Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Digital Collections Highlight Historic Photographs of California

Today the California Historical Society published in its digital library four collections comprising nearly 300 historic photographs showcasing stunning photos of Los Angeles at the turn of the century; Rancho Santa Anita; massive engineering projects throughout California; and volunteers mustering for the Spanish-American War in San Francisco.

These collections are now available for browsing and searching via CHS’s digital library, available at digitallibrary.californiahistoricalsociety.org. Previous collections published in the digital library include photographs of Los Angeles taken by the urban geographer Anton Wagner and a set of rare or unique maps of California.

Fremont Gate, Elysian Park, Los Angeles, Views of Los Angeles, California, PC-GS-Photographers-Los Angeles-Putnam & Valentine, California Historical Society

John R. Putnam and Carlton Valentine (Putnam & Valentine) documented the growth and development of Southern California over a fifty-year period with John R. Putnam primarily handling the photography and C. O. Valentine the business end of the company. These photographs depict landmarks such as Mission Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles, Casa de Rosas, and Elysian Park.

Parkside Transit Co., San Francisco, Chadwick & Sykes photograph albums of contract engineering projects, PC 013, California Historical Society

Chadwick & Sykes (George C. Chadwick and Frank C. Sykes) was a contracting and engineering firm located in San Francisco, circa 1906-1920s. The photographs in this collection document engineering projects such as railroad and highways. Of particular interest are photographs of the Parkside neighborhood of San Francisco.

Group portrait of men under a tree, Rancho Santa Anita, Photographs of Rancho Santa Anita, PC 008, California Historical Society

The unattributed photographs of Rancho Santa Anita (Hollister Ranch) in the San Gabriel Valley depict ranching activities, including men riding horses, roping cattle, and posing for portraits in the Ranchos environs. Also included are photographs of the painting studio of Charles Rollo Peters.

Spanish-American War, California and Oregon volunteer infantries departing to Manila, Burr-Allyne Family Papers and Photographs, MSP 717, California Historical Society.

Alice Burr (1883-1968) was just 15 years old at the start of the Spanish-American War. Her photographs show volunteers mustering at Camp Merritt in San Francisco, men departing San Francisco on troopships, and a Decoration Day parade.


CHS’s digital library and digitization projects are supported by the Hearst Foundations, California State Library, Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation, the Califa Group, Luna Imaging, Steve Silberstein, and David Rumsey. Institutional support is provided by San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Sherwin Williams, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
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