Of the many topics represented in the Orange County book and pamphlet collection, these are some of the most prominent. All materials are cataloged on Library Search.
- Art and architecture
- Business and industry
- Cities and towns
- City of Irvine
- Environmental issues
- Irvine Company
- Irvine Ranch
- Land and real estate development
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community
- Helena Modjeska
- San Juan Capistrano Mission
- Surfing and surf culture
- Upper Newport Bay
- History of Orange County, California by Samuel Armor. Los Angeles. 1921.
- The Golden Promise: An Illustrated History of Orange County by Pamela Hallan-Gibson. Northridge, Calif.: Windsor, 1986.
- A Hundred Years of Yesterdays: A Centennial History of the People of Orange County and Their Communities. Phil Brigandi et al., editors. Santa Ana, CA: Orange County Historical Commission, 2004.
- History of Orange County, California by Mrs. J.E. Pleasants. Los Angeles: Finnell, 1931.
- Historical volume and reference works: Orange County. Don Meadows et al., editors. Los Angeles: Historical Publishers, 1963.
- History of Los Angeles County, California by John A. Wilson. Oakland: Thompson & West, 1880.
Selected Archival and Manuscript Collections
- General History
- Business & Industry
- Cities & Towns
- Environmental Issues
- Family History
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community
- Women in the Public Sphere
- Meadows (Don) papers
Thousands of pieces of geographically organized printed ephemera (brochures, flyers, etc.), as well as photographs, maps, and Meadows’ extensive correspondence. Overall, the collection documents a wide range of cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of County history and is a key source for many types of research.
- Works Progress Administration collection on Orange County, California
The reports of the WPA historical and anthropological projects done in 1935-1939.
- Disneyland employee and promotional materials collection
Employee training and policy guides, promotional material and brochures, and popular publications of the Disney corporation and its entertainment subsidiaries.
- Irvine Valencia Growers Packing House records
Includes both historic records of the packing house and materials created during a historic documentation project done prior to its demolition.
- Raymond L. Watson papers
The extant files of the former President and CEO of the Irvine Company. Watson was the Company’s chief planner when UCI was being built. Includes his speeches, correspondence, unpublished writings, and professional files on urban planning, and new towns.
- Dana Point Syndicate records of S.H. Woodruff
Business records collected by the real estate developer in his capacity as head of the Dana Point Syndicate, a group of wealthy Los Angeles investors formed to finance the development of Dana Point in the late 1920s.
- French (C. E.) Letter Books
Bound copies of outgoing letters written by C. E. French, an entrepreneur who contributed significantly to the growth of Santa Ana, California during the mid to late 19th century.
- Kuchel family papers
Anaheim-related printed ephemera, photographs, and clippings printed or collected by the Kuchels, owners and publishers of the Anaheim Gazette, the first major newspaper in the County.
- Leidal (George) collection on the City of Irvine
Agendas and minutes from the first years of the Irvine City Council and the Irvine Planning Commission collected by this local newspaper reporter.
- Grindle (Shirley) papers
Grindle is an environmental and political activist and a self-proclaimed "watchdog" for Orange County campaign ethics. She also was an Orange County Planning Commissioner.
- Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. records
Documents the first 20 years of Laguna Greenbelt, a non-profit organization founded in 1968 to preserve the open space bordering Laguna Beach.
- Moulton-Niguel Water District Board of Directors minutes
The Board’s meeting minutes, 1974-1980. This collection has not yet been organized; please contact us for more information.
- Orange County environmental issues, land use, and planning collection
Correspondence, reports, court documents, minutes, photographs, and clippings from the Board of Supervisors documenting agricultural preserves, beach erosion, and redistricting.
- Padve (Martha) papers on Crystal Cove Historic District
Her personal papers documenting the beach community of Crystal Cove, where Padve was a long-time resident and a leader of the Crystal Cove Residents' Association.
- Robinson (Frank and Francis) papers
Research materials documenting the Robinsons’ lawsuits fighting the proposed land swap between Orange County and the Irvine Company that would have allowed the Company to develop the Upper Newport Bay. This collection has not yet been organized; please contact us for more information.
