Guide to the Seema Aissen Weatherwax Photographs

Sheryl Nonnenberg
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Email: speccollref@stanford.edu
URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
© 2006
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Seema Aissen Weatherwax Photographs

Collection number: M0868

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California
Processed by:
Sheryl Nonnenberg
Date Completed:
2002
Encoded by:
Steve Mandeville-Gamble
© 2006 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Seema Aissen Weatherwax photographs
Dates: 1933-1993
Collection number: M0868
Creator: Seema Aissen Weatherwax
Collection Size: 3 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Abstract: Photographs and negatives of the Long Beach earthquake, 1933, Woodie Guthrie, Fred Ross, and the Shafter farm labor camp, 1941, a Los Angeles labor demonstration, 1945, the Hollywood strike, 1945, and many informal and formal photographs from the Yosemite camera workshops with Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, 1941-42. Included is a 24-page typescript, "The Queen of Montgomery Street," by her husband, John M. Weatherwax.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

Seema Aissen Weatherwax photographs, M0868. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Biography / Administrative History

Emigrating from Tsarist Russia with her parents in 1913 to escape persecution and the conscription act, Seema graduated from high school and began studying science courses in Leeds, England. A few years after her father's death, her mother took the three daughters to Boston to join relatives, and Seema became involved in photography. She moved to Southern California in 1929, lived in Tahiti in 1931, 32 for a year and back to Southern California where she joined the film and photo league in 1934. Ansel Adams asked her in 1938 to run his darkroom in Yosemite and assist him in his work. She helped him with his First Camera Workshop in Yosemite in 1939. In 1941 Seema met the writer Jack Weatherwax and with him and Woody Guthrie visited the Shafter Farm Security Administration Camp where she photographed Dust Bowl refugees and their surroundings. Since Jack's death in 1985, Seema has continued her activism in Santa Cruz and has had several exhibits of her work.

Scope and Content of Collection

Photographs and negatives of the Long Beach earthquake, 1933, Woodie Guthrie, Fred Ross, and the Shafter farm labor camp, 1941, a Los Angeles labor demonstration, 1945, the Hollywood strike, 1945, and many informal and formal photographs from the Yosemite camera workshops with Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, 1941-42. Included is a 24-page typescript, "The Queen of Montgomery Street," by her husband, John M. Weatherwax.

Access Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Adams, Ansel, 1902-
Guthrie, Woodie, 1912-1967.
Ross, Fred.
Weatherwax, John M.
Weston, Edward.
Yosemite camera workshop.
Agricultural laborers--California.
Demonstrations--California.
Earthquakes--Long Beach.
Photography.
Shafter farm labor camp.
Yosemite--Photographs.
Negatives.
Photoprints.


Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Photographs

Box 1, Folder 1

Long Beach Earthquake, 1933 (photographer unknown)1933

Physical Description: 53 photos in 16 sheets
Box 1, Folder 2

Yosemite, Ansel Adams Camera Workshop1938 - 1940

Physical Description: 19 sheets

Scope and Content Note

Lee Warren, Ansel Adams' secretary, First Camera Workshop, Bests Studio, Yosemite, Seema's Apartment, Party at Studio in Yosemite, Ansel Adams in Yosemite, Seema Weatherwax, Virginia Adams 1993
Box 1, Folder 3

I am an American Day, Los Angeles1940 - 1950

Physical Description: 15 sheets (photographs and negatives)
Box 1, Folder 4

Sir Lancelot, Trinidad Performers1940 - 1950

Physical Description: 8 sheets
Box 1, Folder 5

Demonstrations for Jobs, Los Angeles, 1945

Physical Description: 6 sheets
Box 1, Folder 6

Hollywood Strike 1945, Shafter Farm Camp Negatives 1941

Physical Description: 22 sheets
Box 1, Folder 7

Russian Delegates to the U.N. Conference1945

Physical Description: 5 sheets
Box 1, Folder 8

Shafter Farm Labor Camp1941

Physical Description: 4 photographs in 4 sheets
Box 1, Folder 9

Shafter Farm Camp, the Californians Magazine [1 of 2]1941

Physical Description: 14 photographs, 15 sheets
Box 1, Folder 10

Shafter Farm Camp, The Californians Magazine [2 of2]1941

Physical Description: 11 photographs in 11 sheets
Box 1, Folder 11

Return to Shafter Farm Camp, 19941994

Physical Description: 26 color photographs in 10 sheets
 

Series 2. Papers

Box 1, Folder 12

Typed Labels for Shafter Camp Photographs1991

Box 1, Folder 13

Notes for Filmstrip: El Camino Viejo, nd

Physical Description: 4 typed sheets
Box 1, Folder 14

Script for "Who Wants War?Who Wants Peace?"[in English and Spanish]nd

Physical Description: 18 typed sheets
Box 1, Folder 15

American Negro History filmstrip scriptnd

Physical Description: 4 typed sheets
Box 1, Folder 16

Correspondence, U.S. Dept. of Interior1983

Physical Description: 2 typed sheets
Box 1, Folder 17

Typescript by Jack Weatherwax, "The Queen of Montgomery Street"nd

Physical Description: 24 typed pages
Box 1, Folder 18

Correspondence, variousnd

Physical Description: 61 typed pages

Scope and Content Note

correspondence re Woody Guthrie photographs, obituaries of Fred Ross, correspondence regarding The Californians article, Biographical sketch of Seema Weatherwax
Box 1, Folder 19

The Californians Magazine (2)1992, 1993

Physical Description: 2 issues of The Californians Magazine

Scope and Content Note

typed biographical sketch of Seema WeatherwaxThe Californians, Vol.9 No.4, The Californians, Vol.10, No.4
 

Series 3. Matted photographs

Box 2, Folder 1

Portraits, people1942 - 1946

Physical Description: 6 matted black and white photographs

Scope and Content Note

baby in yard, 1944, Ansel Adams, 1946, Lee Warren (2) 1946, Gypsy Mary - Las Vegas, 1942, Old Miner - Las Vegas, 1942
Box 2, Folder 2

Yosemite, High Sierras1938 - 1941

Physical Description: 6 black and white matted photographs

Scope and Content Note

High Sierras, Storm Yosemite, Storm Yosemite, 1938, Yosemite, 1940, Yosemite, 1941, High Sierras 11,000 feet, 1946,
Box 2, Folder 3

Nature, Scenes from Train1940 - 1946

Physical Description: 4 black and white matted photographs

Scope and Content Note

Scene from Train, 1946, Scene from Back of Train, 1946, Untitled, 1940, Monterey, 1946
 

Series 4. Audio-visual Materials

Box 3, filmstrip 1

El Taller de Grafica Popularnd

Physical Description: 1 filmstrip
Box 3, Videotape 1

California's Goldnd

Physical Description: video

Scope and Content Note

Episode #601, "Weed Patch"
Box 3, Videotape 2

Taller de Grafica Popular1996

Physical Description: video

Scope and Content Note

Taller de Grafica Popular, Who Wants War, Who Wants Peace