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Guide to the Mike Weber papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mike Weber papers
    Dates: ca. 1930-2008
    Collection number: MS0092
    Creator: Weber, J. Martin, 1914-2008
    Collection Size: 18.25 linear feet (15 boxes)
    Repository: Center for Sacramento History
    Sacramento, California 95811-0229
    Abstract: The Mike Weber Papers document the professional and personal activities of John Martin “Mike” Weber, a prominent member of the educational community in Sacramento for more than 50 years. Through his work with the Sacramento County Office of Education, the California Retired Teachers Association, and the Japanese American Student Conference, Weber created a huge body of publications, classroom workshops, and supplementary materials that aided children and adults. Focused mainly on the sciences, conservation, and the educational personalities of Sacramento, Weber’s collection provides a snapshot of his research, publications, and personal hobbies.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research use.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Mike Weber papers, MS0092, Center for Sacramento History.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired from Mike Weber and his family in 2001 (accession number 2001/127), 2004 (accession number 2004/059), 2007 (accession number 2007/086), and 2008 (accession number 2008/046).

    Processing Information

    Processing and finding aid by Amanda Berkson-Brand, Sydney Hinton, Margo Lentz-Meyer, Monica Mello, and Westby Mize, 2015. Finding aid edited by Kim Hayden, 2020.
    The following publications were removed from the collection: Fremontia: A Journal of the California Native Plant Society, April 1973-July 1996; California Geology from the Department of Conservation, September 1972-August 1998; Pacific Discovery, August 1980-Fall 1990; Western Water, July/August 1984-March/April 2001; Water Conservation News, January 1997-April 2003; the Sacramento County Historical Society’s Golden Nuggets newsletter, June 1954-March 1998; California Agriculture, November/December 1993-September/October 1998; and California Science Teacher’s Journal, 1981-1990.
    Additionally, a scrapbook from Hale School in Farnham, Surrey, England was removed and attempts have been made, and continue to be made, to return it to an appropriate institution in Surrey.
    Lastly, one box of records was discarded due to contamination by biological pathogens. It contained the following publications: Final Intensive Inventory: Public Lands Administered by BLM California Outside the California Desert Conservation Area; a draft of the California Desert Conservation Area: Plan Alternatives and Environmental Impact Statement; Off-Road Vehicle Impacts on Desert Plants and Animals and BLM Management Prescriptions; “Dirt Motorbikes and Dune Buggies Threaten Deserts” by Dave Sheridan, 1978; Status of the Desert Pupfish; Management Philosophy for East Mojave National Scenic Area; Desert Report, October 1982; BLM newsletter from August 1983; Operation Orvac, March 1970; and the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Plan, September 1980.

    Biography / Administrative History

    John Martin “Mike” Weber was born April 13, 1913, in El Centro, California. The fifth of six brothers, Weber received his early schooling in El Centro and Burbank, California. In 1930 his family moved to Corvallis, Oregon, where he graduated from high school. He then attended Oregon State University in Corvallis. Within five years, Weber attained a master’s degree in science education, completing his studies in 1937.
    Rejected from the armed services during World War II for poor eyesight, Weber taught high school and elementary school science in Portland, Oregon’s School District #1. There, he met and married his wife Ferris Jane Green in 1941. Together they raised three daughters, Cathy, Rachel, and Martha. In 1946, after nine years of teaching in Portland, Weber returned to California to work administrative jobs at the Parker and Crestline dams in the San Bernardino Mountains.
    In 1949, Weber joined the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) as an educational consultant, with emphasis in the sciences. The relationship between Weber and SCOE lasted 30 years, and in his position Weber instituted numerous programs, educational activities and community partnerships. In 1950, he assisted with the organization of the County Science Steering Committee, which published The Natural History Guide for the Sacramento region and The Outdoor World… of the Sacramento Region. The guide had seven editions. Weber also served as a consultant on a series of radio programs on KFBK, called KFBK Goes to School: Down the Science Byways, which was designed for students and to bring science into the classroom. He also created a newsletter for science teachers and served as consultant on books about Sacramento County and California’s native oaks.
    Weber wrote a local history for schools with C. G. Winter, entitled Heart of California: Sacramento County Then and Now, in 1959. He became deeply involved with the formation of the Save the American River Association, the creation of the American River Parkway and Bicycle Trail, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Weber also fostered a partnership between the SCOE and the Sacramento Civic Theater, which encouraged students to participate in and watch live theater. He also participated in and helped further the aims of the Japanese American Student Conference Program from the time of its inception in 1934 until well into the 2000s.
    After his retirement in 1979, Weber continued his work with SCOE. He kept a desk at the office and helped plan workshops for students. In 1985, he was honored as a national science teacher by the National Science Teacher’s Foundation. He was also an active member of the California Retired Teachers Association, co-chairing their history committee. The committee and the association published multiple histories of local schools, biographies of pioneer teachers, and a newsletter.
    In retirement, Weber was an active member of the Renaissance Society, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sacramento, and the American River Association, in addition to his activities with the California Retired Teachers Association. Weber died of heart failure on June 12, 2008.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection primarily documents the professional activities of Martin J. Weber, a prominent educator in the Sacramento area, with a small number of personal papers that relate to his family history and interests. Collected by Weber and preserved by his family, the collection details his time spent working for the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) as an education consultant for science, as well as his work with the California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA) and Sacramento’s Japanese American Student Conference program. The collection also contains materials related to local history, which Weber collected as part of his work as an educator. The original order of the papers was not discernable, and an artificial series hierarchy was created based on similar subject material. As the majority of the records were not contained within folders, items were grouped according to subject and folder titles were created in order to provide context. All records already contained within folders were kept together and Weber’s original folder titles were copied onto the new folders. Most newsprint has been photocopied onto archival paper for preservation purposes.
    Contained within the collection are textual records including correspondence; newspapers, newspaper clippings, magazines, and magazine articles; papers, publications, and reports; newsletters, meeting minutes, and associated notes; brochures; lesson plans; research materials; conference agendas; and educational texts related to history and science. Other formats include photographs, negatives, 35mm slides, filmstrips, and cassette tapes. The geographic focus of the material is Sacramento and California, and dates from the 1930s through the 2000s. Topics and subjects included in the collection are: education in Sacramento, Sacramento history, science and history education, Sacramento County Office of Education, California Retired Teachers Association, Sacramento County Science Steering Committee, Sacramento Tree Foundation, California’s native oak trees, and the Japanese American Student Conference program.


    The collection is arranged 5 into series:
    • Series 1. Sacramento County Office of Education, ca. 1920-2005
    • Series 2. California Retired Teachers Association, ca. 1945-2000, bulk 1980-2000
    • Series 3. Japanese American Student Exchange and Conference, ca. 1934-2005
    • Series 4. Personal Files, ca. 1925-2005, bulk 1979-2008
    • Series 5. Unprocessed photographs and recorded media

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California Oak Foundation
    California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA)
    California Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
    Sacramento Tree Foundation
    Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE)
    Japanese American Student Conference (JASC)
    Education--Sacramento (Calif.)
    History--Study and teaching.
    History--Sacramento (Calif.)
    History--Sacramento County (Calif.)
    Natural History--Sacramento (Calif.)
    Natural History--Sacramento County (Calif).
    Japanese Americans
    Science--Study and teaching
    Delta Region (Calif.)
    Natural History--California

    Related Material

    Related collections at the Center for Sacramento History include Sacramento County (Board) Office of Education accessions 1977/023, 1983/073, 1993/060, 1994/068, 1999/108.