- Rosener (Judy) papers
Reports, surveys, research materials, and writings of the UCI professor, including material from her tenure on the South Coast Regional Coastal Commission, in particular the Bolsa Chica salt-water lagoon. This collection has not yet been organized; please contact us for more information.
- Santa Margarita Water District records
Meeting packets for board meetings, project planning analyses and reports dealing with wastewater disposal, water reclamation, water facility regulations, and water importation.
- Serrano Irrigation District Records
Documents the history of the Serrano Irrigation District (now known as the Serrano Water District), including records from the various historical water associations and companies that served the Villa Park region.
- Upper Newport Bay collection
Chiefly governmental and non-profit organization reports and handouts concerning the proposed Upper Newport Bay land swap between the County of Orange and the Irvine Company in 1965.
- Warner (Willis H.) papers
Thorough documentation of his 24 years on the Orange County Board of Supervisors (1930s-1960s) when much County infrastructure was being planned and constructed. Also records of his family hardware store.
- Armor (Samuel and Alice L.) papers
Samuel Armor wrote the first book-length history of Orange County. His wife Alice was the publisher of the Orange Post. Letters, photographs, ephemera, and writings.
- Forster-Del Valle family correspondence
Letters and ephemera dating from 1804-1958 of two prominent families in the San Juan Capistrano area.
- Huntley family papers
Documents the families and business ventures of Tustin residents Helen Gulick and William M. Huntley, including family photographs, correspondence, business records and household accounts.
- Kuchel Family papers
Anaheim-related printed ephemera, photographs, and clippings gathered by the Kuchel family, owners and publishers of the Anaheim Gazette.
- Modjeska (Helena) collection
Modjeska was a renowned 19-century Polish stage actress who had a successful career in the U.S. and owned a home, Arden, in Santiago Canyon.
- Phelps (Edna W.) collection
Photographs, correspondence, diaries, and family materials documenting four generations of the Phelps, Gulick, and related families, 1880-1920.
- Pleasants Family papers
The personal papers of J.E. Pleasants and his first two wives, Mary Refugio Carpenter Pleasants and Adelina Pleasants. Includes diaries, correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs.
- Rice Family papers
Photographs and other materials documenting the prominent James S. and Cora Rice family of Tustin and their relatives, including Harvey M. Rice and Nettie Rice, who were related by marriage to James Irvine. Includes correspondence between Mrs. Rice and Helena Modjeska.
We are actively building collections in this area and more will be available in the near future. For more information about supporting these efforts, please see our brochure Documenting the LGBT Communities in Orange County
- Ariel (Joan) files on Women's Studies at the University of California, Irvine
Contains files retained by Joan Ariel that document the University of California, Irvine Women's Studies program, resources for women at UC Irvine, and the UC Irvine LGBT community.
- Brafford (Brad) papers
Brafford is a gay rights activist and philanthropist in Orange County, California and an active member of several organizations concerned with gay and lesbian rights, AIDS education and support, political activism, women's rights, and electoral politics.
- Callahan (Patricia) files on Orange County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activism
Patricia Callahan was an AIDS activist and leader in the Orange County LGBT community in the late 1980s and early 1990s
- Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County records
The Center Orange County, established in 1971, serves thousands of clients annually with a mission of advocating on behalf of the Orange County LGBT community and providing services that ensure the community's well-being and positive identity.
- Hodges (Robert R.) papers
Hodges was a professor of English and Comparative Literature at California State University, Fullerton and an activist in the gay liberation movement in the 1970s-1980s.
- Magee (Patric A.) papers concerning transgenderism
Magee is a transgender man active in many transgender support groups and activities in Orange County and Southern California.
- Orange County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Timeline research files
The Orange County Historical LGBT Timeline Project, established in 1995, highlights important people, organizations, and events related to the LGBT community in Orange County.
- Photograph albums of West Street Beach gay volleyball
These three albums of photographs, taken and assembled by Jerry Minnucci and given to Robert Major, document a group of gay volleyball players between 1973 and 1975 in Laguna Beach, California.
