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Peek in the Stacks: ephemera

Early Childhood Educator Associations

The issues of childcare and early childhood education have been a hot topic in national conversations during the pandemic, but they are by no means new issues. In 1925, after several years of discussions and planning, a group of concerned nursery professionals founded the National Committee on Nursery Schools and held the first conference in 1926...

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Victorian and Edwardian Greeting Cards

While people around the world have been sending greeting cards for centuries, most cards produced prior to the 19th century were crafted by hand. They were prohibitively expensive for many, and were not widely circulated as a result. Advancing print technologies and the introduction of the...

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Northridge: the Early Years

The pre-mission San Fernando Valley was peopled by the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. Their descendants continue to live, work, learn, and grow here. In 2020, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, in consultation with tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr., and professor Scott Andrews (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), composed, approved, and made public the following land...

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Beauties in the Archives

Beauty pageants are common throughout the world. Historically, these contests have focused on cisgender women, but there have been exceptions. Judging criteria for pageants is largely based on a combination of intelligence, talent, and poise, yet the core point of comparison is physical attractiveness. Young women participating in beauty pageants often look to the previous year’s winners for images of how...

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CSUN’s China Connection

In 1978, CSUN President James W. Cleary began working on a plan to improve the campus’ international reputation. Step one; initiate an international student and teacher exchange program. As one might expect, it took several years for such a program to become firmly established. In November 1983, Cleary’s administrative assistant Kay Kellogg said, “… the program is just now becoming operational.” By this time, exchanges with China, Brazil, and Poland had occurred, and an estimated dozen students and a dozen teachers had already participated in exchanges with China...

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The CSUN Matador

In 1958, students at San Fernando Valley State College chose the matador as their official college mascot. Other nominees, the Apollos and the Titans, were among the most popular mascot alternatives for their inherent and mythological ties to the sun. Many students felt that these two options were more suitable choices for the “sunshine campus,” despite the matador winning by popular vote...

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Women in Trade Cards

W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan produced fourteen enormously popular comic operas between 1871 and 1896, including H.M.S. Pinafore, the Pirates of Penzance, the Mikado, and more. These works are considered by many to be precursors of the modern musical, distinguished by comedic examination and critique of class, gender, and political systems of the time. The David Trutt Gilbert and Sullivan Advertising Cards Collection contains... 

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What is this place?

As people move around the 2nd floor of the library and pass Special Collections and Archives, they sometimes pop in to ask, "What is this place?" Special Collections and Archives holds the library’s rare book and periodical collections, and a wide variety of manuscript collections and individual items. The next question often starts "So, what is your (pick an adjective) item or book?" Today for our blog, we have set out to answer a few of your most pressing questions...

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Chapbook Collection

Chapbooks are small books that were sold on the street for a penny or less from the 17th century to the 19th century. Publishers created the books with cheap materials and with woodcut illustrations that often didn't relate to the subject matter. People of the lower socioeconomic classes could afford to read literature printed in them...

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