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College History

A brief history of Contra Costa College

Back in the Day


Contra Costa Community College District was established on December 14, 1948, with boundaries nearly identical to those of Contra Costa County. There are three colleges in the district: Contra Costa College (San Pablo), Los Medanos College (Pittsburgh), and Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill).

Contra Costa College was the first of the three colleges in the district to be established. Originally named Contra Costa Junior College, West Campus, it began in 1949 at the old Kaiser Shipyards in Point Richmond. The first classes started February 14, 1950, with a beginning enrollment of 500 students. In 1956, the college moved to its present location, an 83-acre site in the rolling hills overlooking San Pablo Bay.

The College Archives, located in the Library, maintains a record of the past and current history of our college. The archival collections include the college catalogs and course schedules, yearbooks, photographs, student publications, college newsletters,  and a clipping file of articles about the college from local newspapers.

These collections are open, by appointment, to anyone who is interested in researching the history and development of the college. Researchers may make an appointment to use the archives during the library’s regular weekday hours by contacting the Library Reference Desk.

Some archived items, such as college catalogs and course schedules, are listed in the Library’s online catalog. Printed indexes to the student newspapers (up through 1974 at this time) are available in the Library’s Reference area.

Discover more about CCC’s history by taking the History Tour and viewing the collection of digital photographs.

Interviews with some of CCC’s first students are contained in a video segment created by the AUP Digital Technology Academy’s “An Exploration of Our History: West Contra Costa College,” produced and directed by Doug Harris.

College Archives | History Tour

Historical Photographs 1948-1999

Our photography collection includes both print and digitized images. Many of them are official photographs (taken by college or district photographers for specific publications), but others were taken by faculty or staff at informal gatherings. All of them document the life of Contra Costa College and its community.

The photographs used in this web site came from the Archive’s collection of “loose” photographs, as well as from yearbooks, college catalogs, course schedules and other publications.  A chronological list of these pictures follows:

Text/photographs courtesy of the College Archives, The Advocate, and the Graphics Department.  Archive created by college librarian Ellen Geringer.

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