Jim Silverman started this site out of his passion for California history and interest in creatively involving kids with history.
His wife, Vicki Whiting, produces Kid Scoop, a newspaper youth feature and Kid Scoop News, a community kids’ newspaper http://www.kidscoopnews.com. They have two sons. Jim recently retired from Solano County Library to devote himself to this project. He and Vicki live in Sonoma, California with their dog Jacob Junior.
Jim grew up in New Orleans. While in high school, he got involved with Civil Rights activities. At Grinnell College, in Iowa, a friend gave him a children’s book, The Bat Poet, which changed his life path. Jim graduated with the first B.A. in children’s literature in the United States.
Jim and Grandma Book (2006)
Like a folklore character, he wandered for years, in and out of libraries and library schools. At Louisiana State University he compiled a list of children’s books published in the South before the Civil War. After graduation, he moved to a plantation and worked for the state library as the librarian at Angola Prison.
Jim rode the Greyhound to California in 1980 and soon began researching children’s books published in California since 1836. He’s working on a digital exhibition California Fairy Tales from the Gold Rush to Hollywood.
Jim’s interest in the history of children’s books grew into an interest in the history of children, which evolved into a “child-centric” approach to California history workshop that he taught for years through California colleges and universities.
This Week in California History is an experimental, open community of people interested in creatively exploring and celebrating California in and out of classrooms, online and personally. Students, teachers, parents, historians, natives and visitors have a place here.
If you are interested in getting involved, contact Jim@ThisWeekinCaliforniaHistory.com
He sees This Week in California History as the foundation for new projects.