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Howard E. Gulick Papers
MSS 0091  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Digital Content
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Howard E. Gulick Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0091
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Languages: English
    Physical Description: 2.6 Linear feet (3 archives boxes, 2 card file boxes, 12 oversize folders, 6 slide boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1948 - 1980
    Abstract: Papers of Howard E. Gulick, author, cartographer and traveler in the Mexican states of Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur and Nayarit.
    Creator: Gulick, Howard E.

    Digital Content

    Selected materials from the collection have been digitized and can be viewed by clicking the link below.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Papers of Howard E. Gulick, author, cartographer and traveler in the Mexican states of Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur and Nayarit. Gulick coauthored one of the first guidebooks on Baja California, the Lower California Guidebook (1956), which combined history and culture with field maps and mileage tabulation. His guidebook to Nayarit entitled Nayarit, Mexico; A Traveler's Guidebook To This Historic And Scenic State Of Mexico's West Coast, And Its Capital, The City Of Tepic (1965) was the first English-language guide to that state. The Baja California materials date between 1948 and 1973 and the Nayarit materials date between 1964 and 1965. Included are letters from botanist Annetta Carter and geographer Homer Aschmann, manuscripts and typescripts of Gulick's unpublished research papers, manuscript maps, published maps, journals and diaries from trips, and a large collection of color slide images of places and people in Baja California and Nayarit.
    The collection is arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE; 2) WRITINGS; 3) MAP MATERIALS; 4) SLIDES; and 5) JOURNALS.


    Howard Gulick was born in Visalia, California, on August 25, 1911. In 1920 he moved with his parents to Los Angeles and later, in 1922, to Glendale, California. Gulick graduated from Glendale High School in 1929 and from the California Institute of Technology in 1934 with a bachelor's degree in engineering.
    From 1935 to 1972 Gulick worked for the Public Service Department of the City of Glendale as a civil engineer in the water and electrical utility department. During World War II (September 1942-January 1946), he served in the Air Force and was stationed at Yuma, Arizona. Apart from his duties as post engineer and purchasing officer, Gulick spent his free time practicing Spanish, exploring the border and developed an interest in the desert.
    In 1950, he made his first long trip into Baja California, traveling as far south as Loreto in a new Jeep station wagon. Gulick continued to spend his vacations traveling the peninsula (except 1958) until 1961. In 1964, he recalled, "besides merely covering roads, I studied and looked for old trails, missions, ranches, etc. Along with all this, detailed notes of road mileages enabled me to plot the roads on a base map. During this period most long weekends were spent down there [often in the company of Faustino Perez of Ensenada], and frequently two-day weekends also."
    Peter Gerhard, a historian, proposed that they collaborate on a guidebook to Baja California which would incorporate Gulick's notes for the road log portion. In 1956, the first printing of the LOWER CALIFORNIA GUIDEBOOK appeared at a time when popular interest in the peninsula was increasing. Gulick conceived of this guidebook "as a volume which would not only help the traveler find his way to hitherto unmapped roads, but would describe, from personal observation, the area and points of interest." Popular among peninsular travelers, the Lower California Guidebook was reissued in three updated editions before a fifth revised edition, entitled the Baja California Guidebook (1975) was published. Walt Wheelock replaced Peter Gerhard as co-author.
    Between 1962 and 1964, Gulick shifted his focus to the state of Nayarit, Mexico, and, in 1965, published Nayarit, Mexico; A Travelers Guidebook To This Historic And Scenic State Of Mexico's West Coast, And Its Capital, The City Of Tepic . This work was the first English-language guidebook to Nayarit.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Howard E. Gulick Papers, MSS 91. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1986.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Aschmann, Homer, 1920- -- Correspondence
    Carter, Annetta -- Correspondence
    Gulick, Howard E. -- Archives
    Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula) -- Description and travel
    Nayarit (Mexico) -- Description and travel
    Photographic prints -- 20th century