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Notable citrus collection takes root at The Claremont Colleges Library

September 28, 2018

Love's Labour's Lost: The hidden cost of bringing paradise to America's kitchen table

The Claremont Colleges Library Special Collections announces the opening of The David Boulé California Orange Collection. Ranging from colorful citrus advertisements to photographs of the farmworkers who harvested the crops, this vital collection covers both the dream and the reality of California through its citrus growing industry.

This collection contains materials relating to the citrus growing industry of Southern California from 1882 to 2016. The majority of these items were created for the marketing and sale of oranges and lemons, including advertisements, recipe booklets, signs and sales guides for vendors, posters, and magazines. Audio and visual materials include sheet music, vinyl records, DVDs, and a large collection of photographs. Notable photographs include rare candid images of laborers of Asian and Mexican descent.

David Boulé, the collector, is a third generation Californian and enthusiastic researcher, archivist, and author.  His vast and varied collection started small with the purchase of two postcards depicting the idealized fields of oranges that were so typical of the California dream’s image. Since then, his collection grew to include hundreds of items  that illuminate the significant labor, enterprise and economic aspects of the California citrus industry.

Boulé has lectured on the impact of California’s King Citrus. His book, The Orange and Dream of California, was published in 2014 by Angel City Press.

Explore the collection at The Claremont Colleges Library this fall by visiting the current exhibit or one of the associated events:

September 10, 2018 – January 25, 2019

Monday-Thursday, 8:00-1:00 a.m.; Friday, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; Sunday, 9:00-1:00 a.m.

North Lobby, The Claremont Colleges Library

The exhibit explores the intriguing, often forgotten story of those who toiled to build California’s citrus empire. The carefully crafted image of California as a place of beauty, abundance and well-being – with the orange as its symbol – was made possible only by a largely invisible work force. Essential, massive, diverse and skilled, these workers propelled the journey of the California orange from seed to table and, in the process, created California’s second gold rush.

Saturday, October 6, 2018 | 4:15-5:30 p.m.

Founders Room, The Claremont Colleges Library

David Boulé will talk about the collection, how it was built, and how he decided to bring these materials to The Claremont Colleges Library. Exhibit tours and a book signing will be offered. RSVP HERE for the Opening Reception.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 | 4:15 -5:30 p.m.

Founders Room, The Claremont Colleges Library.  

Gustavo Arellano, California columnist for the Los Angeles Times opinion page
Daniel Ramírez, Associate Professor of Religion, Claremont Graduate University
José Zapata Calderón, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Chicano/a and Latino/a Studies, Pitzer College

RSVP HERE for the Opening Reception.

For more information or updates, please contact (909) 607-3977 or

More details available on the Special Collections website.