Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Title: Mary Frampton Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0170
    Physical Description: 5.2 Linear Feet (7 Hollinger Boxes, 2 large flat boxes)
    Date (bulk): 1930-2007
    Abstract: Mary Frampton was an award winning photographer who worked for the Los Angeles Times for over thirty years, starting in 1956 as one of the first female staff photographers. Later in life, Frampton became deeply involved with environmental activism in her hometown of Malibu, California, founding the Save Our Coast organization to campaign for environmental causes. This collection contains photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other materials documenting Mary Frampton's personal life, her professional career as a photographer, and her work with Save Our Coast.
    Physical Location: Payson 260 Row 3
    Language of Material: English .

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The collection was transferred to Pepperdine Libraries Special Collections and Archives from Jo Ruggles in 2018, as part of an additional accession to the Malibu Township Council collection. It was discussed with Jo and decided that Mary Frampton's materials should be separated and made into their own collection.


    The Mary Frampton Papers are arranged into three series: 1. Personal Files; 2. Professional Files; 3. Save Our Coast.

    Biographical / Historical

    Mary Frampton was born Mary Nogueras in New York City on September 17, 1930. Her mother, Edith Hethcock Nogueras, was an award-winning sculptor who studied with Gutzon Borglum and designed baby dolls for Horsman Doll Company. Her father, Eugenio Nogueras, was a journalist of Puerto Rican origin. Shortly after Mary's birth, the family moved to San Bernardino, California, where her father became editor of El Sol de San Bernardino, a Spanish-language newspaper.
    Mary Nogueras enjoyed a happy childhood, influenced by her mother's artistic talents and her father's advocacy for racial equality. In 1947, Mary won a national "Quiz Kids" competition for her essay about racial tolerance in America. She was also involved in her school newspaper, yearbook, and journalism clubs, while attending middle school, high school, and San Bernardino Valley Jr College.
    After receiving her associate degree in journalism in 1950, Mary worked as a photojournalist for the local San Bernardino Sun-Telegram. She managed to snag photographs and interviews with several early Hollywood celebrities, including Jerry Lewis, Mitzi Gaynor, and Bob Hope. She sold several of her celebrity photographs to major national magazines, such as LIFE and Photoplay. In 1955, Mary was hired as Assistant Director of Publicity for the newly opened Beverly Hilton Hotel and in 1956, Mary became one of the first female staff photographers at the Los Angeles Times.
    Mary worked for the L.A. Times for over thirty years, earning many accolades and awards for her photography. In 1966, Mary won the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award for Women's Page Photographer of the Year, the first ever given in that category. All of the runners up were men. Mary also met her husband, editor Robert Frampton, while working for the L.A. Times. They married in 1957. Mary's many decades of work for the Times can now be found in the Los Angeles Times Photographs Collection at the UCLA Library.
    Mary retired in the mid-1980s, but she quickly put her journalism skills and connections to good use for her home of Malibu, California, where she'd lived since 1970. Disturbed by the pollution along Malibu's coast, and particularly L.A. County's proposal to build sewers in Malibu, Mary took action and co-founded Save Our Coast in 1987 with activist and Malibu Township Council member Jo Ruggles. Save Our Coast led protests, funded environmental impact reports and scientific research, lobbied Malibu politicians to take action, and raised awareness of environmental issues in local communities. In 1989, Save Our Coast partnered with Shakey's Pizza in a city-wide contest for elementary schools. Hundreds of students submitted posters and essays explaining why every person has a responsibility to care for our oceans. Mary also helped found Malibu Dolphin Watch, which led to Resolution No. 92-88, declaring Malibu a "Human-Dolphin shared environment." She was also passionate in her efforts to create a marine sanctuary off the coast of Malibu. Mary was involved in the campaign for Malibu cityhood, and served on the City of Malibu Celebration Committee in 1991.
    In 1993, the Malibu Times honored Mary Frampton with a Dolphin Award for her work with Save Our Coast, and in 2004, the City of Malibu nominated Mary for L.A. County's Older American Recognition Day. Mary passed away from natural causes in 2007, leaving behind a legacy of unique photography and environmental advocacy.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Mary Frampton Papers, Collection no. 0170, Malibu Historical Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Processing Information

    This collection was arranged and described by Reilly Saint Amand, June 2019.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection contains materials from the life and work of Mary Nogueras Frampton, photographer and Malibu environmental activist. Materials related to Mary's personal life include correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, yearbooks, memorabilia from Mary's travels, items from Mary's memorial service, and items related to Mary's parents and husband. Materials from Mary's professional life include photographs and negatives, press passes, newspaper clippings, awards and honors, and issues of the L.A. Times internal employee newspaper. Materials related to the Save Our Coast organization include posters and artwork, environmental reports, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and official City of Malibu documentation.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright restrictions may apply.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Environmental activism in Los Angeles
    Malibu (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century
    Photography -- Negatives
    Women -- California -- History