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Photographs from the Sourisseau collection

Photographs and Images

The photographs and images in the Smith-Layton Archives number more than 80,000 and are scattered among several collections of photographs and family papers. They cover almost every aspect of life in San José during the last decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century such as construction and demolition in the city itself, the rise and fall of the valley's fruit orchards and canning industry, the movement of people and communities from the farms and orchards into the developing city centers in Santa Clara County, and many other issues, events and facets of life.

Please note that only a small portion of the photographs in the Smith-Layton Archives are available online. Feel free to contact us to inquire about images in our collection that are not listed below.

Arnold Del Carlo Collection

This collection represents more than twenty years of work by local commercial photographer Arnold Del Carlo. The collection includes negatives and prints of local businesses and the built environment, including aerial photographs of the Santa Clara Valley, as well as portraiture of local families and individuals. The collection documents the growth of the valley during this period of rapid change.
Search the online guide to the Arnold Del Carlo Collection on the Online Archive of California.

Edith C. Smith Collection

This collection is named for the Sourisseau Academy's long-serving archivist Edith Corinne Smith. Materials in the collection were carefully and intentionally selected primarily by Dr. Thomas N. Layton, former Sourisseau Board member and one of the trustees of the Edith C. Smith Trust. This collection contains more than 8,000 photographs and images, some of which have been made available on the Sourisseau Academy's online image database "WebKiosk" or on the Online Archive of California and are listed below:

  • Charles B. Polhemus photographs: Charles' sister, Jenny, took photographs in 1908 of the newly-formed Santa Clara Automobile Club's outings throughout Santa Clara County and further afield into Monterey and Carmel. Other photographs are of the Polhemus family's excursions throughout San José and Santa Cruz, including Congress Springs.
  • Clark B. Waterhouse photographs: Clark took many photographs of the landscape designs and grounds of many famous California estates during a six-week trip he took with professors and classmates from the University of California in 1916.
  • Fred W. Crandall photographs: A collection of photographs showing aspects of the fruit-drying business Crandall worked in during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
  • James A. Clayton family photographs: A collection of photographs of members of the Clayton family, which lived in San José during the late 1800s.
  • Leonard McKay photographs and images: Leonard McKay was a local printer and historian. Many of the items in this collection are copies from private individuals who gave McKay permission to copy photos in their possession.
  • William H. Talbot family photographs: Photos in this collection chronicle approximately sixty years of the Talbot family and their lumber and shipping business during the mid- to late-1800s.

Sourisseau Academy Photograph Collection

This collection contains the first material collected by the Sourisseau Academy, much of which was photographs. The photographs and images in this collection number more than 10,000, a small selection of which have been made available on the Sourisseau Academy's online image database "WebKiosk" or on the Online Archives of California and are listed below:

  • Andrew P. Hill, Jr. photographs: Photographs in this collection include members of the Hill family as well as images of houses designed by Hill, Jr., a professional arcchitect.

Thomas N. Layton Collection

This collection was donated by Dr. Tom Layton, Professor Emeritus of the SJSU Anthropology Department and long-time Sourissau Academy Board member. While the photographs in this collection number more than 3,000 none of them are currently available online.