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Sierra Club Library

The Sierra Club has maintained a library since its beginnings more than a century ago. The Club's first library was based on a small collection of mountaineering literature that served John Muir and other mountaineers at the turn of the twentieth century.

In San Francisco's devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, this early collection was destroyed, but the library was soon reestablished through an outpouring of donations. From those small beginnings the library has grown to accommodate the evolving needs of Sierra Club members. As the Club grew, so did its library. It now holds a significant conservation and mountaineering collection.

In 1965, the Library was dedicated as a memorial to William E. Colby, the first secretary of the Sierra Club and a director for forty-nine years.

As a reference library, ours is a non-circulating, research collection. Sierra Club members and the public are welcome to use the library as visitors, by appointment. In our reading room at the Club's San Francisco headquarters, we provide on-site access to our extensive collection of books, periodicals, mountaineering journals, government documents, historic photographs, slides, maps and memorabilia. Researchers who are unable to visit our library may search the online catalog for our traditional collections. We respond to reference inquiries regarding Sierra Club publications and history, and will provide photocopies of specific articles if needed.

In the 21st century, the Colby Library has expanded online. Our mission is to bring more great content from the Club's website to the library's holdings.

Contact Information:

Sierra Club Colby Library
2101 Webster Street, Suite 1300
Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: (415) 977-5506
Email: colby.library@sierraclub.org

