William H. Pilliner family photograph albums photCL 202

Suzanne Oatey
The Huntington Library
March 2021
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library Photo Archives
Title: William H. Pilliner family photograph albums
Creator: Pilliner, William H., 1826-1902
Identifier/Call Number: photCL 202
Physical Description: 2.34 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1870s-1902
Abstract: Two photograph albums containing late-19th century portraits by William H. Pilliner, an early photographer in the Western United States.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

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]. William H. Pilliner family photograph albums, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Nada S. Roherbeck, granddaughter of William H. Pilliner, 1973.

Biographical / Historical

William H. Pilliner (1826-1902) was born in the Dutch East Indies. He went to San Francisco as a youth, eventually learned photography and in 1858 had his first gallery in Red Bluff, California. In 1863, he married Eliza Jane McGuire, born about 1843, who came to California from Missouri in 1850. For the next several decades they and their children lived intermittently in California, Nevada, Montana, and Idaho, where Pilliner operated various photography studios. His son Frederick John Pilliner also became a photographer, and father and son operated a gallery together for a brief time in Silver City, Idaho in 1891.

Scope and Contents

Two photograph albums of Pilliner family and other portraits, chiefly taken by William H. Pilliner, an early photographer in the American West. Subjects include Pilliner, his wife Eliza Jane (McGuire) Pilliner, members of the Pilliner and McGuire families, and associates. One album contains cartes-de-visite and tintypes, the other is larger, containing mostly cabinet card photographs. The images date from approximately 1870s to 1902, and some are inscribed. The collection also includes a typescript by Cornelia Elizabeth McGuire (Eliza Jane's sister) of the McGuire family geneology from 1700 to the mid-1900s, and a typescript of W. H. Pilliner's biography. One photograph depicts G. W. Jenkins and I. N. McGuire, the proprietors of the Santa Maria Times, superimposed over a photograph of the newspaper. Some imprints on the images say "W. H. Pilliner, Pioneer Artist" and studio locations include Reno and Idaho Falls. There are also a few photographs by Piggott & Shaw of Santa Rosa, California.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library staff, circa late-20th century. In 2020, Suzanne Oatey created a finding aid derived from a collection file.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Bindings are broken and covers are detached.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Children -- Portraits
Women -- Portraits
Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
Tintypes (prints)
Photograph albums
Family papers
Pilliner, William H, 1826-1902
McGuire, Eliza Jane, 1843?-1916

Box 1

Carte-de-visite album

Box 2

Cabinet card album