1. Walter Eugene Packard was an agricultural engineer and a social activist with interests in agricultural reform and land settlement. The Walter Eugene Packard papers are now entirely open to researchers at The Bancroft Library. 

    Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Packard was educated at Iowa State College and started his career in El Centro, California, where he worked for the University of California College of Agriculture to establish and then supervise the Imperial Valley Experimental Farm (see above photo). In 1917, Packard moved to Berkeley as Assistant State Leader of Farm Advisors. He was granted a leave of absence from April to July, 1919 to serve in the Army Education Corps as consultant to returning soldiers interested in obtaining land. While still on leave, he both studied and taught economics at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

    Shortly after returning to Berkeley, Packard accepted the position of superintendent of the Delhi State Land Settlement, a University of California sponsored project in Merced County. He resigned in 1924 and became a private consultant. From 1926 to 1929, he worked for the Mexican government as Jefe del Departamento Agronómico de la Comisión Nacional de Irrigación, making reconnaissance studies of potential irrigation projects. Returning to California he spent the next several years engaged in consulting work, including a study of potential benefits of the proposed Central Valley Project and the feasibility of the Columbia River Basin Project. From 1933 to 1938, Packard worked with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and then the Rural Resettlement Administration, becoming Regional Director and finally National Director. Consulting work from 1939 to 1945 included a study of Linn County, Oregon for the Farm Security Administration and a report on the Central Valley Project for the Haynes Foundation. In 1945, Packard was appointed land consultant to Rexford Guy Tugwell, Governor of Puerto Rico, and in 1948 went to Greece, first as irrigation specialist for the American Mission for Aid to Greece and then as chief of land reclamation for the Economic Cooperation Administration.

    The Packards returned to their Berkeley home in 1954, when Packard retired. Until shortly before his death in 1966, Packard remained actively involved in numerous organizations and projects concerned with public power, conservation, world peace, and improved conditions for the farm laborer. 

    Packard’s daughter was Emmy Lou Packard, an artist, muralist, and social activist who studied with Diego Rivera and served as his assistant during the creation of his fresco for the Treasure Island World’s Fair in 1940.  Packard’s brother, John C. Packard, was a founding member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the ACLU and an attorney for Upton Sinclair. Packard’s mother, Clara, was herself an activist, with ties to the anti-war movement in Los Angeles, and a patron of the Whitman School, a progressive secondary school founded in Los Angeles in 1919.

    Lara Michels, archivist

  2. Aldo Starker Leopold’s papers are now processed and open to researchers at the Bancroft Library. These papers came to the Bancroft in three different accessions between 1981 and 2010.

    Leopold was a wildlife biologist who made substantial contributions in the fields of ornithology, wildlife management and conservation, and public policy. The eldest son of noted ecologist Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) and Estella Bergere Leopold, he followed in his father’s footsteps with his concern for wildlife management and environmental conservation. Leopold grew up in Wisconsin and received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin in 1936. He worked as a junior biologist with the United States Soil Erosion Service (1934-1935) and as a field biologist for the Missouri Conservation Commission (1939-1944). He did graduate work in Forestry at Yale University and completed a Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1944. Leopold’s doctoral thesis was entitled The Nature of Heritable Wildness in Turkeys. From 1944 to 1946, Leopold worked as Director of Field Research for the Conservation Section of the Pan American Union. This would spark an interest in Mexico that would lead to the 1959 publication of one of Leopold’s most notable works, Wildlife in Mexico: The Game Birds and Mammals. 

    Leopold was assistant professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley from 1948 to 1978. His prolific output of scientific writings contributed greatly to knowledge of avian biology, and particularly of game birds. A.S. Leopold was both a committed conservationist and (in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt) an avid hunter and fisherman whose hunting and fishing expeditions spanned the globe.

    Lara Michels, archivist

  3. The records of the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America (IFAWA) are now open to researchers at the Bancroft Library. 

    IFAWA was a trade union on the Pacific Coast of the United States active from 1939 until the mid-1950s. It grew out of an earlier amalgamated fishermen’s union, the United Fishermen’s Union (UFU), which was established in 1937 as an affiliate of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. In May of 1939, the UFU and three other CIO-affiliated fishermen’s unions merged to form the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America. IFAWA was also CIO-affiliated and its emergence was spurred by the rise of industrial fishing (with a focus on canning) and by a national movement of industrial unionism during the 1930s. IFAWA was one of many unions representing different kinds of workers on the West Coast’s waterfront, a center of radical unionism during the 1930s and 1940s. IFAWA brought to fruition the idea of a Pacific coast union that would represent all workers from catch to cannery in the fisheries industries in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. For the first time, fisheries workers joined together across the craft boundaries that had dominated West Coast fishermen’s organizing since the late-nineteenth century. At its peak, the union represented approximately 30,000 workers. IFAWA’s early years coincided with World War II, which brought challenges in the form of changing demographics, the drafting of many of the union’s members into the military, and increasing suspicion of the union’s Communist Party ties. In 1950, IFAWA became one of eleven unions expelled from the Congress of Industrial Organizations, in part because of its connections to the Communist Party. During the same year, IFAWA merged with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

    Scholar Geoff Mann writes that IFAWA “is not a well-known union,” and “rarely discussed in secondary sources.” He explains that he “stumbled on it” in 1953 article on the Taft-Hartley Act.* It is my hope that the opening up of these important records of one of the radical unions representing workers on the Pacific waterfront will bring renewed historical interest in IFAWA.

