Meriam Library -- Special Collections

Indian-White Relationships in Northern California
Between 1840 & 1920

The Bleyhl Collection

How to Use

About the Bleyhl

Dorothy Hill Collection


Collection , Pages 1-1044 (PDF 3.5MB)

We would like to acknowledge and thank the following partners who helped to fund the conversion of the card files into this online format: ANCHR (The Association for Northern California Historical Research), the Ellen Deering Trust, the "Red" Deering Trust, and Friends of the Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

How to Use

PDF icon Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the collection. The reader is available free to download to your computer from this site.

To open and search a Bleyhl collection PDF file:

  • Click one of the PDF files linked above.
  • Click the "binoculars" icon binoculars on the tool bar or go to Edit and select Search. This opens a search panel on the right side of the PDF.
  • Enter a keyword or term in the search box.
  • Click the search button.
  • Scroll through the list of search results. Click on any result to jump to that part of the document.

About the Bleyhl Collection

Dr. Norris Bleyhl was director of the library from 1952 to 1972. He was the Northeastern California (" NE Cal ") Librarian from 1973 to 1978. He held a Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota. His interest in northern California stemmed from his dissertation on the history of rice production in Butte County. His interest in northern California Native American history arose through his association with local historian Dorothy Morehead Hill. Ms. Hill was an anthropologist (M.A., Anthropology, CSU Chico) who pursued an avid interest in regional Native American history, and particularly Indian-White relations in northern California.

In September of 1975, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation awarded Dr. Bleyhl the first of three grants to research and document the evidence of Indian-White relationships in northern California between 1840 and 1920.

Northern California was defined the area north of the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas from the coast to the eastern border. Students and other research assistants at CSU, Chico surveyed many library, archive, and manuscript collections throughout the State of California. The information was recorded on "research" cards that included not only the citations but also annotations about the content of the source.

The card files, about 10,000 entries, were a wonderful research tool but remained an underused and cumbersome tool until 2004 when a partnership was developed to convert the cards to an online searchable format.

The original research was collected in these fifteen subject areas:

  • Aboriginal Indian Culture, Habitat
  • Commerce and Trade
  • Editorial Comments
  • Indian Crafts and Culture as Attractions to Whites
  • Indians and Chinese and other ethnic groups
  • Indians and Education
  • Indians and the Law
  • Indians and the Military
  • Indians and the Missions
  • Indian Reservation Life
  • Persistence of Indian Life and Customs
  • People
  • Revitalization of Indian Culture
  • Social Interactions
  • Treaties and Other Agreements

In addition, the conversion project has organized the collection into types of sources. You may search the entire file or the types listed in the links above. This project is a work in progress. Changes and additions will be made from time to time to supplement or correct the information provided.

Two select bibliographies stemming from this research were published in 1978 and 1979 by Norris Bleyhl through Northeastern California Regional Programs of the University. They were entitled Indian-White Relationships in Northern California, 1849-1920 in the Congressional Serial Set of United States Public Documents, and Newspaper References Concerning Indians and Indian-White Relationships in Northeastern California Chiefly between 1850 and 1920. They were republished by the Association for Northern California Records and Research (ANCRR, now called the Association for Northern California Historical Research or ANCHR). In 1984, ANCHR posthumously published three of Bleyhl's unpublished essays as Three Military Posts in Northeastern California, 1849-1863 (Fort Far West, Fort Reading, and Camp Bidwell) as part of their occasional publication series. The two bibliographies are no longer in print but are available in Meriam Library Special Collections. The book of essays can be obtained from ANCHR.



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Last updated: 07/2006

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