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Dorothy Mutnick Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dorothy Mutnick Collection
    Dates: 1862-1980s
    Collection Number: 1989.20
    Extent: 18 boxes, 8 card-file drawers, 5 spiral-bound books, 3 books, and 3 binders
    Repository: Contra Costa County Historical Society
    Martinez, California 94553
    Abstract: The collection has a wide assortment of material pertaining to local history from the time of the California missions to the 1930s, plus a few items from the 1940s to 1980s.
    Language of Material: English


    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    Dorothy Mutnick Collection. Contra Costa County Historical Society

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Dorothy Gittinger Mutnick of Lafayette CA did extensive research into the history of central and western Contra Costa County from the mission period (1769-1833), to the ranchos or land grants that emerged from the missions, into the twentieth century. She donated the collection to CCCHS in 1989 and died later that year at age 81. The collection includes histories of the ranchos in what became Contra Costa County, photocopies of mission records (including baptisms, marriages and deaths), copies of military records from the San Francisco Presidio, land title cases and property transfers, applications for pensions by veterans of the Mexican War, clippings from the Contra Costa Gazette from 1862-1872 and 1899, copies of the census of Contra Costa County from 1852 and 1860, and copies of manuscripts and books Mutnick wrote on the genealogies of prominent rancho families. There are also photographs and maps of the towns of Moraga and Lafayette, and of Contra Costa County from the 1940s, 1970s and 1980s. The three books are Some Alta California Pioneers and Descendants, A Profile of the Moraga-Bernal Rancho, and Some California Poppies and Even A Few Mommies (the latter two are stored in the library rather than the Special Collections Room). The collection also includes three red binders that contain explanations and indices for the collection. According to her obituary in the Contra Costa Times (November 30, 1989), Mutnick spent 15 years doing her research at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. A resident of Lafayette for forty years, she worked as a school teacher and librarian. She undertook the research when a new public library opened in Lafayette in the early 1960s and she realized there wasn’t any published history of the local area.

    Indexing Terms

    California missions, census, colonial Spanish, genealogy, vital records, ranchos, maps, Mexican War, Native Americans
    Lafayette, Moraga
    newspaper clippings

    Additional collection guides