Gaye LeBaron, local history columnist for The Press Democrat newspaper (Santa Rosa, California), semi-retired in January 2001. A well-loved and respected community voice, she has written over 8,200 columns in her fifty years with the newspaper. Chronicling the history and local issues of California’s North Coast region, each column demonstrates her extraordinary skills as a journalist, historian, and storyteller.
To preserve and share decades' worth of research notes and primary source materials, Gaye LeBaron donated her collection of papers to the University Library for public access and safekeeping. Working closely with her, the Library inventoried and organized her collection for use by the university community and the public. Digital access to portions of the Gaye LeBaron Collection is now possible.
The Gaye LeBaron Collection is comprised of over 700 file folders with the original subject headings assigned by the columnist. Each folder contains research material gathered by Gaye LeBaron to fuel her well-conceived columns. Research notes, correspondence, memoirs, unpublished documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera are some of the items found in these folders.
The pre-processed collection arrived in banker boxes with a physical footprint of 25 linear feet. An inventory revealed a total document count of over 10,000. The collection is now stored according to archival standards.
Today, Gaye LeBaron continues to expand the regional knowledge base through her teaching, writing, and community involvement. She remains a senior columnist for The Press Democrat.