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Oil Spill Information Center (OSIC) Collection
SBHC Mss 11  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Materials in UCSB Special Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Oil Spill Information Center (OSIC) Collection
    Dates: ca. 1923-1973
    Bulk Dates: 1969-1972
    Collection Number: SBHC Mss 11
    Creator: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Oil Spill Information Center
    Extent: 45 linear feet (20 document boxes, 1 half-size document box, 31 record containers, 2 oversize boxes, 19 film reels, 1 drawer of slides, and 5 open-reel tapes).
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
    Physical Location: Series I-IX (Boxes 1-51, SRLF; Series X (Box 52, Del Sur); Series XI, XIII (Film and Audiotape sections, Annex 2); Series XII (Cab. 1:4, Vault); Series XIV (Boxes, 53-54, Del Sur Oversize).
    Language: English.

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. 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 the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained. Film footage KEYT-TV may be viewed and copies made for non-commercial, educational use, but for commercial use, permission to copy must be obtained from KEYT-TV.

    Preferred Citation

    Oil Spill Information Center (OSIC) Collection. SBHC Mss 11. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Transfer from UCSB Science and Engineering Library (SEL), 1983.


    The following information was taken from a 1971 printed pamphlet about the Oil Information Center (OSIC):
    The Oil Spill Information Center was established in March, 1969, in order to answer an immediate need for information on the causes, effects, and subsequent implications of the Santa Barbara Channel oil spill of January 28, 1969. Initial collection efforts centered around material which was available at the time only locally.
    Within a few months, however, it became apparent that documentation of the Santa Barbara incident was but part of much larger and more urgent need for a comprehensive documentation program on all offshore oil pollution phenomena, particularly in relation to consequences and effective abatement measures. In view of the fact that no facility existed in the United States that offered a readily available, comprehensive, and organized collection of relevant material on the subject, the Center began to develop a systematic program of bibliographic searching, acquiring, indexing, and disseminating all information pertaining to offshore oil spill events on a global scale, whether of natural, technological, intentional or accidental origin. As a result, the Center has expanded into an international documentation network covering all offshore oil spills and related aspects, with a literature survey and collection effort dating to the Submerged Lands Act of 1953 (Submerged Lands Act, May 22, 1953 [67 Stat. 29], also called Public Law 83-31).
    At present the Center's information resources contain more than 10,000 items represented in a wide variety of source material, including newspaper and journal articles; local, state, and federal legislative hearings; technical and government contract reports; maps and aerial photographs; slides; video tapes and films; monographs, symposia, and conference proceedings; patents and theses. More than two hundred tanker incidents and major drilling accidents are documented in this collection, including the Torrey Canyon spill off the Cornwall Coast of England, the Ocean Eagle off Puerto Rico, and the Arrow off Nova Scotia. The Santa Barbara Channel spill is comprehensively documented."
    The Oil Spill Information Center was closed June 30, 1972, due to lack of ongoing financial support. The collection was transferred to Special Collections in 1983.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The four-volume publication Oil Pollution: An Index-Catalog to the Collection of the Oil Spill Information Center (Santa Barbara: University Library, UCSB, 1972) serves as a guide to specific items in the collection. Copies of the index are located in Special Collections and the Sciences and Engineering Library (SEL) [Z7173.W3 C3)].
    Citations in the index include locations (OSIC, SEL, Map Room, GP, etc.) and reference numbers. The OSIC citations refer to the material now housed in Special Collections as SBHC Mss 11. Additional oil spill material is housed in other parts of the library. Many of these items have been cataloged separately and can be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB Libraries online catalog.
    The following is a key to the Oil Pollution references:
    • AP = Aerial Photograph (in Map and Imagery Lab [MIL])
    • F = Film
    • GP = Government Publication
    • JO = Journal
    • LE = Letter
    • ML = Miscellaneous
    • MO = Monograph
    • NE = Newspaper
    • PA = Pamphlet
    • PH = Photograph
    • PO = Poster
    • PT = Patent
    • SL = Slide
    • TA = Tape
    • TR = Technical Report
    • UN = Unpublished Research, Speeches
    • VT = Videotape


