Worth 10,000 Words

A new exhibit at Shields Library focuses on student photography from The California Aggie over the years.

Generations of student photographers at The California Aggie have captured campus life since UC Davis’ earliest days. Now part of the UC Davis Library’s University Archives, these images are back in the spotlight this winter as the focus of a new library exhibit, on display in the lobby of Shields Library through March 2022. 

An extensive collection of photo negatives, prints and data disks from about 1980 to 2007 were salvaged from the Aggie’s “photo morgue” before the newspaper vacated its old editorial office in the basement of Freeborn Hall. They are now preserved by the library along with the full historical archive of The California Aggie, which was digitized in 2020 thanks to the generous support of Aggie alumni. 

Explore the exhibit celebrating student photojournalism at Shields or on the library’s website, and learn how you can help the library digitize more campus history.


The student folklorico dance troupe, Danzantes del Alma, performed on the Quad for Cultural Celebration Day in May 1997. (Photo by Brian Aalbers)

Ripple Effect

Epitomizing the delicate art of nature photography, this photo of a California newt was taken in 2003 at the Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, one of 34 natural reserves managed by the University of California. (Photo by Krysten Kellum)

Moment of Silence

“The only difference between what’s happening now and what happened 50 years ago is that now we have it on videotape,” said a student quoted in the front-page story that accompanied this 1992 photo. The image captures students protesting the verdict in the Rodney King police brutality trial during “a moment of silence in remembrance for those who have died in the struggle for human rights.” (Photo by Ian Martin)

Organically Grown

A young merchant rests his eyes at a produce stand at the Davis Farmers Market, frequented by locals and students alike. (Photo by Laurie Anderson, 1987)


What slice of life in Davis would be complete without a cow? This 1997 photograph of a cow peering over the herd at the dairy barn is quintessential UC Davis. (Photo by Wayne Tilcock)

Jump Shot

This photo captures the high-flying action during a Division II men’s basketball game against Sacramento State in 1988. (Photo by Mark Washburn)


This photo of a dancer on a pier accompanied an advertisement and article about the Nexus Modern Dance Collective. The Nexus troupe, dating back to 1978, is not officially affiliated with UC Davis, but is largely comprised of UC Davis students. (Photo by Daniel Ng, 1999)


Physicist Stephen Hawking gave a lecture at the Mondavi Center in 2003 on brane theory, which tries to unify quantum mechanics with the theory of relativity. (Photo by Krysten Kallum)

Smile Through the Rain

Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of these models as they showed off student-designed fashions on Picnic Day 2003. The Department of Design fashion show has been a highlight of Picnic Day for decades. (Photo by Aster Tseng)

Fire Line

Youth program firefighters took a well-deserved break as they worked to bring a 35,000-acre wildfire near Lake Berryessa under control in 1988. (Photo by Tom McNeill)

Final Note

Alternative rock group The Flaming Lips performed at the Memorial Union Coffee House, a beloved campus spot for live music, in October 1989. (Photo by Andrea Terrenzio)