This collection contains 48 sheets of hand-tinted lithographs, each approximately 11 ¾ x 8 ½ inches, depicting 61 different
ranches, residences, hotels, commercial and civic buildings throughout San Luis Obispo County in 1883. These lithographs illustrated
History of San Luis Obispo County, California, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, produced in 1883 by publishers Thompson and West of Oakland, California.
The lithographs in this collection were produced for publication in a county history in 1883. During the late nineteenth century
and the first few decades of the twentieth century, county and local histories were quite popular as American communities
expressed pride in their economic achievements and attempted to boost further development and growth. Many county histories
and so-called county "mug books" were published on a "subscription basis" — those profiled paid to be included. As a result,
the biographical sections and illustrations of the paying subscribers or "patrons" formed a substantial part of each history.
In cases such as the Thompson and West histories of this period, artists' renderings of the ranches and properties of the
subscribers and of other prominent citizens added an additional dimension to the publication.
In order to reproduce, publish, broadcast, exhibit, and/or quote from this material, researchers must submit a written request
and obtain formal permission from Special Collections, Cal Poly, as the owner of the physical collection.