UC Santa Cruz receives $100,000 gift to create California History Room

UC Santa Cruz has received a gift of $100,000 from the Hugh Stuart Center Charitable Trust in San Jose to create a new California History Room at Special Collections in the newly expanded and renovated Dean E. McHenry Library.

The Hugh Stuart Center California History Room will be established with the aim of introducing a new generation of UCSC students and local community members to the diverse history of the central California coast. It will provide state-of-the-art facilities and services to expand and preserve the UCSC California history collection and make it broadly accessible to the campus and community.

"The library is very honored to be the recipient of this generous gift," said University Librarian Virginia Steel. "It will allow us to create an inspirational space in the renovated Special Collections department in which we will continue to make our unique resources accessible to researchers and scholars. We look forward to showcasing our distinctive collections of rare Californian and local history documents and cultural artifacts in this focused research and study room."

Since its founding in 1965, UCSC's Special Collections has assembled an extensive collection of regional historical materials that includes pre-statehood documents, oral history interviews, archives of the world-renowned Lick Observatory, the Morley Baer photographic collection of 20th-century California architecture, and the papers of key cultural, business, and political figures such as composer Lou Harrison, author James Houston, the Hihn-Younger and Porter-Sesnon families, and state senator Henry Mello.

The $100,000 gift will primarily be used to:

. Equip the new space with customized exhibit facilities to promote California history, and with specialized equipment--such as oversized shelving and audio-visual devices for innovative instruction and display.

. Acquire additional historical collections as they become available, investing in primary source material such as author archives and California fine-press publications that state funding does not cover.

. Process, catalog, and index California history collections; preserve the materials in archival-quality housing; digitize materials to the highest professional standards; and add them to the Online Archive of California.

. Promote active campus and community use of the California history collections through an outreach program of events, exhibits, publications, and the creation of web-based finding aids.

The Hugh Stuart Center Charitable Trust was established in 1977 to commemorate the life, family, and career of Hugh Stuart Center (1905-1977), who practiced law in Santa Clara Valley for nearly 50 years. An expert in civil, criminal, and trial procedure, he was admitted and qualified as an attorney and counselor for the United States Supreme Court in 1947.