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Guide to the Michael T. Benning photograph collection
MS 45  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Michael T. Benning photograph collection
    Dates: circa 1915-1970
    Collection number: MS 45
    Creator: Benning, Michael T.
    Collection Size: ~20,000 photographs and negatives (3 filing cabinet drawers + 29 boxes + 60 linear feet of artifacts)
    Repository: Center for Sacramento History
    Sacramento, California 95811-0229
    Abstract: The Michael T. Benning Photograph Collection includes over 20,000 portraits of various local clubs; social organizations; sports teams; church events such as Portuguese Holy Ghost festas and Catholic first communions and confirmations; structures such as churches, schools, commercial buildings, hotels, domestic residences, and bridges, as well as some excellent views of street scenes of the City of North Sacramento.
    Physical location: 4D1 Drawers A, J, I, Nitrates freezer, 28A5, 36A1-9, 36B1-10, 31B3
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research use.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH 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 by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Michael T. Benning photograph collection , MS 45, Center for Sacramento History.

    Acquisition Information

    The Michael T. Benning Photograph Collection was donated to the Center for Sacramento History by Mead Kibbey on December 12, 1983 (accession #1983/0232).

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Center for Sacramento History volunteers.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Photographer Michael Thomas Benning (1892-1976) was a commercial photographer who specialized in taking portraits of school children, initially in the Sacramento area and later expanding to other schools in the areas east of Sacramento, both in California and Nevada. He was born on April 17, 1892 in Valchid (German Waldhütten), Romania, a village in central Romania with an ethnic German population. He immigrated to the United States in 1909, living first in Detroit, Michigan, before finally moving to Sacramento, California in the 1920s. In Sacramento he became a naturalized citizen and started his career as a commerical photographer focusing on taking class photographs of school in Sacramento and the surrounding area. Later, as his business flourished, Benning purchased land on the north shore of Lake Tahoe at Kings Beach and operated a resort known as Bennings Resort. He also continued his photographic profession at the resort, where he specialized in images of his and others' resorts, Kings Beach and Lake Tahoe City, early casinos, and scenic images of the lake itself. He continued the practice of doing local Sacramento images during the fall, winter and spring months and then transporting his family and business to Lake Tahoe for the summer until his death in 1979.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Michael T. Benning Photograph Collection includes many portraits of various local clubs; social organizations; sports teams; church events such as Portuguese Holy Ghost festas and Catholic first communions and confirmations; structures such as churches, schools, commercial buildings, hotels, domestic residences, and bridges, as well as some excellent views of street scenes of the City of North Sacramento. Most of the images were identified on the image itself as to subject and date; however, many school groups and portraits of individuals were not and have been grouped at the end of the collection. The collection is organized into nine series: Series 1. Sacramento schools, Series 2. Schools outside of Sacramento, Series 3. Church schools and events, Series 4. Lake Tahoe, Series 5. Commercial photography, Series 6. Organizations, Series 7. Unidentified people and groups, Series 8. Family photographs, Series 9. Artifacts, pamphlets, and correspondence. Sacramento schools, excluding school buildings, arranged alphabetically by the name of the school, and chronologically with each school. Church schools and events, excluding church buildings, arranged alphabetically by name of church or event. This category includes first communions and confirmations. Schools outside of Sacramento are arranged alphabetically by school name. Commercial photography includes local structures and advertising images which Benning did for business firms' advertisments. Organizations are arranged by name (non-school sports and non-school musical organizations are listed in the catagories "Sports teams" and "Bands and Orchestras" respectively).

    Arrangement

    Series 1. Sacramento schools Series 2. Schools outside of Sacramento Series 3. Church schools and events Series 4. Lake Tahoe Series 5. Commercial photography Series 6. Organizations Series 7. Unidentified people and groups Series 8. Family photographs Series 9. Artifacts, pamphlets, and correspondence

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Benning, Michael T.
    Photographers--California--Sacramento
    Sacramento (Calif.). Unified School District
    Sacramento (Calif.)--History--Pictorial works
    School photography
    Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
    Incline Village (Nev.)