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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Bersano Studio Negatives
    Dates: 1926-1947
    Collection Number: 2018-24
    Creator/Collector: Bersano, Angelo C. Bersano Studio
    Extent: 571 negatives
    Online items available
    Repository: History San Jose Research Library
    San Jose, California 95112
    Abstract: Collection of 571 black & white 5x7" photographic negatives produced by Bersano Studio of Santa Clara, located at 787 Franklin Street, and operated by Angelo C. Bersano. Many images depict the Italian and Portuguese communities, and include portraits, Holy Communion remembrances, schools, local businesses, dairy farms, butane gas installations, and threshing operations.
    Language of Material: English


    The negatives are not open to the public; all have been scanned and can be viewed through History San Jose's online catalog.

    Publication Rights

    Please contact the Curator of Library & Archives for questions regarding reproduction and publication.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Bersano Studio Negatives. Collection Number: 2018-24. History San Jose Research Library

    Acquisition Information

    Donated to the museum in 2018. The donor acquired the complete set from a local photography studio.

    Biography/Administrative History

    According to City Directories, Angelo C. Bersano is listed as the proprietor of the studio from 1926-1947, after which the business appears to have been taken over by a different operator. The 1947 directory advertises the studio as operated by Clifford E. Donahue, "Oldest Studio in Santa Clara County, Opposite Santa Clara University, Wedding, Children's and Glamour Photography Our Specialty". The business is not listed in 1949-50 directory. Eleanor Bersano is also listed as a photo finisher, and Florence Bersano as a clerk.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Collection of 5x7 photographic negatives produced by Bersano Studio of Santa Clara, located at 787 Franklin Street, and operated by Angelo C. Bersano between 1926-1947. Individually cataloged. Titles are taken from original, handwritten labels on negatives. While the majority of the images appear to date from 1940-1941, a smaller series of portrait photographs likely date to circa 1928. Bersano's subjects include portrait photography, dairy farms, threshing operations, local businesses, school portraits, Holy Communion, weddings, festival queens, and a local U.S. Army installation. His customers appear to have generally come from the Italian and Portuguese communities. Box 1 contains negatives. Box 2 contains the original film boxes. While some of the boxes are labeled in pencil, the negatives themselves were not in order in the boxes and the subject matter described by the box label does not match the negatives inside.

    Indexing Terms

    Commercial photography
    Nineteen forties
    Dairy farms--California
    Portrait photography
    Butane industry
    Dried fruit industry
    Farm life
    Portuguese Americans
    Italian Americans
    Salt industry and trade
    Santa Clara County (Calif.)
    black-and-white negatives