August 2020 Update

Hi everyone,

Thanks to extraordinary support from our donors, the Library continues to be rent stable in August as the shutdown continues. This stability mostly flows from pre-COVID donations, with a contribution from our landlords, Folsom Properties. This stability has enabled us to postpone 2020 fundraising activity …at least until September. Coming soon, we will hold a Fall support campaign aimed at securing the Library for 2021.

Even in shutdown there’s nevertheless a lot happening: Library hosts are providing long distance research assistance to activists, historians, and novelists this summer, delighted to be able to perform at least some of our essential functions.

The Library will be better when it reopens! The two co-founders plus host Jay Bolcik are conducting some major improvement projects this summer:
• processing all unprocessed materials
• shelving and alphabetizing the topographic maps
• adding a new bank for printed ephemera (boxed pamphlet literature)
• and… unshelving all of Rows One and Two, shifting the banks, and washing the shelves!!

At the end of that part of the project, the California section will be relocated to its original position at the start of Row One, and it will be doubled in size. Along the way we are deaccessioning plenty of materials: mostly duplicates and select technical government documents, as well as periodical runs that were little-used, that are easily bested by other holdings.

A major objective of the collections projects is better air circulation in the room and more space for distributed work areas. We aim to make the Library available to individuals and pods of visitors as soon as state guidelines permit it. (But no earlier than the end of September, given the scope of the projects underway).

Researcher news: Two researchers from years past have published books this summer that used the Library’s media history collections:
Haidee Wasson’s Everyday Movies: Portable Film Projectors and the Transformation of American Culture (UC Press, 2020)
Kim Beil’s Good Pictures: A History of Popular Photography (Stanford University Press, 2020)

Please check back, as we really look forward to returning full service!