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Connie Rothstein Collection of California Missions, The Mission Play, and Southern California: Finding Aid
photCL 496  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Connie Rothstein Collection of California Missions, The Mission Play, and Southern California
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1862-2004
    Bulk dates: 1880s-1920s
    Collection Number: photCL 496
    Collector: Rothstein, Connie
    Extent: approximately 1,500 photographs + ephemera and publications, in 37 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: rarebooks@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: A collection of photographs and ephemera of California Missions, collected by Southern California educator Connie Rothstein, with an emphasis on the San Gabriel Mission and the history of the city of San Gabriel, California, and the production of The Mission Play by John Steven McGroarty. The collection also includes late-19th and early-20th century photographs of Los Angeles and Southern California, and postcards and ephemera related to the Southern California region. Notable in the collection are 391 stereographs of missions and Los Angeles, including some by photographers William Godfrey and H. T. Payne, A. C. Varela, and Carleton Watkins.
    Language: English.
    Finding aid last updated on October 31, 2014.


    The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.  

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Connie Rothstein Collection of California Missions, The Mission Play, and Southern California, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Connie Rothstein, 2010.

    Biographical Note

    Connie Rothstein (born 1940) taught elementary through high school and continuation school for 36 years in the San Gabriel School District and was a college instructor for three years at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and California State University, Long Beach. She began collecting historical photographs of missions as teaching materials for her 4th grade pupils, gradually collecting other topics of personal and classroom interest. She built her collection over decades by combing swap meets, flea markets and thrift stores, and acquiring specific items from dealers. Rothstein also devoted her time to civic and community affairs and was sought out for her knowledge of the history of the city of San Gabriel in Los Angeles County.

    Scope and Content

    A collection of photographs and ephemera of California Missions, with an emphasis on the San Gabriel Mission, the history of the city of San Gabriel, and the production of The Mission Play by John Steven McGroarty. The collection also includes late-19th and early-20th century photographs of Los Angeles and Southern California, and postcards and ephemera related to the Southern California region. Notable in the collection are 391 stereographs of missions and Los Angeles, including some by photographers William Godfrey and H. T. Payne, A. C. Varela, and Carleton Watkins.
    All of the California Missions are represented in the collection, plus the “sub-missions” or Asistencias of California. The mission photographs include many unusual views and details, and are a mixture of snapshots made by tourists and commercial photographs.
    There are many views in and around Southern California, most dating from 1880s-1920s, by various photographers. Specific topics emphasized in and around Los Angeles are: Olvera Street, Chinatown, La Fiesta de Los Angeles celebration; and the Mount Lowe Railway. There are many cabinet cards and stereographs, and six large panoramic photographs of the Los Angeles area.
    The ephemera include hundreds of postcards and photographic postcards, scrapbooks, and many small publications on the history of the missions and California, as well as ephemera related to The Mission Play. The Mission Play, first performed in 1912 in Southern California, portrayed the establishment of the California Missions under the leadership of Father Junipero Serra, and the converting of Native Americans into Christianity by Franciscan friars. The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, dedicated in 1927 in San Gabriel, was built to stage the play. There is a binder of programs and ephemera on the play and its various performances, as well as a group of lantern slides and postcards of the play.
    Other topics in the collection are: photographs and ephemera of Monterey, California; Oregon and the Columbia River Highway; and a group of photographs of cowboys and Western culture (mid-20th century).


