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Carleton E. Watkins Mammoth Plate Photographs of Yosemite, New Almaden Mine and the Mendocino Coast, California: Finding Aid
379010  
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Collection Contents

 

[Vol. 1] Yo-semite Valley / Photographic Views of the Falls and Valley of Yo-semite in Mariposa County, California, [negatives 1861]

Creator: Carleton E. Watkins, photographer
Physical Description: (Disbound) title page, dedication page, and 30 photographs (Vol. 1, plates 1 - 30).

Scope and Content Note

Watkins made these photographs in Yosemite in 1861, with a camera he made himself to hold glass plate negatives measuring 18 x 22 inches, which was the largest size ever used at that time. The photographs are scenic landscape views of Yosemite Valley, including rivers, waterfalls, massive granite cliffs and boulders, and giant sequoia trees in the Mariposa Grove. One view depicts naturalist Galen Clark (1814-1910) standing in front of the ancient sequoia called Grizzly Giant.
Note on contents list:
All titles are transcribed from the item. Watkins’ numbers and dates of photographs are from the catalog raisonné by Weston Naef and Christine Hult-Lewis, Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum), 2011.(Cited below as Naef.)
Box 1

Volume 1 -- Original album covers and end pages

 

Physical Description: This box contains only the original leather covers and end pages of volume 1. Note that for this volume only, boards were adhered to the covers to form a portfolio box by Huntington Library conservators, approximately 1970s.
Box 2

Volume 1 -- Title and dedication pages; Plates 1-9

Vol. 1, Leaf 1

Title page in decorative calligraphy reading: Yo-semite Valley / Photographic Views of the Falls and Valley of Yo-semite in Mariposa County, California / Executed by C. E. Watkins of San Francisco / San Francisco, California / 1863

Note

Written below title: "Executed by Fulgenzio Seregni, Professor of Penmanship and Drawing / No. 606 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California." Includes the state seal of California.
Vol. 1, Leaf 2

Dedication page reading: "To Ernest Frignet / His California Friends / April 1864"

Vol. 1, Plate 1

View on the Merced [1861]

Watkins no. 41. Image size: 15 3/8 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 146.
Vol. 1, Plate 2

The Lake [1861]

Watkins no. 72. Image size: 15 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 232.
Vol. 1, Plate 3

Cathedral Rock [1861]

Watkins no. 20. Image size: 16 1/4 x 20 1/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 155.
Vol. 1, Plate 4

Yo Semite Fall (Lower view) 2630 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 49. Image size: 15 5/8 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 194.
Vol. 1, Plate 5

Camp Grove [1861]

Watkins no. 45. Image size: 15 5/8 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 211.
Vol. 1, Plate 6

The Three Brothers 4480 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 27. Image size: 15 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 168.
Vol. 1, Plate 7

River View Cathedral Rock [1861]

Watkins no. 31. Image size: 15 3/4 x 20 7/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 152.
Vol. 1, Plate 8

Yo Semite Falls (Upper View) [1861]

Watkins no. 53. Image size: 16 1/4 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 196.
Vol. 1, Plate 9

El Capitan (near view) 3600 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 25. Image size: 20 1/2 x 16 inches

Note: Naef no. 132.
Box 3

Volume 1 -- Plates 10-20

Vol. 1, Plate 10

Grizzly Giant Mariposa Grove 33 ft. diam. [1861]

Watkins no. 111. Image size: 15 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 103. Galen Clark standing at base of tree.
Vol. 1, Plate 11

Nevada Fall 700 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 90. Image size: 16 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 245.
Vol. 1, Plate 12

The Half Dome 4967 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 61. Image size: 15 1/4 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 218.
Vol. 1, Plate 13

Sentinel (View up the Valley) 3270 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 32. Image size: 20 1/8 x 16 1/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 181.
Vol. 1, Plate 14

View up the Valley [1861]

Watkins no. 9. Image size: 15 3/8 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 187.
Vol. 1, Plate 15

Bridal Veil Fall [1861]

