An Improbable Venture Book Production Materials, 1960-1994 (RSS 60)

Extent: 1 Linear feet (3 archives boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Production materials for An Improbable Venture: A History of the University of California, San Diego. The book was commissioned by UC San Diego chancellor Richard C. Atkinson for the University's thirtieth anniversary and written by Nancy Scott Anderson, a journalist and historian. The collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and miscellaneous materials related to the book's production and publicity on campus.

An Improbable Venture: A History of the University of California, San Diego was proposed by UC San Diego associate chancellor Robert C. (Roy) Ritchie in 1988 as a project for the university's thirtieth anniversary. The committee he chaired decided on an unofficial, objective history of UC San Diego to be written by someone unaffiliated with the university. Nancy Scott Anderson, a San Diego journalist and author of The Generals: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee (Alfred A. Knopf, 1988) was commissioned to write the history in December 1988. Anderson interviewed founding faculty and administrators, and consulted the UC San Diego Archives. Associate chancellors Donald F. Tuzin and Tracy B. Strong succeeded Ritchie in overseeing the project.

The book was originally titled That Improbable Country: A History of the University of California, San Diego for a line from Alastair Reid's 1964 poem "Curiosity," a copy of which was included in the early drafts. In a 1993 commencement speech, chancellor Richard C. Atkinson referred to the founding of UC San Diego as "an improbable venture," and by July 1993 the title had been changed to An Improbable Venture: A History of the University of California, San Diego. The book was published by The UCSD Press in 1993.

Production materials for An Improbable Venture: A History of the University of California, San Diego. The book was commissioned by UC San Diego chancellor Richard C. Atkinson for the University's thirtieth anniversary and written by Nancy Scott Anderson, a journalist and historian. The collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and miscellaneous materials related to the book's production and publicity on campus.

Arranged in three series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) DRAFTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS, and 3) MISCELLANEA.

Container List

Correspondence

Box 1 Folder 1-2
1990-1994

Includes correspondence between Nancy Scott Anderson, Donald Tuzin, Robert C. Ritchie, Richard C. Atkinson, William McGill, and Tracy B. Strong regarding the manuscript.

Box 1 Folder 3
Letter of agreement between Anderson and UC San Diego, 1988

Drafts and Photographs

Box 1 Folder 4-12
Drafts, 1992-1993
Box 2 Folder 1-9
Drafts and page proofs, 1993
Box 3 Folder 1
Page proof, 1993
Box 3 Folder 2-5
Photographs, ca. 1960-1992

Photographs of the UC San Diego campus, administrators, and students that were considered for use in the book.

Miscellanea

Box 3 Folder 6
Anderson project review committee meeting - D. Tuzin notes and memos on committee, 1992
Box 3 Folder 7
Book reviews, 1993-1994
Box 3 Folder 8
Improbable Venture celebration - Program, invitations, and attendance list, 1994 February 6
Box 3 Folder 9
Library of Congress catalog card number form, 1993
Oversize FB-420 Folder 10
Book jacket designs
Box 3 Folder 10
Book jacket designs
Box 3 Folder 11
UCSD Bookstore retail price projections