University of Arizona


Mark Twain Stock Certificate, Fact or Fiction?

Oct 30, 2014

In honor of Mark Twain’s birthday (November 4th), we decided to research one of the more mysterious items in UA Special Collections. The item is a mining certificate from the Goodman Gold and Silver Mining Company issued to Mark Twain, apparently in 1872 (MS 091). It is often the job of archivists to research the historical authenticity of items in their collection.

Home Movie Day: Celebrate American Archives Month at Special Collections

Oct 16, 2014

October is American Archives Month! American Archives Month began in 2006 as an opportunity for archivists to raise awareness of the value of archives. It also allows archivists to teach people about the important items that are being preserved, cataloged, cared for, and being made accessible.

“Leave No Trace”: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Sep 3, 2014

September 3rd, 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act by President Johnson. This act initially set aside 9.1 million acres of wilderness areas in America for the ultimate protection—no permanent structures, no roads, no mechanized vehicles and no extraction of resources.

A (Brief) History of The University of Arizona's First Library

Aug 8, 2014

The beginning of the new semester is quickly approaching while renovations on Old Main are wrapping up. If you stop by the new home of the Office of the President you will notice some Special Collections photographs of the early history of the UA along Old Main’s walls. Old Main, the oldest building on campus, is the symbol of the University.

Destruction Swirls Out of Clouds: Recounting the Wreckage Caused by a Rare Tucson Tornado

Jul 31, 2014

It appears as though the monsoons have arrived here in the Sonoran Desert. This is a most beloved time of year for us desert rats, when, sometimes like clockwork, desert storms roll in every afternoon and dump much needed rain on the overheated city. The monsoon showers are such a relief that we often forget they bring Southern Arizona’s only real natural disasters in the form of flash flooding and violent storms. The monsoons also bring enough moisture to create a climate for the rare tornado, like the one seen in this 1964 photograph.

A History of Tucson's Street Cars

Jul 23, 2014

Sun Link Tucson Streetcar service kicks off this week connecting downtown, 4th Ave and the University of Arizona, providing another public transportation alternative. However, streetcars are not a new idea in Tucson. Since 1897, Tucson has used street cars to move people through the business and residential areas near downtown and the University of Arizona. 

Cattle Ranching in Arizona: Historical Landmarks

Jul 15, 2014

With the infamous “Cow Appreciation Day” on July 15th, the diverse history of cattle ranching in the state of Arizona is notable. Arizona’s first permanent ranch, Sierra Bonita Ranch, was founded in 1872 by Henry C. Hooker. Soon after the founding of Sierra Bonita Ranch, other cattlemen took up residence throughout the state and began profitable ranches. The Hilton Ranch operated in the early 1900s and included over 12,000 acres of land. However, Arizona’s cattle industry owes much of its success to Walter L. Vail and Empire Ranch.

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at Special Collections

Jul 2, 2014

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964. It is known as landmark legislation which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in schools, workplaces, and businesses serving the public. It also required literacy tests for voter registration in federal elections be equally administered to everyone.