Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Harold A. Parker Studio Collection of Negatives
photCL 402  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (0.73 Mb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Box Index
  • Related Material
  • Index Terms
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

  • Overview of the Collection

    Repository: The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, CA
    91108
    Creator: Parker, Harold A. (1878-1930).
    Title: Harold A. Parker Studio Collection of Negatives
    Dates: 1889-1958
    Dates: bulk 1913-1949
    Quantity: 44.47 linear feet, 60 boxes, 4 binders
    Abstract: The Harold A. Parker Studio Collection of Negatives consists of 5155 glass plate negatives, film negatives, and panoramic negatives, 1889-1949, that depict commercial, residential and landscape sites in and around Pasadena and Southern California. The images provide a look at the commercial, residential and social development of Pasadena and surrounding areas during the early years of the twentieth century. The collection is especially rich in images of residential architecture in Pasadena, Altadena, and San Marino; images of Lake Tahoe; depictions of, and activities at, the Raymond, Maryland, and Huntington Hotels in Pasadena; and the commercial, social and cultural landscapes of Pasadena. The collection also provides, through its breadth and depth of subject matter, an example of the career activities of a commercial photographer in Southern California in the early years of the twentieth century.
    Identification: photCL 402
    Language of Material: English

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Harold A. Parker (1878-1930) was born in Iowa and immigrated to Pasadena with his parents in 1892 at the age of 14. He became interested in photography at an early age, and began working professionally in 1900. Parker opened his Pasadena studio in 1904 and operated it until his death in 1930 at the age of 52. Parker also operated a studio in the Tahoe Tavern at Lake Tahoe between 1908 and 1910, where he produced a number of images of the Tavern, Lake Tahoe, and the surrounding areas. Parker was noted for his photographs of California, especially his images of the California Missions and the Tournament of Roses parades; he was also responsible for the earliest aerial images of Pasadena. A commercial photographer, Parker worked as a contract photographer for the Pasadena Star-News Tournament of Roses edition, and took pictures of civic and social organizations, local retailers, and private individuals who commissioned him to record their gatherings, buildings, and various rites of passage.
    After Parker's death in 1930, operation of the studio fell to his wife, Marjorie. Sometime in the 1930s, Dickson and Thurber Studios purchased the business and operated it until shortly after World War II when it was subsequently purchased by the firm of Lee and Mac. J. Allen Hawkins, who had worked for Parker as a teenager, purchased approximately 35,000 glass plates and negatives from Lee and Mac and moved them to his studio on North Lake Avenue, Pasadena. The Parker negatives were stored at Hawkins' studio until construction of the 210 Freeway in the 1970s forced a relocation. Hawkins destroyed many of the negatives prior to the move, selling the remainder to a movie photographer who subsequently gave them to Donald Parker, Harold Parker's son.

    Scope and Contents

    The Harold A. Parker Studio Collection of Negatives consists of 5157 glass plate negatives, film negatives, and panoramic negatives, 1889-1949, that depict commercial, residential and landscape sites in and around Pasadena and Southern California. The images provide a look at the commercial, residential and social development of Pasadena and surrounding areas during the early years of the twentieth century. The collection is especially rich in images of residential architecture in Pasadena, Altadena, and San Marino; images of Lake Tahoe; depictions of, and activities at, the Raymond, Maryland, and Huntington Hotels in Pasadena; and the commercial, social and cultural landscapes of Pasadena. The collection also provides, through its breadth and depth of subject matter, an example of the career activities of a commercial photographer in Southern California in the early years of the twentieth century.
    The collection's 599 glass plate negatives (which are primarily 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches), 4429 film negatives (which are primarily 8 x 10 inches but also include 5 x 7 and 4 x 6 inch negatives), and 127 panoramic negatives depict a wide variety of subjects. These include, but are not limited to, aerial views of Pasadena taken on Roy Knabenshue's 1913 dirigible flight over Pasadena, which can be found at the beginning of the collection, and aerial views taken in 1949, which can be found at the end of the film negatives section; Yosemite; many of the California Missions; Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Tavern; images of Catalina Island; the Raymond, Maryland and Huntington Hotels in Pasadena, including the aftermath of the fire at the Maryland Hotel; Pasadena schools, consisting of construction photographs, interiors, exteriors, school children in and out of classrooms; businesses, primarily window and floor displays, views of interiors and exteriors, employees on the job, and construction photographs of new business buildings (of especial note are the many photographs of markets and grocery stores, and laundries); churches, hospitals, libraries, theaters, and civic buildings, consisting of construction photographs and views of interiors and exteriors (of especial note are the images of hospitals in Pasadena during the 1919 influenza epidemic); residences in Pasadena, Altadena, and San Marino, consisting of street scenes, exteriors, interiors, furniture, architectural details, and architectural renderings by architects such as Wallace Neff, Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury, and Myron Hunt; prefabricated houses and tract homes in the Pasadena area; gardens, both public and private; the Colorado Street bridge; the Rose Bowl; airplanes, including the Vin-Fiz Flyer, the airplane piloted by Calbraith Perry Rodgers that completed the first United States transcontinental flight from Long Island to Pasadena; automobiles, automobile dealerships, and service stations and garages; notable individuals including Albert Einstein, Herbert Hoover, and Ernestine Schumann Heink; and residences, commercial buildings, and landscape views in other locations within Southern California including Alhambra, Antelope Valley, Arcadia, Arvin, Bakersfield, Flintridge, Los Angeles, Monrovia, Palm Springs, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Tehachapi, and Whittier. Also present are portraits (many unidentified). Most subjects can be found scattered throughout the collection, and in all formats.
    The collection also contains a copy of The Planter, a novel by Herman Whitaker. Parker shot stills for the film version of the novel, starring Tyrone Power, and the book is annotated with clippings and Parker's photographs.
    The collection may contain photographs taken by J. Allen Hawkins.

