Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- November 25, 2002

Wyman Collection Comes to CSU Bakersfield


Assemblyman Phil Wyman, R-Tehachapi, is donating his collection of legislative records to the Walter Stiern Library at California State University, Bakersfield.

Wyman, whose long legislative service to Kern County ends next week, said the collection of documents is about 80,000 pages. "The collection includes copies of every bill I introduced — the ones that made it and the ones that didn't — plus letters and all my news releases," Wyman said. "It's a complete history of my legislative service. It's a unique collection because no one has donated a complete legislative history to the Stiern Library before."

Wyman said much of the material involves San Joaquin Valley issues. "My hope is that this gift will be the impetus for a Central Valley repository to be venued at the Stiern Library for people to research Central Valley issues," he said. "This collection will be a great resource for research." He said the collection could provide valuable insights into such issues as water, agriculture, oil, air quality, transportation and growth.

Wyman was first elected to the California Assembly in 1978, and represented Kern County in the Assembly until 1992. Wyman was elected to the state Senate in a 1993 special election. He served in the Senate for two years, before losing a close race to Jim Costa in 1994. He then was elected to the Assembly in 2000, and completes his legislative service on Nov. 30.

The outgoing assemblyman credited CSUB Foundation board member Joan Dezember with helping facilitate the donation of his legislative papers to the Stiern Library. He and Dezember discussed in September the possibility of creating an archive of former legislators' files at the Walter Stiern Library. The proposal also interested legislative archivist Ralph Romo who has visited Bakersfield to discuss the project. In October Wyman and Dezember presented the proposal to CSUB President Tomas Arciniega, political science professor Stanley Eugene Clark and CSUB Information Resources Vice President Wendell Barbour, who expressed an immediate interest in the project, and were delighted for the donation.

Wyman has urged former Assemblyman Trice Harvey and former state Sen. Don Rogers to donate their papers to the library for inclusion in the archive. He also intends to encourage Sen.-elect Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, who is moving to the Senate after six years in the Assembly; and outgoing state Sen. Chuck Poochigian, R-Fresno, to donate their collections of legislative papers to the Stiern Library.

He also made an effort to find the late state Sen. Walter Stiern's collection of legislative papers, but found that the papers are scattered in three or four locations, none in the library that is his namesake.

"It is my hope that present and future generations of lawmakers and the public have these relevant historical documents to make sound decisions and policies that affect our great San Joaquin Valley and all if its unique qualities," he said.

Curt Asher, special collections coordinator at the Stiern Library, said the Wyman collection was a windfall for the university. "These records will be of great value for students of local history and public policy," he said. "We're most grateful that Assemblyman Wyman has donated his records to the Stiern Library."

CSUB President Tomas Arciniega also expressed his thanks to Wyman for the donation. "This is a wonderful gift from a man who has served this county long and faithfully," he said. "We're just so pleased that Assemblyman Wyman has made available his legislative work for scholarly research."

Wyman is a Tehachapi native and still makes his home there. A fourth generation Californian, Wyman graduated from the University of California, Davis and received his law degree from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. His family has business and farming ventures in the Tehachapi area.

Wyman's legislative collection is available both in its original paper form and as PDF files on CDs in the library. Wyman used campaign contributions to pay for copying the documents onto the CDs.

For more information about the Wyman legislative collection at the Walter Stiern Library, please call Asher at (661) 664-3251.


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