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Finding Aid to the Alameda County Library California literature research project records, 1934-1942
BANC MSS C-R 35  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Alameda County Library California literature research project records
    Date (inclusive): 1934-1942
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-R 35
    Creators : Alameda County Free Library
    Extent: Number of containers: 29 cartons Linear feet: 36.25
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The eight series in this collection consist primarily of files created by Works Progress Administration workers while conducting research for a California literature project sponsored by the Alameda County Library. The project resulted in eight volumes of reference works on California literature published between 1938 and 1942.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alameda County Library California literature research project records, BANC MSS C-R 35, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Authors, American-California--Biography
    Poets, American--California--Biography
    Dramatists, American--Biography
    American literature-California--Biography
    Authors, American-California--Bibliography
    Poets, American-California--Bibliography
    Dramatists, American-California--Bibliography
    American literature-California--Bibliography
    Public service employment--California
    Public works--California
    Hinkel, Edgar J. (Edgar Joseph), b. 1903, editor
    Gaer, Joseph, 1897-1969, editor
    United States. Work Projects Administration
    California. State Relief Administration

    Administrative Information

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Lara Michels in 2012.

    Biographical Information

    During the Great Depression, State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers undertook a range of literary research projects in California. The Alameda County Library, using WPA funds, sponsored and oversaw the research and publication of eight volumes of reference works on California literature between 1936 and 1942.
    Edited by Edgar J. Hinkel, these reference works included three volumes entitled "Bibliography of California Literature: Fiction, Poetry, Drama" (1938); three volumes entitled "Criticism of California Literature, a Digest and Bibliography" (1940); and two volumes entitled "Biographies of California Authors and Indexes of California Literature" (1942). These works, intended to be the definitive bibliography of California literature, were distributed as gifts to libraries around the United States.
    This project was preceded by a SERA-supported project entitled California Literary Research. Under the supervision of University of California, Berkeley professor Joseph Gaer, this project produced ten monographs on California authors and literature as well as multiple indexes to fiction and non-fiction works relating to life in California from the Gold Rush forward. Monographs included ones on Mary Austin, Ambrose Bierce, California in Juvenile Fiction, California Literature--Pre-Gold Rush Period, California Literature--Gold Rush Period, Bret Harte, Jack London, Frank Norris, Theatre of the Gold Rush Decade in San Francisco, and Upton Sinclair.
    Between twenty and twenty-five workers, including librarians, journalists, writers, and unemployed recent college graduates, were employed on the projects. Workers consulted sources from a range of San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles libraries.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The eight series in this collection consist primarily of files created by Works Progress Administration workers while conducting research for a California literature project sponsored by the Alameda County Library. The project resulted in eight volumes of reference works on California literature. Series 1 consists of biographical research files for the 1942 publication of "Biographies of California Authors." These files are arranged alphabetically by author's surname and include filled-out standardized forms intended to collect biographical data and genealogical information. These files may also include longer biographical narratives and some bibliographical information. Series 2 through 4 consist of files created in the course of researching the three-volumes of "Bibliography of California Literature: Fiction, Poetry, Drama," published in 1938. Series 5 and 7 consist of files for what appears to be a never completed volume on non-fiction and a never completed geographical index. Series 6 includes files created in the course of researching the three-volumes of "Criticism of California Literature, a Digest and Bibliography." Series 8 consists of miscellaneous files, files on sources, a manuscript of "Biographies of California Authors and Indexes of California Literature," some files relating the monographs and indexes published by the California Literary Research Project in 1935, and lists of workers who were employed on the projects.