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Guide to the Richard Amero Collection MS 76
MS 76  
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Comments:
  • Processing Information

  • Title: Richard Amero Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 76
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 70.0 Linear feet (298 files)
    Date (inclusive): 1800-2004
    Abstract: This collection contains nearly 300 binders of copied notes, reports, correspondence, articles, and other research material compiled by Richard Amero on many San Diego historical subjects, with an emphasis on the history of Balboa Park.
    creator: Amero, Richard, 1924-2012

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Richard Amero was born July 16, 1924. He spent his childhood in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where his father was a carpenter. Eager for him to break with the traditional family trade, his father kept Richard away from the carpenter tools. After being released from the army, Amero decided to enroll in Black Mountain College in 1946, where his main focus was literature. After a year at Black Mountain, he enrolled at Bard College.
    After graduating from Bard, Amero moved to San Diego where he worked for a year at Convair in the defense industry and then in material management for forty years with the San Diego Gas and Electric Company. Though not a professional historian, Amero became enamored with the history of San Diego, particularly Balboa Park, and spent over 40 years compiling research material from numerous archives around the country and writing articles based on his research.
    Amero was a member of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, the Trust for Public Lands, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Historical Society, the San Diego Zoological Society, Friends of Central Park and other organizations. He wrote for newspapers and for the National Recreation Association, and contributed to several books on the history of Balboa Park. He collected information and wrote extensively until his death on December 22, 2012.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains nearly 300 binders of copied notes, reports, correspondence, articles, and other research material compiled by Richard Amero on many San Diego historical subjects, with an emphasis on the history of Balboa Park. The copied research material was taken from archival collections in the Library of Congress, the Bancroft Library at the University of California in Berkeley, the Avery Fisher Library at Columbia University, libraries at Harvard and Cornell Universities, and the Olmsted Historical Site in Brookline, Massachusetts, among others. Richard Amero’s own articles and other local articles and theses are also included.
    The collection also contains copies of letters written by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, landscape architects John Nolen and the brothers Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and John Charles Olmsted. There are reports from the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Indians of San Diego County, and articles and miscellaneous material on San Diego County Indians.
    Other subjects include Mission San Diego de Alcala, Old Town, El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Park, the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, Horton Plaza Park, Balboa Park (including histories of the expositions and of individual museums) the United States Naval Hospital in Balboa Park, Mission Bay, International Workers of the World, San Diego public transportation and water procurement problems, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and San Diego High School. There is also biographical information on well-known individuals, including singers Schumann-Heink and Galli-Curci, landscape architect Samuel Parsons, architect Frank P. Allen, Jr., San Diego pioneer Daniel Cleveland, aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss, and San Diego entrepreneur “Charlie” Collier.


    This collection is arranged in seventeen series:
    Series I: San Diego Architecture (Buildings and Landscape);
    Series II: John Nolen;
    Series III: Biographies;
    Series IV: San Diego History;
    Series V: Expositions;
    Series VI: Balboa Park History;
    Series VII: Balboa Park Buildings, Gardens and Open Spaces;
    Series VIII: Naval Hospital;
    Series IX: Mission Bay;
    Series X: Missions;
    Series XI: Old Town;
    Series XII: Indians;
    Series XIII: Transportation in San Diego;
    Series XIV: San Diego Gas and Electric;
    Series XV: Horton Plaza;
    Series XVI: The Mexican-American War;
    Series XVII: Christmases in Early America.

    Preferred Citation

    Richard Amero Collection, MS 76, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply. Restrictions may apply to material copied from other institutions.


    There are gaps in the binder numbering (missing: 68, 80, 98, 100, 101, 106, 113, 167, 196, and 224), however these numbers appear to have been skipped accidentally when the binders were originally created by Amero, because there is no chronological gap in content. There are also many instances of binders being split into volumes (e.g. 8a and 8b).
    Supplementary to this collection, Richard Amero wrote additional articles on the history of Balboa Park and compiled a digital timeline of Balboa Park history from pre-1900 to 1999, which are available on the San Diego History Center website.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Laura McMahon in January 2008.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Amero, Richard, 1924-2012
    California Pacific International Exposition (1935-1936:San Diego, Calif.).
    Cleveland, Daniel
    Collier, David Charles
    Galli-Curci, Amelita, 1882-1963
    Gill, Irving, 1870-1936
    Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor, 1869-1924
    Mission San Diego de Alcala.
    Morley, John
    Nolen, John, 1869-1937
    Olmsted, John Charles, 1852-1920
    Panama-California Exposition (1915-1916: San Diego, Calif.).
    Parsons, Samuel, 1844-1923
    Perry, Allen W.
    San Diego High School.
    Schumann-Heink, Ernestine, 1861-1936
    Scripps, E. W. (Edward Willis), 1854-1926
    Scripps, Ellen Browning, 1836-1932
    Sessions, Kate Olivia, 1857-1940
    Wangenheim, Julius
    Architecture -- California -- San Diego
    Balboa Park (San Diego, Calif.)
    Expositions -- California -- San Diego
    Horton Plaza
    Indians of North America -- California -- San Diego County
    Mexican War, 1846-1848
    Mission Bay (Calif.)
    Missions -- California -- San Diego
    Old Town (San Diego, Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)