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Course Catalogs Going Digital May 29, 2015

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Ever wonder what classes the first UCI students took? Now you can find out, because the course catalogs are going digital! As part of the UCI’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the Special Collections and Archives staff are hard at work digitizing many of UCI’s historic publications. The course catalogs will be digitized in their entirety and made available online via the Online Archive of UCI History. Check out this one from UCI’s first year, and stay tuned for more to follow!Course_Catalog_1965-1966 6

UCI’s First Trailer (and RV!) Park May 18, 2015

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Irvine Meadows, UCI's first trailer and RV park, circa 1976

Irvine Meadows, UCI’s first trailer and RV park, circa 1976. From UCI Communications photographs, AS-061, a76-094_003

When UCI first opened in 1965, the city of Irvine did not exist and ranchland covered most of the surrounding area, leaving few options for student housing.  UCI’s first dormitory, Mesa Court, housed 500 students in the first year. Although Mesa Court expanded, so too did the number of admitted students. UCI began facing a serious housing shortage on campus. Some students slept in their cars to avoid long commutes and high rent, a common practice in the late sixties and early seventies.

In early 1972, a student group known as the Squatters Club proposed the creation of a camper, van, and RV park. The UCI Housing Office and ASUCI supported the idea. In November that year, Dean of Students Robert Lawrence proposed a plan for the creation of the site to the Campus Planning Committee. Despite wide support for the camper park, nothing was officially established.

Site plan for RV park, circa 1972.

Site plan for RV park, circa 1972. UCI Central Records, AS-004. Box 199, Folder 935-10

Then, in 1973, Irvine and other surrounding cities passed ordinances prohibiting sleeping in cars overnight. This sparked the administration to allocate twelve spaces near the Social Sciences Farm. Occupants were required to have insurance on the vehicle and sign an occupancy agreement. It was named, “Irvine Meadows.”

Student reading outside of his RV in the newly opened Irvine Meadows, circa 1974

Student reading outside of his RV in the newly opened Irvine Meadows, circa 1974. From UCI Communications photographs, AS-061, a74-061

By 1976, over 33% of students commuted ten miles or more to get to campus. On-campus housing was completely full and had a waitlist of 1200 students. Irvine Meadows, meant as a temporary location, still existed even though it did not provide utilities or any extra facilities. It had a wait list of over 100 people. With a growing student body the administration again faced a student housing crisis. Administrators including Chancellor Dan Aldrich and the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs approved a proposal for a site to accommodate 100 vehicles and build bathroom and laundry facilities. In July 1977, the Board of Regents approved funding for the expanded RV park and, after several roadblocks, opened “Irvine Meadows West” on November 15, 1979.

Proposed site for RV park, 1976.

Proposed site for RV park, 1976. AS-004, Central Records. Box 199, Folder: 935-10

Upon opening, the new RV park did not live up to the original vision nor students’ expectations. The original plan included 100-units, a community building for meeting areas, a kitchen, indoor pool, outdoor recreation facilities and vegetable garden, and complete irrigation and landscaping. The actual site included space for 80 vehicles, a small service building with laundry facilities, and no outdoor recreation, garden, or landscaping. “It’s really no picnic living here,” said John Marinovich, quoted in the New U just weeks after the opening. The first residents reported numerous problems with poor construction and inadequate facilities.

However, by 1982 it was a popular housing alternative and deemed a success by the director of housing and food services. Landscaping was added and it exuded an off-beat, bohemian charm with colorful trailers and a vibrant community. There were plans to expand it, but these were never carried out. In 1999, the administration announced that Irvine Meadows would close in five years. In July 2004, Irvine Meadows closed to make room for new construction.

Irvine Meadows West, circa 1988

Irvine Meadows West, circa 1988. From UCI Communications photographs, AS-061, a88-804

Student in his RV, circa 1974

Student in his RV, circa 1974. From UCI Communications photographs, AS-061, a74-061_001

Remembering Chancellor Peltason March 26, 2015

Posted by ucisca in Collections, Faculty.
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It was with great sadness that the staff of Special Collections & Archives heard the news of Jack Peltason’s passing. Although most staff members never met him in person, they came to know him through his collections housed in the Special Collections and Archives Department. Jack Peltason joined the faculty of UCI as Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences in 1963 while the campus was still in the planning stages. He was named second vice chancellor of academic affairs in 1964. He was a pivotal part of events and decisions such as recruiting faculty until he left UCI in 1967  to return to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Peltason returned to UCI in 1984 to become the university’s second chancellor. He held this post from 1984-1992.

