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California Memoirs: The William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection

History/Science, Photography

This exhibit will showcase selected images from the William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection, donated to the State Archives in 1996. William and Grace McCarthy, native Californians born in the late 19th century, pursued their passion for both photography and travel for many years. The end result is a collection of nearly 3,000 photos mounted in 11 albums that provide rare pictorial documentation of the couple’s early 20th-century travels through California and beyond. Featured photographs will emphasize California's diverse natural and built environments, historic sites and family life. Always ready with the camera, McCarthy also captured significant events that shaped or impacted the state's development, such as stunning images of San Francisco before and after the 1906 earthquake, the fire that destroyed that city's iconic Cliff House in 1907, and the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition.