History and Biography Note
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Community Development and Conservation Collection
Dates: ca. 1892-1995
Collection number: SBHC Mss 1
Chase, Pearl, 1888-1979
ca. 735 linear feet
(ca. 1500 boxes, records containers, oversize boxes, map and file cabinet drawers, films, sound recordings, artifacts).
University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
Abstract: Also known as the Pearl Chase Collection, focusing on Santa Barbara history in the 20th century. Included are papers relating
to several hundred local organizations (especially pertaining to architecture, gardens, housing, land use, and planning),
as well events such as Fiesta, Chase family papers, and numerous photographs of local scenes.
Physical location: Series I-VI (Del Sur); Series VII (Del Sur, Map and File Cabinets); Series VIII (Vault and Performing Arts), Series IX (Reading
Room and Annex).
None. Service copies of audiovisual items may need to be made before viewing or listening. Please consult Special Collections
staff for further information.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
[Item description]. Community Development and Conservation Collection. SBHC Mss 1. Department of Special Collections, Davidson
Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Bulk of collection donated by Pearl Chase, ca. 1969-1975; some later additions from multiple sources.
History and Biography Note
The Community Development and Conservation Collection (CDCC) is also known as the Pearl Chase Collection since she donated
the nearly all of the materials in the collection. Pearl Chase (1888-1979) was a longtime activist in local community affairs,
as well as the state and national level. As secretary and later chair of the Plans and Planting Committee, she encouraged
the city's rebuilding in the graceful Spanish style after the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. She was the city's unofficial
ombudsman in matters of natural beauty and public welfare, suggesting health and building codes and encouraging sign ordinances,
saving trees and creating and enhancing parks.
At the state level she established the California Conservation Council, served as a board member of Save the Redwoods League,
and was advisor to successive directors of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Locally and statewide she lobbied
for attractive, clean gas stations and was an early advocate of freeway landscaping without billboards, a principle later
At the national level she worked for American Indian rights and was active in conservation and historic preservation, initiating
the restoration of Wakefield, the birthplace of George Washington. In 1973 she journeyed to Washington, D.C. to accept a citation
from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Pearl Chase started her civic service in the public health field and was elected the first woman president of the California
State Conference of Social Agencies, helping write the state's first pure milk laws. She was especially proud of her successful
campaign to secure low income housing for Santa Barbara. For thirteen years Santa Barbara won the highest merit awards in
the Better Homes in America contest. As secretary or co-chairperson she helped establish many local organizations, including
the Council of Christmas Cheer, Community Chest (United Way), Red Cross, Recreation Center, and Santa Barbara Beautiful. She
actively assisted the Adult Education Program and Old Spanish Days Fiesta. She was instrumental in the development, with other
local women, of Mission Historical Park, across the street from Mission Santa Barbara.
Working with the National Park Service, she led in the reconstruction of La Purisima Mission at Lompoc. For forty-five years
she guided citizen support of the mission after it became a State Historic Park. In 1963 she organized the Santa Barbara Trust
for Historic Preservation which, among others, has preserved the second oldest building in the state, El Cuartel at 122 E.
Canon Perdido St., built in 1788, and Casa de la Guerra, near City Hall, dating from 1819-1826. The Trust administers El Presidio
de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, which is reconstructing Santa Barbara's Royal Presidio, the fourth and last Spanish
fortress in California.
Pearl Chase graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, magna cum laude in 1909. Among her many honors were honorary
doctorates from UCSB and Mills College. She was selected Woman of the Year, for 1952, by the
Los Angeles Times, and she was chosen Santa Barbara's first Woman of the Year in 1956.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection is divided into the following series:
Series I. Organizations.
Subseries A. Major Holdings. Organizations represented by at least one box, and sometimes many boxes, of material such as annual reports, minutes, newsletters,
correspondence, financial records, flyers, and scrapbooks. Includes Association on American Indian Affairs, Better Homes in
America Campaign, California Conservation Council, Citizens Planning Association, Community Arts Association (mainly Plans
and Planting), Fiesta/Old Spanish Days, Garden Club of America, La Purisima Mission, Santa Barbara City and County, Santa
Barbara County Roadside Council, Santa Barbara Indian Defense Association, and Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
Arranged alphabetically by organization. Currently this section is individually numbered within each organization's section
as processing is being completed.
