ASPP West Tours San Diego History Center Photography Collection




Saturday, July 19, 2014
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PDT)

San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101






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ASPP West has a rare opportunity to view the photo collections inside the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.  The Director of the Photograph Collection, Christine Travers, will show us the archives and photo collection room.


COST: $10.00 plus fees per person, includes entry to the San Diego History Center Museum. The archives are located downstairs.


We are limited to 20 attendees for this tour, so, we only ASPP members get first priority to sign up for the event. If spaces are still available two weeks before the tour we will open up the event to friends and family members.


More information?  Email the West Chapter President, Chris DiNenna.


Carpool groups will be coordinated for Los Angeles area members or you can meet us at the San Diego History Center by 10:30am. Carpoolers will need to meet at the Metro station parking lot in Universal City before 8am on Saturday July 19th. Members could also meet us at the museum in Balboa Park if you wanted to drive on your own or are a San Diego County resident.
Right next door in the same building is the Museum of Photographic Arts ( Two special exhibits will be running – After Ansel Adams, and Aperture Remix. The Museum of Photographic Arts will offer a group rate admittance for ASPP tour members. You can read more about the museum and exhibits on their website.


There are tons of lunch options nearby too, even a Mexican place right inside between the two museum entrances! It does mean an early Saturday morning departure from LA, but it will be so worthwhile, and you all should plan to take advantage of the day in Balboa Park – there are many other museums, botanical gardens, and lots of great architecture to photograph.


About the San Diego History Center Photography Collection
With over 2.5 million images, the Photograph Collection at the San Diego History Center is one of the largest regional photograph collections in the world, with images dating from 1869 to the present. It is a collection of regional, national and international significance. Images from the late-19th and 20th century illustrate how the arrival of diverse cultures changed the face of the landscape, the importance of water in an arid climate, Native American culture, border relationships with Mexico, air and automobile transportation, suburbanization, agriculture, recreation, and much more. Contemporary images show a small city growing into a large one, the changing face of the suburbs, the growth of the military, as well as new industries and the people that make up this diverse culture.The sheer size of this collection allows for in-depth examination into the rapidly changing cultural, political and social mores of the region. It is large enough to illustrate thousands of books and diverse enough to contain a specific photograph of an obscure building torn down before World War I. The nucleus of this collection is represented by the work of several commercial photographers who lived in San Diego from 1870 through 1940. A large segment of the work of three early photographers was purchased by the Union Title & Trust Insurance Company in 1945 and donated to the History Center in 1979. During the 1980’s and 1990’s the Collection expanded rapidly with the work of several 20th century photographers, and the huge addition of the negatives from the San Diego Union-Tribune. In addition to film negatives of all sizes, transparencies and prints, the Collection contains: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, albumen prints, cyanotypes, glass-plate negatives, cartes de visite, cabinet cards, stereo viewcards, panoramic prints and negatives, autochromes, motion picture film and video, and many other processes and mediums which illustrate the development of photography itself. The Photograph Collection continues to grow and change as more images by professional photographers and amateurs alike donation their work.


About Ms. Chris Travers, Director of the Photograph Collection
Ms. Travers has been the Director of the Photograph Collection at the San Diego History Center since 2003. As such, it is her mission to collect, preserve, and share the diverse images accessioned into the collection. She has been the project manager for a number of federally-funded grant projects, most recently: Portrait of a Proud Community: Norman Baynard’s Logan Heights, 1939-1985 ( and The Edward H. Davis Collection of Indian Photographs and Drawings ( She was the curator and photographer of the exhibition Developing San Diego: Making History Every Day (2005) which documented the changes San Diego has undergone in the last century. She attended the University of Sydney, Australia and Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Her background is in commercial photography.


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