County Survey Collection
Photographs of agriculture and industry in Kern County, California,
Collection digitized? Generally, no. Selected
images are included here to give a sample of the collection.
One of the last commissions of Carleton E. Watkins (1829-1916),
early American landscape photographer, was a series of views
of Kern County, California, executed in the late 1880s. As
part of an effort to publicize this southern California region
and encourage new settlement, local land developers asked Watkins
to photograph Kern County agriculture, industry, and resources.
In 1929 the Library received 415 original photoprints from
the survey by transfer from the Bureau of Reclamation. The
photographs depict ranch buildings, livestock, the propagation
and processing of fruit and ground crops, methods of irrigation,
and antimony mining operations, and include views of Bakersfield,
the county seat. Captions provide extensive geographical, historical,
and commercial information for each scene and key photographs
to the four maps. There is an entry for the collection (LOT
3379) in the Prints and Photographs Divisional card catalog.
Some of the items for which copy photography has been requested
can be searched in the Prints & Photographs
Note: Information for this entry was compiled
in the late 1970's for inclusion in: Special Collections
in the Library of Congress: A Selective Guide. Compiled
by Annette Melville. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress,
1980. The entry was revised in 1998.