Finding aid for Madeline Miedema papers, 1890-1988 MVC063

Finding aid prepared by Krystell Jimenez, 2021.
This finding aid was made possible in part through funding from the County of Ventura and the Heritage Fund at the Ventura County Community Foundation.
Museum of Ventura County
April 2021
100 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001

Contributing Institution: Museum of Ventura County
Title: Madeline Miedema papers
Identifier/Call Number: MVC063
Physical Description: 19.07 Cubic Feet (16 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1890-1998
Abstract: Madeline Miedema was an Oxnard historian and educator. Born in 1909 in Michigan, her family moved to Oxnard when she was 9 years old. She attended school in Oxnard and received post-secondary education at University of California Berkeley and the University of Southern California. She served in numerous community organizations and worked as a teacher, school librarian, vice-principal, and Board of Trustees member for the Oxnard school district. Miedema died in Oxnard on September 11, 1994. This collection includes Miedema's research files and personal papers, and materials include correspondence, notes, publications, pamphlets, meeting minutes, legal and county reports, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, indexes, and ephemera.
Physical Location: Stored off-site and advance notice required for timely retrieval. Please contact the Research Library reference desk prior to your visit:
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Open for research. All requests to access materials must be made in advance by contacting the Research Library staff via email:

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Property rights to the physical object belong to the Museum of Ventura County. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where the museum does not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Madeline Miedema papers, (Collection MVC063), Museum of Ventura County, Research Library, Ventura, California.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Estate of Madeline Miedema (Guy F. Beyersdor); gift; 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Krystell Jimenez, 2021.
Our collections are processed using MPLP methods so that we can prioritize access for users and identify potential priorities for more detailed processing. If while using our collections you think there is something that should be added or amended in the finding aid, we welcome your input. You can notify staff in the reading room or send us an email at Be sure to include the collection number and name and the box number you were working with in your email.

Biographical / Historical

Madeline Miedema was born on April 27, 1909, in Buchanan, Michigan. Her parents moved to Oxnard when she was 9 years old, and she attended Haydock Elementary School. She also attended Oxnard High School. Miedema was an Oxnard historian who worked as an educator in Ventura County for nearly 70 years. She received a teaching credential from the University of California Berkeley and an administrative degree from the University of Southern California. She served in numerous community organizations, including the Ventura County Museum of History and Art. Miedema often delivered lectures on Oxnard history. She also worked as vice-principal of Hueneme High School and curriculum coordinator for the Oxnard Union High School District. At various points in her career Miedema worked as a teacher, school librarian, vice-principal, and on the Board of Trustees for the school district. Miedema died in her home in Oxnard at the age of 85 on September 11, 1994.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the research files and personal papers of Oxnard historian Madeline Miedema. The subjects include Oxnard history, landmarks, and historical persons, and the history of Ventura County, California, and missions. Materials include correspondence, notes, publications, pamphlets, meeting minutes, legal and county reports, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, indexes, and ephemera.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection has been arranged in the following series:

  • Series 1: Subject Files, 1921-1985
  • Series 2: Personal papers and General Files, 1906-1988
The subject files are arranged in alphabetical order.

Other Finding Aids

This collection also included a large number of published works that have either been added to the Research Library's Research Collection or were deaccessioned.
All books that are now in the Research Collection are available in this Books Inventory  document.
All books that were originally in the collection and have been deaccessioned are available in this Deaccessions Inventory  document.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Oxnard (Calif.) -- History
Port Hueneme (Calif.) -- History
Ventura County (Calif.) -- History, Local
Historic Buildings -- California -- Ventura County -- Photographs
Women educators
Grand jury -- California -- Ventura County


Series 1: Subject Files 1921-1985

Scope and Contents

This series contains subject files that were created by Miedema during the course of her historical research. The majority of the files relate to various aspects of Oxnard history, and Ventura County history to a lesser extent. All the folder titles are original and were created by Miedema, unless otherwise noted. Materials include clippings, notes, correspondence, legal and county reports, photographs, published works, pamphlets, and ephemera. The files have been alphabetized.
Box 1

