Finding aid prepared by Sue Luftschein.
The Huntington Library March 2006
1151 Oxford Road,
San Marino, CA

Overview of the Collection

Repository: The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road,
San Marino, CA
Creator: Prudhomme, Charles J., 1854-1934.
Title: Historical Society of Southern California--Charles Prudhomme Collection of Photographs
Dates: 1870s-1933
Dates: (bulk 1923-1933)
Quantity: 3 boxes, 1.83 linear ft.
Abstract: The collection consists of 249 black and white photographs (some exist in duplicate), 235 negatives, and 1 blueprint that depict sites primarily within Los Angeles and California, as well as people associated with the history of the Los Angeles region.
Collection no: photCL 400 volume 4
Language of Material: English

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles J. Prudhomme (1854-1934) was born in Los Angeles, the son of Leon Victor Prudon (Prudhomme), a transplanted Frenchman, and Mercedes Tapia, a native Californian. Prudhomme’s father played a role in early California history, participating in the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846. Prudhomme was the historian for Ramona Parlor 109, Native Sons of the Golden West, and collected historic relics related to California history.
The Prudhomme Collection comprises one portion of the Historical Society of Southern California (HSSC) Collection, which was donated to the Huntington Library in 1992. The HSSC Collection as a whole contains approximately 15,000 photographs and negatives covering the period circa 1870 to circa 1980, and almost exclusively depicts Southern California. As such, it is an important visual record of the growth and history of the region.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 249 black and white photographs (some exist in duplicate), 235 negatives, and 1 blueprint that depict sites primarily within Los Angeles and California, as well as people associated with the history of the Los Angeles region. Included are images of streets in Central Los Angeles including Olvera Street; Los Angeles parks and squares; adobes and homes in the Los Angeles area; and photographs of members of pioneer families associated with the history of Los Angeles and Southern California. These include Don Juan Bautista Alvarado, members of the Alvarado family, members of the Dominguez family, Senora Luisa Avila de Garfias, Don Juan de la Guerra, members of the Lugo family, Senorita Josephine Ocampo, Eugene R. Plummer and members of the Plummer family, Andrea Alvarado Rowland and Viola Rowland, members of the Sepulveda family, members of the Tapia family, Francisco Viejar, and Maria Ybarra de Lopez.
Some images exist only in negative format; cards indicating this are interfiled within the collection of photographs. Negatives are housed in Box 3.
The bulk of the photographs were taken by Charles J. Prudhomme.


The collection is generally arranged in subject order. The photographs in the first half of the collection are filed by geographic location, with Los Angeles locations first, followed by Los Angeles environs, the remainder of the state, and out of state locations. The second half of the collection consists of portraits; these are filed alphabetically.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.) -- Photographs


Alvarado, Juan Bautista, 1809-1882--Portraits.
Avila de Garfias, Luisa--Portraits.
de la Guerra, Juan--Portraits.
Ocampo, Josephine--Portraits.
Plummer, Eugene R.--Portraits.
Rowland, Andrea Alvarado--Portraits.
Rowland, Viola--Portraits.
Viejar, Francisco--Portraits.
Ybarra de Lopez, Maria--Portraits.

Family Names:

Alvarado family -- Portraits.
Dominguez family -- Portraits.
Lugo family -- Portraits.
Plummer family -- Portraits.
Sepulveda family -- Portraits.
Tapia family -- Portraits.


Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs
La Puente (Calif.) -- Photographs
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Photographs
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- Portraits -- Photographs
Los Nietos (Calif. : Township) -- Photographs
Malibu (Calif.) -- Photographs
San Fernando Valley (Calif.) -- Photographs
Santa Monica Canyon (Los Angeles County, Calif.) -- Photographs
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs


Adobe houses -- California -- Photographs
Historic sites -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs
Parks -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs
Streets -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs

Document Types:


Restrictions on Access

Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

photCL 400 volume 4, Historical Society of Southern California – Charles Prudhomme Collection, 1870s-1933.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Huntington Library by the Historical Society of Southern California, 1992.

Processing Information

The collection was organized, numbered and rehoused by Virginia Neely, August 1998; this finding aid was prepared by Sue Luftschein, February-March 2006.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

Box 3, negatives, is housed in Munger Cold Storage. Permission to view negatives must be made with the Curator of Photographs.


Container List

Box 1, Item 1-85

Central Los Angeles. Commercial streets; Campo de Cahuenga; Chinatown/Sonoratown; Exposition Park; Fort Moore Hill; Hollywood; Olvera Street; Pershing Square; the Plaza; Union Stock Yards; Los Angeles Zoo, undated

Box 1, Item 86-121

Los Angeles environs. La Puente; Los Nietos; Malibu; Placerita Canyon; San Fernando Valley; San Gabriel Mission; Santa Monica Canyon; Watts; Wilmington, undated


[Number 99 rehoused in Box 2 (oversize items).]
Box 1, Item 122-126

California. Carmel; Kern County; San Diego; Santa Barbara; Ventura, undated

Box 1, Item 127-154

Adobes, homes, undated

Box 1, Item 155-162

Out of California. Utah; Mexico, undated

Box 1, Item 163-314

People. Members of Los Angeles and Southern California pioneer families, undated


[Numbers 163, 169, 188, 190, 191, 209, 230, 232, 235, 236, 245, 246, 251-254, 269, 277-279, 291, 295-298 rehoused in Box 2 (oversize items).]