Scope and Content
Title: Robert Sollen Collection,
Date (inclusive): ca. 1954-1996
Collection number: SBHC Mss 33
Extent: 23 linear feet (19 boxes)
University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
Shelf location: Del Sur stacks, Oversize, and Telescoping boxes.
Donated by Robert Sollen, 1996.
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.
[Identification of item], Robert Sollen Collection, SBHC Mss 33, Department of Special Collections, University Libraries,
University of California, Santa Barbara.
The following biographical sketch is drawn from material provided by Robert Sollen and from a January 24, 1997 article in
Santa Barbara News-Press.
Robert Sollen was born September 29, 1921, in Menominee, Michigan. He served with the U.S. Coast Guard, 1942-1946, and received
his BA in political science and journalism from the University of Wisconsin in 1948. He was a reporter and editor with several
newspapers, and was a free-lance writer, before joining the
Santa Barbara News-Press in 1963. Sollen was a copy editor and reporter with the
News-Press, specializing in environmental writing, until his retirement in 1985.
As a reporter, Sollen covered the January 28, 1969 Santa Barbara Channel oil well blowout that spewed several million gallons
of crude oil. That disaster helped to mobilize environmental activism nationwide. In 1968 he had won second place in the national
Scripps-Howard conservation writing contest for a series of
News-Press articles anticipating oil pollution problems in the Santa Barbara channel.
Sollen has been active in a number of local organizations, including Get Oil Out (GOO). He also was a Santa Barbara Planning
Commissioner, 1989-1991, and has taught Environmental Journalism at UCSB since 1986.
Scope and Content
This collection was assembled over a number of years by Robert Sollen, largely as background research for his reporting duties
News-Press and his ongoing interest in oil and other environmental issues.
The collection contains the following series:
An Ocean of Oil (binders, with manuscript drafts, chapter notes, and photographs relating to Sollen's monograph, published by Denali Press,
Chron Files, 1968-1986 (chronologically arranged clippings, notes, reports, and other materials generally relating to Santa Barbara and
California oil issues)
Clippings, ca. 1968-1996 (includes many of Sollen's
Companies/Projects (reports, articles, clippings, memos, and notes)
Leasing, 1980-1990 (includes reports studies, clippings, and articles, many by Sollen)
Subject Files (includes Santa Barbara County Planning Commission documents, and other reports, memos, articles, and clippings)
Oversize (newspaper articles, scrapbooks, and maps).
Also included with the collection are a number of monographs and government reports, which have been cataloged separately.
These may be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB Library's online catalog.
UCSB Special Collections holds a number of other collections relating to the history of the oil industry in the Santa Barbara
area and the Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 1969. They include:
Easton (Robert O.) Collection (SBHC Mss 6).
Get Oil Out Collection (SBHC Mss 10).
Oil Spill Information Center Collection (SBHC Mss 11).
League of Women Voters Collection (SBHC Mss 2).
Saadi (Ruth) Collection (SBHC Mss 14).
Sharp (Richard C.) Collection (SBHC Mss 7)
Von Breton (Harriet) Collection (SBHC Mss 8).
Weingand et al, v. County et al (Channel Island Drilling) Collection (SBHC Mss 31).
In addition, the UCSB Davidson Library has a number of Environmental Impact Reports and related studies that also document
the history of the area's oil industry. These are cataloged individually and may be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB Library's
online catalog. Many are located in Special Collections.