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Campus History Collection

Finding Aid Selects

If you would like to know more about our collection, you can view our finding aids in the following tabs. We have also linked to two featured finding aids: Presidential Records and Alumni Papers

What is a Finding Aid?


Finding Aid is an archival term for a guide or inventory of the contents of an archival collection. They are created to give researchers a description of the items in a collection and where to find them. 


What is a collection?


A collection is a group of materials that share a unifying characteristic. This could mean papers, publications, or other items that belonged to a person, family, organization, or company. A collection can contain a variety of media, not just papers, such as photographs, video, books, clothing or other 3D artifacts. 


CHC 01.02: Emile Topp Papers (1931-1934)


The Emile Topp Papers were artificially created but contain documents pertaining to his time spent as the Superintendent of Cal Maritime from 1931-1934.

CHC 01.03: Richard Dwyer Papers (1934-1937)


The Richard C. Dwyer Papers were artificially created but contain documents and ephemera pertaining to his time spent as the Superintendent of Cal Maritime, previously the California Nautical School. This collection contains personal papers and ephemera including patches, pin, and a family bible.

CHC 01.04: Neil Nichols Papers (1937-1940)


The Neil E. Nichols Papers Papers were artificially created but contain documents pertaining to his time spent as the Superintendent of Cal Maritime from 1937-1940.

CHC 01.05: Claude Mayo Papers (1940-1947)


The Claude Mayo collection contains documents pertaining to his time as the Superintendent of the California Maritime Academy from 1940 to 1947.

CHC 01.12: Mary Lyons Papers (1990-1996)


All the correspondence and project files of Mary Lyons during her tenure as President of the California Maritime Academy from 1990 to 1996. 

Duncan Perry Papers (1931-1933)


The Perry Duncan papers span from 1931 to 1933 focusing primarily on cruise including publications, itineraries, bulletins and a scrapbook.

Ralph Swany Collection (1931-1983)


This collection contains the papers of Ralph Swany, graduate and faculty member of the California Maritime Academy

Want to see more of what the Campus History Collection has to offer? Visit our page on the Online Archive of California to explore our collection in depth, as well as those of other archives in your area! 

Visit the Online Archive of California

Oral History Project

Cal Maritime is well on it's way into its first century. Over the last 90 years, it has grown from a small nautical training school to a unique part of the California State University system. Our students, faculty, staff and others who have been affiliated with us have played an important role in the history of the state, the region, and the nation. Many have proudly served our country in times of conflict and helped to develop today's modern maritime industry, in all of its facets, in times of war and peace. Documenting and preserving that history and culture through the memories and the records of our alumni, faculty, and staff is an important part of our task as an educational institution.

Student conducting oral history interview

The California Maritime Academy Oral History Project is seeking people who have attended or worked for the Academy from its beginnings in 1929 up to modern times. Your memories and mementos of your time at the Nautical School/Academy are important in documenting the history and culture of the institution – how it has operated over the years, its memorable events, and how it has influenced history and your lives.

Participate in a Student Lead Interview
Student conducting oral history interview


For an opportunity to visit the campus and be interviewed here, please contact the Archives Coordinator. We will pair you with an individual or students who will prepare the interview and recording session(s) with you.


Participate from Home
Cal Maritime Alumni


If you would prefer to record an oral history yourself, with family members or friends, please download our oral history kit. The kit will provide you with all the forms and procedures for creating an excellent oral history, then you may contact the Library to discuss the best method to submit your interview. We hope you enjoy this special opportunity to contribute your unique history.

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