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Guide to the Letter book of the College of California, 1849-1867
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Brief History
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Letter Book of the College of California,
    Date (inclusive): 1849-1867
    Collection Number: 308y.let
    Creator: College of California
    Extent: 1 box (.4 linear feet)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library. University Archives.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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 reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Letter book of the College of California, 308y.let, University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    Documents of the College of California (308y.d)
    Transfer of the College of California to the University of California (308y.tr)
    Reports to the Board of Trustees of the College of California (308y.r)

    Brief History

    The College of California was chartered in 1855 and operated in Oakland, California until 1869. Initially it functioned as a preparatory academy, under the name of College School, and the first college class of ten freshmen began in 1860. The aspirations of the College led it to search for a larger site as early as 1856, and this search gradually led to the acquisition of land north of Oakland at a site the trustees named Berkeley, after George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne.
    In 1866, California took advantage of the Morrill Land Grant Act and created the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College. The trustees of the College of California realized the implications for their own institution's lack of financial support and offered all the college's assets if the legislature would create a University of California combining the aims of the Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College and the more humanities-oriented College of California. An act to found the university was passed by the California legislature and was signed into law on March 23, 1868. The College of California offered no instruction after the 1868/69 academic year.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of letters addressed primarily to Samuel H. Willey relating to faculty and trustee appointments of the College of California. Included also are some early letters and memoranda concerning the establishment of a college at Benicia, California, and at the end there are specifications of the sale of part of the Oakland, California, property to Isaac Brayton. The collection also contains three letters by Frederick Law Olmsted concerning the college property in Berkeley, California.