Guide to the Leonard McKay Research Papers, 1793-1991

Guide prepared by Daniel Jarvis
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History
San José State University
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library
Special Collections 5th Floor
4th and San Fernando Street
San José, CA 95192-0117
Phone: (408) 808-2064
Email: research@sourisseauacademy.org
URL: http://www.sourisseauacademy.org/
©2011 Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History. All rights reserved.

Leonard McKay Research Papers,1793-1991

Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History

San José State University

Contact Information:

  • Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History
  • San José State University
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library
  • Special Collections 5th Floor
  • 4th and San Fernando Street
  • San José, CA 95192-0117
  • Email: research@sourisseauacademy.org
  • URL: http://www.sourisseauacademy.org/
Collection processed and guide prepared and encoded by:
Daniel Jarvis
Date Completed:
April 2011
©2011 Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Leonard McKay Research Papers
Date (inclusive): 1793-1991
Date (bulk): 1850-1991
Collection Number: ECS03.02
Collector: McKay, Leonard Mortimore, 1921-2006
Extent: Containers: 12 boxes and 4 filing cabinet drawers

Volume: 11.5 cubic feet
Series I is housed in vault 1 in the Sourisseau Academy file cabinets ECS 8.1 to 8.4. Series II is located in vault 2 for cold storage, in the Gordon panoramic negatives cabinet 3. Series III is housed in vault 1 in the Sourisseau Academy shelf range 34, shelves 34C.3 to 34C.6.
Repository: Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History, San José State University
San José, California 95192
Abstract: The Leonard McKay Research Papers consist of photographs and papers that document the history of the Santa Clara Valley region. These materials were gathered by the late printer and historian Leonard McKay during his personal research into the history of the region. The papers include approximately 2100 original and reproduced slides and negatives depicting agrarian and urban life, technology, and local events. The papers also include Spanish, Mexican, and American civil records, locally created scrapbooks, and a large assortment of topical research files. Collectively, these pictorial and textual resources form a significant body of research material spanning the late 18th- to 20th- centuries, documenting economic, cultural, and social development within San José and the Santa Clara Valley region.
Language: English

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Sourisseau Academy. Neither the original photographs nor the digital images held by the Sourisseau Academy may be reproduced, published, or used on the Internet without the expressed, written permission of the Executive Secretary. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Sourisseau Academy 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 researcher. The credit line, "Courtesy of the Edith C. Smith Trust Collection, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History" must accompany any such use.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Leonard McKay Research Papers, [Box number]: [Folder number], Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History, San José State University, San José, California

Acquisition Information

The Leonard McKay Papers were donated to the Sourisseau Academy by the Edith Corinne Smith Trust in 2007.

Biographical Note

Leonard McKay, Jr. was born to Leonard Mortimore McKay, Sr. and Eugenia Adelina Nenn on October 21, 1921 in San José, California. He was born to a family with pioneering roots in the Santa Clara Valley and a tradition deeply entwined with the printing press. After managing the family printing business for 37 years, Eliza “Bessie” Smith sold the business to her grandson Leonard McKay Jr. in 1956. McKay and Bessie also agreed to revert to the original company name, the Smith and McKay Printing Company (1). McKay ran the Smith and McKay Printing Company until 1983, when he sold ownership to his son David. In 1986, he opened Memorabilia of San José and operated the business until his retirement in 2003. Beginning in the 1960s, he started to exclusively collect art created by Santa Clara Valley artists such as A.D.M. Cooper, Andrew Putnam Hill, and Louis O. Lussier. To this day, the ensemble of art collected by McKay remains a distinctive record of social and cultural memory in the Santa Clara Valley. From 1994 to 1995, McKay served his community and fellow Rotary members as president of the San José Rotary Club. Following his passion for local history, McKay was active in the Santa Clara County Pioneers, History San José, and served several terms on the board of the Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History. On October 17, 2006, McKay passed away in Santa Clara, California. (1) The Trailblazer (Quarterly Bulletin of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County) , Volume 39, Number 3, September, 1998

Indexing Terms

The following terms may be used to index this collection.

