The Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation and La Cañada Congregational Church announced they received a grant from California Revealed to catalog and preserve a rare collection of several hundred photographs taken by early settler Charles Pate (1874-1961).
The Charles Pate Photograph Collection, which belongs to La Cañada Congregational Church, has resided at the Lanterman House archives for over 20 years. Pate, a member of the church, was an amateur photographer who documented everyday life in the La Cañada Valley. Images include the people, homes and lands of other early pioneers in the area, landscape photographs, street photography, bridges and landmarks.
“The roots of our church run deep in the Crescenta Valley. The Pate Collection captures the everyday quality of life as it was in our early years. I hope that its preservation and expansion inspires people to enjoy this glimpse into history and savor their time in the present,” said Rev. Kyle Sears of La Cañada Congregational Church.
Lanterman House Archivist Julie Yamashita will have six months to individually catalog each of the photographs in the collection and rehouse them in archival containers. After each of the images are carefully documented and stored, Yamashita will apply for a second grant on behalf of both organizations to digitize the images and make them available online worldwide by the California State Library.
“This collection is so significant because it is the only known photographic archive created by a local photographer who documented the Valley during the late 19th century,” said Yamashita. “Pate had a flair for capturing ordinary scenes, which aren’t often documented.”
Since 2019, the Lanterman House received several grants from California Revealed to catalog and digitize materials from the Lanterman Archives. California Revealed is an initiative of the California State Library that helps heritage groups digitize, preserve and provide online access to archival materials documenting the state’s history, art and cultures. The program is made possible by funding from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. Past California Revealed grants have made Lanterman Archives collections available online through the California Revealed website, the Internet Archive, the Digital Pubic Library of America and Calisphere.