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Guide to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection
Various; consult contributing institutions  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Title: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection
    Collection Number: Various; consult repositories
    Extent: 8920 digital objects (approximately 14,000 images and 7,000 pages of text)
    Repositories: The Bancroft Library  
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Contributing Institution: California Historical Society, North Baker Research Library  
    San Francisco, California 94105-4014
    Contributing Institution: California State Library 
    P.O. Box 942837, Sacramento, CA 94237-0001
    Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library 
    1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
    Contributing Institution: The Society of California Pioneers 
    300 Fourth Street San Francisco, CA 94107-1272
    Contributing Institution: The Stanford University Libraries — Special Collections & Archives  
    Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
    Abstract: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection is a compilation of selected holdings from collections housed in the archives and special collections of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; the California Historical Society, San Francisco; The California State Library, Sacramento; Stanford University, Stanford; The Huntington Library, San Marino; and The Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco. Presenting approximately 14,000 images and 7,000 pages of text, the digital collection makes accessible material related to the history of the earthquake and fire in San Francisco, as well as presenting material on other areas affected throughout the state. The project website for The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection   includes a full introduction to the collection, online exhibit, panoramic image, interactive map search and other ways to explore this rich collection.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Please consult the individual repositories for current information on the location of these materials. Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Access procedures and restrictions vary by repository. In most cases advance notice or an appointment is required for use. For more information contact the institution directly.

    Publication Rights

    Some of the materials in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (title 17, USC) and/or by the copyright or neighboring rights laws of other nations. Additionally, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by privacy or publicity rights. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to reproduce or use the item.
    The owning institutions encourage use of these materials under the fair use clause of the 1976 copyright act. For the purposes of research, teaching, and private study, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) materials from this collection without prior permission of the owning institution, on the condition that proper attribution of the source is provided in all copies.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], [Collection Formal Title & number], The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Published Material That May Be Useful To Researchers

    Books:
    Bronson, William. The Earth Shook, the Sky Burned. Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1959; San Francisco : Chronicle Books, 1986.
    Douty, Christopher Morris. The Economics of Localized Disasters: The 1906 San Francisco Catastrophe . New York : Arno Press, 1970.
    Fradkin, Phillip. The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906: How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
    Gayle Gullett. Becoming Citizens: The Emergence and Development of the California Women's Movement, 1880-1911. (Women in American History.) Champaign: University of Illinois Press. 2000. Especially Chapter 4, "Politics of Altruism."
    Hansen, Gladys and Emmet Condon. Denial of Disaster. San Francisco: Cameron and Co., 1989.
    James, Charles D. and Susan Fatemi. Aftershocks: Photographs of the 1906 San Francisco and 1923 Tokyo Earthquakes. Berkeley, Calif. : Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California : National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering, 2002.
    Kurzman, Dan. Disaster!: The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. New York: William Morrow, 2001.
    Morris, Charles ed. The San Franciso Calamity by Earthquake and Fire. Intro by Roger W. Lotchin. Philadelphia : J.C. Winston Co., 1906; Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2002.
    Pan, Erica Y. Z. The Impact of the 1906 Earthquake on San Francisco's Chinatown. New York : P. Lang, 1995.
    Saul, Eric and Don DeNevi. The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, 1906. Millbrae, California: Celestial Arts, 1981.
    Stellmann, Louis J. The Vanished Ruin Era; San Francisco's Classic Artistry of Ruin Depicted in Picture and Song. San Francisco, P. Elder and Company, [c1910].
    Thomas, Gordon and Max M. Witts. The San Francisco earthquake. New York, Stein and Day, [1971].
    Articles:
    Anderson, Douglas Firth."We Have Here a Different Civilization": Protestant Identity in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1906-1909. The Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2. (May, 1992), pp. 199-221.
    Baker, Simon. "San Francisco in Ruins: The 1906 Aerial Photographs of George R. Lawrence." Landscape (1989) vol. 30, no. 2: 9-14.
    ________. "The Hitherto Impossible Photography Is Our Specialty," Air & Space/Smithsonian (1988) no. 4: 64-68.
    Bolton, Marie. "An Endless Cycle of Crisis? Housing in Post-Earthquake San Francisco, 1906-1915." Revue FranÇaise d'Etudes AmÉricaines (1995) vol. 64: 289-297.
    Egan, Kathryn S."A Constructivist's View of an Earthquake: Edith Irvine Photographs San Francisco 1906." Journalism History vol. 20 no. 2 (Summer 1994): 66-73.
    Godfrey, Brian J. "Urban Development and Redevelopment in San Francisco." Geographical Review, Vol. 87, No. 3. (Jul., 1997), pp. 309-333.
    Hartley, William G. "Saints and the San Francisco Earthquake." Brigham Young University Studies (1983) no. 4: 431-459.
    Holm, Ed. "Death of a City." American History Illustrated (1990) vol. 25, no. 1: 24-33.
    Phillips, Ronnie. "Coping with Financial Catastrophe: The San Francisco Clearinghouse during the Earthquake of 1906." Research in Economic History (2003) vol. 23: 79-104.
    Pond, William M. "The Navy and the Fire: San Francisco." Journal of America's Military Past (1994) vol. 21, no. 1: 57-72.
    Smith, Carl. "Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire." Yale Review vol. 74 (Autumn 1984): 79-94.
    Stehle, Randy, "Auxiliary Markings: 'Burned Out' in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire—Recent Discoveries and a Re-examination of the Resumption of Normal Postal Service," La Posta 29 (June-July 1998): 55-63.
    Strobridge, William. "Soldiers in the Streets," Pacific Historian (1978) 1: 3-8.
    Unpublished Items and Dissertations:
    Bolton, Marie. "Recovery for Whom? Social Conflict after the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, 1906-1915," University of California, Davis, 1997.
    Corbett, Michael. "The Effect of the Earthquake and Fire of 1906 on the San Francisco Building Law." Berkeley, California: 1980.
    Rozario, Kevin L. "Nature's Evil Dreams: Disaster and America, 1871-1906." Yale University, 1996.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection:
    Fires--California--San Francisco
    Earthquakes--California--San Francisco
    San Francisco Earthquake, Calif., 1906
    Photographs