Subject Files 1949-1980

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files. The folder labels are: Adobes, Airport, Automobile, Bancroft, Bard (Richard), Beane estate, Bibliography, Books-California, Buccaneer and bandits, California classics, California-History, California-History-Course, California-Present, Camarillo, Chumash, Indian (Chumash), Cities-Camarillo [2 folders], Cities-El Rio, Cities-Fillmore, Cities-Fillmore, Cities-Montalvo, Cities-Moorpark, Cities-Newbury Park, Cities-Ojai, Cities-Ojai, Cities-Piru, Cities-Piru, Cities-Santa Paula, Cities-Santa Paula, Cities-Saticoy, Cities-Saticoy, Cities-Simi, Cities-Simi, Cities-Somis, Cities-Somis, Cities-Springville, Cities-Ventura, Community, Community-Oxnard, Conejo, Conejo, County Harbor Board, Duplicate Pics, Fauna, Flora, Flora (Cultivated), Garde, Genealogy, Genealogy, Gold Rush.
Box 2

Subject Files 1956-1965, 1985

Scope and Contents

This box contains Grand Jury Reports for Ventura County for 1956-1958; the interim and final audit report for the 1959 Ventura County Grand Jury and the interim Grand Jury Report for 1959; copies of the 1959 report and related materials; Grand Jury Reports for 1960-1965. There are two copies of the Grand Jury Report for 1965. The 1985 preliminary report for the Ventura County California Planning Commission. There are also two folders labeled: "Grocery and Drug[store] Route list" and "Growth (see also So Cal Growth and Planning)". The last two folder labels were created by Miedema.
Box 3

Subject Files 1949-1968

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files. The folder titles are: (New) Harbor Road, High school publications, Highways, History (Ventura County), Hueneme, Hueneme, Port Hueneme (US Naval Construction Battalion Center), Islands [including Anacapa], Index: Paintings, Land and Life in California, Latinos, Library-Ox. Public (Emily Ritchen), Local places to see, Los Angeles, Madeline Medema [sic], Mallorca, Maps, May-18, Mexico, Mexico-Baja Calif., Missions, Missions-San Buenaventura.
Box 4

Subject Files 1955-1972

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files: The folder titles are: Missions-San Fernando, Missions-San Juan Bautista, Offices-Directory, Oil (history of), Ordinances, Cities-Oxnard, Oxnard, Oxnard, Oxnard-Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard H.S. Reconstruction-Airport, Oxnard-Library (Carnegie), Oxnard-Malibu Coast, Oxnard library, New building-Oxnard High School, Pictures, Planning (see also Growth and So Cal Growth), Planning Commission, Point Mugu, Port Hueneme Harbor, Portola, Proposed articles, Ramona, Ranchos, Recreation, River Project, Salary and wage rates, St. Francis Dam, St. Francis Dam, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Saticoy Walnut Growers Association, Schools Directory and Salary, Serra (Junipero), Sewerage Advisory Committee, County-Wide sewerage system study, Sheriff's substation, Ships, Sonora, Southern California Growth (see also Growth and Planning), Stages.
Box 5

Subject Files 1950-1975

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files created by Miedema. The folder titles are: Taxes and taxpayers' association, Travel-California, United States-California-Channel Islands, United Water Conservation District, Ventura, Ventura County, Ventura County, Ventura County, Ventura County-Biography, Ventura County-Geography, Ventura County Historical Society, Ventura County Junior College District-Moorpark College bond election, Ventura County Museum-minutes, Ventura County: State highway priorities 1967-68, Ventura County: Superior Court (Brand, Heaton case, etc.), Vischer, Water, Welfare, Zoning. Additional materials include loose papers that were not foldered. These items include maps, a bibliography and index, clippings and photographs of Oxnard, loose newspapers, and materials on the Emilie Ritchen School dedication.
Box 6

