Cal State Northridge has received a $25,000 grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation to begin preserving and archiving the university’s Catherine Mulholland Collection.
A noted historian and author, Catherine Mulholland, granddaughter of William Mulholland, the engineer who brought Owens Valley water to Los Angeles, donated her collection of family memorabilia—including rare books, archival papers, photographs and music recordings—to Northridge.
The collection, which is housed in CSUN’s Oviatt Library’s Urban Archives Center, offers rare insight into the Mulholland family’s day-to-day life on its San Fernando Valley ranch as well as William Mulholland’s tenure with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
“The Haynes Foundation grant will help preserve and open the unique and valuable Catherine Mulholland Collection for students, scholars and the public to carry on research projects for years to come,” said Susan Curzon, dean of the Oviatt Library. “The collection is a remarkable record of a family that was very influential in the making of Los Angeles. We are very grateful to the Haynes Foundation for its support in making this collection available to researchers who will find a treasure trove of history here.”
Founded in 1926, the Haynes Foundation is the oldest private foundation in the city of Los Angeles. Each year it devotes a portion of its annual budget to supporting archival and cataloging projects at libraries and local institutions that preserve historic materials important to Southern California.
The Catherine Mulholland Collection, donated to the Oviatt Library from 2003 to 2007, includes the historical records of and research files on her grandfather, William Mulholland, as well as the personal papers, estate documents and business records of the Mulholland Orchard Company and family homestead in the San Fernando Valley. The orchard was owned by Catherine’s parents, Perry and Addie Mulholland, and was a center of growth and economic development in the early San Fernando Valley.
The collection also contains the drafts, transcripts, notes, speeches, community memorabilia and related research files of Catherine Mulholland’s published works that depict the controversial history of the California water wars, the political, business and civic leaders of Los Angeles and the earlier growth and development of the San Fernando Valley. Her books include “Calabasas Girls,” “Owensmouth Baby: The Making of a San Fernando Valley Town” and “William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles.”