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Peek in the Stacks: special collections

The Left Book Club

The Left Book Club was a left-wing organization founded in 1936 by labor politician Sir Richard Stafford Cripps, Sir Victor Gollancz, a publisher and humanitarian, and Evelyn John St Loe Strachey a labor politician and writer in the United Kingdom. Its primary purpose was to speak out against fascism and promote peace in the world through its publications. The club supplied a book title for purchase by members every month that covered a number of topics, including science, reporting, fiction, and a range of other subjects, from a left-leaning perspective...

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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. Some people find them so fascinating...

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The Temperance Movement

The Temperance Movement, also called the Prohibition Movement, was a political and social movement in the United States during Progressive Era. Supporters of the Temperance Movement, mostly Protestant and known as "teetotalers," worked for many decades to end the sale of alcohol across the United States at the local, state and national level. Groups like the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and Anti-Saloon League argued alcohol was the root of numerous social problems plaguing the nation at the time, especially in rapidly expanding urban areas flush with new, predominantly Catholic, immigrant groups...

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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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Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

It's finals week, when tensions are high and stressed minds long for rest, relaxation, and adventure in the great outdoors. Special Collections and Archives holds a number of tantalizing titles sure to interest even the most exhausted minds in an exploration of California's wilderness wonderland, King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks...

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Spain's Conflict with Fascism

"Spain woke up to a shock on the morning of July 18, 1936. The first shots were fired in Morocco. They were soon heard throughout Spain. From mouth to mouth, house to house, street to street, the alarm was raised: 'The army in Morocco has rebelled against the Republic!'" This statement comes from Delores Ibarruri, one of the primary resistance leaders in Spain’s fight against fascism during the Spanish Civil War...

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Is Little America on Your Bucket List?

US Navy pilot and Medal of Honor recipient Admiral Richard E. Byrd led several expeditions to Antarctica over approximately 30 years. From 1928-1930 he led the first expedition to reach the South Pole by air. Byrd would return several times, with his third, fourth, and fifth expeditions funded by the US government and supported by US Navy personnel, vessels ...

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Les Surréalistes

The surrealist movement began in Europe in the years immediately following World War I. Surrealist artists and writers strove to create works that were illogical, or that expressed the unconscious mind, often through use of surprising elements and unexpected juxtapositions. While some of its most famed members are artists like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte....

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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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Delilah L. Beasley and the Trail She Blazed

Delilah Leontium Beasley was born on September 9, 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio to parents Daniel and Margaret. She attended segregated Cincinnati public schools, and by the age of twelve had begun to write and publish short social notices in the local black newspapers and some white newspapers, such as...

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