Library digitizes over 6,000 photos from Pirkle Jones/Ruth-Marion Baruch collection

Student News

Thousands of previously unseen photographs from The Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Collection at UC Santa Cruz are now available online to the general public, thanks to a collaboration between the campus library and the California Digital Library (CDL).The University Library has completed the scanning of 6,360 original negatives from the historical archive, which was donated to UC Santa Cruz in 2016. The work was done this summer as part of a mass digitization pilot project sponsored by the CDL. The Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Collection documents the people, landscape, and politics of California in the mid-20th century. Capturing the history of California during a time of enormous social change, it is an extraordinary resource for scholars, students, and the public.UC Santa Cruz holds the copyright for all of Baruch and Jones’ work. Most of these images were never printed by the photographers, and their publication online is now the first time they will be viewed by the public. “The collection is a boon–not just to UCSC, but to UC and the state–and its digitization will increase its use and the prominence of both the campus and the UC system,” noted University Librarian Elizabeth Cowell. “As the holders not just of the physical objects but the artistic rights, UC is charged with disseminating these works as widely as possible and this digitization project will allow UC to share this selection with the broadest possible audience.” Three groups of images were selected for the project from the UCSC collection, which includes more than 12,000 photographic prints and 30,000 negatives from the noted California photographers. They include the Black Panthers Series–taken by Baruch and Jones in 1968 after they were given unprecedented access to the inner circle of the Party’s leadership; the Death of a Valley series–shot by Jones documenting the last year of the Berryessa Valley in 1956 before it was flooded …

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