The Special Collections and Archives is honored to preserve and provide access to the materials that document his extraordinary contributions to UCI and the community.

Our collections include:

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UCI Yearbooks Go Digital March 11, 2015

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With the UCI 50th Anniversary Historical Documentation project well underway, more and more materials are being digitized and made available online. An exciting collection that is in progress is the collection of UCI Yearbooks. UCI has yearbooks dating from the 1967 and 1968 academic years, and from 1976 to the present. Interestingly, the reason there is a gap in yearbooks from 1969—1975 is because of a general “counter culture” sentiment on campus that deemed yearbooks “uncool.” Fortunately, students in 1976 decided to revive the tradition of publishing yearbooks commemorating that year at UCI.

1976 Yearbook

In the 1976 yearbook, the yearbook staff composed a poem highlighting many of the major cultural, social, and political issues that students were facing and coping with that year. While many references were specific to the times, others are more transcendent. If one hadn’t known that the verse was written in 1976, one could believe that concerns over getting a “practical” education, finding a job, and the earth’s diminishing resources were written by UCI students in 2015, as evidenced in the following selection:

 “In four years our focus changed,

shifting from international vistas and

fights for peace to basics.

Like energy, food,

a job.

Our academic pursuits grew practical,

no time now for demonstrations.

The earth’s resources are dwindling,

we have an education to finish.”


A more light-hearted parallel: students in 1976 were just as relieved to be free from all-nighters and library fines as they are today!

“So, you’re leaving UCI.

Just think,

no more requirements,

fines for late add-drop cards, allnighters,


nodding over organic chemistry in the library.

No more huge library fines

for unopened books that have sat

in the back seat of your car for two months.

In fact,

it means the end of all those degree-related hassles

that you’ve survived.”

Feelings of both excitement and nervousness for the future were just as common 40 years ago as they are today. To view this and other yearbooks from UCI’s past, visit http://ucispace.lib.uci.edu/handle/10575/11968. Stay tuned for more exciting digital collections celebrating UCI’s history!

This Week in UCI History, 1969 February 27, 2015

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New University is UC Irvine’s longest-running student newspaper. First published in September 1968, full issues from 1968-1983 can be found in the Online Archive of UCI History. This blog brings you highlights from the New University from the week of February 25, 1969. You can access the full issue here.


Front page headline: Academic Senate Members Walk Out; “Resign”

This is just one article of many in this issue detailing events stemming from the “KBS” situation. KBS stands for the last names of three assistant professors: George Kent, Donald Brennan, and Stephen Shapiro. In November 1968 they were terminated during their annual tenure and promotion review. However, they were all very popular with the students. Upon hearing the news, a group of students formed a movement with the goal of retaining all three and revising tenure and promotion policy. They held rallies, staged a five day sit-in at the Writing Center, and called for a retroactive moratorium on faculty dismissals. Because this involved policy set by the Academic Senate, an emergency meeting was called on February 20, 1969. The resulting news coverage of that meeting is in this week’s issue of New U.


Student life: The BSU: What Black Students Want At UCI

This article discusses the desires of the newly formed Black Students Union student organization. It calls for increasing the number of African American students on campus, the creation of an independent Black Studies Department with courses taught by African American professors, and the need for more housing options.



State-wide issues: Reagan Shows Regent Strength in Berkeley

This article details a UC Board of Regents meeting attended by Governor of California Ronald Reagan. The Board voted on bills and amendments related to riots at UC Berkeley.


Classifieds: Europe Charter Flights, $277


Advertisement: Romeo and Juliet playing at the Edwards Newport Cinema, Fashion Island


Reflections from a Southeast Asian Archive intern January 29, 2015

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A guest post from intern Claire Cella, a MLIS graduate student at UT-Austin.


Claire accompanied Thuy at the Khmer Girls in Action headquarters, assessing and packing their organization records to bring back to UC Irvine for preservation.


I write this post from Austin, Texas with an air of sadness, sentiment and unfortunate sweat from the sweltering heat here. Although it’s been a few weeks since I left the Special Collections and Archives at the University of California, Irvine, I still feel profound gratitude for the truly exceptional experience — and weather! — I had this summer as an intern for Thuy Vo Dang in the Southeast Asian Archive.

