About the Libraries
Library History: People

About Peter J. Shields

Charter Day on April 5, 1962, was an especially memorable event, for the ninety-fourth anniversary of the establishment of the University of California coincided with the one hundredth anniversary of the Morrill Land-Grant College Act signed by Abraham Lincoln and the celebration of the one hundredth birthday anniversary of Judge Peter J. Shields.

Peter J. Shields has been acknowledged as the moving force behind the Act of California Legislature establishing the Davis Campus. He helped fight for funds. At that 1962 Charter Day celebration, an oak grove in the arboretum was dedicated to him. In 1973 the campus honored Peter Shields by naming the main library building in his memory.

He was born on the family homestead at Hangtown Crossing. His boyhood on the farm kindled a life-long interest in agriculture. At the age of seventeen, he graduated from Christian Brothers College in Sacramento and studied law, reading in the office of Judge Amos Catlin. He was successively private secretary to Governor James H. Budd, secretary of the State Agricultural Society, and a law partner to Hiram W. Johnson. At thirty-eight, he was elected to the superior bench in Sacramento and served longer in that capacity than any other superior judge in California.

Judge Shields developed a fine and well-known herd of Jersey cattle, which were widely exhibited and won many prizes. Up until several years before his death, well into his nineties, he could be found at the State Fair judging ring on Jersey Day.

As one of the founders of the Davis Campus, he maintained a life-long interest in it and in youth. In 1939 a Peter J. Shields scholarship fund was established and in 1955 he was the recipient of an LLD degree from the University. The main library is known as Shields Library and the street running along its north side is Peter J. Shields Avenue.

Judge Peter J. Shields passed away September 28, 1962, at the age of one hundred years.

About Loren D. Carlson

Loren Daniel Carlson was the chief innovator of the curriculum that has been the basic curricular pattern of the University of California, Davis Medical School. By gaining the respect and confidence of his colleagues, he became a continuous source of advice on administrative matters on the Davis campus. His ability to perceive and establish relationships was apparent to all who sought his advice. He was particularly accessible and communicative to students and faculty members.

After receiving his Ph.D. in zoology in 1941 at the University of Iowa, Professor Carlson later joined the Zoology Department at the University of Washington, Seattle in 1946. He was appointed to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics and later became the chairman of the department at the University of Kentucky, Lexington Medical School in 1960. In 1966 he came to the medical school at Davis as assistant dean and chairman of the division of sciences basic to medicine, a post he held concurrently with the chairmanship of the Department of Human Physiology. He was elected chairman of the physiology graduate group and served as a catalyst in the development of a creative interdepartmental and scientifically productive graduate program.

Dr. Carlson was a consultant to various offices of the President of the United States, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Academy of Science. He made important contributions concerning adaptation to cold and the role of the sympathetic nervous system in regulation of heat production in homeotherms. In 1969, the University of Oslo, Norway awarded him a Ph.D. honoris causa. He was elected president of the American Physiological Society (1968-69) and served as president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (1969-70). — Extracted from: Hsieh, A. et al. In Memoriam. University of California, July 1973.

The Regents of the University of California in executive session on June 20, 1980, approved "that the Health Sciences Library, located in Building B of the Medical School Complex, Davis campus, be designated the Loren Daniel Carlson Health Sciences Library." The renaming ceremony and dedication took place on December 12, 1984.

About Maynard A. Amerine

On September 14th, 1991, the room in Shields Library housing the grape growing and wine making collection was named in honor of Dr. Maynard Andrew Amerine, Professor Emeritus of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Amerine was an acknowledged authority on both the cultural and technical aspects of grape growing and wine making. Over the last half century, he made the most singularly significant contributions of any one individual to the California wine industry. His accomplishments have been a major factor in California wines gaining their present status in the world community. Born in San Jose, California, on October 30, 1911, Dr. Amerine was raised in the San Joaquin Valley near Modesto. He completed his bachelor of science degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1932. Prior to completion of his Ph.D. in 1935, Dr. Amerine was hired by Dr. Albert J. Winkler to work in the newly formed Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, created to give assistance to the California wine industry, which was just recovering from the restrictions of prohibition. He was appointed full professor in 1952 and was chair of the department from 1957 to 1962.

Dr. Amerine was initially engaged to explore the question of which grape varieties were best suited to the wide range of climactic conditions in California. The results of this work were published in the journal Hilgardia in 1944. Over time, the determination of grape growing regions and the adoption of recommended varieties resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of grapes grown for wine production and a corresponding improvement in the quality of California wine. Another major work, Wines: Their Sensory Evaluation, co-authored in 1976 with mathematician Edward B. Roessler, initiated the objective study of taste analysis. Dr. Amerine, a prolific scholar, had an extensive publication record which continued until just before his death, over 25 years after his retirement.

Dr. Amerine is recognized as an outstanding teacher, and he has left a legacy to the state of California and the world through the hundreds of students he has trained who have become wine makers and grape growers.

One of Dr. Amerine's most important contributions to the Library has been his enduring interest in the viticulture and enology collection and his dedication to its excellence. In 1972, he donated to Peter J. Shields Library his personal collection of over 3,000 books and pamphlets, many of which are rare and significant works on grape growing and wine making.

In 1951, Dr. Amerine co-authored A Check List of Books and Pamphlets on Grapes and Wine and Related Subjects with Louise B. Wheeler, a librarian at Shields Library. His most recent book was also co-authored with a librarian at Shields Library, Axel E. Borg, A bibliography on grapes, wines, other alcoholic beverages, and temperance: works published in the United States before 1901 (1996). With his vast knowledge of the literature, he has also generously continued to assist librarians responsible for the subject areas of grapes and wine.

Dr. Amerine was a distinguished scientist and scholar, a remarkable teacher, a prolific author, and an accomplished bibliographer. He died on March 11, 1998.

About Margaret Harrison

The University Library of the University of California at Davis dedicated its preservation department on September 13, 1990, in commemoration of a longtime library supporter, Margaret B. Harrison.

Margaret B. Harrison became interested in bookbinding in the 1930s, soon after her marriage to Michael Harrison, apprenticing for a time with master bookbinder Hazel Dreis. Although she had originally planned to teach bookbinding, World War II intervened, and Mrs. Harrison spent the war years as an adjutant and then a commanding officer in the Sacramento Women's Ambulance and Transportation Corps. She did not pursue teaching. For more than four decades, however, her bookbinding skills enabled her to bind and preserve a number of volumes within the Western Americana collection that she and Michael were acquiring.

After Mrs. Harrison's death in 1980, her binding equipment and supplies were bequeathed to the University Library to support the Library's binding efforts. Mrs. Harrison's half interest in the Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center was also bequeathed to the Library. In memory of his wife, Michael Harrison has provided an endowment, the income from which will be used to augment the Library's ongoing preservation programs.