Guide to the William Knight Collection

Special Collections & Archives
University Library
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8326
Business Number: 818-677-4594


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Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
Title: William Knight Collection
Creator: Knight, William (1931-2019)
Identifier/Call Number: TBC.WKC
Physical Description: 1.5 linear feet
Physical Description: 5.15 Gigabytes
Date (inclusive): 1950-1984
Abstract: William B. Knight, also known as Bill Knight, was a news photographer and cameraman. Beginning his career at the Los Angeles Mirror, the afternoon counterpart of the Los Angeles Times, Knight worked for the Los Angeles Mirror for almost a decade before moving to television news and becoming a cameraman for KTLA. During his time as a photojournalist, Knight captured a wide range of events, from wildfires to traffic accidents to the stocking of fish in local lakes. This small collection spans the 1950s to 1980s and consists largely of negatives and audiovisual materials.
Language of Material: English.

Biographical / Historical

William B. Knight, or Bill Knight, was born September 3, 1931 in Los Angeles to Bert and Viola Knight. After graduating from Susan Miller Dorsey High School, Knight started working for the Los Angeles Mirror in his early 20s and had an almost decade-long career as an outdoor and general assignment photojournalist. In the early 1960s, Knight made the switch to television news, becoming a cameraman for KTLA News.
Outside of his professional life, Knight was heavily involved with the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles (PPAGLA). During his involvement with the PPAGLA, Knight held various leadership roles. He served as the president of the association three times, first in 1971, then in 1990, and once again in 1991. Additionally, Knight held the positions of Vice President and Director and was an active member of the Board of Directors for many years, contributing significantly to the promotion of photojournalism in the Greater Los Angeles area. In recognition of his work, Knight received the annual TV Spot News Award from the PPAGLA on several occasions.
Knight was an avid outdoorsman, spending his leisure time hunting and fishing. When he retired, Knight established the Bill Knight Endowment at the PPAGLA, which funds the Video Spot News award. On January 17, 2019, William B. Knight died at 87 years of age.

Scope and Contents

The William B. Knight Collection consists of images of wildlife and events across Southern California as well as footage of news stories in Los Angeles. Much of Knight's photography found in this collection created during his tenure at the Los Angeles Mirror focused on wildlife, including 400 negatives of hunting and fishing alone, because he was the Outdoors Photographer for the newspaper. There are approximately 1,800 images in this collection.
Series I Los Angeles Mirror News features Knight's professional news photography for the Los Angeles Mirror, much of which spans the years 1951 and 1963 and covers a wide range of topics, such as wildfires, traffic accidents, hunting, and fishing. Notable figures featured in his photos include Leo Durocher, Liz Renay, and Carlton Young. This series consists of negatives, clippings, and realia.
Series II KTLA and Television News features Knight's television news footage from his time at KTLA News, such as the 1976 Nash Flagship Department Store fire, footage from the Watts Rebellion, an Iranian riot, and the 1974 SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army) Shootout. This series consists of 16mm film and a videocassette.
Series III Personal features some of Knight's personal photography, such as his family life. This series consists of negatives.
Collection folders are arranged alphabetically by title.


Series I: Los Angeles Mirror News, 1953-1963
Series II: KTLA and Television News, ca. 1965-ca. 1984
Series III: Personal, 1950-1962

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Chris Knight, 2019

Preferred Citation

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Processing Information

Prach Prasertwit, 2023

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Audiovisual materials


Series I: Los Angeles Mirror News, 1953-1961

Box 1, Folder 1

Al Zapanta Office, 1959 November

Box 1, Folder 2

Attack on Knight in Hall of Justice, 1958 December

Box 1, Folder 3

B-52 Plane Circles the Globe in Record Time, 1957 January 18

Box 1, Folder 4

Baby Beauty Contest, 1959

Box 1, Folder 5

Backcountry, 1958-1961

Box 1, Folder 6

Bahia Palmas Artist Sketch, 1960 March 10

Box 1, Folder 7

Blind Children, Chavez Ravine, Gals from Gay, circa 1956-1961

Box 1, Folder 8

Boats, 1957-1959

Box 1, Folder 9

Bucking Bronk Feature, 1961

Box 1, Folder 10

Cahuenga Pass Hit and Run, Laurel Canyon Fire, 1958-1959

Box 1, Folder 11

Carlton Young After 3rd and Orlando Traffic Accident, 1961 May 1

Box 1, Folder 12

Chris Neventa Carrying Cross, Legs, 1958 Trailer Show, West Virginia Basketball, 1955-1961

Box 1, Folder 13

Circus Visits Town, undated

Box 1, Folder 14

Chuck Nace Fishing Hot Creek, undated

Box 1, Folder 15

Commercial and Art Photography, undated

Box 1, Folder 16

Corral Canyon Fire, Downtown Flood, Riverside Race, 1958-1959

Box 1, Folder 17

Daring Fire Fighters, 1956 December 27

Box 1, Folder 18

Doctors in Operating Room, Union and 8th Street Fire, Fire Hydrant Spraying Phone Booth, 1951-1961

