The Archive is the fruit of a collaboration between the University of California, Davis Middle East/South Asia Studies and Yuba City’s Punjabi American Heritage Society.  It is a pleasure to acknowledge the support and encouragement that I have been given over the past year by members of the Punjabi American community, archivists, professional colleagues, friends, and family.

Punjabi American Heritage Society

I am deeply grateful for the partnership of the Punjabi American Heritage Society members, especially Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang, Sarbijit Johl, Kulwant Johl, Davinder Deol, Hitpal Deol, Gurmeet Kaur Sidhu, Gerry Sandhu, and Tejinder Maan.  In Sacramento’s Punjabi American community, I would like to thank Mrs Manjeet Sibia, owner of the Ted Sibia Sikh Pioneer Collection, for her trust.  I also appreciate Dr. Onkar Bindra’s critical help at the outset of the project and Mr. Mohinder Sandhu for his insightful explanations of the beautiful devotional music and Langar Hall at the Sacramento Gurdwara.


I appreciate my colleagues in the UC Davis Middle East/South Asia Studies Program for their support and contributions, namely Smriti Srinivas, Suad Joseph, Sudipta Sen, Baki Tezcan, and Parama Roy. Gurjit Mann of ME/SA, and her husband, Gurdev, provided invaluable help in establishing connections with the Punjabi American community. Neelima Jeyachandran in the Indian Ocean Worlds Initiative provided crucial contacts and content suggestions.  I am indebted to Carl Stahmer, Director of Digital Scholarship in the library, for giving considerable time, expertise and creative problem solving skills throughout the project.  Nancy McTygue, Executive Director of the California Social Sciences/History Project, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the K-12 educational outreach aim of this project.  Charlene Mattison, Assistant Dean of the College of Letters & Science, provided advocacy and encouragement at a critical stage.  Beth Greenwood, Jake Hosier, and Trish Reiff deserve special mention for their support.  I would also like to recognize the thoughtful comments from Harfateh Grewal (UC Davis alumnus), and Gurjot Singh (Student Assistant) and Meera Verma (Student Intern) for their hard work on the project.  At UC Berkeley, I would like to express my appreciation to Scott Saul whose compelling narrative in the Becoming Richard Pryor digital archive inspired the archive design.  In addition, Martin Meeker, Paul Burnett and Shanna Farrell of the Oral History Center offered excellent counsel.


I would like to acknowledge the generous financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Indian Ocean Worlds Initiative; Middle East/South Asia Studies, UC Davis; College of Letters & Science, UC Davis; College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, UC Davis; Dr Beth Greenwood in the UC Davis School of Law; Dr. Jasbir Singh and Mrs Sukhjit Kang; Dr. Paramjit and Mrs Surinder Everest; and Dr. Charles and Dr. Laurie Ryavec.


I wish to thank the individuals, archives, and university libraries that granted permission to include their materials in the Archive, including the Punjabi American Heritage Society; Mrs Manjeet Sibia, owner of the Ted Sibia Sikh Pioneers Collection; Sara Gunasekara at Special Collections, Library, University of California, Davis; California State Library, Sacramento; Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; Jessica Hougen at the Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County; Southern Oregon Historical Society; Yuba City Unified School District; Stockton Sikh Temple; Yuba City Sikh Temple; West Sacramento Sikh Temple; and the Sacramento Valley Charter School.

People Featured in the Archive

I would like to give my profound appreciation to the families who trusted me to preserve and narrate their family histories, including the Everest, Khush, Kang, Singh, Bains, Tumber, Johl, Purewal, Rai, and Sekhon families.

Special Thanks

I am indebted to the Everest family, particularly Professor Hari Singh Everest’s son, Dr. Paramjit Everest, for his trust and for sharing his father’s extraordinary collection of writings, photographs, interviews, and other valuable historical materials with me.  I also want to thank Harpreet Everest for narrating his grandfather’s diaries for the film.  Through the Archive, Hari Singh Everest’s intelligence, passion for social justice, and sense of humor will continue to engage and inspire scholars, the public, and students far into the future.  I profoundly appreciate Professor Gurdev Khush for his generosity of spirit, moral encouragement, integrity, as well as for sharing his time and precious materials.  It is an honor to have met Dr. Khush, let alone collaborate with him on a project.  I am especially grateful to Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang without whose support this project would not exist.  He is an ideal collaborator.  He is incredibly generous with his time and moral support, and he elevated the quality of the project with his insightful, honest feedback at every stage.  Most important, we shared a vision and belief in the importance of this history that gave the project a driving forward momentum.

Finally, I would like to thank my family for their constant support, including my parents, Dr. Charles and Dr. Laurie Ryavec, my brother, Kevin, and my family by marriage, Dr. Sampath and Mrs Anu Ranganath, and Ravi, Tiff and Charlotte “Papu” Ranganath.  Above all, I am grateful to my husband and daughter, Charan and Mira, for their love and patience while I obsessively devoted my passion and energy into this project over the last year.



Curator and Historian: Nicole Ranganath

Site Designer: Bharat Vishvanathan, Southern Design, Bangalore, India

Cinematographer and Editor: Samuel Mark Anderson

Site Developers: Gurjot Singh, Katriona Jackson

Questions or comments? Please write to Dr. Nicole Ranganath at