Postmark Collection

M. Carey
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California, 95064
Email: specoll@library.ucsc.edu
URL: http://library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Postmark Collection

Collection number: MS 284

The University Library

Special Collections and Archives

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
Processed by:
M. Carey
Date Completed:
10/17/2013
Encoded by:
M. Carey
© 2013 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Postmark collection
Dates: 1922-1971,
Bulk Dates: 1922-1952
Collection number: MS 284
Creator: Sawyer, Preston
Collection Size: 2 boxes, 207 cards
Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: This small collection contains post cards with special day stamps, place stamps, and opening & closing day stamps collected by Preston Sawyer.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Postmark collection. MS 284. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Purchase from R. Ariel Sawyer, 1964

Biography

Preston Sawyer, collector, proofreader and historical writer, was born in Santa Cruz on December 6, 1899. He was a life-long bachelor who lived with his brother Ariel, also a bachelor, who ran the Sawyer Tile Company. As a youth, Preston Sawyer worked as a movie extra in the very early movie industry located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A prolific amateur photographer, he snapped hundreds of pictures of the movie stars and the sets while waiting for work. In addition to taking his own, including, for example, a series of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, taken from a 16 year old's point of view, he also collected pictures covering early Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas.
In 1935 he was hired at the Santa Cruz Sentinel as a proofreader, a job he held for almost three decades, except for a stint in the Army during World War II. In 1948, he began a weekly feature "Santa Cruz Yesterdays" which appeared in the Sunday Sentinel. The articles were based on his extensive collection of photographs and reference materials, many culled from local second-hand shops he visited on his lunch hours. By 1955, approximately 364 historical picture-stories had been printed. Sawyer retired from the Sentinel in 1962.
Sawyer was also a stamp collector and over the years amassed a large collection of first day postal stamps and last day postal stamps with cancellations of every single post office in California. He collected postcards depicting just about anything from anywhere he went, including ones with cancellations which when put together would make a sentence. He also made sure he had postmarks from Preston, Alabama and Sawyer, Michigan.
In the late 1960s Sawyer's treasure trove of Santa Cruz and California history, collected over the course of his life, was purchased by and split between the Santa Cruz Public Library and the University Library at UCSC. The reference materials and books went to the Public Library while the University received the postal collections and correspondence, as well as photographs, glass plate and film negatives, and films.
Preston Sawyer died in October of 1968 in a rest home in Watsonville, after a five year illness.

Scope and Content of Collection

This small collection contains post cards with special day stamps, place stamps, and opening & closing day stamps collected by Preston Sawyer.

Arrangement

The cards are arranged by year.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Sawyer, L. Preston (Lemoine Preston)--archives
Santa Cruz (Calif.).--History

Related Material

MS 82 Preston Sawyer Collections

Container List

box 1

1922-1929

box 1

1931

box 1

1933

box 1

1934

box 1

1935

box 1

1936

box 2

1937

box 2

1938

box 2

1939

box 2

1942

box 2

1952

box 2

1971

box 2

undated