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Howard E. Gulick Papers
MSS 0091  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Gulick, Howard E.
    Title: Howard E. Gulick Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1948 - 1980
    Extent: 2.60 linear feet (3 archives boxes, 2 card file boxes, 12 oversize folders, 6 slide boxes)
    Abstract: Papers of Howard E. Gulick, author, cartographer and traveler in the Mexican states of Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur and Nayarit. Gulick coauthored one of the first guidebooks on Baja California, the LOWER CALIFORNIA GUIDEBOOK (1956), which combined history and culture with field maps and mileage tabulation. His guidebook to Nayarit entitled NAYARIT, MEXICO; A TRAVELER'S GUIDEBOOK TO THIS HISTORIC AND SCENIC STATE OF MEXICO'S WEST COAST, AND ITS CAPITAL, THE CITY OF TEPIC (1965) was the first English-language guide to that state. The Baja California materials date between 1948 and 1973 and the Nayarit materials date between 1964 and 1965. The materials are arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE; 2) WRITINGS; 3) MAP MATERIALS; 4) SLIDES; and 5) JOURNALS. Included are letters from botanist Annetta Carter and geographer Homer Aschmann, manuscripts and typescripts of Gulick's unpublished research papers, manuscript maps, published maps, journals and diaries from trips, and a large collection of color slide images of places and people in Baja California and Nayarit.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0091
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Howard E. Gulick Papers, MSS 0091. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.


    Howard Gulick was born in Visalia, California, on August 25, 1911. In 1920 he moved with his parents to Los Angeles and later, in 1922, to Glendale, California. Gulick graduated from Glendale High School in 1929 and from the California Institute of Technology in 1934 with a bachelor's degree in engineering.
    From 1935 to 1972 Gulick worked for the Public Service Department of the City of Glendale as a civil engineer in the water and electrical utility department. During World War II (September 1942-January 1946), he served in the Air Force and was stationed at Yuma, Arizona. Apart from his duties as post engineer and purchasing officer, Gulick spent his free time practicing Spanish, exploring the border and developed an interest in the desert.
    In 1950, he made his first long trip into Baja California, traveling as far south as Loreto in a new Jeep station wagon. Gulick continued to spend his vacations traveling the peninsula (except 1958) until 1961. In 1964, he recalled, "besides merely covering roads, I studied and looked for old trails, missions, ranches, etc. Along with all this, detailed notes of road mileages enabled me to plot the roads on a base map. During this period most long weekends were spent down there [often in the company of Faustino Perez of Ensenada], and frequently two-day weekends also."
    Peter Gerhard, a historian, proposed that they collaborate on a guidebook to Baja California which would incorporate Gulick's notes for the road log portion. In 1956, the first printing of the LOWER CALIFORNIA GUIDEBOOK appeared at a time when popular interest in the peninsula was increasing. Gulick conceived of this guidebook "as a volume which would not only help the traveler find his way to hitherto unmapped roads, but would describe, from personal observation, the area and points of interest." Popular among peninsular travelers, the LOWER CALIFORNIA GUIDEBOOK was reissued in three updated editions before a fifth revised edition, entitled the BAJA CALIFORNIA GUIDEBOOK (1975) was published. Walt Wheelock replaced Peter Gerhard as co-author.
    Between 1962 and 1964, Gulick shifted his focus to the state of Nayarit, Mexico, and, in 1965, published NAYARIT, MEXICO; A TRAVELER'S GUIDEBOOK TO THIS HISTORIC AND SCENIC STATE OF MEXICO'S WEST COAST, AND ITS CAPITAL, THE CITY OF TEPIC. This work was the first English-language guidebook to Nayarit.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The HOWARD GULICK papers contain research materials related to the Mexican states of Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, and Nayarit. The collection is arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE; 2) WRITINGS; 3) MAP MATERIALS; 4) SLIDES; and 5) JOURNALS.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series contains letters from numerous researchers, travelers and aficionados of Baja California and Nayarit between 1964 and 1980. Among the correspondents are Annetta Carter, Homer Aschmann, Harry Crosby, and anthropologist Tom Hinton. The series is arranged in chronological order with drafts of Gulick's letters at the end.
    The WRITINGS series contains unpublished manuscripts and typescripts based on Gulick's research. In his work entitled "The Coast of the Gulf of California from Punta Final to San Felipe," Gulick attempts to match the Jesuit Fernando Consag's description of the coast line, which he translated, with his own observations. Also included is Gulick's study of the Mixton War in Jalisco in the sixteenth century which includes his "Notes from Tello." The "Nayarit Notebook" contains manuscript maps of the state; notes on its history; and notes on the flora and fauna. Finally, the series includes a small notebook which describes a 1972-73 trip to Guadalupe Island and Scammon's Lagoon.
    The MAP MATERIALS series is divided into two subseries: materials A) "by Howard Gulick" and B) "by others." The first subseries comprises working notes, draft and finish maps, and mileage tabulations for a series of maps reproduced in the LOWER CALIFORNIA GUIDEBOOK and NAYARIT, MEXICO... While traveling and camping, Gulick made maps using elements of existing published maps for templates. He combined compass sightings and mileage tabulations to locate more accurately natural features, roads, towns, and ranches. The "by others" materials comprise Gulick's collection of published maps and are arranged by corporate author.
    The SLIDES series comprises 35mm color slides of Baja California and Nayarit which Gulick took during his travels. They record landscapes, ranches, towns, people, and life along the transpeninsular highway before it was paved. A typescript list of slides, transcribed from Gulick's holograph logs, provides individual descriptions, number of items, and dates for the images. The slides are arranged according to the routes described in the guidebook. All slides are housed in the Archives Negative File and should be requested by roll number at the Special Collections Reference Desk.
    The JOURNALS series contains trip logs from Baja California between 1948 and 1967. These bound volumes record places and mileage with occasional narrative description. Volumes 37 and 38 are written in diary form with dated entries and relate to Gulick's travels in Nayarit and minor trips to Baja California.

    Indexing Terms

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


    Gulick, Howard E. -- Archives
    Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula) -- Description and travel
    Nayarit (Mexico) -- Description and travel
    Photographic prints -- 20th Century


    Aschmann, Homer, 1920- -- correspondent
    Carter, Annetta, -- correspondent