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About the Site

The California Surf Culture Digital Archive highlights digital objects and oral histories that explore various aspects of California surf culture from the early part of the 20th century to the present day. As part of the Digital Methods in History course (taught by Sean Smith at California State University, Long Beach), students conduct research about California and the importance of surfing and surf culture in the state. Each semester students collect primary sources from across the web, have digitized private collections, and will be ultimately tasked with organizing these digital artifacts into exhibits. Students also blog about their experiences researching their topics, learning about digital humanities and its tools and publishing to the web.

The current state of the archive reflects work from our inaugural course where students learned to set up an Omeka archive, collect the first bit of archival material, digitize it and created meta-data for each digital object. The archive is a work in progress and will grow and mature over the course of the next few semester.

We would like to thank those who have donated objects from their personal collections for digital cataloging, and the surfers who have granted permission to share their stories online. While every attempt has been made to comply with copyright laws, this is a student project and while we've discussed copyright and permissions, my students can be a bit loose in their interpretation of the law. If you see something you object to or believe to be in violation of copyright law, we will gladly remove it.

As academic interest in surfing and surf history grows, its important to highlight the experience of the everyday surfer and their role in the sport. This archive is their story.

For more information about the class, the program, or the site, or if you would like to suggest a related archive or collection, please contact Sean Smith (sean.smith@csulb.edu).