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Title
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Sierra Club Library
by Townsend, Charles T.
movies
eye 390
favorite 5
comment 1
Description : Film of the Golden Gate Exposition, 1938-39. Additional Description : Note on original reel: "Beginning -- Fair - 1938s(?) or 1939 Treasure Island". Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyright status unknown. This work may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, its reproduction may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. This work is...
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Topics: californialightandsound, home movie
Sierra Club Library
by Townsend, Charles T.
movies
eye 359
favorite 9
comment 0
Additional Description : Note on original reel: "Beginning -- Calif. Hills & Flowers -- No People -- Ranch or Farm". Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyright status unknown. This work may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, its reproduction may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. This work is accessible for purposes of education and...
Topics: californialightandsound, home movie
Sierra Club Library
movies
eye 354
favorite 1
comment 0
Description : Home movies created by F. C. Youngberg. Shows Sierra Club members, leaders. Includes Sierra Club organized trips to Sierra mountains in 1931, 1932, 1938, 1940, 1941. Includes trail guide, Ike Livermore. Additional Description : Notes on original cans: Reel 1: "El Reposo, Cazadero Almaden 1931, Butano Forest Launch Ride 1931 #1 Notes on can: 1931 El Reposo, Austin Creek north of Russian River, Cuerno Creek?, Petaluma Creek, Almaden, Hotel Campground, Swimming at a pretty...
Topics: californialightandsound, home movie
Sierra Club Library
by Townsend, Charles T.
movies
eye 193
favorite 4
comment 0
Additional Description : Note on original can: "Bridge 1937; 1930s (?) G.G. Bridge -- San Francisco shots -- Family shots -- Women in garden.". Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyright status unknown. This work may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, its reproduction may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. This work is accessible for purposes of...
Topics: californialightandsound, home movie
Sierra Club Library
by Richards, Harvey
movies
eye 146
favorite 1
comment 0
Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyright status unknown. This work may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, its reproduction may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. This work is accessible for purposes of education and research. Transmission or reproduction of works protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of...
Topics: californialightandsound, Forests and forestry--United States
Sierra Club Library
by Armstrong, Army (H. K.)
movies
eye 133
favorite 1
comment 0
Description : Home movies of Yosemite and Sierra Club outings. Additional Description : Notes on original containers: Reel 1: "[Satr] Min King, 1936 Reel 2: Lake Mead Apr 15 1939 Reel 3: April 1939, Lake Mead and after Reel 4: Sierra Club July 1-14 1939, Muir Pass, Dusy Falls Reel 5: Sierra Club 7/1/39 to 7/14/39, Hutchinson Meadow, Evolution Falls, Colby Meadow Reel 6: Water views, Min King, July 4, 1954 Note accompanying reels: photographer H.K. "Army" Armstrong. My father,...
Topics: californialightandsound, home movie
Sierra Club Library
movies
eye 125
favorite 5
comment 0
Description : The words are those of Robinson Jeffers, Henry Beston, Marston Bates, Gavin Maxwell, Nancy Newhall who loved this coast. This film shows recreational activities and the natural condition of the California coast in the early 1970s. Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by the Sierra Club. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. In...
Topics: californialightandsound, Water--California
Sierra Club Library
by Richter McBride Productions, Inc.
movies
eye 113
favorite 2
comment 0
Description : Environmental issues related to Central California coastal area and threats to the dunes in the 1970s. Nipomo Dunes are a National Natural Landmark and home to endangered and threatened species of plants and animals. Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Sierra Club Library. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. In addition, the...
Topics: californialightandsound, Environmental protection
Sierra Club Library
by California Department of Fish and Game
movies
eye 113
favorite 1
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Description : The film illustrates how a bountiful wildlife legacy was nearly shattered by the gold rush and the race to develop California's natural resources. Tule elk were nearly extirpated by the gold rush and ensuing race to develop California's natural resources. The film follows the efforts of wildlife managers to bring native tule elk back from near-extinction. 1992 Conservation Education Award by Wildlife Society. Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyright status unknown. This...
Topics: californialightandsound, California wildlife
Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Sierra Club. Copyright Holder has given Institution permission to provide access to the digitized work online. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights,...
Topic: californiarevealed
Sierra Club Library
by Ward, Walter P.
movies
eye 74
favorite 1
comment 0
Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyright status unknown. This work may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, its reproduction may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. This work is accessible for purposes of education and research. Transmission or reproduction of works protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of...
Topics: californialightandsound, Ward, Walter P., Brower, David, California, Eastern, California, Eastern
Sierra Club Library
movies
eye 56
favorite 0
comment 0
Additional Description : May be connected with the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter. Source : 1 Reel of 1: Film: 16mm Rights : Copyright status unknown. This work may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, its reproduction may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. This work is accessible for purposes of education and research. Transmission or reproduction of works...
Topic: californiarevealed
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 12
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the activities of the Sierra Club's second annual Base Camp outing held from July 26-August 9, 1941 at Garnet Lake in what is now the Ansel Adams Wilderness region of Inyo National Forest. It documents the activities of the trip, including 'frequent sessions in botany, geology, glaciology, bird study, astronomy, photography, camping, rock climbing and mountaineering, map reading, and even skiing.' Additionally, over 500 specimens of plants and fossils were...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 121 Pages of 121: Book (8 3/8 x 11 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 10
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Description : This book documents the activities of the Sierra Club's eighth annual Base Camp outings held in 1947 at Big Pine Creek, North Palisade Glacier within the John Muir Wilderness region in the central Sierra Nevada of California. This trip was divided into two sessions, with each group spending two weeks at the Base Camp location; the first camp was from July 20th to August 2nd, and the second from August 3rd to August 16th. The book documents the activities of the campers during both...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 217 Pages of 217: Book (8 3/8 x 10 3/4 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 7
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Description : This book documents the activities of the Sierra Club's first annual Base Camp outing. Held from July 28-August 10, 1940 at East Lake in the eastern High Sierra region of California, this trip provided an opportunity for Sierra Club members to more leisurely explore and enjoy the 'out-of-the-way beauty' of the Sierra Nevada. As the first ever Base Camp trip, the Base Camp Book, 1940 documents the experiences of trip participants, such as exploring new and unmapped lakes, streams,...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 107 Pages of 107: Book (8 3/8 x 11 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 5
