California Historic Landmark Project Collection

Mandeville Special Collections Library
Mandeville Special Collections Library
The UCSD Libraries
9500 Gilman Drive
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Phone: (858) 534-2533
Fax: (858) 534-5950
URL: http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/
Copyright 2005
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration of Northern California
Title: California Historic Landmark Project Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1936-1940
Extent: 3.00 linear feet (8 archives boxes)
Abstract: The California Historic Landmark Project Collection contains historical essays about Californian registered landmarks, monuments and state parks. The essays were written between 1936 and 1940 as part of the W.P.A. Federal Writer's Project. In addition to typescript essays, the collection contains research notes about sites in several California counties, particularly Monterey, and miscellaneous administrative materials. The collection is organized in four series: 1) CALIFORNIA HISTORIC LANDMARK SERIES, 2) STATE PARKS, 3) RESEARCH NOTES, and 4) ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS.
Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Collection number: MSS 0204
Language of Material: Collection materials in English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Information

Not Available

Preferred Citation

California Historic Landmark Project Collection, MSS 0204. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

Publication Rights

Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

Historical Background

Between 1936 and 1940, the California Department of Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the Federal Writers' Project, a component of the federal Works Progress Administration, produced a series of descriptive historical essays and monographs on a variety of the state's important landmarks, monuments and state parks.
The project editors were Clark Wing and Vernon Aubrey Neasham. Project writers included George Walcott Ames Jr., Christian Ecklon, Andrew Eggum, Russell C. Ewing, John Samuel Fox, Chester Lyle Gutherie, Esther Harlan, Oscar Houmann, John Adam Hussey, James C. Kean, Tyrrell Martinez, Don Morton, James Nebergall, Benjamin Rader, Engel Sluiter, George Tays, Kathleen Camilla Wade, H. Howe Wagner, and Lois Ann Woodward.
Through an agreement with the State Printing Office, the monographs were to be published and sold to the public for a nominal price. The historical landmarks selected for treatment included a variety of sites typifying California's "Spanish, Mexican and Early California" past. Many sites were privately owned and had been registered by the California State Chamber of Commerce as places having historical significance worthy of preservation. By 1940, 366 sites had been registered as landmarks.
The California Historic Landmarks Project also gathered information on the state's seventy parks. Like the essays written for the landmarks, the monographs on the parks provided the history of the sites, as well as physical descriptions of the park and auto route directions from major metropolitan areas. In large measure, these essays were intended to be guides for travelers to California's historic and notable sites.

Scope and Content of Collection

The California Historic Landmark Project Collection contains typescript historical essays and research notes between 1936 and 1940 on selected California landmarks, monuments and state parks. Also included are guidelines for style, summary reports and other miscellaneous administrative materials. The collection is organized in four series: 1) CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL LANDMARK SERIES, 2) STATE PARKS, 3) RESEARCH NOTES, and 4) ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS.
SERIES 1: CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL LANDMARK SERIES
The first series, CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL LANDMARK SERIES, consists of historical essays for approximately 130 of California's registered landmarks that recount events from the Spanish colonial period to the late 1930s. Descriptions of nearby points of interest and precise auto route directions are often included. The essays are arranged according to the number assigned to the landmark. An index to the numbering scheme is filed at the beginning of the series.
SERIES 2: STATE PARKS
The essays in the second series, STATE PARKS, continue the historical model provided by the landmark essays, but they also include sections of geographical description, natural history and geology. For some state parks there is only a short summary. Like the landmark series, the state park essays are organized numerically by park number.
SERIES 3: RESEARCH NOTES
The RESEARCH NOTES series consists of handwritten notes and drafts of essays arranged alphabetically by county. Most of the materials pertain to sites or structures in the city of Monterey and its environs.
SERIES 4: ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS
The final series, ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS, contains guidelines and instructions for writers, as well as summary information on the extent of the project. Of particular interest is the "Report of Work Completed, in Progress and Planned as of July 1, 1937." The materials are arranged alphabetically.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration of Northern California
California. -- Dept. of Parks and Recreation
Historic sites -- California -- History
Parks -- California -- History
Monuments -- California -- History
California -- History, Local

Contributors

Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration of Northern California