2017 marks the centennial of the incorporation of Davis, California as a city. In this exhibition, 100 years of Davis history come to life through photographs, newspaper clippings and other archival materials from Special Collections.

Special Collections Display Cases, Shields Library Lobby
Winter – Spring Quarter, 2017

You’ll learn about some of the people and stories that shaped the city of Davis, including:

  • Jerome C. Davis, a stock farm owner for whose family the city is named.
  • The disastrous fire that destroyed the downtown business district and brought attention to the need for city services.
  • The evolution of Davis real estate, from when you could buy a $9,250 home in Oeste Manor in 1950 to a community site map for the Cannery, which is still being built today.

The display draws from more than 15 separate collections, ranging from professional and personal photographs to the institutional archives of the Sacramento Union newspaper and UC Davis.

The collections include:

  • Alfred F. Smith Papers – Materials related to the 300-acre Stonegate development, designed and developed by Alfred Smith.
  • California Collection – Contains nearly 3,000 pamphlets, brochures, and flyers from various California cities and counties documenting events which played a role in the formation of the West.
  • City of Davis Collection – Records describing local politics, city administration, business activity, and more.
  • Davis Boy Scout Troop No. 1 Photographs – Featuring the troop during scout meetings, events, and construction of the Boy Scout cabin circa 1922-1927.
  • Davis Food Co-op Collection – This small collection includes brochures, fliers, and materials related to cooperatives and small farms.
  • Eastman’s Originals Collections – Photographs, negatives, and postcards of Northern California events such as dam construction, logging, mining, food processing, and community activities.
  • Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm – Photographs and memorabilia collected by Harry Hazen, a student who studied at the University Farm (now UC Davis) from 1916-1918.
  • Institute of Government Affairs Collection – Clippings about Davis/Yolo County, Sacramento City/County, and the California State Government.
  • John Lofland Papers – Research materials on demonstrations in or near the California State Capitol building in 1977 for two of his books. Also included are materials relating to the formation of the sister city relationship between the City of Davis and the Ukrainian city of Uman.
  • Julie Partansky Papers – Reports, memos, clippings, and correspondence created during Partansky’s terms as Davis City Council member and Mayor.
  • Map Collection, Aerial photographs – Extensive collection of aerial photography for the Central Valley of California with special emphasis on the immediate area, i.e. Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Counties, California.
  • Norman Riley Photographs – Negatives and silver gelatin prints of scenes in the Davis and Sacramento areas.
  • Pierce Family Papers – George Pierce Jr. was the foremost advocate of Davis as the location for the University Farm (now UC Davis). Items include diaries, photographs, business records, travel guides, and more.
  • Robert Laben Papers – Materials related to the campus dairy herd and dairy operations as well as Laben’s personal photographs of the local area.
  • Sacramento Union Records – Archives of the Sacramento Union newspaper, which was the oldest daily newspaper west of the Mississippi until it closed its doors in 1994.
  • University Archives Photographs – A visual record of the history of UC Davis, including images of campus grounds, staff, annual events, classrooms, student clubs, and sporting events.

To access materials in these or other collections in Special Collections, or if you have materials related to the history of Davis that you would like to donate to the UC Davis Library, contact SpecColl@ucdavis.edu.

Visitors are welcome to take home a free postcard that shows what downtown Davis looked like in 1945 as a souvenir.

Poster of the Davis 100 year celebrationPoster of the Davis 100 year celebration
This exhibit was curated by Sara Gunasekara, Public Services & Archives Specialist in Special Collections. For further information, please contact SpecColl@ucdavis.edu.

Selections from Eastman’s Originals Collection

Selections from the Paul K. Stumpf Slides

Selections from the Robert Laben Slides

Selections from the Norman Riley Photographs Collection