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Inventory of the Resources Agency - California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names Records
R340  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Resources Agency - California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names Records
    Dates: 1961-2004
    Collection number: R340
    Creator: California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names
    Collection Size: 2.25 cubic feet of textual records
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: In 1961, the state geologist created The California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names within the Resources Agency. The committee began its work in July 1963, providing the federal government with advice in naming geographic features through researching local naming practices. Committee members contacted local area residents to learn what the residents called a geologic feature, and the committee advised the federal agency on what name to officially publish. The California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names Records consists of two and one-quarter cubic feet of textual material covering the years 1961 to 2004 with the bulk of the records covering 1961-1980.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names Records, R340.[Series Number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names Records according to state law.

    Administrative History

    In 1961, the assistant director of the United States Geological Survey discussed with the California State Geologist Ian Campbell the likelihood of establishing a state committee to aid the United States Board on Geographic Names in deciding on geographic names in California. As a result, the state geologist created the California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names within the Resources Agency. This committee was intended to continue the work of the state Board of Geographic Names, which lasted from 1928 until the mid-1940s. Campbell hoped to garner the State Legislature's approval for the Advisory Committee on Geographic Names through Senate Bill 774 (Farr, 1963) but the bill died in the Senate. Since then, the advisory committee has operated without a legislative mandate.
    The California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names began it work in July 1963 with Ian Campbell as the chair. The committee consists of representatives from the Departments of Water Resources, Fish and Game, Parks and Recreation, Forestry and Fire Protection, and Conservation with each representative being responsible for a geographic region of California. The committee's task is to provide the federal government with advice in naming geographic features through researching local naming practices. Committee members contact local area residents to learn what the residents call a geologic feature and the committee advises the federal agency on what name to officially publish.

    Scope and Content

    The California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names Records consists of two and one-quarter cubic feet of textual material covering the years 1961 to 2004 with the bulk of the records covering 1961-1980. The collection is organized into three series: Committee Files; Conference Files; and Correspondence. The records primarily contain correspondence, meeting minutes, memorandum, reports, and maps. The scope of the committee records covers the organization and recommendations of the advisory committee. Topics include names of geographic features, geologic naming procedures, administrative procedures, the Council of Geographic Names Authorities annual meetings, and U.S. government official geographic names.
    One area of controversy was the renaming of geographic features that included derogatory words or terms. Several local regions in California had named geographic features using racist or derogatory terms and the federal and state governments decided to remove the discriminatory words while embracing a multicultural history. The committee's usual response was to find a similar, non-offensive, name to the changed names or to use a historically appropriate name.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Geological formations
    Geography
    Place names