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comment 0
Description : This book documents the 1956 Sierra Club Base Camp outings, held in four different locations: Emerald Lake near the San Joaquin River middle fork and Mammoth Lakes in the California Sierra Nevada; Bench Lake in California's Kings Canyon National Park; Glacier Peak in the Pacific Northwest; and the south fork of the Kings River in the California Sierra Nevada. Being the largest Base Camp book in its 16 years of publication, there are numerous articles documenting the experiences of...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 309 Pages of 309: Book (11 x 8 7/16 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 4
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Description : This book documents the 1951 Sierra Club Base Camp outings, held along the Ritter-Minaret Range in California Sierra Nevada. This year marks the extension of the base camp, from two sessions at two weeks each to three sessions at two weeks each. This was the largest Base Camp outing to date, including 48 children in attendance. This book documents the activities, accomplishments, and thoughts of the participants, from poetry and other creative works inspired by the natural...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 290 Pages of 290: Book (10 7/8 x 8 5/16 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 4
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comment 0
Description : This book documents the 1954 Sierra Club Base Camp outings. This year marks the expansion of the Base Camp outings program, with three sessions held in Bear Creek and one in Mt. Whitney / Crabtree Trail, both sites within the California Sierra Nevada. The final session was held in Three Sisters, Oregon, the first Sierra Club Base Camp outing outside of California. The majority of the book focuses on the California Base Camps, highlighting the experiences of participants through...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 228 Pages of 228: Book (10 15/16 x 8 7/16 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 3
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the 1953 Sierra Club Base Camp outings, the largest attended up to this date, with 576 participants over six weeks. This trip was held in Mono Valley along Mill Creek near Mono Lake on the east side of the California Sierra Nevada. The book documents the activities of participants, including a survey of the glaciation of the Mono Creek Watershed; a study of volcanism on the Volcanic Knob Plateau; notes on the 594 species of plants collection for the California...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 384 Pages of 384: Book (11 x 8 3/8 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 2
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the activities of the Sierra Club's 1948 Base Camp outings, held in the basins and glaciated amphitheaters of the Kings-Kern Divide, a 6-mile long ridge that runs east-west connecting the Great Western Divide and the main spine of the Sierra Nevada in California. Unlike Base Camp books previously published, this edition contains a color picture of East Lake, photographed and developed by Dick Kaufmann. Also included are six full page, black and white...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 154 Pages of 154: Book (8 1/2 x 10 7/8 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 2
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Description : This book documents the 1957 Sierra Club Base Camp outings, the last edition edited by Oliver Kehrlein. For this year, the camps are divided into three locations: the Iron Mountain region near Ritter Range in the California Sierra Nevada; Stake Lakes in Kings Canyon National Park, California Sierra Nevada; and the Selkirk Mountain Range bordering Washington and Canada. Of the two California-based camps, much content is included in this book documenting the experiences and...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 292 Pages of 292: Book (10 7/8 x 8 3/8 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 1
favorite 0
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Description : This book documents the activities of the Sierra Club's third annual Base Camp outing held for two weeks in the summer of 1942. Exploring the Great Western Divide in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the trip began in Mineral King with campers later settling in at Little Five Lakes in Sequoia National Park for the duration of the trip. Similarly to the two Base Camp books in prior years, this book documents the activities and findings of participants, including the collecting and...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 176 Pages of 176: Book (7 7/8 x 10 5/8 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 1
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the 1950 Sierra Club Base Camp outings, held at the upper basin of the Middle Fork of Bishop Creek in Inyo Country, California, near the city of Bishop. Like those of past Base Camp trips, this book documents the experiences, scientific gatherings, and recollections of trip participants. It includes 19 black and white photographs of natural scenery, as well as numerous diagrams and hand-drawn maps documenting the camp location and surrounding areas....
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 200 Pages of 200: Book (8 5/8 x 10 7/8 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 1
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the 1949 Sierra Club Base Camp outings, held near the Upper Rock Creek Lakes at the entrance to Miter Basin or Cow Heaven in the California Sierras. The book contains 22 black and white photographs documenting the trip, including images of trip participants and the surrounding natural environment, in addition to drawings, poetry, stories, and theatrical plays, and other creative works inspired by the Base Camp trip. There are also entries highlighting flora and...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 212 Pages of 212: Book (8 5/8 x 10 7/8 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 1
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the activities of the Sierra Club's seventh annual Base Camp outing, held in 1946. Beginning the trip in Rock Creek Basin at the foot of Mt. Abbot and the Bear Creek Spire in California, campers settled into their permanent camp at the Fourth Recess of Mono Creek in the Sierra Nevada. This book documents the activities and findings of the campers, including accounts of day hikes and climbs to neighboring lakes and peaks; botany tours that resulted in the...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 125 Pages of 125: Book (8 3/8 x 10 3/4 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 1
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the 15th annual Sierra Club Base Camp outings. Held in 1955, the trips are broken out into four parts: three base camp sessions in the Minaret region of the California Sierra Nevada, two base camps in the Upper Kern River Basin near Mt. Whitney in the California Sierra Nevada, and one in the Mt. Rainer region of the Pacific Northwest. Like Base Camp books of the past, this one documents the activities of campers, including notes about hikes and climbs, diary...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 282 Pages of 282: Book (11 x 8 7/16 in.)
Sierra Club Library
by Sierra Club
texts
eye 0
favorite 0
comment 0
Description : This book documents the 1952 Sierra Club Base Camp outings, held in Colby Meadows located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Range. This was the largest base camp outing to date, surpassing the previous year, with 367 attendees including 72 children. The book includes more black and white photographs than any other Base Camp book to date as well, with over 50 images illustrating the surrounding environment. Like those before it, this book documents the activities and...
Topics: californiarevealed, Sierra Club
Source: 366 Pages of 366: Book (10 7/8 x 8 1/8 in.)