Personal Names

McKay, Leonard Mortimore, 1921-2006
Calloway, Hank, 1911-1995
Campbell, Lawrence A., b. 1907
Crummey, John D., 1878-1976
Loomis, Patricia, 1920-2010
Renzel, Ernie, 1907-2007
Sabatino, Murphy, d. 2010

Subjects

Agriculture
Agricultural machinery
Business
Industries
Technology
Scrapbooks

Geographic Names

San José (Calif.)
Santa Clara (Calif.)
Santa Clara County (Calif.)
Santa Clara Valley (Santa Clara County, Calif.)

Scope and Content

The Leonard McKay Research Papers consists primarily of reproduced and original photographs, public records, scrapbooks, and thematically arranged research files. Aside from the broad topics of agriculture, community members, and architecture, these materials document many aspects of life in San José and the Santa Clara Valley, the bulk of which dates from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century. It is important to note the majority of the photographs in this collection are reproductions. Many of the photographs were in a state of degradation, were rare prints, or privately held when McKay copied them. Thanks in large part to his efforts, these photographs remain available to the public. The research files compiled by McKay include newspaper clippings, brochures, magazine articles, and privately and publically produced research reports. The scrapbooks assembled by McKay and others include a large assortment of news clippings from the San José Mercury and other regional newspapers. Several of these scrapbooks cover a wide variety of themes or issues, while others focus on a particular institution, such as the San José Rotary Club. Some of these scrapbooks are also creations of important figures in regional history, like politician and former San José mayor Ernie Renzel, or former president of the Food Machinery Corporation, John Crummey. Also included are abridged translations of Spanish and Mexican legal records from the pueblo era of San José and meeting minutes for the Common Council of the City of San José, edited to include only council items relating to the city fire department. As an eyewitness to the natural and inevitable evolution of his community and region, McKay gathered and produced these historical resources to document the people, places, buildings, and events he thought significant to the cultural and historical development of San José and the Santa Clara Valley region.

Arrangement of the Leonard McKay Research Papers

The research materials are arranged into three series:
  • Series I: Research Files, circa 1850-1991
  • Series II: Negatives and Slides, circa 1850-1991
  • Series III: Scrapbooks and Records, 1793-1852, 1860-1983

Series Descriptions

 

Series I Research Files, circa 1850-1991

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of research files compiled by Leonard McKay and arranged alphabetically by topic. The files broadly address subjects on the history, culture, and politics of the Santa Clara Valley, but the focus is especially keen on the local individuals, families, and businesses that have shaped life in the valley. Most research files consist of newspaper clippings, brochures, magazine articles, but some also include privately and publically produced historical research reports. An inventory of the research files  is available in PDF format on the Sourisseau Academy's webpage. Series I is housed in vault 1 in the Sourisseau Academy file cabinets ECS 8.1 to 8.4.
 

Series II Negatives and Slides, circa 1850-1991

Scope and Content Note

This series contains original and reproduced negatives and slides gathered or created by Leonard McKay. A small number of negatives were loaned out by McKay and never returned to him. Fortunately, the majority of the images he assembled remain in their original state of arrangement. These images focus on the history, events, communities, and people of Santa Clara Valley. Specific depictions include adobe structures photographed by Alice Hare, historic commercial buildings such as the New Century Block, and industrial and commercial enterprises like the Food Machinery Corporation. There are also numerous portraits of individuals, families, and business leaders noted for their contributions to industry, commerce, culture in the Santa Clara Valley. An inventory of the negatives and slides  is available in PDF format on the Sourisseau Academy's webpage. Series II is located in vault 2 for cold storage, in the Gordon panoramic negatives cabinet 3
 

