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Lewis Geddes Notebooks
MSS 0129  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Geddes, Lewis J.
    Title: Lewis Geddes Notebooks,
    Date (inclusive): 1930 - 1937
    Extent: 1.20 linear feet (4 archives boxes)
    Abstract: Papers of Lewis Geddes, San Diego photographer and historical researcher. The bulk of the materials relate to historic adobe structures in San Diego County, Baja California, and Arizona. Included are notes and photographs created in the 1930s relating to the historic buildings. Also included are typescripts of works by others, concerning pioneer experiences in San Diego County in the 19th century, and genealogical information on early San Diego County residents.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0129
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Lewis Geddes Notebooks, MSS 0129. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.


    Lewis Geddes and his wife Frances came to Los Angeles, California in 1923. After five years, they moved to San Diego and setup a studio gallery in the Casa de Machado adobe in historic Old Town. Lewis, a photographer, and Frances, a painter of portrait and figure, developed an active interest in reconstructing and preserving San Diego's historic past.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Lewis J. Geddes Papers contain photographs and manuscript notes on many adobe structures from California's early history. Included are images of mission, rancho, and urban structures in California, Arizona, and Baja California, Mexico. Geddes also collected manuscript materials from several of San Diego's early pioneers. The collection is divided into two series: 1) NOTEBOOKS and 2) WRITINGS.
    The NOTEBOOKS series provides significant image documentation of many remanent adobe structures standing at the time of Geddes' research in the 1930's. Geddes assembled in notebooks his photographs, contributed photographs, and pencil notes from different sources. The bulk of the materials relate to San Diego County and comprise four volumes arranged alphabetically by place name. As Geddes' interests widened, he created notebooks on other popular mission sites and ranchos north of San Diego and in Baja California, Mexico. Each volume begins with a table of contents.
    The WRITINGS series contains manuscript materials related to the pioneer experience in San Diego County in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Two interesting works on the ranching frontier are found in Herbert Crouch's reminiscences as a sheep rancher in the San Luis Rey Valley and John Kelly's life on a cattle ranch. Crouch, an Australian emigrant, included interesting sketches of pioneers and people he employed, observations on the sheep and bee businesses, and information on rainfall and floods. The experiences of a woman in San Diego County are set down in The Account of Lucy Brown Wentworth. Additionally, Geddes collected or created translations and transcriptions of early Mission San Diego baptismal and death records, notes on San Diego pioneer family genealogy, and transcriptions of gravestones of pioneers from the Mount Hope Cemetery. The series is arranged alphabetically by author and title.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Geddes, Lewis J. -- Archives
    Adobe houses -- California -- San Diego County
    Adobe houses -- Southwest, New
    Ranch houses -- California -- San Diego County
    Spanish mission buildings -- California -- San Diego County
    Ranch houses -- Mexico -- Baja California (Peninsula)
    Spanish mission buildings -- Mexico -- Baja California (Peninsula)
    Frontier and pioneer life -- California -- San Diego County
    Historic buildings -- Conservation and restoration
    San Diego County (Calif.) -- History
    Genealogies -- United States -- California -- 20th Century.
    Photographic prints -- 1930-1939.


    Crouch, Herbert
    Kelly, John Lincoln
    Wentworth, Lucy Brown