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Edith Irvine photographs, approximately 1870-1931

Identifier: MSS P 585 Series 1

Scope and Contents

Comprised primarily of photographs created by Edith Irvine between 1900 and 1920. Subjects of the photographs include: Yosemite National Park, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, construction of the Meadow Lake Dam and Electra Powerhouse, and early residents of Mokelumne Hill and Calaveras County, California. The most notable unit of photographs deals with the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco, which Irvine was on hand to photograph just after the quake occurred. Also included in the series are biographical photographs of Irvine and her family taken by other photographers. These include early portraits as well as a photograph of Irvine as a teacher.


  • approximately 1870-1931


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research. Proofs of the negatives and original photographs are kept in cold storage and access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Gelatin dry plate negatives are restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Edith Irvine Photograph Collection must be obtained from the Reference Supervisor, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, and the L. Tom Perry Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

Edith Irvine (1884-1949) was a teacher and photographer in Calaveras County, California. She is best known for her photographs documenting the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

Lizzie Edith Irvine was born January 7, 1884 in Sheep Ranch, California and was reared in a prosperous Mokelumne Hill household. Edith took her first major photography assignment as a teen, when she was hired by the Standard Electric Company of California to photograph construction of the Electra Power Plant. Her most celebrated photographs, however, were taken in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Later photographs largely concentrate on her community, including local schools, community events, and portraits of friends and neighbors.

Sometime after 1910, Edith turned to teaching as a profession. In addition to teaching, she served as a Board of Education member as well as the principal of Moke Hill High School. Edith retired from education in the early 1930s due to health concerns. In her later years, she edited and contributed to Mokelumne Hill's newspaper, the Calaveras Weekly. Edith Irvine died in Calaveras County, California on August 14, 1949.


8 boxes

Language of Materials