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A UC Bibliography


Hundreds of books, essays, articles, and chapters have been published about the University of California, its history, programs and events, and the people associated with it. These publications include scholarly histories and analysis, individual recollections, architectural guides, and even works of fiction. This section of the University History Project Websource will present an ever-expanding list of these publications.

Each listing includes the essential publication information to enable to user to find the book, as well as a brief description of contents and particular aspects of usefulness in the study of UC history. Many of the entries also have historical notes, with anecdotes about the authors or publications.

The Centennial Record of the University of California
Stadtman, Verne, Editor
University of California printing Department, Berkeley
Copyright 1967, Regents of the University of California
585 pages

Description: Comprehensive in scope and content when published, this book was produced for the University of California's Centennial in 1968. Following an encyclopedia format it includes hundreds of topical entries from “Academic Freedom” to “Wildlife Research Center”. Many entries are supplemented with references to other historical sources. Special chapters are included on each UC campus--and, within each campus, each academic department--and the volume begins with a brief history of the University and a chronology of key events.

Today the volume is somewhat limited in use because it is more than 30 years since the information was compiled and many entries--such as lists of names of deans, student athletic records, or departmental histories--are considerably out of date. However, this volume remains an essential reference for both serious and casual students of UC history. The amount of detail is extensive, from lists of University traditions to maps and building-by-building summaries of each campus.

A Historical Note: The Centennial Record was one of three major publications produced at the time of the University's 1968 Centennial. Stadtman also authored The University of California, 1868-1968, a narrative history of the institution, and an anthology of alumni reminiscences, There Was Light, was also produced for the anniversary.

The University of California: History and Achievements
Johnson, Dean C.
UC Printing Services, University of California
Copyright 1996, The Regents of the University of California
329 pages

Description: This book was produced for the University of California's 130th anniversary. To some extent it updates the Centennial Record, published in 1968. Some of the same format of the Centennial Record is followed--a brief general history and chronology, followed by campus profiles and “milestones”. Since much of the development of the University has occurred since 1968, including rapid evolution and change in many academic programs and fields, this work is an essential reference for studying UC history. Key programs and issues from employee collective bargaining to endowed chairs to native American education are profiled in an alphabetical encyclopedic format. However, the publication does not go into the same detail as the Centennial Record concerning every academic department and program.

Fiat Lux: The University of California
Adams, Ansel, and Newhall, Nancy
McGraw-Hill Book Company
New York, 1968

Description: As part of the preparation for the University of California's Centennial celebration in 1968, noted photographer Ansel Adams was commissioned by University President Clark Kerr to travel throughout California documenting, with black and white photography, the University's campuses and far-flung research stations as well as the people who worked and studied there. Three years of traveling, photographing, writing, and review resulted in this large format album that is both an art book and historical record. The photographs--many of which have impact similar to Adams' better known works in nature photography--are as detailed as a close-up of a container of tiny insects in a museum collection and as expansive as a vista over the miles of the Anga-Borrego Desert where the University maintains a research station. Faculty, staff, students and visitors--from legendary Nobel Prize winners, to otherwise ordinary freshmen--are shown at work, study, teaching, or recreation. Arts, sciences, the classroom experience, laboratories, field learning, historic buildings and the most modern facilities are all profiled.  Many of the photographs are accompanied by short prose essays about aspects of the University's history or then-current programs. While the book was planned as a contemporary portrait of the University of California, as time passes it also serves as a historical record, visually documenting a key era in the development of the University.

The University In the 1870s
Brentano, Carroll, and Rothblatt, Sheldon, Editors
Institute of Governmental Studies
UC Berkeley, 1996
90 pages

William Hammond Hall and the Original Campus Plan
Watson, Kent
The University and the Constitutional Convention of 1878
Van Houten, Peter

This book presents, packaged together in one publication, two separate research essays on aspects of the University of California's early history. Both essays were originally written to satisfy thesis requirements. The volume is number six in “Chapters in the History of the University of California”, a periodic series produced through the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the Berkeley campus.

In his essay, Landscape Architect Kent Watson explores how the campus plan offered to the University's regents in 1874 by William Hammod Hall was accepted by President Daniel Coit Gilman and became the basis for the 19th century Berkeley campus. Hall, otherwise known for his design for San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, consulted with Frederick Law Olmsted on his design.  Peter Van Houten examines California's Constitutional Convention of 1878-79, a proceeding at which the future of the University and its fundamental organizational structure hung in the balance.  Both stories portray the uneasy atmosphere of economic and ideological forces at war in one of California's most turbulent decades. 

A Historical Note: Author Peter Van Houten was associated with the University from his student days (Class of ‘56, Berkeley) and his entire work career, beginning as a assistant Dean of Men in the era of the Free Speech Movement through his retirement as Director of Pre-Graduate and Professional School Advising and Graduate School Services from 1973 to his retirement in 1999.

