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California Tourism and Promotional Literature Collection
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  • Historical Note:
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Electronic Format:
  • Conditions Governing Access:
  • Conditions Governing Use:
  • Preferred Citation:

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: California Tourism and Promotional Literature Collection
    Creator: California State University, Northridge. University Library
    Identifier/Call Number: SC.CTP
    Physical Description: 7.50 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1860-1997
    Abstract: Tourism and real estate promotion have been longtime means of encouraging people to vacation and settle in California. The California Tourism and Promotional Literature Collection includes county, regional, and statewide promotional literature used to promote tourism and real estate development across the state of California.
    Language of Material: English.

    Historical Note:

    The library created this collection of materials for study and research.

    Scope and Contents

    The California Tourism and Promotional Literature Collection consists of promotional material aimed at attracting visitors, settlers, and real estate investment to the state of California. The bulk of the material dates from 1880 to 1940, and includes tour and event booklets, travel guides, personal journals, street and real estate tract maps, posters, folded brochures, pamphlets, postcards, magazines, menus, drawings, photographs, and souvenirs. The collection is made up of fifty-five series arranged by region and county, the largest of which is for Los Angeles County.  There are several series dedicated to statewide promotional literature, one series dedicated to California tours and excursions, and one series dedicated to souvenirs.
    The collection offers a variety of materials illustrating many different reasons to travel to California including tourism, health, and agriculture. In terms of tourism, the collection includes many pamphlets from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most of which are produced by the Southern Pacific Company, which advertise cross-country trips by railway from places such as Boston and New Orleans to California. These trips generally traveled throughout California and advertise the scenic beauty of Yosemite and the Sequoia forest; the vast diversity of climate; the plethora of outdoor activities; and famous hotels such as The Raymond in Pasadena, the Palace in San Francisco, the Hotel del Monte in Monterey, the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, and the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
    The collection also includes pamphlets containing information on the history and locations of the various California missions, including those in San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, San Fernando, and Santa Barbara. Additionally, there is much material describing the history of the California gold rush and the tours of numerous ghost towns and related locations. More recent items contain information regarding Hollywood and the film industry, the Cawston Ostrich Ranch in South Pasadena, San Francisco's Chinatown, Catalina Island, and Inyo County's Death Valley, as well as various posters and pamphlets for individual restaurants, hotels, and theaters.
    California's weather is sometimes referred to as the "eternal spring," and is generally described to be a wonderland of health and goodness. Pamphlets issued by individual counties advertise the beautiful beaches of Los Angeles and Orange County and describe various areas as a wonderful respite from the harsher weather conditions in other parts of the country. There are also handouts advertising winter resorts in places like Palm Springs, where visitors may escape the cold of the winter months in order to spend time resting and recuperating.
    The collection also includes pamphlets and booklets promoting immigration, migration, and settlement. These materials typically include information on agricultural in California, especially the cultivation of olives, figs, cherries, peaches, oranges, grapes, almonds, walnuts, and raising of livestock. Other economic opportunities described include oil, lumber, dairy, and viticulture, with information on average wages and cost of living. Also advertised are the various connecting railroads and, in the more modern booklets, the vast highway system covering the state.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series 1: California Tours and Excursions, 1881-1931
    Series 2: Statewide Promotional Literature, 1860-1947
    Series 3: California's Central Region, 1915
    Series 4: Southern California, 1886-1940
    Series 5: California Statewide Promotional Literature, 1886-1936
    Series 6: Alameda County, 1901-1940
    Series 7: Butte County, 1898-1926
    Series 8: Calaveras Promotional Literature
    Series 9: Colusa County
    Series 10: Contra Costa County
    Series 11: El Dorado County, 1940
    Series 12: Fresno County, 1890-1925
    Series 13: Glenn County, 1915
    Series 14: Humboldt County
    Series 15: Imperial County, 1910-1928
    Series 16: Riverside County, 1902-1938
    Series 17: Inyo County, 1912-1936
    Series 18: Kern County, 1915-1934
    Series 19: Lake County, 1898-1951
    Series 20: Los Angeles County, 1885-1997
    Series 21: Madera County, 1912
    Series 22: Marin County, 1888-1919
    Series 23: Mariposa County, 1915-1927
    Series 24: Mendocino County
    Series 25: Merced County, 1915
    Series 26: Monterey County, 1891-1996
    Series 27: Mono County
    Series 28: Napa County
    Series 29: Nevada County
    Series 30: Orange County, 1949
    Series 31: Placer County, 1880-1935
    Series 32: Plumas County, 1910
    Series 33: Sacramento County, 1911
    Series 34: San Benito County, 1910-1915
    Series 35: San Bernardino County, 1910-1937
    Series 36: San Diego County, 1886-1935
    Series 37: San Francisco, 1878-1947
    Series 38: San Joaquin County
    Series 39: San Luis Obispo County, 1940
    Series 40: San Mateo County
    Series 41: Santa Barbara County, 1906-1913
    Series 42: Santa Clara County, 1871-1915
    Series 43: Santa Cruz County, 1895-1938
    Series 44: Shasta County
    Series 45: Siskiyou County, 1910-1915
    Series 46: Solano County
    Series 47: Sonoma County, 1915-1931
    Series 48: Stanislaus County, 1879-1925
    Series 49: Sutter County, 1915
    Series 50: Tulare County, 1920-1935
    Series 51: Tuolumne County, 1888-1909
    Series 52: Ventura County, 1915-1933
    Series 53: Yolo County, 1915
    Series 54: Yuba County, 1913
    Series 55: Northern California, 1903-1933

    Electronic Format:

    Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available electronically as a part of the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library.  

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms