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Walter Douglas Portrait and Oral History Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-15

The collection consists of a series of matted portraits and prints photographed by Walter C. Douglas in his home studio between 1996 and 2002. While the majority of the photos are portraits, a small number are landscape, structure, and architectural detail shots of historic Santa Barbara city and county buildings.

The portraits are primarily of Santa Barbara citizens who have been active and influential in the work of preserving Santa Barbara's history, and many work in connection with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

The collection also consists of corresponding oral history interviews with some of the portrait subjects. Subjects were selected for portrait sittings and interviews based on their connection with Santa Barbara historic preservation or a connection with prominent nineteenth century Santa Barbara citizens. Several of the interviewees are descendants of major landholding families from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; others are or were notable figures involved in a variety of civic activities from the mid-twentieth century forward.

Walter C. Douglas' project represents nearly a decade of work preserving the stories and images of these Santa Barbara citizens. In Mr. Douglas' own words, his project accomplishes the documentation of the last generation of Santa Barbara pioneers.

Dates

  • 1983 - 2002

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist and Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Research Center 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.

Extent

15 Linear Feet (13 oversized boxes; 110 audio cassettes)

Overview

The collection consists of portraits and prints of Santa Barbara citizens who have been active and influential in the work of preserving Santa Barbara's history. They were photographed by Walter Douglas in his home studio between 1996 and 2002. The collection also consists of corresponding oral history interviews with the portrait subjects.

Biographical / Historical

Walter C. Douglas was born December 15, 1919 in St. Francis Hospital, Santa Barbara, California. He was baptized by Father Villa in Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. He is a member of the graduating class of 1939 from Santa Barbara High School and a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography first class in 1948.

During his career, Mr. Douglas worked as a photographer for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a group supervisor at Los Prietos Boys Camp, a planning technician for Santa Barbara County, a building designer for the cities of Santa Ynez and Solvang, an engineer and photographer for Pacific Bell Telephone Company, and as a free-lance photographer.

A lifelong Santa Barbara resident, Mr. Douglas is a founding member of the Santa Barbara Historical Society and has been involved with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation from its inception. He currently lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Joyce.

Arrangement

The collection is organized by and preserves the numbering and original chronological order imposed by Mr. Douglas during his project.

Container descriptions identify the nature of the photograph; descriptions that contain names only indicate a portrait; building names or more detailed descriptions indicate landscape, structure, or architectural photos or prints.

Photos labeled Print are prints made by Walter C. Douglas from a negative, and generally consist of early twentieth century photographs and one daguerrotype (Maria Antonia De la Guerra, box 1).

A code of RI following the portrait name indicates that a recorded interview was also conducted.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Walter Douglas, 1997-2000

Title
Walter Douglas Portrait and Oral History Collection
Status
completed
Author
Chris S. Ervin CA
Date
2020-03-25
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Presidio Research Center Repository

Contact:
215 East Canon Perdido St.
Santa Barbara CA 93101 USA