The Davidson Library recently acquired the papers of renowned presidential biographer and journalist Lou Cannon.
Cannon, the author of five books about Ronald W. Reagan as well as a work on the Rodney King beating and the 1992 Los Angeles riots, covered politics for the Washington Post for 26 years and is considered the leading authority on Reagan. His papers on Reagan and King contain the primary source material he gathered for his various books.
The Cannon papers – housed in Special Collections at UCSB – offer an insider’s view into these two aspects of history. Detailed guides for researchers will soon accompany the archives, which are already available for historians and the public to browse.
Within the archives, visitors will find a treasure trove of historical information. The Reagan papers include recorded interviews, Cannon’s personal research and White House briefings. For those interested in King, the Rodney King, Los Angeles Riots Collection contains interviews, court documents and files on racism and police brutality. Also on offer is a collection of children’s views of the L.A. riots.
Cannon said he is happy that his papers are now part of UCSB’s library and available for future researchers.
“The Ronald Reagan and the Rodney King archives that are now housed in Special Collections at UC Santa Barbara represent my life’s work, and I’m pleased they’ve found such a good home,” Cannon said in a press release. “All writers stand on the shoulders of others, and I could never have written any of these books without the valuable work of those who came before me. It is my hope that there will be other writers who will do even better work because of the information preserved in these collections.”
University librarian Brenda Johnson noted that this addition will draw researchers to the campus.
“We are so pleased the Cannons chose the UCSB Library to be the home of these important historic papers,” Johnson said in a press release. “Scholars in a wide range of fields, including California and U.S. history, economics, the electoral process, international relations, journalism and the legal system will find these primary source materials highly significant. These papers, like others at the library, are open to all interested users. We welcome everyone to visit and look at these windows on history.”