California State Library

Image
The Pictorial Collection

Ranging from oil-on-canvas paintings to video tape, virtually every medium is represented in the California History Section's rich collection of historic images. Prints—including birds-eye views, lithographs, and pictorial lettersheets—provide a fascinating look at the state as interpreted by artists, lithographers, and engravers. The photograph collection features unique images of people, places, events, and subjects. Daguerreotypes illustrate the pioneer era, and stereographs show the development of the state during the 1860's and 1870's. Fine art views by present-day photographers add a contemporary element to the library's holdings. Complementing the photographs are hundreds of picture postcards, depicting historic monuments, public buildings, events, and more.

The California History Section holds significant amounts of the works of photographers such as Louis Stellman, William Fletcher, Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, I.W. Taber, H.J. McCurry, and William Reagh. Selected collections are described in more detail in the State Library's Picture Catalog.
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