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author of the award winning  Henry Grave Mysteries

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A History of Sacramento City College in 100 Objects


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SCC 100 YEAR Objects

SCC 100 YEAR Objects
A History of Sacramento City College in 100 Objects

All histories are subjective, and all are incomplete. "A History of Sacramento City College in 100 Objects" is both. But it is also an attempt to tell a story not often told, a story of material culture -- about the relationship between people and their things.

Founded in 1916 as Sacramento Junior College, this institution became something quite extraordinary along the way. And now, 100 years later, would the college's first leaders, Jeremiah Lillard and Belle Cooledge, be satisfied with what they saw, or would they be absolutely thrilled? This is their story as much as it is ours.

This project was inspired by the British Museum's 2011 publication "A History of the World in 100 Objects". Among the items chosen were: The Rosetta Stone, a Clovis point, and the Lewis Chessmen - the unintentional model of the European Middle Ages.

The New York Times followed in 2012 with "A History of New York in 50 Objects," including an automat machine, and a jar of dust from 9/11, and the Schagen Letter, in which the Dutch West India Company documents the purchase of Manhattan Island from the Lenape Indians in 1626.

So in celebration of Sacramento City College's 100th birthday, I felt it was time to construct our own material cultural history. For this project, I defined objects broadly as anything that can be touched or seen. I considered photographs, artifacts, news articles, paintings, statuary and architecture.

I began by reaching out to students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and emeriti professors. I told them I was looking for objects that not only evoked Sacramento City College, but also helped tell its story. And the responses came pouring in.

In this book, you'll find the objects I think best tell the story of the college's first 100 years. All proceeds from the sale of this publication will be used to fund scholarships for Sacramento City College students. And if you think of any more objects that should be included in the next volume, send them my way so that I can include them in 2116.


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