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Suggestions on Doing a Davis History Bibliography, by John Lofland

Suggestions on doing a bibliographic chaper for this site.

Each of the bibiographic chapters on this website aims to provide a list of sources of information on an aspect of Davis history, be it a topic or a place.


The simplest and most unadorned version of a bibliographic chapter is a list of publications or equivalent items.

It is hoped, however, that many bibliograpies will also annotate the sources listed. Common types of annotation include a summary of topics treated in a source, an assessment of the value of the source, and/or a specification of where the source can be found.


Every task of collecting and classifying generates puzzles about which objects go into what categories and the degree to which any given object should be placed in more than one category.

As DHRG Coordinator, my view is that we ought not concern ourselves about finding the exactly right and only bibliographic chapter into which to place a Davis history source. A fair number of sources can and should appear in many chapters.

This view is founded on the belief that the human world “out there” is messy, ambiguous, and chameleon-like. In matters human, it is rare for anything to be a clear and only instance of anything.

In that spirit, lots of sources should turn up in several bibliographic chapters.


If, after reading some bibliographic chapters on this website, you think there is a topic in or aspect of Davis history (or a place with Davis history items) you think should be covered but is not, consider compiling that chapter yourself.

Members of the DHRG are happy to consult with and to help you on how to proceed. You can send an email to them at

In addition, if you would like to do a bibliographic chapter but are not certain what to do it on, contact us for suggestions at the same email address.

There are many easy-to-do but undone bibliographic chapters waiting to be compiled. Several are indicated as  "wish list" chapters in the the folders below.

Anyone compiling a bibliographic chapter for this site is very strongly encouraged to become a member of the Davis History Research Group.


Let me suggest two rules of thumb regarding the digital size and therefore technical content of bibliographic chapters.

First, order to maximize the amount of content on this site, I suggest composing bibliographic chapters in text as opposed to graphics. Graphics eat up storage space very fast, but text does not. While the Davis Community Network is generous in providing storage, there is a limit. As a practical matter, though, there is no limit if we use text. This is not the case for graphics.

However, references to and text descriptions of graphics (especially photographs) are very much in order. If these are already available on the web, then web links to them can be made.

Second, perhaps eventually there will be space to present substantive writings on Davis history on this or related sites. But because of the limits just mentioned, I suggest references to and descriptions of these writing rather than full text.

The full texts of some Davis history documents are already on the web and links to them make them easily available without consuming much space on this site.  I have in mind, for example, the Davis Historical Society’s series Papers on Davis History, which contains three papers published on its web site. You can read all three at (The series and the three papers are described in the Topics folder.)

So, with these practices we get the best of both worlds: A reader knows an item exists and can get to it on the web, but it takes little space on this site.

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.