Subject Files 1921-1926, 1960-1985

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files. However, the materials were loose papers that were not foldered. Materials include loose newspapers, meeting notes and a diary, notes for speeches and talks, notes on homes and historical buildings in Oxnard, charts of the Oxnard coast, information on the Bard/Prescott house, clippings from the Oxnard Press Courier, an image of the San Luis Rey Mission, calendars from the Santa Paula Savings and Loans Association, Star Free Press clippings, notes on Thomas R. Bard, notes on Oxnard history and the Channel Islands, and a binder containing notes and information related to each of the Channel Islands.
Box 7

Subject Files 1960-1980

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files. All materials are in binders that were labeled by Miedema. The binder titles are: Heritage Square, Historical articles, Notes: Sugar factory, Oxnard-General, Oxnard-General 2, Oxnard-General (Vent. Ca RR-Transportation-Prog. Ed. 1912-Victory Ed. 1919), Oxnard 3-(Banks-Pagoda-Library-China Alley-Schools-Churches-Earle S. Gardner), Oxnard 4-(Chumash-Hispanics-Chinese-Japanese-Black people-Portuguese-Pacific Islands-British), Oxnard 5-(People-Celebrations-Exhibits), Oxnard High School.
Box 8

Subject Files 1960-1980

Scope and Contents

This box contains binders that are part of subject files created by Miedema. The labels were created by Miedema. The binder titles are: Oxnard High School, Sanborn maps-Outland summary, Schedules pictures, Talks with slides, Research-Ventura County. There are three unlabeled binders. Two contain notes and clippings related to Oxnard history, including agriculture and agricultural workers. The other binder contains a copy of The Sugar Tramp which was obtained by the Bank of A. Levy and is about the sugar beet factory in Oxnard. The copy includes Miedema's notes.

Series 2: Personal and General Files 1890-1998

Scope and Contents

This series contains other papers that were not part of Miedema's subject files, including some additional research material. Other materials include personal papers and ephemera.
Box 9

Personal papers and historical sources 1906-1998

Scope and Contents

This box contains a translation of the Cabrillo voyage log annotated by Miedema; a draft plan and postcards for Heritage Square in Oxnard; a survey of a historic property in Saticoy; maps; photograph of the South Oxnard Branch Library mural featuring Emily Ritchen; newspaper and magazine clippings; a draft environmental impact report on a Sespe Ranch landmark; Colonia Improvement Company deed with notes; notes on a Board of Trustees meeting; Oxnard High School yearbooks for 1905/06, 1923/24-1924/25, 1926/27, and 1981/82; a Hueneme High School yearbook for 1963; a copy of Journal of Jose Longinos Martinez (1961) and The Golden Road (1962), both with notes from Miedema; a copy of The McGrath Story by Elizabeth Leonard and Yvonne Bodle; and Oxnard High School manuals for 1916/17-1917/18, 1920/21-1923/24, 1925/26-1927/28, and 1930/31-1931/32.
Additional materials include a ledger with entries dated April 1910-November 1915 and a box of mementos. It's not clear who the owner of the diary is. The contents of the box include journals, photographs, items related to Miedema's father, clippings, correspondence, Miedema's grade school report cards, and personalized book labels. This box also contains a copy of a University of Southern California study titled Economic Aspects of the Mexican Rural Population in California with Special Emphasis on the need for Mexican Labor in Agriculture (1929) and authored by Lloyd Fellows. The report contains racist language.
Box 14, Box 15, Box 16

Personal papers and historical sources 1890-1992

Scope and Contents

This box contains Miedema's personal effects, and notes related to her interest in local history. Materials include articles from the Ventura County Star Free-Press dated October 3, 1971 regarding Badger Claws of Ojai; 2 boxes of notecards; a framed certificate of appreciation given to Max Riave by the Lions Club; a 1971 copy of the Badger Claws of Ojai; a 1975 copy of A Diamond for Moorpark; a 1974 copy of "The Viceroy of New Spain", a 1909 dissertation by Donald E. Smith for the University of California 1909; a 1974 copy of A Museum of Early American Tools by Eric Sloane; a listing Pacific Coast vessels; a marble plaque for the Oxnard Veterans Memorial (November 11, 1991); a California Bicentennial coin in Lucite; and stereo cards with racist depictions of African-Americans in the American South (1890-1892). Additional items include a folder of miscellaneous items that includes leaflets, playbills, clippings, copies of landmark inventory sheets, articles, photocopies of paperwork for historical sites, and other ephemera dated 1920-1992.
There are several pamphlets including: "Guide to Frances Tavern Museum 1981"; "The House of Bernardo Yorba" (1963); "Oxnard High School – Class of 1954" (1984); "200 Books for California's 200th Anniversary" (1969).
There were three boxes of photographic slides that have been consolidated into 2 slide boxes. All labels are the original descriptions created by Miedema. Slide Box 1 is labelled: Greece – Egypt – San Francisco – Santa Clara school (1966-1984). Slide Box 2 is labelled: Trip east, Mexico, relatives, Drake's ship, 534 Eastwood, Getty Museum, Lockwood Valley, France (1970-1988). Slide Box 3 is labelled: Santa Inez, Oxnard houses, class of 1907, old timer mural, Ventura County landmarks (1968-1988).
A wooden box of greeting cards and cards with copies of art paintings from museums is in Box 15 for improved preservation. Two framed drawings of the Carnegie Library are in Box 14 for improved preservation. A 1917 copy of History of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, California Vol I. by C.M. Gidney, Benjamin Brooks, and Edwin M. Sheridan is in fragile condition and is in Box 15 for improved preservation.
Box 13, Box 14, Box 15

Personal papers and family history circa 1890-1979

Scope and Contents

This box contains Miedema's personal effects and includes albums in which she documented her family history. Materials include: artwork, such as sketches, watercolors, and crafts created by Miedema; commencement programs and play bills; clippings and photographs; an alumni magazine for the Hope College class of 1927; sheet music; 2 notebooks dated 1915-1916; a scrapbook with birthday and greeting cards; and an unidentified portrait of a young girl.
There are also 5 albums documenting Miedema's family history. The albums are titled "Winter" (1890s-1910s), "Miedema" (1890s-1930s), "Vriesland – Miedema" (1960s-1970s), "Family history" (circa 1913-1979), and "Holland" (circa 1948-1970s). Some of the albums have been foldered for improved preservation. The "Holland" album included a photograph mounted on a glass plate. The glass plate is broken and is in Box 14 for improved preservation.
The scrapbook containing cards is in Box 15 and the portrait of the young girl is in Box 14.
Box 10

Photographs, clippings and indexes 1920-1992 1975-1992

Scope and Contents

This box contains a box of photographs and negatives; a checkbook box with negatives and a key; a shoebox of index cards with entries for various aspects of Oxnard and Ventura County history and locations; a binder containing articles and recollections of Miedema's travel to South America, circa 1940; and a binder with awards, greeting cards, and clippings documenting Miedema's achievements. The binder contains materials dated 1920-1992. There is also a small box of greeting cards that bear an illustration of the pagoda in Plaza Park, Oxnard. The photographs and negatives are a mix of personal photographs and images of historical landmarks and locations around Oxnard.
Box 11

Index undated

Scope and Contents

This box contains an index of subjects created by Miedema. The subjects include Oxnard, Ventura County, and California history. They are in original order and in the original box.
Box 12

Newspapers 1863, 1875, 1908-1985

Scope and Contents

This box contains several copies of newspapers, many of which are special editions of the Star-Free Press. There are 30 copies of the Star-Free Press for the period of April 12, 1945 through March 17, 1987. There are copies of the Free press, Ventura Daily Post and Daily Democrat, Vista, special edition visitor guides, the News Chronicle, Ventura County and Coast Reporter, and The Daily Citizen. It also contains a scrapbook of poetry, some of which may be in Swedish or German.
A listing of the newspapers, their dates, and number of copies are available in this Box 12 Inventory  document.