Scope and Content
Title: Department of Finance, Director's Office Photographs
Dates: ca. 1917-1950
Collection number: R157
Department of Finance, Director's Office
California State Archives
Abstract: The Department of Finance was created in 1921 and was responsible for budgets, accounts, claims, purchases, printing, motor
vehicles, and libraies. In 1927, the Legislature charged the Department with visiting state institutions to ascertain their
condition and monitoring public buildings under construction. These photographs were created to document state-owned buildings
and equipment, as well as the activities of state personnel from various agencies.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication
is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility
for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives
[Identification of item], Department of Finance, Director's Office Photographs, R157, F3254:[item number], California State
Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.
Acquisition and Custodial History
The California State Archives acquired the Department of Finance, Director's Office Photographs according to state law.
The State Legislature created five new state agencies in 1921 - one of which was the Dept. of Finance (Stats. 1921, c. 603).
The new agency absorbed a number of existing responsibilities from other agencies including budgets and accounts, claims and
disbursements, purchases, printing, motor vehicles and libraries. The State Board of Control was to serve as the governing
body for the department.
In 1927, the Legislature expanded and further defined the role of the Dept. of Finance as supervising all financial and business
policies of state government and giving it the authority to conduct investigations in the interest of the state (Stats. 1927,
c. 251). The State Board of Control was removed as the agency's governing body and replaced by the director of the Department.
The 1927 legislation charged the Department - among other things - with visiting state institutions to ascertain their condition
and monitoring public buildings under construction. The Department was also given the authority to audit the financial records
of state agencies and institutions as well as to review and approve all state contracts and purchases.
The Dept. of Finance continued to expand in subsequent years to encompass management of the State Agricultural Society (California
State Fair) and district agricultural associations (county fairs), acquisition and maintenance of state-owned and rented office
buildings, and management of state-owned public lands. The State Legislature transferred many of the Department's responsibilities
(buildings and grounds, printing, purchasing) to a new state agency - the Dept. of General Services - in 1963 (Stats. 1963,
Scope and Content
In 1955, the State Archives received a collection of photographs documenting state-owned buildings. The collection was transferred
by the Dept. of Public Works, Division of Architecture, but according to Fred W. Links of the Dept. of Finance, it originated
with his agency. Mr. Links, a longtime agency employee who spent many years as the Chief, Division of Budget and Accounts
and eventually rose to the level of Assistant Director, said he conceived of a project to photograph all state-owned buildings
for use by the Dept. of Finance with the work being carried out from about 1927-1930. The project was eventually cancelled
due to lack of funds.
An allocation for $1,500.00 appears within the Dept. of Finance's budget during the 1927/1928 fiscal year for "photographing
various institutions". The 1927 legislation which broadened the agency's responsibilities (Stats 1927, c. 251) also required
that staff visit every public institution to assess its condition and needs, and that any public building undergoing construction
be visited to determine if construction contracts were being "faithfully executed". The bulk of the photographs were likely
the result of this activity. There were, however, a substantial number dating from about 1917, which would indicate that the
documentation of state-owned buildings was begun earlier by an agency other than the Dept. of Finance.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
California. Dept. of Finance