Bersano Studio Negatives

Finding aid created by History San Jose Research Library staff using RecordEXPRESS
History San Jose Research Library
1661 Senter Road
San Jose, California 95112
(408) 287-2290

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