    The collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:

    Series I. Photographs

    • Prints and Photograph Albums
      • California Missions, Asistencias, and Other Churches
      • Geographic Locations
        • Los Angeles and Southern California
        • Central and Northern California
        • Other United States
      • Other Subjects
        • People
        • Miscellaneous unidentified scenes
        • Colored photographs
        • Cowboys and Western Culture
    • Stereographs
    • Lantern Slides

    Series II. Ephemera, Postcards and Publications

    • California Missions, Asistencias, and Other Churches
    • The Mission Play
    • Geographic Locations
      • Los Angeles and vicinity
      • San Gabriel, City of
      • Other San Gabriel Valley
      • Other California
      • Oregon and Columbia River Highway

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Godfrey, W. M. (William Mollock), 1825-1900.
    Haynes, F. Jay (Frank Jay), 1853-1921.
    Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885 -- Homes and haunts -- Colorado.
    Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885. Ramona.
    McGroarty, John Steven, 1862-1944. Mission Play.
    Serra, Junipero, 1713-1784
    Lugo Adobe (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission La Purísima Concepción (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Antonio de Pala -- Photographs.
    Mission San Carlos Borromeo (Carmel, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Francisco Solano (Sonoma, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Juan Capistrano -- Photographs.
    Mission San Jose (Alameda County, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Miguel Arcangel (San Miguel, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Mission San Rafael Arcangel -- Photographs.
    Mount Lowe Railway -- Photographs.
    Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Mission : Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Pacific Electric Railway Company.
    Plaza Church (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Royal Presidio Chapel (Monterey, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Antonio de Pádua (Mission) -- Photographs.
    San Buenaventura Mission -- Photographs.
    San Diego Mission -- Photographs.
    San Fernando, Rey de España (Mission : San Fernando, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Francisco de Asís Mission (San Francisco, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Juan Bautista (Mission : San Juan Bautista, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Luis Rey Mission (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Santa Barbara Mission -- Photographs.
    Santa Clara Mission -- Photographs.
    Santa Cruz Mission -- Photographs.
    Santa Inés Mission (Solvang Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Stanford University -- History-- Photographs.
    Adobe houses -- Photographs.
    Missions, Spanish -- California -- Photographs.
    Chinese -- California -- Photographs.
    Cowboys -- 20th century -- Photographs.
    Historic sites -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Horsemen and horsewomen -- Photographs.
    Hotels -- California -- Photographs.
    La Fiesta de Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Parades -- California -- Photographs.
    Parks -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Ruins -- Photographs.
    Schools -- California -- Pasadena -- Photographs.
    Schoolchildren -- Photographs.
    Stockyards (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Theater -- California -- History.
    Azusa (Calif.) -- History -- Photographs.
    California, Southern -- History -- 20th century -- Photographs.
    Chinatown (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Colorado -- Photographs.
    Columbia River Highway (Or.) -- Photographs.
    El Camino Real (Calif.) -- History. -- Photographs.
    Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    La Crescenta (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Long Beach (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- History -- Photographs.
    Monterey (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Olvera Street (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Oregon -- Photographs.
    Pasadena (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Portland (Or.)
    Redlands (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Bernardino County (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Gabriel (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Gabriel River Valley (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Juan Bautista (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Marino (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Santa Anita Rancho (Los Angeles County, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Santa Barbara (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Santa Ysabel (San Diego County, Calif.) -- Photographs.


    Lantern slides.
    Photograph albums.
    Sheet music.
    Theater programs.

