Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Warren C. Dickerson (1853-1936) Collection, circa 1890-1920
Dates: circa 1890-1920
Collection Number: P-005
Dickerson, Warren C.
Extent: 55.2 linear feet (Boxes: letter, 5x7, 3 ov)
Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, California 90007-4057
Abstract: Warren C. Dickerson was a commercial postcard photographer whose work covers the late nineteenth century through about 1920.
While Dickerson’s work as a whole is inclusive of photographs from throughout the United States, about one-third of the photographs
are of California, which make up this collection. The photographs feature diverse subjects such as architecturally unique
southern California residences, amusement parks, cityscapes and mountain scenes located throughout the counties and cities
of the state.
Language of Material: English
Research is by appointment only.
Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Warren C. Dickerson (1853-1936) Collection, circa 1890-1920. Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History
Museum of Los Angeles County
The Warren C. Dickerson Collection was transferred to the museum in 1934 directly from the photographer. Cataloging was completed
in 1945 when the collection was integrated into the museum’s negative collection.
Very little is known about Warren C. Dickerson, who donated his collection of work to the museum in 1934, two years before
his death. He traveled throughout the United States ranging from New York and Maine to Southern California, selling photographs
to commercial postcard companies. A majority of the Dickerson Collection is contained within the bulk years of 1890-1920,
with work that is illustrative of diverse aspects of the United States during the early twentieth century.
During the winter of 1991, an edition of Terra, produced by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, featured Dickerson’s
work. In a segment titled “Focus on the West”, an image of a new federal building construction site, featuring horse-drawn
wagons in front of a city street background, was taken during late 1906 or early 1907.
Scope and Content of Collection
While Dickerson photographed throughout the United States extensively, about one-third of the donated work is made up of images
from throughout California. The Seaver Center houses Dickerson’s work in its entirety as it was donated. However, the scope
of the Warren C. Dickerson Collection specified within this finding aid includes only work from California in order to fit
with the mission and scope of the repository.
Photographs depict significant landmarks, buildings, or events from eighteen California counties. Dickerson’s dry plate glass
negatives contain a diverse array of locations and subjects, ranging from Yosemite landscapes to Los Angeles seaside amusement
park scenes. The series have been arranged according to county, and further subdivided into subseries by city or locale. For
certain counties, an additional subseries is included to hold photographs that cannot be identified on the city of locale