    Arrangement

    The negatives are arranged by format and serial number, which also corresponds generally to chronology: glass plate negatives are listed first, and are the oldest images in the collection, followed by smaller format (8 x 10, 5 x 7, and 4 x 6 inches) film negatives, and panoramic negatives. This arrangement is not strictly chronological; for example, the panoramic negatives span the 1910s and 1920s, but are identified with serial numbers that place them at the end of the collection.
    The collection is described at the item level. The item numbers are, for the most part, Harold Parker's serial numbers. Where serial numbers are unreadable, numbers were assigned based on subject matter. Titles come from two sources: the original negative envelope, or the photographer's son and collection donor, Donald Parker. They consist of, generally, city, building, street and general description.

    Box Index

    The contents of each box is as follows:
    Box 1: Glass plate negatives, numbers 37-204B
    Box 2: Glass plate negatives, numbers 204C-728
    Box 3: Glass plate negatives, numbers 739-1005
    Box 4: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1011-1263
    Box 5: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1264-1276A
    Box 6: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1277-1293
    Box 7: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1294-1307
    Box 8: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1320-1505
    Box 9: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1507-1522
    Box 10: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1532-1548
    Box 11: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1555-1567
    Box 12: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1570-1652
    Box 13: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1659-1725
    Box 14: Glass plate negatives, numbers 1740-2239
    Box 15: Glass plate negatives, numbers 2241-2957
    Box 16: Glass plate negatives, numbers 2962-3013
    Box 17: Glass plate negatives, numbers 3014-3096
    Box 18: Glass plate negatives, numbers 3097-3293
    Box 19: Glass plate negatives, numbers 3296-3754
    Box 20: Glass plate negatives, numbers 3773-6255
    Box 21: Glass plate negatives, numbers 6299-6577
    Box 22: Glass plate negatives, numbers 6590-7061
    Box 23: Glass plate negatives, numbers 7090-7446
    Box 24: Glass plate negatives, numbers 7495-7869
    Box 25: Glass plate negatives, numbers 8109-8543
    Box 26: Glass plate negatives, numbers 8573-8731
    Box 27: Glass plate negatives, numbers 8736-9211
    Box 28: Glass plate negatives, numbers 9212-10595
    Box 29: Glass plate negatives, numbers 10679-11303
    Box 30: Glass plate negatives, numbers 11304-11413
    Box 31: Glass plate negatives, numbers 11414-11887
    Box 32: Glass plate negatives, numbers 11888-13748
    Box 33: Glass plate negatives, numbers 13820-14155
    Box 34: Glass plate negatives, numbers 14156-14461
    Box 35: Glass plate negatives, numbers 14462-15164
    Box 36: Glass plate negatives, numbers 15252-16633
    Box 37: Glass plate negatives, numbers 17199-30126
    Box 38: Glass plate negatives, numbers 30127-35209
    Box 39: Film negatives, numbers 1-7014
    Box 40: Film negatives, numbers 25024-26528
    Box 41: Film negatives, numbers 26576-28230
    Box 42: Film negatives, numbers 28231-28892
    Box 43: Film negatives, numbers 28893-29388
    Box 44: Film negatives, numbers 29390-29882
    Box 45: Film negatives, numbers 29883-30873
    Box 46: Film negatives, numbers 30876-31889
    Box 47: Film negatives, numbers 31890-32382
    Box 48: Film negatives, numbers 32383-33135
    Box 49: Film negatives, numbers 33137-34024
    Box 50: Film negatives, numbers 34033-35396A
    Box 51: Film negatives, numbers 35420-35855
    Box 52: Film negatives, numbers 35856-37161
    Box 53: Panoramic negatives, numbers 40001-40040
    Box 54: Panoramic negatives, numbers 40046-40079
    Box 55: Panoramic negatives, numbers 40080-40108
    Box 56: Panoramic negatives, numbers 40109-40129
    Box 57: Ephemera
    Box 58: Copy prints, numbers 1-26663
    Box 59: Copy prints, numbers 26666-36027
    Box 60: Mounted panoramic copy prints

    Related Material

    See also:
    For additional panoramic negatives, see the Collection of California and Southern California Panoramic Negatives finding aid, which brings together the Verner Collection of Panoramic Negatives, the "Dick" Whittington Studio Collection's panoramic negatives, and the panoramic negatives in the Parker Collection.
    Identifier/Call Number: photLS 402,
    Title: Harold A. Parker Collection of Lantern Slides.
    Identifier/Call Number: photCL 330,
    Title: J. Allen Hawkins Collection.

    Index Terms

    This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Persons:

    Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955--Photographs.
    Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964--Photographs.
    Hunt, Myron, 1868-1952.
    Knabenshue, Roy, d. 1960--Photographs.
    Neff, Wallace, 1895-
    Rodgers, Calbraith Perry--Photographs.
    Schumann-Heink, Ernestine, 1861-1936--Photographs.

    Organizations:

    California Institute of Technology--Photographs.
    Green Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Hotel Virginia (Long Beach, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Huntington Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury.
    Maryland Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Raymond Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Rose Bowl Stadium (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Vin Fiz (Airplane)--Photographs.
    Vista del Arroyo Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.)--Photographs.

    Places:

    Alhambra (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Altadena (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Antelope Valley (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Arcadia (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Arvin (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Bakersfield (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Flintridge (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Glendale (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Long Beach (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Monrovia (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Mount Baldy (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Palm Springs (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Pasadena (Calif.)--Photographs.
    San Gabriel Mountains (Calif.)--Photographs.
    San Marino (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Santa Catalina Island (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Sierra Madre (Calif.)--Photographs.
    South Pasadena (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)--Photographs.
    Tahoe Tavern (Tahoe City, Calif.)--Photographs.
    Tehachapi (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Whittier (Calif.)--Photographs.
    Yosemite National Park (Calif.)--Photographs.

    Subjects:

    Airplanes--Photographs.
    Airships--Photographs.
    Apartment houses--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Architect-designed houses--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Architectural drawings--Photographs.
    Automobile dealers--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Automobiles--Photographs.
    Bank buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Bird's-eye views.
    Building construction--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Business enterprises--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Churches--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Clothing stores--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Decoration and ornament, Architectural--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Display of merchandise--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Dwellings--California--Altadena--Photographs.
    Dwellings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Dwellings--California--San Marino--Photographs.
    Employees--California--Photographs.
    Funeral homes--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Furniture--Photographs.
    Gardens--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Golf courses--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Golfers--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Grocery trade--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Historic bridges--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Hospitals--California--Pasadena--Employees--Photographs.
    Hotels--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Hotels--California--Long Beach--Photographs.
    Housing developments--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919--Health aspects--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Interiors--California--Los Angeles--Photographs.
    Laundries--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Library buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Miniature golf--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Missions--California--Photographs.
    Motion picture theaters--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Prefabricated houses--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Public buildings--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Real estate development--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Recreation--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    School children--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Schools--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Stores, Retail--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Streets--California--Pasadena.
    Theaters--California--Pasadena--Photographs.
    Traffic accidents--Photographs.
    Window displays--California--Pasadena--Photographs.

    Genre:

    Books.
    Negatives.
    Panoramas.
    Photographs.
    Portraits.

    Restrictions on Access

    Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington 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.

    Preferred Citation

    photCL 402, Harold A. Parker Collection of Negatives and Photographs, 1889-1949.

    Acquisition Information

    The panoramic and glass plate negatives were donated by Donald Parker in 1996; the film negatives were Donated by Donald Parker in 1999.

    Processing Information

    The collection was rehoused shortly after donation; copy prints were made of some of the negatives.
    The panoramic negatives underwent conservation treatment in 2005. They were humidified, flattened and housed in mylar by Ann Lindsey, project conservator. All the negatives were digitized in 2005, and the digital files are available on CD-ROMs for viewing. Most of the older glass plate negatives (dated ca. 1905-ca. 1925) and 6 film negatives underwent conservation in May-July 2007.
    In July 2006, Sue Luftschein assigned new numbers to a small percentage of the glass plates, and created this finding aid using, in part, the database created by Donald Parker.
    A number of images, specifically those at the beginning of the Container List, were transferred to the Parker Collection from the Hawkins Collection.

    Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

    The collection consists entirely of glass plate and film negatives. The glass plates are extremely fragile; arrangements for viewing must be made with the Curator of Photographs. Surrogates in the form of photocopies exist for the majority of the glass plate negatives; these are housed in binders, and indicated in the Container List.
    The film negatives (smaller format and panoramic) have been placed in cold storage for preservation. Arrangements for access to the smaller format negatives must be made with the Curator of Photographs. Surrogates in the form of copy prints and digital images exist for a small percentage of these negatives; the copy prints are housed in boxes 50 and 51 and are noted in the Container List, and digital surrogates are available on CD-ROM through the office of the Curator of Photographs.
    Access to the panoramic negatives is available on CD-ROM through the office of the Curator of Photographs. Some panoramas are also available in print form; this is indicated in the Container List. Due to the length of these negatives, all digital images were scanned in sections. An image may only be ordered in its entirety. Patrons are responsible for assuming the cost of digitally stitching the image together by the Huntington's photography lab.