Don Meacham photograph collection, 1934-1985

Processed by Sonoma County Library staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Geoffrey Skinner.
Published by the Sonoma County Library
Published Dec. 20, 2019
Sonoma County Library
6135 State Farm Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: 707 545-0831

Don Meacham photograph collection, 19345-1985

Sonoma County Library

Overview of the Collection

Creator, compiler: Meacham, Don
Title: Don Meacham photograph collection,
Date (inclusive): 1934-1985
Identification: SPC.00012
Physical Description: approximately 96 linear feet 1 box + approximately 5600 sheets
Language of Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library, Sonoma County Library
Abstract: This collection contains prints, negatives and published examples of commercial work illustrated by Santa Rosa Press Democrat and commercial photographer, Don Meacham. The majority of the collection is comprised by photographic negatives and prints produced throughout his career. The commercial works that comprises the remainder of he collection are a set of pamphlets, folders, reports, etc. containing a variety of Meacham's photographs.

Biography/Organization History

Don Meacham (May 30, 1916-Feb. 28, 2010) was born in Cowell, Contra Costa County in 1916. He lived most of his life in Sonoma County where he retired as freelance commercial photographer after 50 years in the profession. He worked as a photographer in the Navy during WWII; was the flagship photographer on the U.S.S. Augusta during the North African invasion; and was Chief Photographer of the Naval Air Station in Santa Rosa until the war ended. Meacham was a charter member and chairman of the Santa Rosa Civic Art Commission and was instrumental in establishing Arttrium, the county's first visual and performing arts festival.

Scope and Contents

Photographs taken by Don Meacham.

Arrangement of the collection

Organized into two series:
  1. Photographic negatives and prints, 1934-1985
  2. Examples of photographs included in commercially published pamphlets, folders, reports, 1965-1980
Photographs (Series 1) were originally assigned accession numbers in the general Sonoma County Library Photograph Collection sequence and prints are interfiled with the remainder of the Photograph Collection; commercial works (Series 2) are numbered within the series as received from donor, Sonoma County Historical Society.

Access Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection.

Geographic Terms

Sonoma County (Calif.)--Photographs
Santa Rosa (Calif.)--Photographs

Topical Terms

Advertising--California--Sonoma County
Business communication--California--Sonoma County
Business enterprises--California--Sonoma County--Photographs

Genre and Format Terms

Commercial photographs
Archival materials

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Conditions Governing Access:

Access Information

This collection is fully processed. Most of the photographs and printed examples of commercial works are available online through Sonoma County Digital Collections. Please contact the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library for access to originals; for contact info and current hours, see

Conditions of Use

Collection does not circulate and may be photocopied or photographed by arrangement only.

Publication Rights

Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Tom Heuser. Copyright Holder has given Sonoma County Library permission to provide access to the digitized work online. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the Copyright Holder. In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. Consult with the Library for copyright holder contact information:
[Identification of item], Don Meacham photograph collection, 1934-1985. SPC.00012, History and Genealogy Library, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA.
(Series 1) Gift: Don Meacham, Before 1996
(Series 2) Gift: Sonoma County Historical Society, 2011?

Custodial History

Don Meacham donated the photographs and negatives directly to the Sonoma County Library when he retired; he donated the commercial example print collection to the Sonoma County Historical Society, per the included (undated) note, for the purpose of filling in "some empty spaces in your ongoing search for history".


SCL Special Collections Control Number: SPC.00012.01
Series 1. Photographic prints and negatives 1934-1985

Physical Description:
Extent: approximately 5,700 photographic prints and 5,200 photographic negatives
Arranged by Sonoma County Library Photograph Collection accession number

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SPC.00012.02
Series 2. Examples of photographs included in commercially published pamphlets, folders, reports, 1965-1980

Physical Description:
Extent: 55 items (1 box)
Arranged as received from Sonoma County Historical Society

Scope and Contents

Materials published by National Controls, Inc., Speedsace, MGM Brakes, and other businesses. Includes handwritten notes from Don Meacham