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Dick Yale Papers

Identifier: MS-0541

Scope and Contents

The Dick Yale Papers (1913-2002) includes material related to Dick Yale’s interests in the fine press printing, the history of printing and newspapers, San Diego area history, and Western Americana. The collection consists of a wide variety of materials, including: fine press ephemera, newspapers, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, films, printing artifacts and memorabilia. The collection is organized into five series: Fine Press Printing, Western Americana, San Diego History, Personal Files, Photographs.

The Fine Press Printing (1930-2002), arranged alphabetically, series includes announcements, ephemera, and fine press keepsakes from bibliophilic organizations, such as the Book Club of California, Roxburghe and Zamorano Clubs, and various academic libraries friends groups. This series also includes two undated manuscripts by Dick Yale, “California’s Pioneer Presses from Z to A and B!”, and “History of American Wood Type and its Uses”.

The Western Americana series (1913-2001), arranged alphabetically, includes material related to Yale’s interest in the American West, including files on the Westerners, E Clampus Vitus (the Clampers), and manuscripts of essays and screenplays.

The San Diego History series (1929-2002), arranged alphabetically, includes files and artifacts related Yale’s interest in San Diego area history. The San Diego area newspaper sports writer and Agua Caliente race track publicist Ken Bojens is also represented in this series. The Bojens material includes: correspondence and photographs with J. Edgar Hoover at the Agua Caliente race track, a file on the 50th reunion of San Diego High School’s Class of 1929 (1979), and two 16mm films (Kickin’ It Around and Grunts and Groans) attributed to Bojens.

The Personal Files (1940-2001) documents Yale’s military service during World War II, and inclues personal correspondence, family history, etc. This series follows Yale's arrangement of the files. Also included here is Yale's camera case and camera equipment, ca. 1950s-1960s.

The series of Photographs (1940-1990), arranged alphabetically, includes a large collection of photos of events at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, Yale’s curatorship of the San Diego Union Newspaper Museum, photos of Westerners and E Clampus Vitus member events. Yale’s work as a photographer in the early 1950s is represented by photos of Al Bahr Shriner events and members, photos of professional baseball players from several southern California teams, and photos of Baja California. Also included here are Yale’s photos of the Navy’s Radio and Sound Laboratory on Point Loma during World War II.


  • Creation: 1913-2002
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1970-1990


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Richard B. (Dick) Yale was a historian, publisher, printer, photographer and bibliophile. Yale was born in Waynesfield, Ohio on December 11, 1910. In 1931 Yale married his wife Juanita. During the 1930s Yale was a correspondent for the Associated Press in Ohio. Yale came to San Diego during World War II, where he served with the Navy’s Radio and Sound Lab on Point Loma.  Yale worked as a photographer during the 1940s and early 1950s. He then pursued a career in printing and operated the Yale Printing and Lithograph Co., at 330 “G” Street, during the 1950s-1960s.

From 1967 to his retirement in 1989 Yale was curator of the San Diego Union Newspaper Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (2626 San Diego Avenue). The museum recreated a mid-nineteenth century newspaper pressroom, with working printing presses, cases of letterpress type, and hand-cut wood type. Yale was a colorful character, often dressing in period nineteenth century clothing, and was named the Honorary Mayor of Old Town.

Yale was a bibliophile and member of the Zamorano Club, with a special interest in the history of frontier printing and newspapers in the old west, and wood type. He was a member of several historical associations, including the Westerners (San Diego Corral), E Clampus Vitus (Clampers), Cabrillo Historical Association, First San Diego Courthouses, Inc., and the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Firehouse Museum.

Yale’s wife Juanita died in 1991. Dick Yale died on December 29, 2004 at age 94, at a veterans home in Aurora, Colorado.


10.92 Linear Feet

17 boxes boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

I. Fine Press Printing
II. Western Americana
III. San Diego History
IV. Personal Files
V. Photographs

Source of Acquisition

Richard B. Yale Jr.



Dick Yale Papers
Lucas Buresch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US