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Special Collections Department - Meriam Library  

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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University Archives

The University Archives Collection contains materials illustrating the history of the University. This collection includes copies of the Chico Record yearbooks, course catalogs, images, ephemera, copies of the newspapers the Chico Wildcat and the Orion.


The Record: Chico College Yearbooks

The Record began as a monthly magazine of the Chico State Normal School in March of 1896 under the title of The Normal Record, and soon became a quarterly, then in 1914, a semi-annual publication. The Record attained its recognizable “yearbook” form when it began to be published annually in 1919. When the school became Chico State College in 1922 The Normal Record became the Record. The Record was then published annually until 1970, when, due to rising costs, publication of the yearbook ceased. It was revived again in 1976 and sustained publication until 1997 when the last edition was printed.

The Record is an unsurpassed source for the history and culture of the university. This online collection now contains all the volumes from 1935 to 1965 and will continue to expand as we add to the collection. All of these volumes are available to the public for viewing in the Special Collections Department of the Meriam Library.

Click here to view the 1930-1970 Chico Record

Rare Books Collection

Valuable and rare books are held in Special Collections where they receive more care and protection than is available in the open stacks. Books in this collection focus on rare, limited, and fine editions of northeastern Californiana. Contemporary fine printing is also represented by such presses as the Yolla Bolly Press, the Grabhorn Press, and the Arion Press. The Alfred Storm Bible Collection includes a Biblia Latina, printed by Johann Froben in 1498, and a Baskerville Bible, printed in 1769. Acquisitions to this unique collection are primarily through gifts from the Friends of the Meriam Library and private individuals.

Historic California Newspapers

This page lists historic California newpapers available on microfilm in the Meriam Library. The list is arrangec by county and title. Many of the newspapers in the microfilm collection may lack issues or have interrupted runs. These will be indicated in the full record in the library catalog. Search the catalog by title to verify holdings.


What's so Special about Special Collections?

The Meriam Library Special Collections Department houses several collections of rare, specialized, and unique materials pertaining to the history, culture and geography of the northeastern California area. These collections include historical photographs, maps, county records, local history, and material history of the Chico State Normal School, College, and University. All of the materials located in Special Collections are restricted to use in the department reading room during department operating hours and may not be removed from the department. Special Collections staff are available for orientations for classes or interested public groups and are available during operating hours to answer inquiries in person, by telephone, or email. See the information below to contact us.

Manuscripts Collection

The Manuscipts Collection  The manuscript collection contains unpublished personal and corporate papers which contain correspondence, diaries, and other documents providing scholars and students primary source material related to the 12 counties of northeastern California. Notable collections include the Dorothy Hill Collection, the papers of the Stansbury Family, records of the Yuba Manufacturing Company and the papers of Clair Engle, United States Congressman and Senator. A complete Manuscript List is available in the department.

Northern California Historical Photographs

The Northeastern California Historic Photograph Collection The rich visual heritage of northeastern California is documented in over 18,000 historical photographs, many dating from the nineteenth century and representing a wide variety of early photographic processes. This extensive collection is a result of gifts and loans from individuals, historical organizations, as well as public and private agencies. All of the images are indexed in the library catalog so that patrons may access photographs by geographic location, subject, personal names, or photographer of origin. Reproductions are available for a fee.

The Dorothy Morehead Hill Collection

The Dorothy Morehead Hill collection consists of over 35 years of field notes, interviews, and still and video images. It contains audio, video, photographic and printed items representing the history, culture, customs, economics and social life of the Native Americans in northeastern California. It is a unique collection of resources that carries an explicit trust between the tribes and families, the Meriam Library and those who use the collection.

The collection contains 2,622 black and white photographic prints, 2,817 negative images and 589 slides. Subject matter includes individuals, families, reservations, houses, artifacts, dances and other cultural aspects of Native American life in Northern California. An index provides access to tribe, family name and subject.

Field notes, texts, audio recordings and transcripts are not available online through this web site but are available in the pecial Collections Department.

Meriam Library

Special Collections Department
Contact Info
Department hours are:
Monday - Thursday 10:00am - 5:00pm
Friday 10:00am - 4:45 pm
phone: 530.898-6342
Send Email

Staff Contacts

George H. Thompson - Director 530.898-6603

Pam N. Kruger - Manuscript Curator 530.898-6213


California State University, Chico

Meriam Library, Special Collections

400 West First Street,

Chico CA 95929-0295


    Archives Links

    • OAC- The Online Archive of California
      The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 150 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.
    • Calisphere
      Calisphere is the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.
    • CSU Directory of Special Collections
      The goal of the CSU Directory of Special Collections is to identify and expand the public use of a wide range of unique library resources found within the California State University Library System. The Directory highlights known and less known materials with high research value.
    • NARA - The National Archives
      Laid side to side, NARA holdings would circle the Earth over 57 times! Because of the cost to digitize such a volume of materials, only a small percentage is available for research online. The web site offers tools and guides to help you locate these documents.

    meriam library | csu, chico


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