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Foundation Commissions Painting for Braille & Talking Book Reading Room
Dedication of The Michael O'Shaughnessy Rotunda


1. Bitter Strength. This bronze statue commemorates the heroic efforts of the Chinese in building the transcontinental railroad. It was created by Utah artist Edward Fraughton and donated to the Foundation by the Frank Fat family of Sacramento. It is located in the Mead B. Kibbey Exhibit Gallery, Library & Courts II Building, 900 N Street.

2. Allegory by Maynard Dixon. Painted by the noted California artist between 1932 and 1935, it was donated by Marcia and Robin Williams of San Francisco. It is presently located in the office of the California State Librarian.

3. Gullick Brother''s Daguerreotypes. This half-plate daguerreotype is one of three mirror images of Benicia, the port city on the Carquinez Strait, donated to the Library by the important cased image collector Stephen Anaya of Santa Monica. Included in his gift are 14 family portraits. Benicia at the time these images were made served as the state capital of California.

4. Daguerreotype of Theodore D. Judah. Purchased with the assistance of Mead B. Kibbey and Robert Gordon, this sixth-plate daguerreotype is a portrait of the famed engineer as a young man. Judah later went on in the 1860s and surveyed the route of the Central Pacific Railroad over the formidable Sierra Nevada Range.
5. Map of Folsom City, c. 1855. Through the generosity of Mrs. Robert C. Baker of Fair Oaks and her daughter, Cindy Baker, the Library’s California History Section received an important manuscript map of Folsom drawn around 1855 by famed railroad engineer Theodore D. Judah (1828–1863). Mrs. Baker donated the map in memory of her late husband. Measuring 22 x 36 inches, drawn on silk and entitled “Map of the Town of Folsom California,” Judah’s manuscript is significant in that it is probably the first to delineate the future town and it documents the route of the Sacramento Valley Rail Road (S.V.R.R.) at its eastern terminus. The S.V.R.R., although short-lived, ranks as the oldest passenger railroad in the western United States.

6. Kelmscott Chaucer. Printed and designed by William Morris with illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones, the Chaucer is heralded as one of the most important books ever printed. The Foundation purchased this volume in celebration of the Library’s 150th anniversary.

7. United States County Histories. Through the gift of the Larson Trust, the Foundation is able to buy for the Sutro Library in San Francisco valuable and rare county histories from the eastern United States. Published in the 19th and early 20th centuries, these histories contain much valuable information on communities and individuals. Many contain maps and are illustrated with engravings of towns, business blocks, and homes.
8. Photographs of Santa Barbara & Vicinity. California bibliographer Dennis Kruska donated over 200 vintage photographs of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties for the California History Section. Nineteenth century photographs from this region are rare. Mr. Kruska donated the photographs in memory of his friend, Clifton F. Smith.
9. The Saul and Lillian Marks Albion Press. In 1983, the Foundation purchased the Albion iron press used by the famed Plantin Press of Saul and Lillian Marks of Los Angeles. The press itself was manufactured in London in 1852. The Foundation, under the able direction of Robert Dickover, has used the press for demonstrations and printing keepsakes. The Library has an excellent collection of Plantin Press books and ephemera.
10. Gladding, McBean & Company Archive. Donated to the Foundation for the benefit of the Library by Pacific Coast Building Products, this archive contains the historical record of one of the most prominent manufacturers of architectural terra cotta. The archive includes over 10,000 photographs, job order records on over 7,000 jobs including the Los Angeles City Hall, Bullock's Wilshire, War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, and the State Library & Courts Building in Sacramento, and tile drawings for dozens of projects in California. Shown here is a photograph made from a glass plate negative of an ornament for the Knickerbocker Building in Los Angeles, 1913.

Foundation Commissions Painting for Braille & Talking Book Reading Room

11. "On the Sacramento River" a large painting by noted Sacramento artist Gregory Kondos, and a bronze bas-relief reproduction of the painting, were made possible by generous contributions from patrons and supporters of the Braille and Talking Book Library. Acquired in 2000 by the California State Library Foundation, this depiction of a Sacramento valley river landscape measures twelve feet in length and five feet high. The Foundation also purchased the complete reproduction rights to "On the Sacramento River".

BTBL librarian Aimee Sgourakis conceived the idea of the bronze bas-relief for the benefit of the visually impaired. The inscription includes both braille and large print letters. Jack Barrett, a member of the Foundation, created a handsome pedestal to support the 85-pound bronze.

The painting and bronze are on public view in the BTBL Reading Room on the first floor of the Library & Courts II Building at 900 N Street, Sacramento.

12. In 2001 then-State Librarian of California Dr. Kevin Starr dedicated the rotunda of the Library & Courts II Building (900 N Street) in honor of the famed San Francisco City Engineer Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy. The dedication ceremony included the placement of a bronze bust of Mr. O’Shaughnessy in the rotunda. A copy of the bust, created by Irish artist Don Cronin, resides in the San Francisco City Hall. O’Shaughnessy’s daughter, Elizabeth, presented the Foundation with a most generous donation in memory of her parents, Michael and Mary. She also made the Foundation a beneficiary of her will. Mead Kibbey of the Board of Directors skillfully negotiated the gift with the estate’s legal counsel.

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