Box 1, Folder 19

Dogs, 1958-1960

Box 1, Folder 20

Downtown L.A. [Los Angeles] Fire, circa 1955

Box 1, Folder 21

Durrwood Pack Station Promotion, Mecca Café Bombing, Lightning Storm, 1957-1958

Box 1, Folder 22

Elsa Stone and Basket, Pan-America Exhibit, Girl Caroling, undated

Box 1, Folder 23

Fish and Game, Hatcheries, Programs, Wardens, 1959-1959

Box 1, Folder 24

Fishing, Deep Sea, 1960-1961

Box 1, Folder 25

Fishing, Freshwater, 1955-1961

Box 1, Folder 26

Fishing, Freshwater, 1955-1961

Box 1, Folder 27

Fishing, Freshwater, Crowley Lake Opener, 1955-1960

Box 1, Folder 28

Fishing, Gulf of California, 1959-1960

Box 1, Folder 29

Fishing, Ocean and Surf, 1957-1959

Box 2, Folder 1

Gals, Sherri Elisson, Polly Niemiec, Sandy Broomfield, 1957-1959

Box 2, Folder 2

Gas Explosion, Van Ness and Franklin [Ave.], 1953 October

Box 2, Folder 3

Ginger Dubberly and Dodgers, 1957

Box 2, Folder 4

Girl and Her Dog, Cathie and Duke, 1957 November

Box 2, Folder 5

Governor of Baja California, 1960 April

Box 2, Folder 6

Highway Overpass, undated

Box 2, Folder 7

Hoover Dam, undated

Box 2, Folder 8

Horses, undated

Box 2, Folder 9

Hunting, Deer, 1961

Box 2, Folder 10

Hunting, Ducks, 1956-1961

Box 2, Folder 11

Hunting, Ducks, 1956-1961

Box 2, Folder 13

Hunting, Pheasant, 1956-1961

Box 2, Folder 12

Hunting, Pigeon, 1957-1961

Box 2, Folder 15

Hunting, Quail, 1955-1958

Box 2, Folder 14

Hunting, Sage Hen, 1959

Box 2, Folder 16

Ivanhoe Back to School, W.B. Knight Co. New Building, 1955-1961

Box 2, Folder 17

Japanese Fishing Birds, 1963

Box 2, Folder 18

Kagel Canyon Fire, 1961 November

Box 2, Folder 19

Las Vegas, Nevada, undated

Box 2, Folder 20

Laurel Canyon Fire, 1958

Box 2, Folder 21

Leo Durocher Helping His Son's Little League Team, 1957 May 5

Box 2, Folder 22

Little Girl in Federal Building, Malibu Canyon Fire, Christmas Road Block, 1956-1959

Box 2, Folder 23

Liz Renay [Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins], 1960 June 6

Box 2, Folder 24

Lupi Saldina Above Whitney Hatchery, circa 1955

Box 2, Folder 25

Melrose Traffic [Accident], circa 1957-1960

Box 4

"Mirror Foto By Bill Knight Staff Photographer" Stamp, undated

Box 2, Folder 26

Newspaper Clippings and Notes, 1957-1960

Box 2, Folder 27

Owl, undated

Box 2, Folder 28

Packtrips, circa 1957-1959

Box 2, Folder 29

Pheasant Sequence, Bowling Sequence, [and News Room], undated

Box 2, Folder 30

Portraits and IDs, circa 1958

Box 2, Folder 31

Reno, Nevada, undated

Box 2, Folder 32

Scenics, 1956-1958

Box 2, Folder 33

Shine Boy Feature, 1960

Box 2, Folder 34

Sports, undated

Box 2, Folder 35

Sportsman Shows, 1957-1960

Box 2, Folder 36

Stevenson Ralley Democratic Convention, Bird Chased Out of Poultry Market, 1960-1961

Box 2, Folder 37

Sunset and Highland Car Accident, undated

Box 2, Folder 38

Swimming Baby Jamie 4 Months Old, and Mother, Barbara Kalawala, 1958 July 7

Box 2, Folder 39

Traffic Accidents, undated

Box 2, Folder 40

Trinity River Tent, Casey Stengel, Pigs at the County Fair, Russ Morgan, 1961

Box 2, Folder 41

W. Bill Knight Co. New Office, undated

Box 2, Folder 42

Wells Fargo and Company Express Building, undated

Box 2, Folder 43

Whiskey Flat Days, undated

Box 2, Folder 44

Wonderland Ave Suicide, 1953 December


Series II: KTLA and Television News, ca. 1965-ca. 1984

Digital Folder

Brush Fire, [Watts] Riots, Ladder Fall, and Duck Hunt, ca. 1965 -ca. 1979

Digital Folder

Iranian Riot, ca. 1979-ca. 1981

Digital Folder

Nash [Department Store] Fire, 1976

Digital Folder

SLA Shootout [House Raid, 10th Anniversary], ca. 1984

Digital Folder

SLA Story [House Raid], 1974 May 17

Digital Folder

Vets Day, BLAH, undated


Series III: Personal, 1950-1962

Box 3, Folder 1

1st Year in Encino Home, undated

Box 3, Folder 2

Ann's Wedding, undated

Box 3, Folder 3

Backcountry Scenics, Ghost Towns, circa 1950

Box 3, Folder 4

Betti Johnson and Newborn, Lee Vining, undated

Box 3, Folder 5

Boy Playing in the Yard, undated

Box 3, Folder 6

Bradley Christmas, 1962

Box 3, Folder 7

Couples, undated

Box 3, Folder 8

Dog, undated

Box 3, Folder 9

Gals, undated

Box 3, Folder 10

Gals, Quail Hunting Beauty, undated

Box 3, Folder 11

Kittens, undated

Box 3, Folder 12

Knight Sleeping, Ann's Pre-Wedding Family Dinner, undated

Box 3, Folder 13

Lupi and Family at Convict Lake, 1957

Box 3, Folder 14

McKenney Baby Few Months Old, undated

Box 3, Folder 15

Mexico, Los Mochis, undated

Box 3, Folder 16

Personal [Nudes], undated

Box 3, Folder 17

William B. Knight as a Child, undated