If you have ever seen a 100-year-old photograph and marveled at its clarity and composition, it is likely that you were noticing the work of a professional photographer. In the days before personal cameras were commonplace, professional photographers were essential members of communities. From promotional photography for tourism or businesses, to family portraits or school photography, the work of early professional photographers documented the growth of cities and the lives of the people who lived there.
Co-authored by Ann Deegan and Maria Carrillo, Images of America: Early Redlands explores Redlands through the lens of the professional photographers who lived and worked here between 1880 and 1920. Utilizing images solely from the Archives of A.K. Smiley Public Library, this book examines the work of the 34 professional photographers who captured Redlands in its formative years. “These photographs reveal the aesthetics and technical skills of the men and women who photographed Redlands in those early years,” Ann Deegan noted. Co-author Maria Carrillo added, “The clarity of these photographs is truly impressive. It is almost as if the viewer can walk through the photograph and see early Redlands. They are a true testament to the extraordinary photography collection of the Heritage Room.”
Also included is a how-to chapter detailing how Deegan and Carrillo’s research can be applied to other communities. “What makes this book unique in the Images of America series is that it includes a chapter on how we identified Redlands photographers and used information about the photographers to date photographs. This is a useful tool for other communities and groups to date their own photographs,” explained Deegan.
Images of America: Early Redlands can be preordered now at Smiley Library. Books will be available for pick-up at an author book signing and presentation on November 24 at 3pm in the Smiley Library Assembly Room. This presentation is free to the public. All proceeds from Early Redlands will benefit the Heritage Room special collections.
A.K. Smiley Public Library is located at 125 West Vine Street in Redlands. For more information, please contact the Heritage Room, (909)798-7632.
About the Authors:
Ann Deegan received her Ph.D. in Textile History at University of Maryland minoring in U.S. History with her dissertation related to the American Civil War, and has an M.S. and B.S. from the University of California, Davis. She has taught at numerous universities over the last 30 years including University of Maryland, Kansas State University, Utah State University, University of Redlands, and UC Riverside. Topics have included Museum studies, U.S. history, and a variety of courses related to the history of costumes and textiles. Additionally she has been a curator of history in private and public museums including the San Bernardino County Museum as Curator of History and Head of the History Division. She does research, writing, and publishing in areas such as U.S. history and has numerous publications in professional and public journals. She is currently serving as a consultant in the Heritage Room of A.K. Smiley Public Library related to cataloging of archival materials.