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New Special Collections Available in 2008

In the past year, Special Collections and Archives has made several archival collections available for research on a variety of topics, including critical theory, dance, UCI, and Orange County.

Between 2000 and 2004, Safaa Fathy recorded Jacques Derrida's public lectures for the Critical Theory Archive. The newly available footage provides rich documentation of Derrida's intellectual life in his final years.

Our dance collection is nationally recognized, and two recent photograph collections on comic dancer Trudi Schoop, and African American modern dance innovator Katherine Dunham offer rich imagery for students of dance history.

Documenting the diverse history of UCI are records from the Cross Cultural Center, which coordinates student organizations serving ethnic and minority groups, and the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Atzlán (MEChA), a student organization promoting Chicano culture. Another significant UCI collection is from the California College of Medicine, dating from its first predecessor in 1896 to 1967 when it was incorporated into UCI.

Water has long been a contested issue in the development of Orange County, and we have three relevant collections from the Santa Margarita Water District (1970-1982), Serrano Irrigation District (1871-1973), and Moulton Niguel Water District (1974-1980). For the history of citrus agriculture in Orange County, records compiled on the Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House before its demolition offer insight into agricultural business and labor history. Documenting regional Californio families is correspondence among the Amador, Yorba, López, and Cota families from 1853 to 1879.

Modern Orange County history is also represented. The Health Care Council of Orange County records document health-related issues from 1974 to the present. The Shirley Grindle papers reveal an activist's interest in preserving open spaces and monitoring campaign financing. The Christine Shirley papers reveal efforts to preserve cottages in Crystal Cove.

How are collections prepared for research? Collections often arrive in various states of disarray, but staff are well trained to bring order out of chaos. They organize materials, perform preservation measures, and describe collections so they are discoverable on the web.

The collections mentioned above are described in the Online Archive of California (oac.cdlib.org). We encourage faculty to direct students to Special Collections and Archives and to incorporate primary sources into their research.

For more information about research or instructional services, consult our website
at special.lib.uci.edu.

Above left: Katherine Dunham in L'Ag'Ya, Chicago, 1938. Photograph collection on Katherine Dunham.
Special Collections and Archives, UC Irvine Libraries.

Above right: Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House, California, 1928. Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House records. Special Collections and Archives, UC Irvine Libraries.

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