diligent, dogged persistence across the broad spectrum of environmental justice activism. This tenacity, coupled with a long view of the world and a whole lot of hard work, is what makes for some of the most successful environmental justice campaigns.

While success cannot be measured in one brief moment or win where environmental issues are concerned, each victory adds to the larger picture of global environmental awareness and health of the planet. Multiple stories of such environmental justice grit can be found in the collections at The Bancroft Library and one collection in particular is the newly opened records of Arizona Toxics Information.

Focused primarily on environmental concerns in the Arizona/Mexico border region during the 1970s through 1990s, Arizona Toxics Information was founded by conservationist Michael Gregory in 1990. The collection also includes materials collected by Gregory before Arizona Toxics Information was established when he worked with the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter and grassroots environmental groups. Gregory had been employed by the United States Forest Service in the early 1970s and had witnessed the spraying of herbicide 2,4,5-T in national forests while he was stationed at fire outlook towers. 2,4,5-T is one of the main components of Agent Orange, which had already been banned for use in Vietnam due to its known harmful health effects and birth defects. From there, Gregory set about to research, collect information, write articles and lobby to end the practice of herbicide, pesticide and insecticide spraying in national forests and range lands.

In addition to the fight for pesticide use awareness and regulations, Arizona Toxics also ran several successful campaigns to shut down the Phelps-Dodge Corporation’s Douglas Reduction Works (copper smelter), the ENSCO hazardous waste management facility (PCB incinerator), and to improve the overall air and water quality of Arizona. As the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Environmental Plan for the U.S.-Mexico Border Area and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were being drafted in the early 1990s, Arizona Toxics Information lobbied and organized grassroots groups on both sides of the border to share information and rally for a multitude of environmental commitments in the agreements. These commitments included providing the public the “right-to-know” about pollutants being released from factories on both sides of the United States-Mexico border, regulating maquiladoras (factories in Mexico that are generally owned and operated by foreign companies which assemble products often to be exported back to the country of that company), and developing emergency disaster plans to respond to hazardous waste accidents.

The current status of NAFTA casts some doubt on the future of these agreements. The opening of the records of Arizona Toxics Information provides timely documentation of hard-won environmental justice victories on the US-Mexico border.

The processing of the Arizona Toxics Information records is part of a two-year NHPRC-funded project to process a range of archival collections relating to environmental movements in the West. A leading repository in documenting U.S. environmental movements, The Bancroft Library is home to the records of many significant environmental organizations and the papers of a range of environmental activists.


New Books in Literature for October

As fall approaches and the weather begins to cool down, it’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a slice of pumpkin pie and a good book. Where better to find your next read than the library literature collection? The books we recently received have something for everyone—whether you’re looking for poetry, prose, or criticism.

Check out the rest of the new acquisitions!

Want a book that we don’t have in the library? Request it here.