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We’re excited to announce that the first group of films that were digitized through our participation in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) are now online.

The fifteen digitized films, which range in date from circa 1933-1958, are comprised of: eight from the Eastman Originals Collection, four from the Henry Dart Greene Papers, one from the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation Collection, and two of UC Davis campus activities.

The Eastman Originals Collection films are of scenes from the following Northern California counties: Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity. Two of the films from the Henry Dart Greene Papers focus on water issues (the Oroville Dam site and the Feather River Project) while the other two contain footage of the Sacramento River Association and Nevada County, as well as the California State Fair. The film, Native Trees and Shrubs for California Gardens, was produced as a public information service by the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation.

The two films related to UC Davis provide glimpses of historic campus activities including on-field performances by the Cal Aggie Marching Band for three football games in 1939 and Military Day exercises circa 1941-1942.

The digitized films are hosted on the Internet Archive as part of the California Light and Sound Collection. You can view a list of the films here.

In March we nominated additional audiovisual materials for digitization as part of the CAVPP. We’ll make another announcement when those items are available online.

Cal Aggie Marching Band film

Picnic Day: A Century of Celebration
Exhibit on display during Spring and Summer Quarters in Special Collections Display Cases, Shields Library

The Special Collections Department of the University Library presents an exhibit highlighting a century of the University’s annual event, Picnic Day. This exhibit draws on materials from several University Archives collections including the Picnic Day Collection and the University Archives Photographs.

The Picnic Day tradition started on May 22, 1909 with a “Dedication Basket Picnic,” said to have been suggested by Mrs. Carolee Shields, wife of Peter J. Shields, to honor the opening of North Hall, the first dormitory on the campus of the University Farm (now the University of California, Davis). Peter J. Shields helped to write the legislation for the creation of the UC Davis campus and the main library building is named in his memory.

Picnic Day has since become the annual open house for the campus and has grown into one of the largest student-run events in the U.S.

As part of this exhibit Special Collections digitized three historic 16mm films of Picnic Day from 1939, 1947, and 1953. The 1939 film, recorded by Remi C. O’Connor, Class of 1941, contains the oldest known footage of campus. The films can be viewed here.

For more information or to share your memories of Picnic Day, please email Special Collections at

Join in the festivities for the 100th Picnic Day on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The Library will host an open house from 11-1.


Special Collections is excited to participate in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP), a grant funded project that is administered by the California Preservation Program.

We nominated sixteen films from our collection to be digitized as part of the project. The films, which focus on California history, feature Northern California locations and UC Davis campus activities as well as topics such as water issues and native plants. The digitized films, which will be hosted on the Internet Archive as part of the California Light and Sound Collection, should be available during Summer 2014. Please stay tuned until then when we’ll unveil these newly digitized films.


Special Collections has been pleased to work on a project that makes the historic Viticulture and Enology lectures of Professor Maynard Amerine from his course, VEN 125 Wine Types and Sensory Evaluation, available for viewing.

Building on the sensory work of Rose Marie Pangborn and his collaboration with Edward B. Roessler, this course lays the groundwork for sensory evaluation of wine. The ability to evaluate wines, identify defects and understand sensory qualities is critical to the success of winemakers and to the ongoing improvement of the quality of California wines. This series of lectures was part of an effort to capture in video tape, the lectures of the core courses of the Viticulture and Enology program as taught at UC Davis in the early 1970’s. The faculty teaching these courses in many ways represent the Golden Age of winemaking at UC Davis.

The lectures, which were originally filmed in Winter Quarter 1973, were reformatted from original 1/2″ open reels to digital files by the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) in 2012 for Special Collections.

Acting University Librarian Randolph Siverson was instrumental in recognizing the significance of the lectures and made it a priority to have the old format films transferred to digital files.

Daryl Morrison, Head of Special Collections, oversaw the project and Collections Manager Sara Gunasekara tracked the safe movement of the original tapes and digital files, gave direction to the conversion lab, and provided support throughout the project activities.

This collaborative project included staff from other library departments. Wine and Food Librarian Axel Borg initially received the videotapes from the Viticulture and Enology Department, promoted the project, and viewed the lectures and created the website text. Systems Department Head Dale Snapp and his staff including Hector Villicana, Sean Robbins, and Luis Canales provided technical assistance, web programming and video encoding support. Michael Colby, Head of Original Monograph Cataloging, created a MARC catalog record.

Video lectures from other Viticulture and Enology classes at UC Davis can be viewed on YouTube through this link: VEN Lectures.