University of California Pilgrimage: A Treasury of Tradition, Lore and Laughter
Sibley, Robert and Carol
Lederner, Street & Zeus., Inc.
Copyright 1952, Robert & Carol Sibley
201 pages

Description: Robert Sibley, a graduate of the Class of 1903 at the Berkeley campus, served for many years as Executive Manager of the California Alumni Association. In that role he came to know thousands of University faculty, staff, alumni, and students and was not only a direct witness to a momentous half-century of UC development, but a contemporary to such near-legendary figures as President Benjamin Ide Wheeler, Professor Henry Morse Stephens, and Professor George Cunningham Edwards, one of the University’s first alumni.

Sibley and his wife Carol wrote this book as a guide to much of the history and campus traditions of the University and the Berkeley Campus is particular; the material is mainly from Robert Sibley’s recollections. The text follows a walking tour format through the Berkeley campus. Each chapter is an “episode” identified with a particular site on campus such as South Hall, Wheeler Hall, Faculty Glade, or Memorial Stadium. Within each chapter Sibley reminiscences and presents an array of personal stories, jokes, anecdotes, and descriptions that draw on the history of the campus and his own experiences.

The book does have some drawbacks. Sibley writes as a storyteller, not as a formal historian. There are a few factual errors; if the book is being used as a reference for a serious work of history, it would be wise to cross-check names, dates, and basic facts with other sources. And because the book is full of topical humor from the first half of the 20th century, some of the stories and jokes will seem strange, flat, or un-funny to today’s readers. Nonetheless, California Pilgrimage is a rich mine of material about the University in the 19th century and early 20th century, including many first-hand stories, and captures the “California Spirit” in a way few other publications have.

The book includes many photographs of early University of California life. As an added bonus it reproduces, in full color and one per page, several paintings of UC scenes by Chiru Obata of Berkeley’s Art faculty including his well known “Dusk at Sather Gate”.

A Historical Note:  Authors Robert and Carol Sibley lived one block north of the Berkeley campus on the northwest corner of LeRoy Avenue and Ridge Road, in a brick mansion known as “Allenoke Manor”, designed in 1903 by noted architect Ernest Coxhead. Here they entertained generations of Berkeley’s “town and gown”. After Robert Sibley’s death Carol Sibley subdivided the house into apartment units and constructed additional units on a portion of the grounds. She lived in one, a Japanese-style cottage, until her death in the 1980s. Subsequent owners have restored the original house to single-family use, and reconstructed much of the ground floor, including a grand staircase and living room.  From time to time the house has been featured on architectural tours of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.

Carol Sibley was a prominent community figure in her own right from the 1960s through the 1980s. She served as President of the Berkeley Board of Education and presided over the successful racial integration of Berkeley’s public schools (as well as surviving a recall attempt launched against her and other board members who had voted for the program, the first voluntary desegregation of a public school district in the United States). She contributed her time and energy to many civic groups, including the charitable organization A Dream for Berkeley and was a founder of the All Berkeley Coalition (ABC) which played a key role in Berkeley politics in the 1980s.

For The Blue and Gold: A Tale of Life At The University of California
Joy Lichtenstein
A.M. Robertson
San Francisco, California, 1901

Description: The first full-length novel about the University of California, this book describes campus life at Berkeley in the late 1890s. The author, a Berkeley alumnus, creates fictional characters but appears to have drawn extensively on actual Berkeley life and events during the period.  For example, the real football coach at Cal in 1898 and 1899 was Garrett Cochran, and his teams won two dramatic Big Game victories over Stanford; in the novel, the coach is “Coach Garrett” and one chapter is devoted to the team’s Big Game win. The main character is James Rawson, a freshman, and the chapters chronologically follow his experiences as a new student learning the ropes, a football recruit (and, soon, Big Game hero) and a class leader. Traditional events of the 19th century including the Burial of Bourdon and Minto, Class Day, the Freshman/Sophomore “rush” on Charter Hill and Freshman/Sophomore brawl, and student rallies and elections form the backdrop for the narrative.

The book takes its name from this bit of verse. 

“Cheer for the Blue and Gold, whene’er you see its hues! 
In vict’ry or defeat, do not the moments choose. 
Its colors stand for things that have sweetened all our lives.
With every added cheer new love springs, old revives: 
Cheer for the Blue and Gold!”

Berkeley Landmarks: An Illustrated Guide to Berkeley, California’s Architectural Heritage
Cerny, Susan Dinkelspiel
Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association
Copyright 1994
264 pages

Description:  A guide to those structures and sites in Berkeley--including over 200 buildings and locations--that have been declared official City Landmarks by the City of Berkeley. The list includes many buildings on the UC Berkeley campus and off-campus structures owned by the University.  Capsule descriptions of each building, its history, and its architectural character are included, along with both contemporary and historical photographs. This is not solely an architectural history, although architectural styles and details are emphasized; it also contains plenty of background on how buildings came about and neighborhoods and campus features evolved as well as the people and events associated with them. The book is divided into geographical chapters, with one devoted to the UC campus. Each chapter begins with an overview of the historic and architectural development of the area or neighborhood. 

A Historical Note: Author and architectural historian Susan Cerny has close ties to the UC Berkeley campus going back to the 1920s when her father was a student. She is a past President of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA), which published the book. BAHA, based in a historic house on Durant Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus, maintains extensive records and pictorial files on local buildings, including Berkeley campus structures.

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