Color Drawing of Citrus Experiment Station
September 23, 2016

UCR Library will open a new exhibition on Monday, Oct. 24, titled, “Orange Roots: The Remarkable Story of Two Trees, a Pioneer Town, and the University of California, Riverside.”

The exhibition will be located at the Tomás Rivera Library, and will be on display through June 2017.

A welcome reception in honor of the exhibition’s opening will be held on Thursday Nov. 10 at the Tomás Rivera Library, from 2-4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The reception will include a talk by Susan Straight, professor of creative writing at UCR, and a citrus-tasting station where guests can sample different varieties of citrus fruits. The citrus-tasting station will be organized by Tracy Kahn, UCR’s Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection Endowed Chair. Free parking will be available - those interested in attending should email Carole Meyer-Reith at

“‘Orange Roots’ brings to life the exciting history of Riverside, and how the Washington Navel orange tree revolutionized citrus,” states Krista Ivy, UC Riverside librarian and curator of the exhibit.

The “Orange Roots” exhibition will showcase the remarkable history of Riverside’s citrus heritage. It will feature photographs, historical documents, and ephemera from the UCR Library Special Collections & University Archives, the UCR Citrus Variety Collection, the UCR Department of Biological Sciences, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, and the Riverside Public Library.

“Orange Roots” will present the rich tale of Riverside’s citrus heritage from its early pioneer days, to the establishment of UCR.

“Notable pioneers such as Eliza Tibbets and Matthew Gage, along with the labor and expertise of various immigrant groups and Native Americans, launched Riverside into the national spotlight in the late 19th Century,” Ivy explains.  They helped to transform the dry landscape of Riverside into lush citrus groves. “Riverside’s international role and importance in citriculture would continue to grow with the establishment of the Citrus Experiment Station and later the University of California, Riverside.”