January 17, 2022

Now Available: UC Santa Cruz Library Digitizes Over 6,000 Photos From Pirkle Jones/Ruth-Marion Baruch Collection

From UC Santa Cruz Libraries:

Thousands of previously unseen photographs from The Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Collection at UC Santa Cruz are now available online.

to the general public, thanks to a collaboration between the campus library and the California Digital Library (CDL).

The University Library has completed the scanning of 6,360 original negatives from the historical archive, which was donated to UC Santa Cruz in 2016. The work was done this summer as part of a mass digitization pilot project sponsored by the CDL.


The Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Collection documents the people, landscape, and politics of California in the mid-20th century. Capturing the history of California during a time of enormous social change, it is an extraordinary resource for scholars, students, and the public.


Three groups of images were selected for the project from the UCSC collection, which includes more than 12,000 photographic prints and 30,000 negatives from the noted California photographers.

They include the Black Panthers Series–taken by Baruch and Jones in 1968 after they were given unprecedented access to the inner circle of the Party’s leadership; the Death of a Valley series–shot by Jones documenting the last year of the Berryessa Valley in 1956 before it was flooded to create a new reservoir; and additional photos focusing on San Francisco and the greater Bay Area–taken by Baruch, dating from 1944 to 1978.

“We’re the second of three planned CDL pilot projects and unique in the sense that this is a collection of art photography,” noted Teresa Mora, Head of Special Collections & Archives at UC Santa Cruz. “We are particularly excited that this project allows us to share the entire corpus of Ruth-Marion Baruch’s work with the world. She was an exceptionally gifted photographer and reintroducing her work is a significant contribution to the historical record.”

A team from Pixel Acuity set up the digital scanning on-site at McHenry Library, faced with the technical challenge of scanning a large volume of unique material and working with never before seen images.

Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to The Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Collection

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.