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University of California, Davis Library

Library Overview

The Department of Special Collections was established in 1966 to house the library's rare and unique collections. Holdings consist of over 150,000 rare books and pamphlets, 17,200 linear feet of manuscript collections and University Archives, and 1.75 million historical photographs. The Special Collections Department houses the J. Richard Blanchard Rare Book Collection with strengths in agriculture, American and British literature, apiculture, botany, British history, entomology, religion, viticulture and enology, and zoology. A major focus of the collection is the history and culture of California's Central Valley and surrounding regions, including the Eastman Photograph Collection of over 13,000 images of northern California.

The department holds a major research collection on the history of agricultural technology, the F. Hal Higgins collection. Other important collections in the agricultural and food sciences include the A.W. Noling Hurty-Peck Beverages Library, the Ferry-Morse Seed Company archives, and fruit crate label collections. Viticulture and enology collections support major programs at the University of California, Davis, and include the Maynard A. Amerine papers, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms archives on California wineries, and wine label collections.

Special Collections houses a number of research-level collections in the humanities, such as the personal papers of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gary Snyder and the Kohler British Poetry Collection. There are especially strong holdings in 20th-century experimental theater including the archives of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Living Theater. The department holds significant collections supporting the study of the political and social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries including radical politics, as well as the contributions and history of women, gays, Native Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Chicanos.

University of California, Davis Library
Department of Special Collections
General Library
100 North West Quad
University of California, Davis
Davis, California 95616-5292
(530) 752-2112 (t)
(530) 754-5758 (f)