    * Geoff Mann, “Class Consciousness and Common Property: The International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America,” International Labor and Working-Class History 61 (Spring 2002): 143.

    Lara Michels, archivist

    Bancroft Library

  4. The Frans Blom papers are, at long last, open to researchers at the Bancroft Library. Blom was a Danish-born archaeologist and explorer and head of Tulane University’s Middle American Research Institute (formerly the Department of Middle American Research) from 1926 to 1940. Having dropped out of the University of Copenhagen, Blom first arrived in Mexico in 1919 and, after some effort, managed to find work scouting abandoned oil wells in the Mexican oil industry (mostly in Minatitlán, Veracruz). During these years,Blom traveled extensively throughout remote areas of Veracruz, Chiapas, and Tabasco, documenting in his journals (in Danish) a developing passion for Mayan archaeology (a version of these journals was published in Danish in 1923). In 1922, Blom found work with the Dirección de Antropología in Mexico City. He spent the end of 1922 and 1923 exploring and documenting the state of the ruins in Palenque. These experiences led to admission to the Master’s program in archaeology at Harvard University (which he completed in 1924). During his training, Blom worked in Uaxactun in the Petén area of Guatemala and participated in the excavations of Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico. Soon after completing his Master’s, Blom took a position at the Department of Middle American Research at Tulane University. In 1926, Blom became director of the department. The department undertook expeditions throughout the last half of the 1920s and the 1930s, including the John Geddings Gray Memorial Expedition to Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala and the 1930 expedition to Uxmal in preparation for building a replica of the Uxmal Nunnery at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933. While in New Orleans, Blom forged connections to local bohemians and artists such as Enrique Alférez and William P. Spratling. At the age of thirty nine, Blom married Mary S. Thomas, a woman he met in 1932 while hosting an excursion to Mexico. Mary Thomas was the daughter and heir to Lillian Sefton Thomas and Vincent B. Thomas, presidents of the Harriet Hubbard Ayer cosmetics corporation. This marriage ended in 1938. Blom struggled professionally and personally (with alcoholism) during the late 1930s and early 1940s. He left Tulane in 1941 and moved to Mexico around 1942. There he married Swiss photographer Gertrude “Trudi” Duby (1901-1993), who had also recently moved to Mexico and had a passion for the Lacandón Indians of Chiapas. In 1950, the couple purchased a house in San Cristobal, Chiapas, which they named Casa Na Bolom (House of the Jaguar). During the next thirteen years, Frans and Trudi worked to make their house into a center for scholars researching Chiapas and Guatemala. Trudi carried on with this venture in the years after Frans Blom's death in 1963. Today, Casa Na Bolom is a museum, hotel, and restaurant.

    Lara Michels, archivist

  5. 16:12 20th Nov 2013

    Notes: 1

    Reblogged from bancroftpublicservices

  6. If it is possible to be a famous forester then Emanuel Fritz was one, and his papers are now open to researchers at the Bancroft Library. In the past few months, I have completed processing both Fritz’s papers and those of his University of California Department of Forestry colleague Woody Metcalf. They both came to the University of California in the early years of the Forestry Department (Metcalf in 1914 and Fritz in 1919). Both established their careers in an era of national, state, and regional park building and also of growth for the logging industry. Their contributions to the University of California and to the field of forestry on a state and national level are hard to calculate. Metcalf was a silviculturist, meaning that he specialized in the care and cultivation of forest trees. He had particular interests in Eucalyptus trees in California and in forest fires. Fritz was a world-renowned expert on redwood forestry and a great advocate for the development of private forestry and the commercial lumber industry, especially on the North Coast of California. He is remembered as a fiercely independent thinker who was not afraid to speak his mind. The collection is a treasure trove for researchers interested in the history of private forestry in Northern California and in the history of national and state forestry law and policy.

