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Peek in the Stacks: special collections

Slavery and the Law

 Laws protect the rights of a nation's citizens, but with regards to American slavery, were used as a tool to advance both pro- and anti-slavery efforts. Our understanding of the arc of American slavery and its aftermath is informed, in part, by the push and pull of laws that mark shifting social, political and economic environments. For instance, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 added Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state...

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Journal of a Trip from Liverpool to San Francisco

Special Collections and Archives holds many unique and interesting diaries which chronicle the adventures of travelers from all over the world. One of these, entitled, Journal of a Trip from Liverpool to San Francisco, was penned by a young Englishwoman visiting the United States for the very first time. The journal chronicles her trip from April to June of 1895, beginning with a trip across the sea on the "luxurious" S.S Teutonic...

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Early Los Angeles History

Many consider Los Angeles a relatively young city, with a unique but primarily 20th century history.  Special Collections and Archives holds several resources that document LA's  earlier, 19th century history, especially the years immediately following the Mexican-American War, and California's early statehood. One of these resources is the Los Angeles Assessor's Book (Duplicado del Libro de Avaluos), dated 1854, in which Los ....

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Milton Geiger Collection

 Milton Geiger wrote radio and television scripts as well as motion picture plays, theater plays, and short stories, some of which were performed or directed by Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Edward G. Robinson, Lorne Greene, and Richard Dreyfuss. The Milton Geiger Papers document his writing career from 1938 particularly the creative development and research he did in scriptwriting...

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Mothers in the Archives

Most countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. This year, Mother’s Day is on May 12th. There are many ways to celebrate our mothers. In the United States, many of us buy flowers, candy, jewelry, or create something to show appreciation. However, throughout history, there have been political and cultural events that have shaped this tradition...

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Dime Novel Collection

In the mid- to late-19th century, with the advent of steam-powered manufacturing and the industrial revolution in the United States, more and more Americans had increasing amounts of leisure time. With no television or radio entertainment yet available and limited access to public libraries, more Americans were reading for leisure than ever before....

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California Tourism and Promotional Literature Collection

In honor of Spring Break, we pulled some materials from our collections that document vacation, travel, and recreational activities. Tourism and real estate promotion have been one of the primary reasons people decided to vacation and live in California, and staff in Special Collections have collected these promotional materials in the California Tourism and Promotional Literature Collection...

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The Culinary Collection

The ways in which individuals and collective groups have prepared and consumed food reveals the many dimensions of human experience, both within and across cultures.  Special Collections and Archives' Culinary Collection holds more than 660 books and periodicals dating from 1839-1982 that provide a unique glimpse into the role of food in human society...

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The Raymond C. Fleming Diaries

Fleming writes, "Here we are with no adequate guns or defenses, and trying to work as usual . . . If we put up a defense everyone will be killed, + we will put up a defense. I have a machete ready in the office." Later that same day, he learned they'd have a "blackout every nite, + no matches even are allowed..."

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Miniature Books

When a student or other patron requests a book in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room, he or she is sometimes surprised to find the book is a part of our Miniature Book Collection. Whether or not a book is called "miniature" is determined entirely by its size; any book smaller than 3" can be considered a miniature book. Miniature books are often made in limited editions...

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