Book Publication: Seeds of Something Different: An Oral History of the University of California Santa Cruz

Irene H Reti Contribution

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings from the Regional History Project at UC Santa Cruz. Sending wishes for all of us to stay healthy and resilient in this overwhelming historical moment. 

For the past five years I have been working with a team of editor oral historians toward the publication of Seeds of Something Different, an illustrated oral history book that weaves together oral history excerpts documenting the campus’s evolution, from the origins of an audacious experimental dream of a different kind of public higher education through the sea changes of five decades. 

Little did we know that we would publish this book just as the COVID-19 pandemic began.  SEEDS has become a bright spot in a very difficult time. We have been deeply touched  by community response to what one of our readers called "the long view in the face of an insistent present." Our local independent bookstore, Bookshop Santa Cruz, has been making the book available online even though they have been forced to close to in-person traffic.

More than 200 narrators contribute to this two-volume collective chronicle, edited by oral historians Irene Reti, Cameron Vanderscoff, and Sarah Rabkin. The book draws on the Library Regional History Project’s extensive archive of oral history interviews with students, staff, faculty, community members, and campus leaders. We also have a supplemental website, slideshow, and other resources. For more information see:


SEEDS is also a beautiful four-color 8x10 book, printed on high-quality paper in two volumes (925 pages total) with a cover photo by Ansel Adams and over 250 other archival photographs. We are very proud of it and after just a few weeks since the book's release, we are already preparing for a second printing!

For more information feel free to contact me.

Irene Reti

Director, Regional History Project

Special Collections and Archives, UCSC Library

ihreti@ucsc edu or 831-345-1003