This project of studying place names was launched as part of the writers' project of W.P.A. and continued under the auspices of the University of California as their contribution to the Centennial. Place names are studied as records of the past, as history and biography, as part of language. This is actually a geographical dictionary of California, with omissions that are of purely local or antiquarian interest, but including folk names, and names important in the history and geography of the state. There's an introduction which briefly outlines the early history, the Indian place names, the coming of the European explorers.