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Manuscript Collections


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Manuscript Collections

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University Archives

Local & Regional Resources

These collections document many aspects of Sacramento and California history with an emphasis on politics, local history, education, peace organizations, and ethnic history in the 20th century. The material has been used by researchers as a source for publications, dissertations, theses, college papers, media productions, and various other scholarly and personal studies. Collections are stored in acid-free containers in environmentally correct storage areas. Manuscript Collections are listed below under the following categories:

Politics | Local History | Peace Organizations | Cultural Heritage Education | Other


  • Friends Committee on Legislation of California, 1950's-2000
    (21 linear feet)

    The Friends Committee on Legislation (FCL) was founded in 1952 by members guided by Quaker values to advocate California state laws and issues involving peace and social justice. These include civil rights, criminal and economic justice, prison reform, housing, health care, education and other services for those who are lower income and lack a strong voice to represent their interests.

    Included in the papers are the administrative, legal and fiscal records of the FCL including articles of incorporation and by-laws, budget material, meeting minutes from various committees and regional branches, fund-raising and special event files, staff records, and general office files that reveal the organization’s operating procedures. Also documented is the FCL’s research activities relative to their lobbying efforts on the issues of the death penalty, juvenile crime, prison reform, and agricultural labor.

    Inventory available in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives reading room.

  • LeRoy Greene papers, 1965-1998
    (32 linear feet)

    Greene’s career as California assemblyperson (1963-1982) and California senator (1982-1998) are evidenced in this collection of political papers. Among his legislative legacy is the expansion and seismic upgrading of California’s schools, prohibition of the sale of previously frozen meat as fresh, the legalization of bingo, and the creation of an independent California Exposition and State Fair board of directors. A considerable amount of material reflects Greene’s legislative efforts on behalf of workforce pay equity for women. The records also reflect Greene’s introduction of a bill to legalize prostitution after a survey showed his constituents were in favor of the idea, but the bill did not pass. Drafts and news clippings of his syndicated column “Greene Scene” from 1983 to 1996 are included as well as audiocassettes from the Leroy Greene Show on KFBK radio between 1981 and 1982.

    Inventory available in the Special Collections and University Archives reading room.

  • Phillip Isenberg papers, 1948-2000
    (142.5 linear feet)

    The Isenberg collection documents the turbulent political and social movements emerging in Northern California in the 1960s and early 1970s, Sacramento regional issues during the 1970s, and California state politics in the 1980s and 1990s as reflected in the biographical papers, campaign materials, administrative files, clippings and scrapbooks, correspondence, speeches, and the research files of Phillip Isenberg from his early days working on the campaigns of various California Democratic candidates to his terms as a Sacramento Councilman and Mayor (1971-1982) and California Assemblyman (1984-1996).

    The early papers detail Isenberg’s battles against the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and his early involvement with Democratic Party politics, including organizations such as the California Federation of Young Democrats and attending five Democratic National Convention between 1960 and 1980. They also record his campaign activities for Democratic candidates such as Willie Brown’s state assemblyman campaign in 1967 and Al Cranston’s senatorial campaign in 1969. Also integrated into the collection are files from Isenberg’s terms as Sacramento City Councilman and Mayor. These records provide insight into the administrative and topical issues he managed such as budgets, city planning, population growth, arts and culture, regional transit, recreation and parks, and civil services. The bulk of the papers provide an overview of his tenure as California Assemblyman. Along with a complete set of bills he authored and co-authored, also documented is his involvement with water conservation and water marketing - which culminated in his co-authorship of the Environmental Water Act and other legislation; his membership in the Constitutional Revision Committee that was created to deal with the state budget crisis of the early 1990s; healthcare reform; and assorted district issues. His campaign files, correspondence, schedules and administrative files reveal the daily events and processes of a California State Assemblyman.

    Inventory available in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives reading room.

