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California Faces: Selections from The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: California Faces: Selections from The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection
    Collection Number: Various
    Physical Description: 1,648 images selected from The Bancroft Library's Portrait Collection ; various sizes 1648 digital objects (1,659 images)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is available for use.

    Publication Rights

    Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], California Faces: Selections from The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection, Various, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Digital Representations Available

    Digital representations of selected original pictorial materials are available in the list of materials below. Digital image files were prepared from selected Library originals by the Library Photographic Service. Library originals were copied onto 35mm color transparency film; the film was scanned and transferred to Kodak Photo CD (by Custom Process); and the Photo CD files were color-corrected and saved in JFIF (JPEG) format for use as viewing files.

    Sources of Biographical Information:

    Angelo J. Rossi Memorial Committee. Angelo J. Rossi Funeral Services, April 7, 1948. Dedicatory Services, June 9, 1949. San Francisco, 1949.
    Anspach, Marshall R. "The Lost History of Seth Kinman, Noted California Hunter (1815-1888), Delivered by Marshall R. Anspach, Esq., Before the Society, Feb. 14, 1947." Now and Then. Volume 8, no. 8. April, 1947.
    Blum, Walter. Benjamin H. Swig; the Measure of a Man. San Francisco: Walter Blum, 1968.
    Dictionary of American Biography: Under the Auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies. Edited by Dumas Malone. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933. Volume XII.
    "Dr. Ira B. Cross." San Francisco Chronicle. March 26, 1977.
    Dunlap, Carol. California People. Salt Lake City: Gibbs M. Smith, Inc., 1982.
    Hart, James D. A Companion to California. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.
    Hart, James D. A Companion to California. New ed., revised and expanded. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
    Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California, 1786-1940. San Francisco: Hughes Pub. Co., 1989, p. 514.
    Levy, Felice D. Obituaries on File. New York: Facts on File, 1979, p. 198.
    Muir, John. Edward Taylor Parsons, March 15, 1861-May 22, 1914. [San Francisco? 1915?].
    Pflueger, Milton T. Time and Tim Remembered : a Tradition of Bay Area Architecture : Pflueger Architects, Timothy, Milton, and John, the First Seventy-five Years, 1908 to 1983. San Francisco: Pflueger Architects, 1985.
    Potter, E. B. Nimitz. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1976.
    San Francisco, Calif. Bar. In Memoriam. Samuel Cowles. [San Francisco, 1880].
    Sargent, Shirley. Solomons of the Sierra : the Pioneer of the John Muir Trail. Yosemite, CA: Flying Spur Press, 1989, p. ix.
    Stasz, Clarice. American Dreamers : Charmian and Jack London. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988, p. 12.
    Wendte, Charles W. Thomas Starr King : Patriot and Preacher. Boston: The Beacon Press, 1921., pp. xi-xvii.
    Who Was Who in America. Chicago: Marquis-Who's Who [etc.], v. 1, v. 4.
    Woman's Who's Who of America. New York: The American Commonwealth Company, 1914-1915.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The portraits were acquired from various sources.

    Scope and Content

    California Faces consists of 1,648 photographic and other pictorial portraits of 5326 men and women prominent in California's history. The portraits, selected from The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection, offer a diverse selection of artists, writers, businessmen, politicians, scientists, entertainers, and others, primarily from the early nineteenth-century until the present. Individuals from the San Francisco Bay Area tend to predominate since the library's holdings are strongest in this area.
    Many notable figures from California's pre-statehood and early statehood days are featured: Sir Francis Drake, the earliest Anglo to set foot on California soil; Patrick Breen and Eliza Donner from the ill-fated Donner Party; frontiersman Kit Carson, John Sutter, Lola Montez, and many others. Writers who were either born and raised in the state or who spent significant periods of time in California are included: traditional chroniclers of Western experience (Bret Harte and Jack London), modernists (Gertrude Stein), Beats (Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg), and even a few Pulitzer prize winners (John Steinbeck and William Saroyan). Other figures from the arts include dancer Isadora Duncan, actress Lotta Crabtree, and photographers Ansel Adams and Eadweard Muybridge. Politicians include many of the state's governors (including pre-statehood Mexican governors), senators, and congressmen. California's wealthy and powerful families are represented by the likes of Leland Stanford, the Hearsts, and the Spreckels.
    The collection contains the work of many photographers, including I. W. Taber, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Carleton E. Watkins, Moulin Studios, Thomas Houseworth & Co., Bradley & Rulofson, William Shew, Peter Stackpole, Francis P. Farquhar, Johan Hagemeyer, William Keith, F. Gutekunst, Charles McMillan, Silas Selleck, Thors (San Francisco), Stewart & Skelton Studios, Schumacher Portraits, Ken McLaughlin, Sarony & Co., Hirsch & Kaye (San Francisco), and others.
    Captions printed or handwritten on the photographs are reprinted in the container listing. Photograph numbers are the numbers assigned in the Portrait Collection. Users should always use these identification numbers when citing or requesting originals. Biographical notes on each individual accompany that individual's set of portraits in the container listing.
    A Few Words About the Portrait Collection and the Selection Process
    The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection is, archivally speaking, an "artificial" collection in that it is not provenance-based. For many years it was a convenient storage system for miscellaneous pictorial items acquired by the library. And, for many years, individual items were removed from larger collections and placed in this alphabetical collection. (This practice no longer occurs.) The Portrait Collection does not represent the library's complete holdings on any single person. Library users should always consult the on-line catalog for additional holdings.
    The selection of individuals in California Faces is by no means exhaustive. Portrait selection was not based on each individual's perceived importance, but on the quality and number of portraits in The Bancroft Library's holdings. For some individuals, the portraits presented in this selection may be the only holdings in the Portrait Collection. And, many important figures may not be represented in California Faces simply because the library had no holdings in the Portrait Collection for that individual (although there may be holdings in other collections in the library). It should also be noted that during the course of selection, the focus and manner of the portrait selection changed. The original aim was to present a full sampling of the library's holdings for a smaller number of individuals. It was eventually decided to select a broader range of subjects with minimum representation of each. This accounts for the high number of portraits selected for Jack London, Earl Warren, Pat Brown, John Muir, and a few other individuals.