    The collection contains the following series, which are listed in roughly the same order as originally received:
    Series I: Newspapers (Boxes 1-15: 55 binders), 1967-1972. Primarily clippings of articles, letters to the editor, and cartoons from the Santa Barbara News-Press and other California newspapers. Contains several sections, the binders for each being numbered separately. These are; Miscellaneous Newspapers, 1969-1970 (12 binders), Collected Cartoons, ca. 1967-1970 (1 binder), Santa Barbara News-Press Letters to the Editor, 1969 (5 binders), Santa Barbara News-Press Articles, 1969 (12 binders), Santa Barbara News-Press Articles, 1970 (11 binders), Santa Barbara News-Press Letters, 1970-1972; Selected Cartoons, 1969-1972 (1 binder), All Newspapers, 1970-1972 (12 binders), Unnumbered Newspaper Articles, 1969 (1 binder).
    Series II: Pamphlets (Box 16: 3 binders), ca. 1963-1972. Includes announcements, flyers, programs, brochures, technical specifications, data sheets, proposals, and advertisements.
    Series III: Patents (Box 16: 1 binder), 1967-1971. Photocopies, mainly relating to removal of oil films from water.
    Series IV: Government Publications (Boxes 17-22), ca. 1923-1972. Copies of local, California, and U.S. materials such as hearings, statements, news releases, reports, bills, resolutions, regulations, laws and statutes. Also some items from other states and countries.
    Series V: Journals (Boxes 23-36: 57 binders), ca. 1936-1972. Primarily copies of articles in journals, magazines, newsletters, and bulletins. Contains four sections, the binders for each being numbered separately. These are: Santa Barbara Case (6 binders), General Pollution (27 binders), Other Cases (6 binders), and General (18 binders).
    Series VI: Letters (Box 36: 1 binder), ca. 1967-1971. Mainly copies of memos and letters from private individuals, geologists and other experts, legislators, and from oil companies to employees.
    Series VII: Monographs (Boxes 37-47), ca. 1964-1973. Mainly items with identified authors and titles, such as papers, reports, plans, and chapters from books.
    Series VIII: Technical Reports (Box 48), 1967, 1970. Three items, including a bibliography on oil pollution of marine waters.
    Series IX: Miscellany (Boxes 49-51), ca. 1969-1972. OSIC office files, as well as clippings, blueprints, maps, and reports apparently not filed in other series.
    Series X: Photographs (Box 52), 1969. Photos (b/w and color prints) taken by several individuals.
    Series XI: Film (19 black and white reels), 1969. KEYT-TV news film footage of the Oil Spill. Film may be viewed and copies made for non-commercial, educational use. For commercial use, permission to copy must be obtained from KEYT-TV.
    Series XII: Slides (1 drawer), 1969. Color.
    Series XIII: Audiotapes (5 open reel tapes), 1969, n.d. Dubridge Panel Report and Tempest in the Sea Lecture Series.
    Series XIV: Oversize (Boxes 53-54), 1969-1970. Newspaper articles, journal articles, beach use survey; bound Santa Barbara News-Press.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Oil Spill Information Center

    Related Materials in UCSB Special Collections

    California Coastal Commission Collection (SBHC Mss 39).
    Clyde (George) Scrapbooks (SBHC Mss 53).
    County Resource Management Office (CRMO) Collection (SBHC Mss 25).
    Easton (Robert O.) Collection (SBHC Mss 6).
    Get Oil Out (GOO) Collection (SBHC Mss 10).
    Rand (William Whitehill) Papers (SBHC Mss 46).
    Saadi (Ruth) Collection (SBHC Mss 14).
    Santa Barbara Oil Spill Scrapbook (SBHC Mss 52).
    Sharp (Robert C.) Collection (SBHC Mss 7).
    Smith (Dick) Collection (SBHC Mss 56).
    Sollen (Robert) Collection (SBHC Mss 33).
    Von Breton (Harriette) Papers (SBHC Mss 8).
    Weigand, et al, v. County, et al (Channel Island Drilling) Collection (SBHC Mss 31).