B. Smaller Holdings. Mainly organizations represented by one or two folders of material. Arranged alphabetically by organization.
Series II. Clippings. Arranged alphabetically by subject, including Building and Buildings, Festivals and Fairs, Fiesta, Highways and Freeways,
History (Santa Barbara), Hospitals and Health, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Plants and Planning Committee, Santa Barbara
(City and County), UC Santa Barbara, Water, Weather, and Zoning.
Series III. Subject Files. Includes Agriculture, Architecture and Architects, Conservation, Education, Fires, Forestry/Forests, Gardens, Goleta, Housing,
Indian Affairs, Isla Vista, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Santa Barbara (City and County), and Water. Arranged alphabetically.
Series IV. Local History Essay Files. Generally student papers, with bibliographies. Arranged alphabetically by author.
Series V. Personal and Family Records. Primarily materials relating to Pearl Chase, such as awards and degrees, biographical files, correspondence, datebooks, education
(high school, college, teaching), financial records, legal documents, oral history, talks, and writings (by and about Pearl).
Also includes H. G. Chase, Harold S. Chase, and other family members.
VI. Photographs. Mainly black and white prints. Arranged alphabetically by subject, which include: adobes, Better Homes in America Campaign,
California, Chase family, city streets (Santa Barbara), County (Santa Barbara), disasters, display materials, events (incl.
festivals & exhibits), Hope Ranch, hotels and motels, missions (except Santa Barbara), Mission Santa Barbara, organizations
and activities, people, public buildings, recreation and waterfront, residences (mainly Hope Ranch, Montecito, and Santa Barbara),
scenic views, states and foreign countries, negatives, slides, and glass slides. Also some oversize framed and loose photos,
and photo albums.
VII. Oversize Materials. Includes artwork, ledgers, maps, posters, and scrapbooks.
VIII. Audiovisual Materials. Includes audiotapes, films, slides, and sound recordings.
IX. Artifacts. A small number of items, primarily awards and recognitions from various organizations.
There are some earlier lists to the collection, before it was organized into the present series. For the most part these had
a subject approach. The most effective way to use the older lists is to note specific organizations or subjects, then to search
in the present guide for the appropriate series.
Some parts of the collection have been processed and described in greater detail than others. Since Special Collections staff
continue to work on the collection, this guide is undergoing periodic revision. Please consult staff for the latest version
of the guide.
Most books, pamphlets, and serials from the collection have been cataloged separately and can be searched on Pegasus, the
library's online catalog.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Chase, Pearl, 1888-1979
Santa Barbara (Calif.)
Additional archival materials are available at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation in the Pearl Chase Papers
(MS-01). Their holdings are primarily related to El Cuartel, El Presidio, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation,
Santa Barbara adobes, and historic preservation in Santa Barbara County. The collection also has some additional personal
records relating to Pearl Chase, primarily consisting of correspondence.
Barker, Rosanne Marie.
Smalltown Progressivism: Pearl Chase and Female Activism in Santa Barbara, 1909-1929. UCSB Dissertation, 1994. [Main Library E175.8.C2 S25 BARR 1994]
Chase, Harold Stuart.
Hope Ranch, a Rambling Record. Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Historical Society, 1963. [Main Library and Special Collections F868.S23 C4]
Gardens of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA: Easton Gallery, 2000. [Arts Library N6530.C22 S363 2000 or Special Collections F869.S45 C7658 2000]
The Legacy of Pearl Chase. Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, 1988. [Special Collections CT275.C488 F37 1988]
Salinas, Tomas Amalio.
Pearl Chase, John Collier, and Indian Reform through the New Deal: Native American Affairs in California and the West, 1880-1937. UCSB Dissertation, 1995. [Main Library E175.8.C2 S25 SALT 1995]