The John C. Gordon Photographic Collection documents the history of San José and the Santa Clara Valley from 1910 to 1963.
The collection consists of 6,000 photographic prints and 187 panorama prints. The photographic prints are organized by subject,
covering a variety of topics that illustrate everyday life in the region. This collection documents the changes in area business
ventures that include agriculture, fruit canning and processing, banking, local businesses, aeronautics, railroads, and other
The collection also includes 525 panorama nitrate and safety film negatives, 10,000 glass and film negatives, and the photographer's
portfolios and negative index. These items are not described in this collection inventory, but will be added at a future date.
This collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Photographic Prints; and Series II. Panorama Prints.
John C. Gordon was born in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin on January 3, 1887, the first son of Reverend G. W. Gordon. Reverend
Gordon earned his living as a photographer and as a Methodist preacher. John Gordon attended Albion College in Michigan, and
later took a teaching position in Nebraska. On June 8, 1910, he married Mina Eleanor Schnackenberg and following their wedding
reception, the couple moved to Campbell, California. Their first residence was in a prune orchard located on Budd Avenue,
and within a few years they relocated to Mayellen Avenue near West San Carlos Street. Gordon earned his early living working
at the local hardware store, while raising his young family.
14 boxes and 3 drawers (processed collection).
114.89 linear feet (complete collection).
Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections &
Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to
the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections
& Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital
reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
The photographic prints described in this document are open for research. The collection also includes photographic negatives
which are restricted.