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Roy D. Graves Pictorial Collection
BANC PIC 1905.17500--ALB  
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Collection Overview
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The Roy D. Graves Pictorial Collection contains circa 23,100 photographic prints classified and arranged by Graves into 96 volumes. Graves began collecting photographs circa 1902, and continued to develop his collection until his death in 1971. The general subject areas of the Graves collection are the history of transportation --especially that of railroad transportation in California --and the history of San Francisco and its environs. The volume titles, volume numbering, and ordering of items within the volumes in the present finding aid represent Graves' original classification and arrangement. The 96 volumes have been grouped into four series by the Library. Because Graves' original volume numbering has been maintained, the arrangement of volumes within each series is often discontinuous. Subjects and photographers featured in the individual volumes are summarized in the series descriptions. A large number of the photographs in the collection are copy prints of photographic originals and glass plate negatives dating as early as 1850. More recent photographs in the collection were taken as late as 1970. The collection also contains photographic reproductions of drawings, lithographs, maps, illustrations, periodical literature, and other print sources, the earliest of which date to the late Eighteenth century.
Roy D. Graves was born Roy Chadwick Culver Graves in San Francisco on March 21, 1889. He took the middle name Daniel at his confirmation. Graves' grandfather, Hiram Throop Graves --a descendant of English colonist John Graves, who arrived in Concord, Massachusetts in 1635 --originally came to California from New York in 1849 as a miner. He soon abandoned mining and moved to San Francisco, first working as a coiner with the U.S. Branch Mint, then developing the California Wire Works, an outlet wire company. Hiram T. Graves eventually entered into partnership with Andrew S. Hallidie, who would become the inventor of San Francisco's cable car system. Roy Graves' father, Hiram Augustus Graves, born in San Francisco, was a railroad conductor and telegrapher. His mother, Amy Culver Graves, was also a telegrapher and San Francisco native. At the age of 14, after attending parochial schools in both San Francisco and Oakland, Roy Graves left school and became an apprentice machinist for George Shreve & Co., a gold and silversmith business in San Francisco. In 1906, after a string of various mechanical jobs, Graves became a fireman for the North Shore Railway, thus realizing his ambition to work on a locomotive. Graves would also work for the Mill Valley & Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railway and the Santa Fe Railroad, which, in 1908, dismissed Graves after discovering he did not meet the company's minimum age requirement. Graves then went to work for the American Hawaiian Steamship Co., beginning a career in naval transportation that would last for nearly twenty years and include stints as a transportation engineer with the Key Route ferries, the Merchant Marines (during World War I), the Rodeo-Vallejo Ferry Boats, and the California-Hawaiian Sugar Co. From 1931 until his retirement in 1959, Graves engineered facilities for the City of San Francisco at the State Refrigeration Terminal, the Veteran's Building and Civic Opera House, and the Fourth and Channel Streets Drawbridge.
Total items in collection: ca. 23,100 photographic prints, various sizes; ca. 10,000 negatives (including glass plates), various sizes.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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.
Photograph collection is available for use. Glass and film negatives restricted from use. Permission of the Curator of Pictorial Collections required for use of negatives.