Gaye LeBaron is the recently retired local history columnist for the Santa Rosa (California) Press Democrat. A well-loved and respected community voice, she has written over 8,000 columns in her more than 60 years with the newspaper. Each column, chronicling the history and local issues of California’s North Bay region, demonstrates her extraordinary skills as a journalist and historian.
To preserve and share decades' worth of research notes and primary source materials, Gaye LeBaron donated her collection of papers to the University Library’s Special Collections in 2001 for public access and preservation.
The Gaye LeBaron Collection houses over 750 file folders with original subject headings assigned by the columnist. The folders include research notes, correspondence, memoirs, unpublished documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera.
The collection currently comprises 60 linear feet and a total document count of over 12,000. Some of these materials are now available in digital format in the Gaye LeBaron Digital Collection.
Today, Gaye LeBaron continues to expand the North Bay’s knowledge base through her teaching, writing, and community involvement. She retired in early 2022 as a senior columnist for The Press Democrat newspaper, and her research materials continue to be added to the collection. She is the author of the book, The Wonder Seekers of Fountaingrove, published in 2018, as well as two frequently reprinted books on the history of Santa Rosa.
The research material in the collection is available to view by appointment.