  • John E. Moss papers, 1953-1978
    California Assembly-person (1948-1952) and United States Representatives (1953-1978). Moss was the chief sponsor of the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 1966

  • Albert Rodda papers, 1964-1980
    California State Senator, 1958-1980

Local History

  • Charles M. Goethe collection, 1875-1966
    (12 linear feet)

    Comprised of correspondence, diaries and journals, photographs scrapbooks, maps, blue prints, pamphlets and books, this collection traces the evolution and deeds of a leading 20th Century Sacramento land developer, scientist, conservationist, and philanthropist. A large portion of the papers address Goethe’s various charitable endeavors, especially the Mary Glide Memorial Fund.

    Additionally, the papers document Goethe’s interest in population management, botany, biology and natural history, plants and animals on the verge of extinction, and his travels around the world to educate himself in these subject matters. The collection reflects his activities with conservationism, including his involvement in the creation of the Ranger Naturalist and Interpretative Service, the Save the Redwoods League, various garden clubs, and the arboretum at California State University, Sacramento. Another concentration of the papers is in Goethe’s contribution in the area of child services, such as the establishment of the first playground in the western United States, building and organizing orphanages and orphan summer camps, and advocating the Juvenile Court Law of 1937. Another topic covered in the papers is the Protestant ecumenical movement and the Sacramento Council of Churches. Most of the photographs are images of his home. It was built in the early 1920s by America’s greatest female architect, Julia Morgan, and bequeathed to California State University, Sacramento in 1966.

    Inventory available in the Special Collections and University Archives reading room.

  • Warner L. Marsh collection, 1923-1977
    Architectural drawings, slides, photographs, articles, research notes and 20,000 index card (to identify flora) from this Sacramento landscape architect and conservationist. Marsh also served on the Capital Building and Planning Commission as well as chaired the Goethe Arboretum Society.

  • Modern Transit Society records, ca. 1974-1992
    Documents the light rail system and other local transportation in Sacramento

  • The Port of Sacramento records. Office of the Director, Melvin Shore, ca. 1916-1991 ; (bulk dates, 1963-1986)
    (11.5 linear feet)

    This collection documents the origin and growth of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District, the Sacramento-Yolo Deep Water Channel and the Port of Sacramento with emphasis on the years 1963-1986 when Melvin Shore served as port director. In addition, this collection reflects the activities of the American Association of Port Authorities when Shore was chairman of the board from 1982 to 1983. A small quantity of files date back to 1916 through the mid-20th century when Major Paul Norboe, assistant state engineer, and his successors grasped Sacramento’s potential and began advocating a deep-water channel and harbor to support agriculture and industry throughout Northern California and the world. These early records reflect the legislative process undertaken to begin construction of the Port.

    The bulk of the collection - comprised of the historical, legal, administrative and fiscal records from Shore’s tenureship as port director - documents the first 23 years of Port operations. The papers also reveal the activities of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District Commission, which include overseeing expansion projects, raising revenue, negotiating contracts with domestic and international companies, and negotiating labor agreements. Photographs, blueprints, and scrapbooks provide a visual record of the Port’s construction and engineering projects.

    Finding Aid available in the Special Collections and University Archives reading room.

  • Sacramento Army Depot collection, ca. 1942-1993
    Archival documents, newspapers and newsletters, maps, photographs, minutes, audio recordings and artifacts from this U.S. Army support facility that operated as a repair center for high-tech military hardware. The 1988 Base Closure and Realignment Commission closed Sacramento Army Depot and on March 3, 1995, the Depot officially closed.

  • Sacramento Charter Commission, 1966-1974
    Includes State Controller’s reports of financial transactions, budgets, opinion polls and plans relating to Sacramento sewers, water system, parks and other community plans.

Peace Organizations

  • Grandmothers for Peace, International, 1982-2000
    Archival records, photographs, news clippings and posters from this all-volunteer organization that works to raise awareness about the dangers of nuclear weapons; radioactive waste; sub-critical and computerized nuclear testing; and other peace and justice issues that effect the human family.

  • Sacramento Peace Center, ca. 1961-1986
    Correspondence, publications, fliers, news clippings and administrative files mostly pertaining to peace movements during and after the Vietnam War.

  • Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
    Organizational papers donated by May d’Marie, founding member of the Sacramento Valley branch of WILPF. Founded in 1915, with Jane Addams as its first president, the WILPF works to achieve through peaceful means world disarmament, full rights for women, racial and economic justice, an end to all forms of violence, and to establish those political, social, and psychological conditions which can assure peace, freedom, and justice for all.

Cultural Heritage

  • Japanese American Archival Collection
    (ca. 5000 items)

    The Japanese American Archival Collection
    originated from a gift of photographs, documents and artifacts from the teaching materials of Mary Tsuruko Tsukamoto. Additional gifts to the collection include the Florin JACL Oral History Project, the Issei Oral History Project, the North Central Valley JACL/CSUS Oral History Project, Sacramento VFW Nisei Post 8985 and the Japanese American community. This award winning collection is comprised of over 5,000 documents, photographs, artifacts and exhibits materials.

    The Collection chronicles the story of Japanese Americans in Northern California from 1869 through post World War II and continuing present day issues. During World War II, without evidence and due process of law, Japanese American citizens and their families were forcefully removed from their homes, deprived of their property and constitutional rights, and collectively placed in internment camps. The extent of the loyalty, courage and spirit of these men and women of Japanese ancestry is related through writings, camp newspapers, oral testimony, pictorial documentation and surviving works of art in the Collection. The faces in the photographs are a visual reminder of the people and their story. Almost fifty years after the internment of these citizens, the President of the United States of America, Congress and the Courts formally apologized and provided redress. America had learned that democracy is fragile and requires vigilance, protection and responsible citizenship by all.

    Item level database available in the Special Collections and University Archives; currently searchable by staff only.

  • Italian American Collection, c. 1920-1980
    Collection of archival records, publications and other items donated by the Italian-American Cultural Society and reflects the Italian American community as it developed in California.

  • Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection
    Donated by alumnus and philanthropist Angelo Tsakopoulos in 2002, the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection consists of some 70,000 volumes and is the premier Hellenic collection on the west coast and one of the largest of its kind in the country. The Collection's rare books, pamphlets, and archival materials, including the manuscript collection of Basil Vlavianos, are housed in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.


  • California State Commission on School Districts, 1945-1949
    Report of the commission to study the reorganization of California school districts as a result of the post-World War II population increase. The four-year commission turned authority over to the California Board of Education in 1949.

  • California Interscholastic Federation, Sac-Joaquin Chapter, ca. 1973-1978
    Documents the period of time Betty Milton was a board member and emphasizes girl’s interscholastic sports in Northern California.

  • John P. Peper Papers, 1926-1965
    (4.5 linear feet)

    The John P. Peper collection is a history of the development of law enforcement training in the 20th century. Peper continued and expanded upon the work of August Vollmer, whom he considered to be the Father of Modern Police Science. He developed a nationally acclaimed bicycle safety program as a Patrolman with the Berkeley City Police Department from 1933 to 1946. As Special Supervisor for the Bureau of Trade and Industrial Education, California Department of Education (1946-1964), Peper developed and conducted statewide peace officer training programs at the college level. The papers also reflect how he adapted the concepts of selective candidate criteria and quality course curricula to the state program. Law enforcement personnel from all over the world attended Peper’s training institutes and many of his works were translated into other languages.

    Inventory available in the Special Collections and University Archives reading room.

  • Western Society of Physical Education for College Women, c. 1921-2002
    Archival records, conference programs and oral histories from WSPECW that was founded in 1921 as a non profit, professional organization with voluntary membership comprised of women. It provides a forum to address and act on issues and concerns of women in physical education and human movement related disciplines in higher education.

Other Collections

  • James Richardson papers
    Research files from Richardson’s book, Willie Brown: A Biography, published in 1996.

Maintained by the Special Collections & University Archives Staff / email:

California State University, Sacramento, The Library, 2000 State University Drive, East, Sacramento, California 95819-6039
telephone: (916) 278-6144