Friday, December 07, 2012

As a Disney historian, what I find to be the most exciting is to stumble upon autobiographies or diaries which have never been released or which I never even knew existed. The Bill Garity diaries, O.B. Johnston's autobiography or Another Book by Don Douglass are a few examples. You can imagine, therefore, how ecstatic I was when I discovered that the key landscape architect of Disneyland, Ruth Shellhorn, had kept a diary and that the diary had been preserved. I had no idea if it would contain anything of interest, but since Ruth had started working with Walt in 1955 just before the opening of Disneyland, I had the feeling that those diaries might be priceless. I also knew that the person who would be most qualified to put them in context is Todd James Pierce.

Todd went to UCLA, got copies of the diaries and has started releasing an utterly fascinating series of articles based on their content. This is clearly one of the Disney history events of the year, so do not miss the first two installments:

Construction Tales at Disneyland - 1955 and The Book of Ruth - Part 1.

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