The Verbarg Collection consists of: [Series I] the hundreds of brief
local history essays submitted for publication in the Oakland Tribune's "Knave"
column (1953-1974); [Series II] correspondence between Leonard Verbarg and the
public relative to these submissions; [Series III] memorabilia sent to Verbarg
with the articles (most notably early theatre programs) as well as tear sheet
copies of "Knave" columns (1954-1969); and, [Series IV] the photographs and
drawings that were published with the essays.
Leonard Verbarg was a journalist and editor of the "Knave" column in the
Oakland Tribune for more than twenty years (1953-1974). The "Knave" was begun
during the 1930s and was dedicated principally to California local history.
Because Leonard Verbarg opened the column to the public, history buffs,
community boosters and descendants of pioneer families all sent him copy, much
of which he edited and published. Some published local historians, including
Rockwell D. Hunt, F. Hal Higgins and Charles M. Loring contributed regularly to
the "Knave." Leonard Verbarg received the California Historical Society's Award
of Merit in 1965. Nine years later, on the death of long-time Tribune
publisher, Joseph R. Knowland, the "Knave" column was terminated.