Series III Scrapbooks and Records, 1793-1852 1860-1983

Scope and Content Note

The items in this series were constructed and gathered to document aspects of history, culture and civil governance in San José. Boxes one to four contain scrapbooks created solely by local historian Hank Calloway. Boxes five and six house scrapbooks created by individuals such as Leonard McKay, Hank Calloway, John D. Crummey, and Ernie Renzel. Box seven contains a set of abridged minutes for the San José Common Council, created by former San José Fire Department Chief, Lawrence A. Campbell. These records duplicate every meeting minute Campbell could locate that addressed business concerning the city fire department or fire prevention. Box eight houses copied translations of Spanish and Mexican legal records produced by the juzgado during the pueblo era of San José. These records were originally translated and edited by Paul D. Nathan in 1966. Series III is housed in vault 1 on the Sourisseau Academy shelf range 34, shelves 34C.3 to 34C.6.
Box 1, Folder 1

Vol. 2: 1936-1937

Box 1, Folder 2

Vol. 3: 1937-1938

Box 1, Folder 3

Vol. 4: 1938-1970

Box 1, Folder 4

Vol. 6: 1951,"Centennial"

Box 1, Folder 5

Vol. 7: 1963-1967

Box 1, Folder 6

Vol. 8: 1975-1976

Box 2, Folder 7

Vol. 9: 1959-1977

Box 2, Folder 8

Vol. 10: 1970-1973

Box 2, Folder 9

Vol. 11: 1973-1974

Box 2, Folder 10

Vol. 12: 1974-1977

Box 2, Folder 11

Vol. 13: 1976-1977

Box 3, Folder 12

Vol. 14: 1977-1979

Box 3, Folder 13

Vol. 15: 1972-1973

Box 3, Folder 14

Vol. 16: 1973-1974

Box 3, Folder 15

Vol. 17: 1975-1976, Signposts by P. Loomis

Box 3, Folder 16

Vol. 18: 1976-1977, Signposts by P. Loomis

Box 3, Folder 17

"East SJ-Holy City-Round-Up days": 1988-1990

Box 4, Folder 18

Vol. 19: 1977-1978

Box 4, Folder 19

Vol. 20: 1979-1980

Box 4, Folder 20

Vol. 21: 1979-1983

Box 4, Folder 21

Vol. 22: 1979-1985

Box 4, Folder 22

Vol. 23: 1983-1985

Box 5, Folder 23

Vol. 24: 1984-1987

Box 5, Folder 24

Ernie Renzel’s Scrapbook, 1937-1990

Box 5, Folder 25

John Crummey’s Rotary Club Scrapbook, 1935-1943

Box 5, Folder 26

News Clips of Old San José

Box 5, Folder 27

McKay Scrapbook of El Dorado St., José Theater, and Wade Family

Box 5, Folder 28

California Pioneer Book of Obituaries, 1850's to 1900's

Box 6, Folder 29

Calloway Clippings, 1934-1944

Box 6, Folder 30

California Pioneer Scrapbook, 1964

Box 6, Folder 31

Murphy Sabatino Bicycle Racing Scrapbook, 1930's to 1940's

Box 6, Folder 32

Kate Townsend Obituary Scrapbook

Box 7, Folder 33

SJFD Book 1: 1850-04-13 to 1870-12-05

Box 7, Folder 34

SJFD Book 2: 1870-12-06 to 1877-08-06

Box 7, Folder 35

SJFD Book 3: 1877-08-07 to 1883-08-30

Box 7, Folder 36

SJFD Book 4: 1883-09-01 to 1893-05-29

Box 7, Folder 37

SJFD Book 5: 1893-05-29 to 1900-09-04

Box 7, Folder 38

SJFD Book 6: Further Research and SJFD Timeline

Box 8, Folder 39

Spanish Records Book 1: 1793-1833

Box 8, Folder 40

Spanish Records Book 2: 1833-1852