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Dockery (Robert C.) Photographs and Negatives
MS 856  
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Collection consists of photographs and negatives both collected and taken by Robert C. Dockery, including images of railroads, movies, locations, and other subjects.
Robert "Bob" Dockery (1945-2004) was born and raised in Stockton, California. His interest in photography as an art form developed as a young adult. This led him to take a mail order course in photography from a prestigious New York school in which he received a graduation certificate. Bob gradually accumulated a number of cameras and an enlarger which he modified to allow him to produce 11x14 prints. What is noteworthy about his developing and printing efforts is that they were carried out in the small one-car garage attached to his family home. The garage was not insulated or air-conditioned, thus the city of Stockton's hot summer temperatures limited his work to the periods of late fall to early spring. His love for his photography equipment was second only to his love for his Thunderbird. Since Bob was six-foot-four in height, he had to wait until the Thunderbird evolved from a true sports car to the larger early version of a sports coup. Later in life, Bob had the car restored and it was in perfect condition upon his death. Bob's interest in railroads and proximity to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento led him to make railroad subjects a primary interest. His warm, friendly personality soon gave him access to the museum's restoration shop and a life-long acquaintance with the staff of Short Line Enterprises who were under contract to restore the Museum's collection of 1800's era locomotives and rail cars. This small company had acquired a number of early era pieces of railroad equipment from motion pictures studios. They took over railroad operations for many motion picture scenes and Bob was soon invited to take behind-the-scenes photographs, which led to his interest in the Sierra Railroad and his large collection of photos of their equipment. Upon completion of their contract with CSRM, Short Line Enterprises moved to Carson City under contract to restore some of the Nevada State Railroad Museum's collection of Virginia and Truckee Railroad equipment, most of which had been saved from the same motion picture lots as the Short Line collection. This led to three decades of photographing the Virginia & Truckee Railroad's surviving equipment but, more importantly, his interest in the history of the V&T Railroad and the geographical areas it served. Bob became an active member of the V&T History Workshop group and attended all of the Virginia & Truckee Symposiums. His presentations at the latter event were greatly appreciated by all. Bob actively searched for photographs to support his interests and assembled a large collection of copy negatives from multiple sources. His willingness to share prints from this collection was one of his greatest gifts to V&T railfans.
3.173 Linear Feet (2 record cartons, 1 manuscript box, and 2 negative boxes)
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM 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 reader.
Collection is open for research by appointment.