Five rare books in California history are the first purchases made from the Annis Endowment, a bequest established by Elizabeth Annis for the purchase of materials documenting early California. All five volumes provide slice-of-life glimpses into the history of California, principally during the 19th century.
This was the first significant newspaper published in California, of which UCI has acquired nine issues dating from 1853-1857 and 1878. The paper documented business, political and legal events of the day in and around San Francisco. So different from today’s newspapers, but typical of the 19th century, the Alta California featured advertisements and poetry on the front page. The Libraries also own the full run on microfilm; having a few original issues is of great value for use in undergraduate history courses.
Particularly fascinating are Miss Annie Bosworth’s diaries. A young woman living in San Francisco, her lengthy diary entries describe her daily life, including parties, outings to locales such as Chinatown and San Quentin, and a visit to a sea-going vessel. They have never been published and so are uniquely available at UCI.
Haskins is the most entertaining of the authors; his descriptions of life in the mining camps read like a Mark Twain novel. His astute observations are vividly drawn, from descriptions of ethnic accents to accounts of business and social life.
Buckbee’s book is packed with the routine details of daily life, from growing tobacco to fighting fires. She includes a list of Tuolomne county pioneers, physicians and surgeons, as well as a list of early towns and mining camps.
Garvis has written an encyclopedic history of 26 Gold Rush-era mining camps. The book includes a chronological list of facts about each town, photographs, facsimiles of original documents, and other illustrations. Also included is a pictorial and descriptive genealogy of 260 local families.
Special Collections and Archives is always interested in collaborating with faculty to teach their students about the use of primary sources. For more information about these and other sources in California history, contact Kay Collins, Research Librarian for History (firstname.lastname@example.org or x47290) or Jackie Dooley, Head of Special Collections and Archives (email@example.com or x44935).
Rare Californiana Acquired on Annis Endowment
Mitchell Brown, Kay Collins, Jackie Dooley, Sylvia Irving, Kathryn Kjaer, Steve MacLeod, Julie Sully, Allison Tran, Christina Woo
Editor: Jackie Dooley
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