- Collection of Orange County and California maps
More than 100 maps documenting the State of California, especially the Southern counties. Includes maps of some Orange County ranchos.
- Manuscript maps of Orange County
Four manuscript survey maps and one plat map depicting South Orange County ranchos, dated 1878-1879. Attributed to the noted surveyor and judge Richard Egan.
In addition to these collections, the UCI Libraries have a full run of the Orange County Register and its predecessors online and on microfilm. Search Library Search by title for additional local newspapers.
- California Newspapers Collection
Scattered issues of many California newspapers, including 100 from Orange County.
- Orange County Newspapers and Magazine Clippings Collection
Photocopied newspaper and magazine clippings from the 1900s-1990s documenting notable people, city and county news, and significant events.
- Cochems (Edward W.) photographs
1,200 photographs, principally of Orange County locations (1919-1949), taken by Edward Cochems, a prominent commercial photographer in Santa Ana.
- Collection on the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree in Irvine
Photographs of the Boy Scout Jamboree held in 1953 on the Irvine Ranch (now Newport Beach), the first ever held in California.
- East Irvine historic resources documentation photographs
Photographs documenting buildings in East Irvine that were built early in the 20th century and were the hub of activity on the Irvine Ranch. Taken prior to demolition of some of the buildings.
- Gooch (Alice Gulick) photographs
Photographs of locations in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties, the bulk in San Diego (1899-1932).
- Gulick family photographs
Photographs relating to the Gulick family, including extended family and friends.
- McPherson postcard collection
Thousands of postcards collected by McPherson depicting locations in Southern California, including Orange County and various California missions.
- Orange County Californio families portrait photograph album
Album of 19th-century studio photographs, carte-de-visites, and tintypes of prominent Californio family members from Orange County, including the Yorbas, Peraltas, and Sepulvedas, all of whom held land grants from the Spanish era.
- Pacific National Fire Insurance Company records of Orange County buildings
Maps, photographs, and descriptive text on public buildings in Orange County, taken for insurance purposes (1942-1951).
- Tubbs family photographs
Photographs of Orange County cities, Santa Catalina Island, coastal areas, and Tubbs family events and homes.
- Badham (Robert) papers
Records of his 25 years of public service representing Newport Beach in the California State Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Bergeson (Marian) papers
Documents her years representing Newport Beach in the California State Senate.
- California Political Publication and Ephemera Collection
A small collection of publications and ephemera (1936-1989) documenting California and Orange County legislators and politicians such as Robert Badham, John Briggs, Dennis Carpenter, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Ronald Reagan, and John Schmitz.
- Carpenter (Dennis E.) papers
The legislative files of the California State Senator from North Orange County.
- Patterson (Jerry M.) papers
Clippings, photographs, publicity materials, reports, and other materials from his years in the U.S. House of Representatives (1975-1984).
- Schmitz (John G.) Campaign Materials
Clippings, correspondence, press releases and other materials from his 1972 campaign as the nominee of the American Independent Party for President of the U.S.
- Griffin (Wendy) Files on Women's Rights Activism
- Hall (Vivian) papers
An Irvine resident since 1968, Hall is an educator, feminist, and community activist. The collection documents her political and feminist activism in the 1970s.
- League of Women Voters of Orange County records
The administrative files of the countywide League since it was founded in 1957, and of its four regional chapters.
- Lotos (Helen) files on Orange County women's organizations
Pamphlets, newsletters, minutes, and other materials documenting her involvement in local chapters of women's rights organizations, including the National Organization for Women (1970s-1980s).
- Lynn (Therese) Files on California Federation of Business and Professional Women
- Women For: Orange County Records
Women For: Orange County was founded in 1984 as a chapter of Women For:, the political activist organization based in Los Angeles, California. The collection chronicles the group's activities from 1984 to 1998, including the Great American Write-In and the Suffrage Day Luncheon
- Yamada (Mitsuye) papers
Yamada and her family were held in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. Her papers include correspondence, reports, and newsletters documenting her career as a poet, political activist, and human rights spokesperson, including for Amnesty International.