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Peek in the Stacks: publications

CSUN's Founding Story

Special Collections and Archives holds several collections and publications that tell the story of the founding of California State University, Northridge. The saga has been documented by emeritus history professor John Broesamle in his 1993 history of the university, Suddenly a Giant, through photographs in the University Archives Photograph Collection, and in the Judge Julian Beck and Homer A. Halverson ...

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Charles Weeks Collection

The Charles Weeks Collection was created by Carolyn L. Ryan, author of Winnetka's Heritage. The collection is comprised of various publications which document the activities and lifestyle of Charles Weeks and the farming community he helped to create in the San Fernando Valley. Mr. Weeks was invited to the San Fernando ...

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Frank W. Bireley Co.'s Local Orange Industry Innovation

Frank W. Bireley was born in Los Angeles in 1899. He went to school in Hollywood before graduating and going north to attend school at Stanford University. While in Northern California he looked for ways to fund his education, and started selling fresh squeezed orange juice to his fellow students to help pay his Stanford tuition. His juice business took off and ...

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Hollywood Studio Club

In the 1920s, the film industry exploded and Hollywood became the capital of the movie business. Young women from all over the country began coming to Los Angeles to try to make it big as screen stars. In some cases, women were exploited, taken advantage of, or became embroiled in scandals due to their youth and naiveté. Seeing the need for a safe haven, the Young Women’s ...

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"Rapid Locomotion via the Rubber-shod Steeds of Steel": Early Automobile Tourism

Today many of us start a car trip by typing our destination into a phone app that charts out our course and lets us know what kind of traffic is in our future. Before navigation apps and GPS systems were available, many travelers plotted out their journeys by using paper maps and tourist guides. In the 1910s and 1920s...

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"How do I love thee?"

This week’s blog is inspired by Valentine’s Day. In the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th, and traditionally involves the giving and receiving of cards, gifts, or flowers, the reciting of poems, the singing of songs, or similar expressions of love and friendship. While we don't usually equate Special Collections and Archives with Valentine's Day, keep reading...you might be surpised!

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The LA River

Have you ever wondered about that large cement canal running through the San Fernando Valley, past Griffith Park, east of downtown Los Angeles, and eventually to the sea, emptying into the Port of Long Beach? We still call it a river, the LA River. Originally, the river flowed freely along the alluvial flood plain that is now Los Angeles and Long Beach. There was rarely a set course for the river and flooding was common...

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Perspectives on "Coming Out"

Many members of the LGBTQ+ community are faced with challenges when it comes to sharing truths about their sexual and/or gender identities, sometimes known as "coming out of the closet". Coming out can be very difficult and in some cases can have extreme consequences. One of the most common negative outcomes is backlash or rejection from loved ones, friends, colleagues...

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Please Pass the Cranberries

This week's blog post explores several cookbooks from our Culinary Collection, focusing on one main ingredient—cranberries. The cranberry is an indigenous fruit to North America growing in the colder northern regions.  In 1815, American commercial cranberry harvesting began in Massachusetts.  At present...

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S.F.V.S.C., November 4, 1968

Unrest on campus in the mid-1960s and early 1970s left a lasting impression on San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN). Special Collections is home to several books and archival collections that discuss this discord, including two books representing different sides of what is known on campus as...

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