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Finding Aid to Migrant Labor Camp Photographs from the Harry Everett Drobish Papers, 1935-1936
BANC PIC 1954.013--PIC  
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Migrant Labor Camp Photographs from the Harry Everett Drobish Papers
    Date: 1935-1936
    Collection Number: BANC PIC 1954.013--PIC
    Photographer: Harry Everett Drobish
    Physical Description: 63 photographic prints; black and white; various sizes 63 digital objects
    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

    Publication Rights Materials in this collection 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.All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Migrant Labor Camp Photographs from the Harry Everett Drobish Papers, 1935-1936, BANC PIC 1954.013--PIC, 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.
    Title: Harry Everett Drobish Papers.
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 529.
    Title: Harry Everett Drobish papers : Additions.
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 80/97 c
    Title: Photographs of Migrant Laborer Camp Life From the Harry Everett Drobish Papers.
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC PIC 1905.07938-.07977--PIC and BANC PIC 1905.08047-.08085--PIC

    Administrative Information

    Administrative Information

    Transferred from the Harry Everett Drobish Papers (BANC MSS C-B 529). The papers were a gift of Faith Boardman Drobish in 1954.


    Harry Everett Drobish was born in Decatur, Illinois in 1893. He moved to Riverside, California in 1905 and graduated from high school there in 1912. After attending Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years, he transferred to the College of Agriculture of the University of California, Berkeley, becoming an active member of the University YMCA, Alpha Kappa Lambda and Alpha Zeta, the agricultural society. His first job following graduation in 1917 was itinerant assistant farm advisor for the University's Agricultural Extension Service. Several years later he was promoted to farm advisor for Butte County. In 1927 he resigned to accept an assignment as marketing investigator for the California Department of Agriculture. From 1930 to 1933 he was an agricultural economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and from 1933-1934 worked for the Farm Credit Administration. From September 1934 to 1936 he was State Director of Rural Rehabilitation in the California Emergency Relief Administration and the Chief of Farm Laborer Projects for the Resettlement Administration. As State Director he conceived the idea of federally owned camps for migrant farm workers and built the first two camps at Marysville and Arvin. In 1937 the Drobishes returned to their ranch, Far View, near Bangor. The next ten years were spent purchasing and rehabilitating abandoned olive groves and slowly developing olive growing into a profitable business. In partnership with a friend Drobish bought and rebuilt an olive oil mill.
    After an unsuccessful campaign for the State Assembly in 1946, Drobish was elected State Senator of Butte County in a special election the following year. In the Senate he served on the Agriculture, Education, Institutions, and Public Utilities Committees and was vice chairman of the Committee on Public Health and Safety. He was also a member of the Senate Interim Committee on Statutory Salaries and the Joint Legislative Committee on Soil Conservation. After an unsuccessful campaign for re-election in 1950 Drobish returned to his ranch to devote his attention to the improvement of his olive groves and the California olive industry in general. In 1952 he was sent by the State Department to Jordan as consultant to their olive industry. His last years, until his death in 1954, were also devoted to increased involvement in community interests, including the YMCA and the Council for Social Action of the Congregational Church.

    Scope and Content

    This collection of 63 photographic prints of various sizes documents migrant labor camps in California. The photographs were taken in 1935-1936, many likely by Harry Everett Drobish. Included are photographs of groups and buildings at the Arvin Migratory Labor Camp and other camps in Kern County, California. Also included are photographs of Hooverville in Sacramento, some taken by the California State Emergency Relief Administration. Printed and handwritten captions found on or below the photographs are reprinted in the container listing.