    Lara Michels, archivist

  7. The papers of biochemist Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. are newly open to researchers in the reading room of the Bancroft Library. Trained at UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago (where he worked on a team with Glenn Seaborg to purify plutonium for the Manhattan Project!), Koshland began his tenure in the Department of Biochemistry at UC Berkeley in 1965. His early work was on enzyme kinetics. In the 1970s, Koshland turned his lab’s attention to questions relating to the movement of bacteria in chemotaxis. Koshland is credited with having changed the way we think about biology and with having mentored many of the current leaders in the field of biochemistry. He is also remembered as an outstanding administrator who led the 1980s reorganization of the biology faculty on the UC Berkeley campus and as one of Science Magazine’s most transformative editors. 

    Koshland and his wife Marian (who was also a scientist) left a philanthropic legacy as well. As heir to part of the Levi Strauss fortune, Koshland was able to support science research financially by helping fund science buildings on the UC Berkeley campus and at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He also endowed and helped design the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C.

    The images above are of Koshland in his lab and of one of the many speech outlines included in the collection (this one for a speech Koshland gave in Wisconsin in the 1960s). I was struck by how visually delightful these outlines are (though admittedly somewhat indecipherable to us mere mortals).

    Lara Michels, archivist

  8. Woodbridge (a.k.a. Woody) Metcalf was the first extension forester for the state of California. His papers, which are a rich source of information about the history of California forestry, the state’s eucalyptus groves, and the state’s response to the threat of forest fire, are now open to researchers at the Bancroft Library. Born in Michigan, Metcalf accepted a position in the newly formed University of California Department of Forestry in 1914. He taught silviculture and dendrology until 1926, when he assumed his role as extension forester. He would serve in that post for thirty years, dedicating himself to public education in forestry and conservation. As Extension Forester, Metcalf played a key role in the development of rural and forest fire protection programs in California, organized a number of 4-H summer camps at Whitaker’s Forest, Las Posadas, and White Oak Flat (among other locations) to teach California youth about forests and the California environment, advocated for better management of farm woods, studied the efficiency of windbreaks in the protection of citrus orchards in Southern California, and managed the University-owned Whitaker’s Forest in Tulare County.

    The central role of Metcalf in teaching citizens of the state about forest fires is clear from the fact that, in 2008, Deborah L. Filipelli published a book entitled Before Smokey Bear There Was Woodbridge Metcalf: Rural and Forest Fire Protection in the California Fire Environment, 1926-1945.

    The Bancroft Library’s Regional Oral History Office did an oral history with Metcalf in 1969 (which is available in the library and online at ROHO’s website). The Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library at UC Berkeley has a wonderful collection of images from the work of Woodbridge Metcalf and his forestry colleague Emanuel Fritz.

    Lara Michels, archivist

  9. The Julian Dana papers are processed and open to researchers at the Bancroft Library. Dana was a writer, journalist, and editor who wrote popular biographies and histories as well as short fiction on California subjects. He was editor of the Pony Express Courier (of Placerville), a magazine dedicated to Western Americana. Early in his life, Dana spent some time as a journalist writing from the South Pacific for an American syndicate. His main published works were as follows: A.P. Giannini: Giant in the West (1947), the story of the founder of California’s Bank of America; Gods Who Die: The Story of Samoa’s Greatest Adventurer, as told to Julian Dana (1935); Lost Springtime: The Chronicle of a Journey Far Away and Long Ago (1938); The Man Who Built San Francisco: A Study of Ralston’s Journey with Banners (1936); The Sacramento: River of Gold (1939); and Sutter of California: A Biography (1934). 

    The images above include a portrait of Julian Dana and a fabulous piece of California ephemera from the collection. 

    Lara Michels, archivist

  10. The records of the Macaulay Foundry are now open to researchers at the Bancroft Library. The Macaulay Foundry was founded in San Francisco, California in 1896 by Henry Clayton Macaulay, who had come to California in 1891. During his first five years in San Francisco, Macaulay worked as a molder at the National Iron Works and then as foundry foreman for the Byron Jackson Machine Works. In 1896, Byron Jackson, faced with a foundry that was an economic liability during the depression of the 1890s, sold his foundry to Macaulay. The foundry was located on Bluxome Street, in the center of the city’s manufacturing district, and it started making castings primarily for Byron Jackson’s Machine Shop and soliciting for whatever other business was available. In 1906, the foundry was destroyed in the great earthquake and fire that consumed San Francisco’s business and manufacturing districts. H.C. Macaulay, like many other San Francisco manufacturers at the time, decided to move across the bay. The Macaulay Foundry was rebuilt on Carleton Street in Berkeley. The company was formally incorporated as the H.C. Macaulay Foundry in 1906. From 1896 until 1937, the Macaulay Foundry’s largest customer was the Byron Jackson Machine Works, which had transformed itself into the largest pump manufacturer in the West. Macaulay’s castings were used to build countless pumps used in the irrigation and reclamation projects that transformed California’s Central Valley between 1880 and 1920.

    Lara Michels, archivist