    Additional Entries

    Bernard, Bruno, photographer
    Bierstadt, Charles, 1819-1903., photographer.
    Blanchard, James B., photographer.
    Bonine, R. (Robert K.), photographer
    Brewster, John Calvin, photographer
    Butterfield, S. H., photographer
    Cochems, Edward W. (Edward William), 1874-1949, photographer
    Curtis, Asahel, 1874-1941, photographer.
    Davis, James M., photographer.
    Ellis, Lemuel S., approximately 1842-1902, photographer.
    Ford, Henry Chapman, 1828-1894, artist.
    Frese, Adolf, photographer
    Gifford, Benjamin A., photographer.
    Godfrey, W. M. (William Mollock), 1825-1900, photographer.
    Golsh, A. C., photographer.
    Hart, Alfred A., 1816-1908, photographer.
    Hazeltine, M. M. (Martin Mason), 1827-1903, photographer.
    Houseworth, Thomas, 1829-1915, photographer.
    Ingersoll, William B. (William Booker), 1834-1905, photographer.
    Ironmonger, Charles, photographer
    Jackson, B. D., 1850 or 1851-1937, photographer.
    Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942, photographer
    Johnson, C. W. J. (Charles Wallace Jacob), 1833-1903, photographer.
    Kilburn, B. W. (Benjamin West), 1827-1909, photographer.
    Lamson, Joseph Harrison, 1840-1902, photographer
    Locke, H. R., photographer
    Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928, lyricist.
    Martin, Frederick W., photographer
    Maude, F. H. (Frederic Hamer), photographer
    McClain, Hubert A., photographer.
    Muybridge, Eadweard, 1830-1904, photographer.
    Parker, F. (Francis), photographer
    Parker, Joseph C. (Joseph Chamberland), 1834-1910, photographer
    Payne, Henry T., approximately 1845- photographer.
    Pierce, C. C. (Charles C.), 1861-1946, photographer
    Pierce, Edward W., photographer.
    Putnam, J. R., photographer
    Rea, William J., photographer.
    Reilly, John James, 1838-1894, photographer.
    Rieder, M., photographer.
    Ritchie, Robert O., photographer
    Roberts, Henry E. (Henry Edmund), 1869-1961, photographer
    Smith, E. F. (Los Angeles, Calif.), photographer
    Snell, E. B., photographer
    Stanton, T. E. (Thomas E.), photographer
    Taber, I. W. (Isaiah West), 1830-1912, photographer.
    Tuttle, W. N., photographer.
    Tyler, O. E., active 1883-1884, photographer.
    Vail, J. G. (Geneva, N.Y.), photographer
    Vale, W. A., 1847-
    Varble, H. A., photographer
    Varela, A. C. (Alexander C.), 1839-1915, photographer
    Waite, C. B. (Charles Betts), 1861-1927, photographer
    Watkins, Carleton E., 1829-1916, photographer
    Weaver, M. F. (Miles F.), 1879-1932, photographer
    Wendt, Julius M., photographer
    Wesner, H. B., photographer
    Westervelt, James D., 1844-, photographer.
    Wyatt, Ralph J., photographer
    Bertrand & Company, photographer
    Black-D Photo Service, photographer
    Bradley & Rulofson, photographer
    California Art Foto Company, photographer.
    California Panorama Company, photographer
    California Stereoscope and View Co., publisher.
    Charles Beseler Co., photographer
    Continent Stereoscopic Company, photographer.
    Cross & Dimmitt, photographer
    Detroit Photographic Co., photographer.
    E. & H.T. Anthony (Firm), photographer.
    Elite Studio (San Diego, Ca.), photographer
    F. H. Rogers & Co., photographer.
    Garden City Photo Co., photographer.
    Graham Photo Co. (Los Angeles, Calif.), photographer
    Griffith & Griffith, photographer.
    H. C. White Co., photographer
    Hardesty & Armstrong, photographer
    Hayward & Muzzall, photographer.
    Inman Company, photographer.
    Jarvis (Firm : Pasadena, Calif.), photographer.
    Kelley & Chadwick, photographer
    Keystone View Company, photographer.
    Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.), photographer
    Mott Studios, photographer
    Palace Studio (Los Angeles, Calif.), photographer
    Payne, Stanton &Co., 1881-1886, photographer
    Prezeau & Tougas, photographer
    Putnam & Valentine, photographer.
    Roberts & Fellows, photographer.
    Sawyer Scenic Photos (Portland, Or.), photographer
    Stagg Photographers (Los Angeles, Calif.), photographer
    Stereo-Travel Co., photographer.
    Strohmeyer & Wyman, photographer
    Underwood & Underwood, photographer.
    Universal Photo Art Co., photographer.
    W.E. Warren, Son & Co., photographer
    W.H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Co., photographer
    Webster & Albee, photographer