Watkins no. 15. Image size: 16 1/8 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 137.
Vol. 1, Plate 16

North Dome 3729 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 84. Image size: 16 x 20 3/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 236.
Vol. 1, Plate 17

Three Brothers (front view) 4480 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 34. Image size: 16 1/4 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 175.
Vol. 1, Plate 18

Sentinel (front view) 3270 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 44. Image size: 16 1/4 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 184.
Vol. 1, Plate 19

El Capitan 3600 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 8. Image size: 16 x 20 3/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 130.
Vol. 1, Plate 20

Outline of the Half Dome. 4967 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 83. Image size: 15 3/4 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 223.
Box 4

Volume 1 -- Plates 21-30

Vol. 1, Plate 21

Grizzly Giant (Mariposa Grove) 33 ft. diam. [1861]

Watkins no. 112. Image size: 15 7/8 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 101.
Vol. 1, Plate 22

Mount Broderick. Nevada Fall. [1861]

Watkins no. 89. Image size: 20 3/4 x 15 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 242.
Vol. 1, Plate 23

The Cascade [1861]

Watkins no. 91. Image size: 21 x 15 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 246.
Vol. 1, Plate 24

North Dome. Royal Arches. Washington Column. [1861]

Watkins no. 79. Image size: 20 3/4 x 16 7/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 228.
Vol. 1, Plate 25

View from Camp Grove [1861]

Watkins no. 47. Image size: 15 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 145.
Vol. 1, Plate 26

Sentinel (View down the Valley) [1861]

Watkins no. 43. Image size: 16 1/4 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 186.
Vol. 1, Plate 27

Cathedral Spires [1861]

Watkins no. 24. Image size: 16 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 164.
Vol. 1, Plate 28

River View down the Valley [1861]

Watkins no. 11. Image size: 20 3/4 x 15 3/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 148.
Vol. 1, Plate 29

Vernal Fall. 300 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 87. Image size: 20 5/8 x 15 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 239.
Vol. 1, Plate 30

Yo-Semite Falls (front view) 2630 ft. [1861]

Watkins no. 50. Image size: 20 5/8 x 15 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 195.
 

[Vol. 2] New Almaden Quicksilver Mine, [negatives 1863]

Creator: Carleton E. Watkins, photographer
Physical Description: (Disbound) title page and 8 photographs (Vol. 2, plates 1 - 8)

Scope and Content Note

In 1863, Watkins was commissioned to photograph the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine near San Jose, California, by William Eustace Barron, a founding partner and San Francisco merchant. This group of 8 mammoth plate photographs depict the structures and works of the quicksilver (i.e. mercury) mine set among hillsides, including smelting furnaces, metal sheds, and paths leading to mine entrances. One view depicts about 40 workers at a quarry, including several adolescent boys posed with wheelbarrows. The miners’ community of small houses and wooden shacks is also seen in views titled "Hacienda" and “The Town on the Hill.”
Note on contents list:
All titles are transcribed from the item. Watkins’ numbers and dates of photographs are from the catalog raisonné by Weston Naef and Christine Hult-Lewis, Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum), 2011.(Cited below as Naef.)
Box 5

Volume 2 -- Original album covers and end pages

 

Physical Description: This box contains only the original leather covers and end pages of volume 2.
Box 6

Volume 2 -- "New Almaden" title page; Plates 1-8

Vol. 2, Leaf 1

Title page: New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Note

Calligraphy signed “F. Seregni. San Francisco.”
Vol. 2, Plate 1

General view of smelting works [1863]

Watkins no. 130. Image size: 15 7/8 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 86.
Vol. 2, Plate 2

The new Fornaces [i.e. Furnaces] [1863]

Watkins no. 126. Image size: 15 1/8 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 82.
Vol. 2, Plate 3

The Metal Shed [1863]

Watkins no. 140. Image size: 15 1/4 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 96.
Vol. 2, Plate 4

The Mine Peak [1863]

Watkins no. 139. Image size: 15 3/4 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 91.
Vol. 2, Plate 5

The Hacienda (View East) [1863]

Watkins no. 129. Image size: 15 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 85.
Vol. 2, Plate 6

The Town on the Hill [1863]

Watkins no. 134. Image size: 15 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 90. A sign can be seen on a wooden storefront reading "Bakery. Panaderia. de Larrecle[?]"
Vol. 2, Plate 7

The smelting works and Mine [1863]

Watkins no. 127. Image size: 15 5/8 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 83.
Vol. 2, Plate 8

Street view at the Aciende [i.e. Hacienda] [1863]

Watkins no. 123. Image size: 15 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 79.
 

