UC Santa Cruz gets $32 million photography collection

Largest single gift in campus history

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - U.C. Santa Cruz is now home to a vast collection of photographs valued at $32 million. The university announced Monday it has received The Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Collection, the largest single gift in the school’s history.

The collection contains over 12,000 photographic prints, 25,000 negatives, and thousands of transparencies created by photographer Pirkle Jones over the course of his career. Also included are prints and negatives by his wife and partner, Ruth-Marion Baruch, and a selection of prints by Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Minor White.

The collection documents life, landscape and politics in California in the mid-20th century and includes photographs of San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury (1967) and the Black Panthers (1968).

“The stories Pirkle and Ruth-Marion captured from the 1940s through the 1970s are just as relevant today as when they were created,” said Elisabeth Remak-Honnef, head of Special Collections and Archives at U.C. Santa Cruz. “We are grappling with the same issues of social, political and environmental justice. People are eager to engage with these issues, and appreciation for such beautiful photographs is timeless.”

The collection was donated by the Marin Community Foundation. U.C. Santa Cruz archivists estimate it will take at least two years to process the collection, which will be housed in McHenry Library's Special Collections.


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