Carleton E Watkins: A Listing of Photographs in the Collection of the California State Library. By Richard Terry. Sacramento: California State Library Foundation, 1984. Illustrations. 83 Pages. $9.50 Paperback.
Because of the San Diego History Center’s extraordinary photograph collection, San Diego historians are more sensitive than most to historic photographs. One collection they should learn about is the Carleton E. Watkins group in the California State Library. Watkins (1829-1916) was one of California’s most prized nineteenth century photographers, and the State Library has 1900 of his photographs. The new guide to the collection will help researchers use the collection. It leads you to photographs in albums, books, periodicals, individual prints, and stereographs. Watkins ranged widely throughout the West, and photographed everything from waterfalls to city views. There are some significant San Diego photographs in the collection, although the absence of a subject or geographical index makes them hard to find. The accompanying portfolio of Watkins photographs is worth the price of the book.