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Preserving Historic Crystal Cove

The Libraries’ collection of archives documenting preservation of the Orange County environment was highlighted at the latest event in the Speakers Series, a program celebrating publication of Crystal Cove Cottages: Islands in Time on the California Coast.

Laura Davick & Joan Irvine Smith

The December 8th event highlighted the history and preservation of this unique California beach community, featuring talks by philanthropist Joan Irvine Smith, activist and author Laura Davick, and Head of Special Collections and Archives Jackie Dooley.

Crystal Cove Cottages relates the fascinating history of the Crystal Cove community. For generations, the Cove has been a playground for filmmakers, landscape painters, campers, beachcombers, and the families who built and lived in its rustic cottages. The book is profusely illustrated with historic and contemporary photography, as well as plein air paintings.

Joan Irvine Smith, one of the Cove’s most avid supporters, spoke about her family’s connection to the land and her involvement in efforts to preserve it from inappropriate development.

Postcard of Crystal Cove

Laura Davick talked about the past, present and future of the cove, showing historical images that included pictures of her own family. “My parents met as campers at Crystal Cove in 1937 and moved into cottage #2 when I was a year old. It was truly a wonderful experience to grow up there.” As president and founder of the non-profit Crystal Cove Alliance, Davick has been the central figure in successful efforts to preserve the Cove, dedicating her life to advocating for environmental protection, historic preservation, and education. “The Alliance is involved in developing programs which include overnight accommodations, interpretive programs, state parks operations, and other visitor services,” Davick said, “and we are partnering with UCI to build a marine field station at the historic district.”

Jackie Dooley described the Libraries' work to document the history of the Cove by working with Davick and other former residents, as well as other collections pertaining to environmental preservation. In addition to the archives of local environmental activists and organizations, the collections of books, journals, and other materials actively support academic programs as diverse as those of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the School of Social Ecology.

For more information about the Speakers Series, please contact Julie Sully (jsully@uci.edu or x44658).



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