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Peek in the Stacks: ephemera

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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John M. Sell Civil War Collection

A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, John M. Sell enlisted in the 83rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers on July 29, 1861. He was commissioned First Lieutenant on August 27 of that year, and promoted to Captain on September 4, 1862. After fighting in numerous battles over two years, Sell was shot in the left leg on July 2, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. In one of the most commonly-performed medical procedures of the war, a ...

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The Susan B. Nelson Collection

The Susan B. Nelson Collection documents Susan Nelson's professional and personal life, most notably the fundamental role she played in the creation of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The collection details the work of the Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains' Parks and Seashore and the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore Foundation, which Nelson worked with to realize the dream of an urban park for residents of the greater Los Angeles area...

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Window to the World

In Greek mythology, Atlas was the god condemned to hold up the heavens for eternity. In modern culture, we think of an atlas as collection of maps, usually bound, that can be a window to the world packed with colorful maps and guides. In Special Collections and Archives, we have many interesting atlases, including...

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