A few years ago, I returned to the United States after a yearlong Fulbright English Teaching Assistant-ship in Thailand. My reason for returning was to pursue a graduate degree and the professional qualifications I would need in archival studies, in order to return to Southeast Asia to apply my new skills and expertise to a career in a region of the world that I had fallen in love with. I enrolled at the University of Texas’ School of Information in the spring semester of 2013. Alongside my studies, I have diligently tried to pursue opportunities that would unite my two rather divergent interests here in the United States. In the past, I have interned with the Chinese Culture Foundation in San Francisco, as well as volunteered for the Austin History Center’s Asian American Community Archives Program. However, my internship this summer with Thuy has proven to be the apex of my professional endeavors thus far. It not only inspirited me to continue my career ambitions to work with Asian and Asian American communities, but it also deepened my understanding of the nuances involved in community archiving, public outreach, regional history documentation and special collection development.


Claire attended the Asian Americans Advancing Justice & Orange County Asian Pacific American Community Alliance demographics report launch in July 2014. From left: Thuy Vo Dang, Claire Cella, Anne Frank, and Julie Vo


Shadowing Thuy was a tremendous revelation for me, exposing me to the daily efforts required of a specialized archivist working with and within a specific ethnic community. By attending various community functions, events and meetings in the Asian American community alongside Thuy, I was introduced to a host of individuals who proved the power of collaboration and partnership in affecting change, encouraging unity and strengthening identity formation in ethnic communities. I was graciously given the opportunity to take part in various archival processes that I had only up until that time had the opportunity to study in journal articles — physical and digital accessioning, archival organization and processing, public outreach, networking and community trust building.

I also feel privileged to have been a small part of the collaborative book project, Vietnamese in Orange County, with the Vietnamese American Oral History Project. This involved setting up, planning and executing the event, “Collecting Memories, Preserving History,” as well as assisting with the organization of the book’s content via Canto Cumulus. It was an honor to work closely with and learn from Linda Vo and Tram Le, who were able to offer insight into the significant history, issues and present conditions of the Vietnamese community and the Little Saigon area. I now have an even greater awareness for the history of this specific ethnic community and a profound admiration for their contributions to Orange County in light of the conditions in which they achieved such success.

I feel fortunate to have been introduced to and interact with the Special Collections and Archives staff as well, including Audra Yun, Sara Seltzer, Steve MacLeod, Alex Bisio, Laura Uglean Jackson and Christine Kim. Their individual insight enhanced my knowledge of the various positions involved in a larger research institution, and certainly provided me with important things to consider for my own future career path and the types of positions, institutions and environments I could see myself working within very soon.

I strongly feel that by uniting my graduate archival research and skills with my interests in local Asian American communities, my internship under Thuy’s guidance has already taken position as a central facet to my academic and professional experience. It was an honor to be a part of the University of California, Irvine this summer, even if it was so short-lived. I look forward to reading about further developments at the Special Collections and Archives as well as the publication of Vietnamese in Orange County this fall. Hopefully, after I complete my graduate degree this fall, the future will hold more opportunity for me to collaborate and connect with the profound and powerful work being done here.

~Claire Cella

UCI’s First Homecoming January 22, 2015

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First Homecoming Celebration, From: The Anteater Yearbook, 1981


Definition: 1: a return home; 2: the return of a group of people usually on a special occasion to a place formerly frequented or regarded as home; especially:  an annual celebration for alumni at a college or university

Preparations for UCI’s Homecoming are in full swing. With tours, performances, special guests and a beer garden, this year’s Homecoming looks to be pretty spectacular. Because so much planning and effort is going into it, I couldn’t help but wonder how it measures up to past homecoming celebrations.

UCI is no stranger to large celebrations and fun events. Since its founding in 1965 several events have become annual traditions, such as Wayzgooze, Lauds & Laurels, and Welcome Week to name a few. But what about Homecoming? When did it begin at UCI, and what typically happens?

A typical homecoming involves inviting alums back to campus for activities such as an athletic event, dance, parade, and coronation of a king and queen. UCI has had alumni since June 1966, when 14 students graduated in the first commencement. Since then, alumni were celebrated in picnics and awards ceremonies, but homecoming was not yet a tradition.

All University Alumni Picnic, January 5, 1967, From: University of California, Irvine, University Communications Slides [AS-061]

UCI’s first official Homecoming occurred on January 30, 1981, fifteen years after UCI’s founding (and almost 34 years to the day before this year’s homecoming!). It was held in conjunction with the grand opening of UCI’s first student center.

