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California Scenery, Published by Taber, Photographer, San Francisco, Cal., ca. 1885
BANC PIC 1982.078 -- ALB  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: California Scenery, Published by Taber, Photographer, San Francisco, Cal.,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1885
    Collection Number: BANC PIC 1982.078 -- ALB
    Extent: 41 mounted photographic prints, 21 x 31 cm. or smaller; bound in album measuring 28 x 38 cm. 41 digital objects
    Photographer: Taber, I. W. (Isaiah West), 1830-1912
    Repository: The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.
    Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item] California Scenery, Published by Taber, Photographer, San Francisco, Cal., BANC PIC 1982.078--ALB, 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.

    Related Material

    The Bancroft Library has extensive holdings of Taber photographs. See the on-line catalog for other collections.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased in 1982.


    Isaiah West Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, August 17, 1830. Taber went to sea at the age of fifteen and spent several years working on whaling ships in the North Pacific. He came to California in 1850, where he spent four years working first as a miner, then a farmer. Taber returned to New Bedford in 1854 where he studied dentistry and began a dental practice. An interest in amateur photography eventually became his life-work. He settled in Syracuse, New York, where he opened his first studio. In 1864 he returned to California at the inducement of the photographers Bradley and Rulofson, whom he worked for until 1871. Taber established the "Taber Gallery" at No. 12 Montgomery Street in 1871. His highly successful business was well-known for portraiture and a vast stock of California and Western views--many of which were the unacknowledged works of other photographers. Taber's success and stature in California and abroad are evident in his being awarded the photographic concession of the Midwinter Fair of 1893-94 in San Francisco, his being sent to London in 1897 to photograph the pageant of the Queen Victoria Jubilee, and his commission to photograph King Edward VII. Taber's career ended in 1906 when his entire collection of glass plates, view negatives and portraits on glass were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire. He died February 22, 1912.
    (Sources: Hart, James D. A Companion to California. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978, p.439; Murray, W. H. The Builders of a Great City: San Francisco's Representative Men. San Francisco: The Journal, 1891, p.329-330 ; and Burdette, Robert J. American Biography and Genealogy. California edition. (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., [191-]), p. 756-761.)

    Scope and Content

    The California Scenery album contains 41 mounted prints taken circa 1885 by I.W. Taber, perhaps while on a photographic expedition along the California coast. The general areas featured in the album are San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco Bay. San Diego area photographs include townscapes, beach scenes, Point Loma, San Diego's Old Town, the Horton House, the Russ School, scenes of an Indian rancheria, and views of the Mexico-United States boundary monument and Tia Guana (i.e. Tia Juana?) Hot Sulphur Springs. Santa Barbara area scenes include the residence of William Wells Hollister, the Arlington House, the Santa Barbara Mission, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara townscapes, and a large grape vine. The grounds of Monterey's Hotel Del Monte are featured, as are San Francisco's Cliff House, Point Lobos, Fort Point, Black Point, and harbor area, all viewed from San Francisco Bay.
    Individuals identifiable in the collection include Taber and the rancher William Wells Hollister.