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Collection Guide
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A guide to the William L. Shelton photograph collection, circa 1888-1920
P00-019 (SAFR 23842)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: William L. Shelton photograph collection
    Date: circa 1888-1920
    Identifier/Call Number: P00-019 (SAFR 23842)
    Collector: Shelton, William L.
    Physical Description: 48 items.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The William L. Shelton photograph collection, circa 1888-1920, (SAFR 23842, P00-019), is comprised of photographs taken by an unknown Vallejo, California, photographer of vessels, damage from the 1906 San Francisco, California, earthquake and fire, and other topics, likely primarily in California. The collection has been processed to the Item level and is open for use.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.

    Access

    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.
    Glass plate negatives may require special handling by the reference staff.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Description Notes: Dates refer to when the original photograph was taken.
    The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P00-019 (SAFR 23842), William L. Shelton photograph collection, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-01471
    SAFR-01471 was donated by William L. Shelton. The collection was formally accessioned in January 2000.
    Shelton acquired the glass plate negatives from an unidentified building in Vallejo, California, in 1955. He worked for the architectural firm Bond & Dougherty who bought the building in the 1940s. It is unclear if the firm purchased the building for use as their business location or for other purposes. A photographer had been based in the building around the turn of the century. When the owners cleaned the building in 1955, they literally threw the photographer's glass plate negatives out the window, causing many to break. Shelton picked up what he could.
    The address of Bond & Dougherty in 1970 was 2118 Sacramento Street, Vallejo, California. There were no people or businesses listed with this address in the 1904 Vallejo City Directory.
    Six photographers are listed in Vallejo in the Kingsbury's 1904-1905 Directory of Vallejo City and Solano County: Edward K. Halverson at 318b Georgia Street; Charles McMillan at 314 Georgia Street (William F. Henry and John D. Richards were photographers who worked with McMillan at this time); John D. Mehrten at 920 Virginia Street; and Frank J. Peabody at 320 Alameda Street.
    Other early Vallejo photographers include: J.C. Parsons (not listed in 1904 Vallejo City Directory), A. J. Perkins (not listed in 1904 Vallejo City Directory), J. G. Smith (there is a James G. Smith listed in 1904 Vallejo City Directory as living at 214 York, but his profession is not listed), and members of the Topley family (Source: Kern, James E. Vallejo. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2004). The photographer of the glass plate negatives in this collection could potentially be one of these men.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    This collection does not include a historical or biographical note.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The William L. Shelton photograph collection, circa 1888-1920, (SAFR 23842, P00-019), is comprised of photographs taken by an unknown Vallejo, California, photographer of vessels, damage from the 1906 San Francisco, California, earthquake and fire, and other topics, likely primarily in California. The collection has been processed to the Item level and is open for use.
    Contains photographs of various vessels, 1906 San Francisco, California, earthquake and fire damage, logging activities, buildings, bridges, recreational scenes and landscapes, circa 1888-1920. There are 48 unique photographic images in 48 physical forms (black-and-white glass plate negatives).
    Vessels include CLAXTON (built 1918; destroyer: U.S. Navy), CORONA (built 1888; passenger vessel), IOWA (built 1896; battleship: U.S. Navy) and VALLEJO (built 1879; paddle ferry). There are also views of destroyed buildings in San Francisco, California, resulting from the 1906 earthquake and fire as well as other various topics. Some locations have been identified as California (Humboldt County, Lompoc, Mare Island, Merazo, San Francisco and Yosemite) and Nevada (Flanigan), while other locations are unidentified.

    Collection Arrangement

    Arranged into one Series with three File Units: File Unit 1: Vessels; File Unit 2: San Francisco, California, scenes; File Unit 3: Other locations.
    The collection's original order is unknown. As stated in the provenance description, the Items were literally thrown out a window and the donor picked up what he could from the street. In September 2013, the processing archivist grouped the photographs together by topic and assigned Item numbers. File Unit 1 contains photographs of vessels in various locations. File Unit 2 includes photographs taken in San Francisco and File Unit 3 consists of photographs taken in locations other than San Francisco and unidentified locations.

    Related Materials

    Researchers should note that there are other books and collections with materials related to the vessels in this collection in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. They can search the Park's web catalog for more information.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Ferries
    Passenger ships
    Schooners
    Indiana Class (Battleships)
    Illinois Class (Battleships)
    Destroyers (Warships)
    Lumber trade--Pacific Coast (U.S.)
    San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906
    Corona (built 1888; passenger vessel)
    Iowa (Battleship)
    Vallejo (built 1879; paddle ferry)
    San Francisco (Calif.)
    Humboldt County (Calif.)
    Mare Island (Calif.)
    Glass negatives