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California Counties Photography collection,

Identifier: PC-CO: Box [number]
Contains photographs and postcards depicting views of specific locations, structures, people, events, and general subjects relating to many cities and towns, and every county in California except San Francisco which is collected separately. Each listing represents a file containing from one to more than fifty images. Some files may include a small number of non-photographic reproductions and prints.

Includes general views of cities and towns (Sacramento, Sonora, Los Angeles, etc.) and historic communities located therein (Chinese fishing village in Monterey, etc.). General files under counties contain scenes of unincorporated areas or places that are identified only by the county. Includes images of types of establishments (Stanford University libraries, etc.), specific buildings and structures (Hearst Mining Building, University of California, Berkeley or Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, etc.), as well as photographs of well known events such as fires or earthquakes (Santa Rosa or San Jose, 1906, etc.) and local celebrations, fairs and parades, etc. (Vallejo's 1893 Veteran Volunteer Fire Department Parade, etc.). Images included here complement those found under topics listed in the General Subjects Photography Collection.


  • circa 1850-1980
  • Majority of material found within 1870-1970

Language of Materials



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of Library and Archives. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes. Responsibility for any use, including copying, transmitting, or making any other use of protected images, rests exclusively with the user. Upon request, digitized works can be removed from public view if there are rights issues that need to be resolved.


650 Linear Feet (108 boxes, 16 oversize boxes)


Contains photographs and postcards depicting views of specific locations, structures, people, events, and general subjects relating to cities and towns in every county of California from the 1850s to the 1980s except for San Francisco, which is collected separately.


Arranged alphabetically: first by county, then city, and lastly by subject, where applicable.

Physical Location

Collection is stored onsite.

Processing Information

Originally processed and described by Trina Lopez, Wendy Welker, Brenda Baldwin, and Mary Moranti in September 2003. The collection was reprocessed and the finding aid revised in September 2017 by Jaime Henderson.
Guide to the California Counties Photography Collection
Trina Lopez, Wendy Welker, Brenda Baldwin, and Mary Morganti.
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017 September: Finding aid revised by Jaime Henderson, September 2017

Repository Details

Part of the California Historical Society Repository

678 Mission Street
San Francisco CA 94105