Additional Resources in the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress's General Collections and Rare Book and Special Collections Division contain other first-person accounts, as well as many other resources, about early California history. After consulting works included in "California as I Saw It," readers who are able to come to the Library, or to other major research libraries, might wish to look at titles such as those on the list below. Some of these are first editions of works included in the collection, but which were not themselves included for technical reasons.
Further Reading About California's Early Years
Basic General Reference Works
Two reference books essential to the new student of California history may be useful to readers of this collection. James D. Hart's A Companion of California: New Edition, Revised and Expanded (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987) and A Guide to the History of California edited by Doyce B. Nunis, Jr., and Gloria Ricci Lothrop (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989). Hart's Companion is a superb one-volume encyclopedia of California history. The brief but informative entries, generously cross-referenced, are supplemented by maps and a "Chronological Index". With this book at their sides, users of this collection can quickly find necessary background information for a memoir. Anyone who wishes to read further in California history should first turn to the Nunis and Lothrop Guide, which contains nineteen well-written essays on the historical literature and source materials for California. "Historical Literature" is treated with both chronological surveys and discussions of literature focusing on special groups in California: women, African Americans, Asians, Chicanos, and city dwellers. The second section, on "Archives and Sources," includes discussions of resources in specific geographical areas as well as specific kinds of materials such as oral history that are of special value for a study of California. Anyone who consults this Guide will receive clear and well-written guidance to the next stage in learning about any topic in California history.
There are several fine one-volume introductions to California history. Among available textbooks, readers might consult James J. Rawls and Walton Bean's California: An Interpretive History (New York: McGraw Hill, 1993); The Elusive Eden: A New History of California, by a trio of faculty members at the California State University, Hayward: Richard B. Rice, William A. Bullough, and Richard J. Orsi (New York: Knopf, 1988); or Andrew Rolle's California: A History (Arlington Heights, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 1987). As textbooks, each is, of course, well illustrated, with maps, diagrams, and the other apparatus of good teaching volumes. For the reader who prefers a non-textbook format, we recommend David Lavender's lively and readable California: Land of Beginnings (Lincoln, Neb.: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1987).
For the reader interested in going beyond these general introductions, the following are useful works of more specialized interest: