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29 August 2018

CGS Library Collections: Arizona

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also listed in WorldCat.

A beautiful portrait and signature from
Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona
The CGS library has a nice collection of books about Arizona. The first to catch my eye was Portrait and Biographical Record of ARIZONA Commemorating the Achievements of Citizens who Have Contributed To the Progress of Arizona and the Development of its Resources, published by Chapman Publishing in 1901. The bookplate on our copy says that CGS purchased the book in 1957. The three-inch-thick tome with gold gilding on the page edges is very enticing. The first 900-plus pages contain biographies of prominent Arizonans, many accompanied by a high-quality photograph and signature of the featured person. Brief histories of the state and each of its counties make up the remainder of the book.

Our collection includes three volumes of Arizona Territorial Marriages, organized by county. These were published by the Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board between 1999 and 2001.
This 3-volume set is packed with facts
A small, green fabric-covered book titled The Peralta Grant intrigued me because of Oakland’s connection with Antonio Peralta – might there be a connection? No... it turns out this "Peralta Grant" was part of an attempted land grab by notorious 19th-century fraudster James Reavis. Written by Donald M. Powell in 1960, the book states in a foreword, “Nearly everyone in the Southwest has heard of the Peralta Grant and of the Baron of Arizona, James Addison Reavis, but very few have any accurate knowledge of the story…. Legends about the Peralta Grant range from the preposterous yarn that Mrs. Reavis was a slave on the John Slaughter ranch to the seemingly plausible tale that Reavis lived in Arizona in regal elegance…” This book claims to explain the truth of this tale and is embellished with several nice sketches.
Illustration from The Peralta Grant

Barbara Baldwin Salyer and Jean Powell Banowit are the authors of Arizona Genealogical and Historical Research Guide: Early Sources of Southern Arizona Including Cochise, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties, written by and published by the Arizona State Genealogical Society in 2006. This well-illustrated sourcebook covers background information on the state, communities, and towns. It has a long section on types of records and has information about where to find county, state and national repositories for further information.

A cemetery angel pictured in the ASGS newsletter
Our Arizona collection includes two boxes of the Arizona State Genealogical Society's newsletter Copper Filings, from 1986 to February 2008. That last edition includes "A Short Burial History" about Tucson cemeteries. It lists the types of materials used for headstones, explains abbreviations used on headstones, covers cemetery angels and has several nice black and white photos.

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