    Administrative Information

    Project Information

    The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection is a multi-institutional gathering of material related to this important historical event. The project consisted of collecting and digitizing numerous rich and varied materials resulting in the content found in this archival finding aid, an interactive website and online exhibit. Many people contributed to the success of these endeavors.
    The grant was initially conceived and written by Tim Hoyer, former Head of Bancroft Technical Services. Merrilee Proffitt provided technical expertise and management of the project. After Mr. Hoyer and Ms. Proffitt left the Bancroft Library, Theresa Salazar, Curator of The Bancroft Collection of Western Americana, served as Project Manager until David de Lorenzo was appointed Head of Technical Services in 2001. At that point, given the scope and size of the project, duties and responsibilities were divided among individuals with specific knowledge and expertise and a formal Project Group was created.
    Philip Fradkin was hired as a consultant to the project. Ms. Salazar served as the primary selector of textual material, coordinating activities at the other contributing Libraries, and creating descriptive metadata for textual materials. James Eason, Principal Pictorial Archivist and Chris McDonald, Pictorial Processing Archivist, selected and processed the pictorial materials at both The Bancroft Library and the California Historical Society. Assisting in the selection portion of the project as well as with research, data input, and editing of content, were Amy Hellam, Francisco Casique, Anna Arentrout, Jennifer Redmond, Stephanie Abel, Dylan Esson, and Joyce Mao. Mao and Esson wrote the text for the online exhibit.
    Mary Elings, Archivist for Digital Collections, managed the digital production and metadata creation for the project. Much of the data entry and tracking was handled by Jeffrey Hookom and LuAnn Sleeper, both Digital Project Assistants. Jeanne Gahagan proofed and edited much of the TEI encoding toward the end of the project.
    Mary Morganti, The Director of Research Collections at the California Historical Society was a major contributor to this project, providing expertise about the holdings in her repository. In addition, Abby Bridge at The California Historical Society helped with selection and input related to their collection.
    The staff of Library Photographic Services at UC Berkeley, Dan Johnston, Amy Yang, Jiro Marubayashi and Sarah Grew worked untiringly and more importantly with the utmost professionalism to provide the highest quality digital work.
    From the Digital Publishing Group at UC Berkeley, Lynne Grigby-Standfill coordinated much of the digital and database export work on the project. Alvin Pollock and Erin Nhaminerva processed the encoded texts and Michael Conkin exported the METS digital objects and finding aids. Brooke Dykman created the designs for the website, designed the flash entry screen, and also built the website.
    The Bancroft Library would like to thank the California State Library for its support of the Library and Services Technology Act (LSTA), and for the opportunity to present the rich and tragic history of The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    On April 18, 1906, San Francisco was wrecked by a powerful earthquake and for the next few days was consumed by fires that destroyed a large portion of the city. The earthquake's epicenter was located near the city along the San Andreas Fault. Damage from the earthquake was widespread, occurring for hundreds of miles along the extensive fault line. As San Francisco was then the West Coast's most populous city and it's leading economic and cultural center, the repercussions of the earthquake and fire throughout the region were tremendous. Since then, documentation pertaining to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire has been collected and preserved these many years at various libraries and archives throughout the state. In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the disaster, some of these institutions have collaborated in an effort to make selected primary source materials accessible in a digital format. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection is the result of this effort.
    The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection is a compilation of selected holdings from collections housed in the archives and special collections of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; the California Historical Society, San Francisco; The California State Library, Sacramento; Stanford University, Stanford; The Huntington Library, San Marino; and The Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco. Presenting approximately 14,000 images and 7,000 pages of text, the virtual archive makes accessible material related to the history of the earthquake and fire in San Francisco, as well as presenting material on other areas affected throughout the state. The materials were selected to illustrate broad topical themes:
    • Pre-1906 earthquakes
    • San Francisco on the eve of the earthquake and fire
    • The 1906 Earthquake
    • The Ensuing Firestorms
    • The Relief Effort
    • The Reconstruction effort, culminating in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition
    • Earthquake damage outside San Francisco
    • The Science of the Earthquake
    The materials selected are drawn from a variety of printed sources and archival collections, compiled by institutions and libraries with varying missions. Many of the collections have distinctive histories of their own. In some cases entire collections have been included; more often a selection of materials relating to the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire has been selected from a collection with broader scope. While the materials presented in The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection are extensive, they are only selective and do not include comprehensively the wealth of historical and archival materials documenting this topic at participating institutions. Users should note the source of the materials found on this site and contact the holding libraries or archives for further information.
    The project website for The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection   includes an introduction to the collection, online exhibit, panoramic image, interactive map search and other ways to explore this rich collection.