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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Related Collections
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: The Thorne B. Gray Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1887-1989
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1966-1982)
    Collection number: D-310
    Collector: Gray, Thorne B.
    Extent: 16 linear feet
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    100 North West Quad
    Davis, California, 95616-5292
    Abstract: Thorne B. Gray (1937-1993) worked as a journalist for the Modesto Bee from 1966 to 1982, where he covered city and county government with an emphasis on Central Valley water issues, land use, and natural conservation. He reported on the campaigns to preserve the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers in the 1970s and the construction and filling of the New Melones Dam.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research under regular Reading Room rules and copyright restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis 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 researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Thorne B. Gray Collection, D-310, Department of Special Collections, University of California, Davis, California.

    Acquisition Information

    In 1990, Thorne B. Gray donated this collection to the Library.

    Processing Information

    Lola Aguilar processed this collection and created its finding aid. Melissa Tyler encoded the finding aid.


    Biographical Narrative

    Thorne B. Gray (1937-1993), journalist, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and grew up in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from Cornell University in 1960, he joined the U.S. Army serving with the U.N. Command in Korea, where he was a reporter for the Pacific Stars and Stripes. After leaving the Army in 1963, he attended Northwestern University in Illinois and received a master's degree in journalism in 1965.
    Gray returned to California where he worked for the San Diego Evening Tribune and the Alhambra Post-Advocate before joining the Modesto Bee in Fresno in 1966. During his seventeen years at the Bee, Gray covered city and county government with an emphasis on California water issues, land use, and natural resources conservation. He reported extensively on the campaigns to preserve the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers in the 1970s and the construction and filling of the New Melones Dam.
    Gray wrote Quest for Deep Gold (1973), On this Land (1983), and The Stanislaus Indian Wars (1993), and co-authored California Political Almanac, The Tuolumne River, a 1970 Sierra Club report, as well as contributing to the Knights Ferry Handbook. He also served as editor of the Stanislaus County Historical Society quarterly journal, the Stanislaus Stepping Stones, for seven years. Gray was on the board of Central California Educational Television (KVIE-Channel 6) for three years and taught journalism at Stanislaus State University.
    In 1982 Gray left the Modesto Bee and joined the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Bureau in 1983, reporting on the state budget. In October 1983, he took early retirement as a senior writer.
    Kane, William D. "Thorne Gray Dies at 55, Veteran Newsman, River Enthusiast, Region Historian," Modesto Bee, 21 April 1993, sec. B, p. 3.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Thorne B. Gray Collection is arranged in seven subject series organized by his original approach: 1. Auburn-Folsom South Unit, 2. Central Valley Project, 3. South Delta, 4. New Melones Dam, 5. Modesto and Turlock Irrigation District, 6. New Don Pedro Dam, and 7. Hetch Hetchy Dam. The collection consists of an investigative reporter's reference files and publications on Central Valley water issues. Items span the years 1887 to 1989, but the bulk of the collection dates from 1966 to 1982. The collection includes city, county, state, and federal agency reports, correspondence, and press releases, as well as local and state newspaper clippings and magazine articles. Gray filed his notes and clippings from the Modesto Bee under the subject covered. The collection does not contain information relating to Gray's books.

    Related Collections

    Other materials related to the Thorne B. Gray Collection may be found in the following collections at Special Collections:
    D-348: Hagan, Robert M. Papers
    D-229: Prokopovich, Nikolai P. Collection

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online access catalog:


    Gray, Thorne B.--Archives
    Central Valley Project (Calif.). Auburn-Folsom South Unit
    Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (Calif.)
    Don Pedro Reservoir (Calif.)
    Modesto Irrigation District (Calif.)
    New Melones Lake (Calif.)
    Friends of the River Foundation
    Friends of New Melones
    Wild and scenic rivers--California
    Stanislaus River (Calif.)
    Tuolumne River (Calif.)
    Turlock Irrigation District (Calif.)
    Water resources development--California