Dorothy Mutnick Collection

Finding aid created by Contra Costa County Historical Society staff using RecordEXPRESS
Contra Costa County Historical Society
724 Escobar Street
Martinez, California 94553

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

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