[Vol. 2] Mendocino Coast Views, [negatives 1863]

Creator: Carleton E. Watkins, photographer
Physical Description: (Disbound) title page and 12 photographs (Vol. 2, plates 9 - 20)

Scope and Content Note

Watkins made these photographs in the fall of 1863, most likely on a commission from Jerome B. Ford, a major mill owner in Mendocino, California (Palmquist, p. 22). Views show lumber mills along the banks of Big River, Albion River, and Noyo River, near where they meet the Pacific Ocean. The coastal city of Mendocino is seen on top of a high beach cliff, and there are scenic views of ocean waves crashing against boulders. One river view shows men guiding a small ferry by holding a cable mounted across the river, and a log flume is seen suspended in the background. There is one view of Native Americans, possibly Pomo, seated in front of dwellings made from wooden planks. The house of “Mr. Chalfant” in the town, with a fenced yard, is the focus of another photograph, and there is one view of the Fort Bragg army post.
Note on contents list:
All titles are transcribed from the item. Watkins’ numbers and dates of photographs are from the catalog raisonné by Weston Naef and Christine Hult-Lewis, Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum), 2011.(Cited below as Naef.)
Box 6

Volume 2 -- "Mendocino" title page

Vol. 2, Leaf 2

Title page: Mendocino Coast Views

Note

Calligraphy signed “F. Seregni, San Francisco, California.”
Box 6-1

Volume 2 -- Plate 9

Vol. 2, Plate 9

Cottage of Mr. Chalfant [1863]

Watkins no. 174. Image size: 15 3/8 x 19 7/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 380.
Box 7

Volume 2 -- Plates 10-20

Vol. 2, Plate 10

Garrison at Fort Bragg [1863]

Watkins no. 207. Image size: 15 3/8 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 433.
Vol. 2, Plate 11

Big River Mill [1863]

Watkins no. 167. Image size: 15 1/8 x 19 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 396.
Vol. 2, Plate 12

The Albion [1863]

Watkins no. 153. Image size: 15 1/2 x 20 1/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 419. View of Albion River and lumber mill.
Vol. 2, Plate 13

The Noyo Mill [1863]

Watkins no. 205. Image size: 15 7/8 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 432.
Vol. 2, Plate 14

The City of Big River [1863]

Watkins no. 182. Image size: 15 1/8 x 20 1/4 inches

Note: Naef no. 385. View of Mendocino.
Vol. 2, Plate 15

The Rancherie. (Big River) [1863]

Watkins no. 194. Image size: 15 1/8 x 20 1/2 inches

Note: Naef no. 401. View of Native Americans (possibly Pomo) seated in front of plank dwellings.
Vol. 2, Plate 16

Noyo River [1863]

Watkins no. 202. Image size: 14 7/8 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 429. View includes a small ferry guided by cable across river, and a log flume.
Vol. 2, Plate 17

Big River Harbour [1863]

Watkins no. 169. Image size: 14 1/2 x 20 5/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 398.
Vol. 2, Plate 18

Noyo Bay [1863]

Watkins no. 206. Image size: 15 3/8 x 20 3/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 425.
Vol. 2, Plate 19

Big River [1863]

Watkins no. 170. Image size: 15 3/8 x 20 3/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 399.
Vol. 2, Plate 20

Coast View (from the Albion River) [1863]

Watkins no. 158. Image size: 14 7/8 x 19 7/8 inches

Note: Naef no. 412.