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NewsWatch: 2006: Historic Donation

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[Narrator:] From the University of California at Davis, this is NewsWatch.

[Paul Pfotenhauer:] UC Davis has received one of the greatest private book collections in the world on Western history. With an estimated value of more than $5 million, the treasure chest contains more than 21,000 books. Michael Harrison, who died a year ago, donated the collection, which was housed in his Sacramento home. A family friend says Harrison began collecting books 80 years ago.

[Vincent Lozito:] Great storyteller, and he had one of the most brilliant memories of any person that I have ever known. He could recall facts and figures, names, dates some 60, 70, 80 years ago.

[Paul Pfotenhauer:] Michael Harrison was so meticulous with his collection that he hand-typed more than 700,000 cards detailing the contents of his books. Housed at Shields Library on the Davis campus, the collection contains the rare Edward S. Curtis North American Indian portfolio that contains illustrations, photographs and text. There is also a detailed history of Custer and the Battle of the Big Horn. A history professor says this collection is going to be a wealth of information for students.

[Louis Warren:] Many of these books are one way or another products of Western history. And they are the voices of people who lived it. And without collections like this, those voices would be lost.

[Paul Pfotenhauer:] How excited are you about this collection?

[Louis Warren:] I'm thrilled by this collection.

[Paul Pfotenhauer:]: The Harrison Western Research Center will be open to the public this fall. Reporting from UC Davis, I'm Paul Pfotenhauer.

[Narrator:] For more information, please log on to broadcast.ucdavis.edu.

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Original Air Date: April 17, 2006    Total Run Time: 00:00:00

Media contact(s):
• Paul Pfotenhauer, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-6397, pepfotenhauer@ucdavis.edu