The 1981 Homecoming included the coronation of a king and queen, a basketball game at Crawford Hall, and a post-game dance at the Backlot, a restaurant in the student center. Since then, Homecoming has become a strong UCI tradition, becoming bigger and bolder every year. In 1988, Jay Leno came to campus! This year, as part of UCI’s 50th anniversary celebrations, UCI will hold its 34th Homecoming celebration. It promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Hope to see you there!


Article from the New U, January 20, 1981

Early UCI Landscaping November 30, 2014

Posted by ucisca in Campus Scenes, Early UCI Campus, University Archives.
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In 1965, while the campus grounds were being prepared for the first trees and plants, the campus landscape architects viewed some of their options for the first plantings. With the help of the University’s Agricultural Field Station near El Toro, seeds and cuttings from Southern California and from botanical gardens in the area were prepared for planting on campus.

Aldrich Park (formerly Campus Park) being prepared for new landscaping in 1965.

Aldrich Park (formerly Campus Park) being prepared for new landscaping in 1965.

Campus landscape architects at the Agricultural Field Station near El Toro.

Campus landscape architects at the Agricultural Field Station near El Toro.

Native American History at UCI November 24, 2014

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Special Collections and Archives contains information about UCI’s Native American students and programs. To commemorate November’s Native American Heritage Month, let’s take a look in the stacks and see what we have!

UCI Special Collections and Archives recently acquired the records of the American Indian Student Association (AISA). This collection contains brochures, posters, and pamphlets on conferences and events sponsored by AISA, correspondence and reports documenting student involvement and, more broadly, the issues of Native American students at UCI. AISA was founded in 1974 as one of the four founding student organizations of the Cross Cultural Center. AISA is a social, cultural, educational, and political organization that represents and advocates for Native voices across campus and the community.

American Indian Culture Days event flyer, November 13-17, 1995

American Indian Culture Days event flyer, November 13-17, 1995

Although the collection is small (1 box, or 0.4 linear feet in archive speak), it contains a lot of information about major historical events in Native American history on campus. One report recounts how, in 1990, Native American students worked together to revive UCI’s American Indian Council. This unit was the umbrella organization for all American Indian organizations at UCI. They brought in speakers, fundraised, and engaged in various outreach efforts.

Dulce Guerrero, history student intern, made the collection accessible by creating the collection’s online finding aid, where you can learn more about the collection.

Additional material about Native American students and programs can be found in the Cross Cultural Research Center collection and the Program in Comparative Culture records. Additionally, there are photographs in the University Communications photographs. Feel free to visit the archives’ reading room to see these materials firsthand.

University Communications photographs, AS-61, S00288

American Indian Week at UCI, circa 1988-1989

American Indian Week at UCI Campus, circa 1988-1989

American Indian Week at UCI Campus, circa 1988-1989

Move Over November, It’s Movember! November 21, 2014

Posted by ucisca in Early UCI Campus, Uncategorized.
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The idea for Movember was born in Australia in 2003 when two mates, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, questioned where the “mo” (short for mustache) had gone and vowed to bring it back by challenging their mates to grow a mo during the month of November. Inspired by a relative’s fundraising for breast cancer, the friends decided to dedicate their campaign to men’s health issues. Today, Movember is a global annual campaign to “change the face of men’s health” by raising awareness about men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health problems. The Movember Foundation continues Travis and Luke’s vision by challenging men to grow moustaches during the month of November to spark conversation, raise funds, and awareness.

According to the Movember Foundation:

1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 35
More than four times as many men as women die by suicide in the U.S.
The average life expectancy for American men is almost five years less than women

In honor of Movember, Special Collections and Archives takes a look back at the mo on UCI campus during the 1960s and 70s.

.May day celebrations Gateway Plaza 1969

May Day celebration, Gateway Plaza, 1969

Student with admisssion officer 1975

Student with admission officer, 1975


Interested in seeing more UCI moustaches? Check out the links below.


Students performing in theatrical production, ca. 1968


Scene of students, ca. 1969-75


Groups of students hanging out 1973-74


Student filling out application forms 1975


Student discussion in class San Joaquin Marsh field trip


Student discussion in class San Joaquin Marsh field trip


Harold Koopowitz, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 1978



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