This collection contains photographs, negatives, positives, and lantern slides depicting Southern California, primarily in
the late 19th century, that were compiled by Los Angeles
lawyer and writer Arthur M. Ellis (1875-1932), often for use in his research and lectures on California history. The images
focus mainly on Los Angeles and nearby communities and provide quite a comprehensive picture of the
growth and development of the region at the turn of the twentieth century. The collection dates from the years ca. 1850 to
the 1920s and includes 1366 photographic prints (mostly copy prints from 8 x 10 inch glass-plate
and film negatives), 1520 4 x 5 inch and smaller glass negatives, glass positives, film negatives and lantern slides, 203
8 x 10 inch glass plate negatives, and 734 8 x10 inch film negatives.
Arthur McDonald Ellis (1875-1932) was born in Missouri. When he was two years old, his parents moved the family to California,
where his grandfather had settled in the early 1850s. Ellis was educated in Pomona and at the
University of California, Berkeley. Upon graduation he began a teaching career, but left the profession after a few years
to study law. He established his practice in Los Angeles in 1903.
Ellis studied history while at Berkeley, and his interest in the subject was life-long. He served as director of the Historical
Society of Southern California, and was its president during 1927-1928. He was also a trustee of
the Southwest Museum. He lectured statewide on California history and accumulated a large collection of photographs and slides
depicting Southern California and the Southwest, which he used in his presentations. He published a
number of books, including The Indians of Los Angeles County (1926), a collection of letters of early pioneer Hugo Reid that provided firsthand accounts of the Native Americans of California
and their treatment by the Mission padres.
approximately 6700 photographs (including prints, negatives, positives, and lantern slides) in 67 boxes (28 linear feet)
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material,
nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and
obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Advance arrangements for viewing glass plate negatives and positives, lantern slides, and film negatives must be made with
the Curator of Photographs.
The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.