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Nichols (John) papers, 1928-2009
MVC068  
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Box 1

Subject files 1928-2009

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files that were compliled by John Nichols while researching the history of the St. Francis dam break. The original folders have been retained, and where materials were put into new folders the original titles have been transcribed in quotation marks. The subject files include clippings, articles, photographs, notes, emails, and ephemera. They are in the original order created by Nichols. Subjects include Thornton Edwards, Los Angeles Times coverage, Charles Outland's signed yearbook from June 1928, sheet music and notes for corridos written about the disaster, original and copies of reports analyzing the dam break, handwritten visitors comments from various exhibits on the dam disaster, copies of claims filed by victims and related inquests, research for a documentary, preparation materials for exhibits, committee files, a work record for the dam, materials re: the construction of the Thornton Edwards memorial in Santa Paula, and notes and preparation for memorial services. There is information on statistics for the dam, debris flow, how evidence of the disaster was destroyed, the geology of the dam site, and Pony Hurton. There are also four 3.5-inch floppy disks that contain materials related to Eric Richards, the artist who created the memorial statue in Santa Paula, press releases, research, and diagrams.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

BOX CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. Requests to use digital materials must be made in advance. In some cases, the cost of digitizing materials must be covered by the researcher. Please contact the Research Library at library@venturamuseum.org.
Box 2

Subject files 1951-2008

Scope and Contents

This box contains subject files compiled by John Nichols while researching the St. Francis Dam disaster and creating exhibits on the topic. The folder titles are the original titles created by Nichols, and where materials had to be put in new folders the original titles have been transcribed and put in quotation marks. Topics covered include planning for various anniversaries, survivors' accounts, water history, comments from exhibit visitors, religious tracts documenting surivors' stories, engineering analyses of the dam break, William Mulholland's role, Edward Thornton, and victims' graves. Materials include newspaper clippings, articles, notes, correspondence, maps, pamphlets, guestbooks, correspondence, lists of contacts, copy of a logbook for the dam powerhouse, folk songs, poems, and corridos about the disaster, exhibit labels on the Hello Girls, reports, photographs, mailers, and negatives. There are 9 CDs that likely contain photographs of the disaster from 1928, Word documents created by Nichols on the topic, and PowerPoint presentations.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

BOX CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing some content in this box. Requests to use digital materials must be made in advance. In some cases digitization costs must be covered by the researcher. Please contact the Research Library at library@venturamuseum.org.
Box 3

Photographs and binders 1920-2003

Scope and Contents

This box contains the contents of several binders put together by John Nichols. All materials are related to the St. Francis Dam disaster, including research, notes, correspondence, photographs, negatives, ephemera, and clippings. Not all photographs are originals from the 1920s. Some photographs are reprints or copies. The contents of the binders have been foldered for preservation purposes, but original order has been maintained. The binder titles and their contents are detailed below. Other materials include loose photographs and negatives of the damage after the disaster, 2 scrapbooks, and 1 U-matic cassette tape. The tape contains footage of flood damage taken by Celestino Giacomazzi in 1928 that was transferred from 9.5mm film.
Please be advised that some photographs contain graphic images of victims.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

BOX CONTAINS AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. Requests to use audio-visual materials must be made in advance. In some cases the cost of digitization of materials must be covered by the researcher. Please contact the Research Library at library@venturamuseum.org.
Box 3, Folder 1-3

SFD circa 1920 - 1930s

Box 3, Folder 4

SFD Book 2: St. Francis Dam Disaster Photos – Collection of John Nichols circa 1928, 2000

Scope and Contents

Second label: "Book 2 – Images 42-72".
Box 3, Folder 5-6

SFD Snaps - From Leslie Greiner circa 1928

Scope and Contents

Photographs pertaining to damage caused by the St. Francis Dam disaster.
Box 3, Folder 7-8

SFD Clearwater: St. Francis Dam Disaster Photos – Collection of John Nichols 1928-1930, 1998-2003

Box 3, Folder 9

SFD Disaster: St. Francis Dam Disaster Photos – Collection of John Nichols circa 1928

Box 3, Folder 10

SFD Modern Prints: St. Francis Dam Disaster Photos – Collection of John Nichols. Recent Acquisition of Negatives – Modern Prints circa 1928

Scope and Contents

Also written on front label: "Eric Daily owes me the original negatives. (He can't find)."
Box 3, Folder 11

SFD Book 8: Book 8 (231-235) 1928

Scope and Contents

This binder contains four letters for the Santa Paula Chronicle describing the photos they are attached to, as well as the work involved in pipe repairs after the dam disaster.
Box 3, Folder 12

SFD Book 3: Book 3 Images 73-94 undated

Scope and Contents

Side label: St. Francis Disaster – Clearwater Photos Note in binder: Gift from Al Hudson. His father was appointed by C.C. Teague to review damage. Clearwater and appraiser.
Box 3, Folder 13-14

SFD Book 4: St. Francis Dam Disaster Photos – Collection of John Nichols circa 1928 circa 2000

Scope and Contents

Second label: Book 4: Images 95-188 Include 1 CD, labeled: St. Francis Dam – Raggio Family photos. Please credit Raggio Family Archives.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

FOLDER CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. Requests to use digital materials must be made in advance. In some cases the cost of digitizing materials must be covered by the researcher. Please contact the Research Library at library@venturamuseum.org.
Box 3, Folder 15

SFD Book 7: Recent Donations to the Santa Paula Snapshot Museum. St. Francis Dam Disaster Collection 2000

Scope and Contents

Second label: Book 7 (Images 233-230).
Box 3, Folder 16

Unlabeled binder 2003

Scope and Contents

Not labeled. Contains ephemera, pamphlets, memorabilia, napkin from dinner, and photographs.
Box 4

Oversize and audio-visual materials 1892-2001

Scope and Contents

This box contains oversize materials, including loose pages from a ledger, newspaper clippings, a Red Cross notice from disaster relief, and photographs of pages of a ledger documenting a work log. Other materials include 5 VHS tapes, 3 compact cassette tapes, 2 CD-ROMs, one 1/4-inch open reel audiotape, and one 9.5-mm film. The tape contains footage of commemorations of the disaster, news specials, and Power Point presentations. The cassette tapes contain lectures and an NPR story on the disaster. The CD-ROMs contain images of the St. Francis Dam disaster, including some from the Mead report. The 9.5-mm film contains original footage of the flood damage from 1928. The audiotape is labeled "St. Francis Dam - master."

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

BOX CONTAINS AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. Requests to use audio-visual materials must be made in advance. In some cases the cost of digitizing materials must be covered by the researcher. Please contact the Research Library at library@venturamuseum.org.
COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. Requests to use digital materials must be made in advance. Please contact the Research Library at library@venturamuseum.org.
Box 5

Posters and exhibit materials 1998- circa 2003

Scope and Contents

This box contains oversized posters and exhibit materials including labels, posters for upcoming exhibits, PR materials for Nichols' book, a photocopy of an original report on restoration, bound copies of reports and statistics on flood control since the dam disaster, bound photocopies of newspaper articles, and memorial brochures documenting materials in an exhibit.
Box 6

Newspaper clippings 1928 - 2009

Scope and Contents

This box contains newspapers and clippings that are either original coverage of the disaster immediately following the dam disaster or coverage of anniversaries or memorials in the decades since 1928.