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Remembering Larry Booth

1920-2003

SDHS Archives


Reprinted courtesy San Diego Historical Society

Larry Booth's long association with photographs of San Diego history began just after World War II when he started taking photographs for the Union Title Insurance Company magazine Title Trust Topics. At the same time he gained custody of a large collection of San Diego's oldest images, dating back to 1870. Over the years Larry began to notice that many of these historic images were fading or deteriorating. As the necessity for preserving these images became more and more evident, Larry and Jane Booth began to spend an enormous amount of time determining how to save these photographs that documented San Diego's history. By the late 1970's, Booth and Robert A. Weinstein wrote Collection Use and Care of Historical Photographs (AASLH, 1977), a compilation of 30 years worth of preservation knowledge. In 1977 the Booths were instrumental in transferring the Union Title Photo Collection to the San Diego Historical Society. Under Larry and Jane Booth's guidance the San Diego Historical Society Photograph Collection grew to over 2 million images. Of those images in the Photograph Collection, 10,000 were taken by Larry. His scenic photographs will indeed represent how San Diego remembers the 1950's and 1960's in the future. Today San Diego's historic photographs are preserved, accessible, and viewed across the globe thanks to the inspired work of Larry Booth. And, it should also be said, that Larry Booth will be remembered by photo researchers, coworkers and others as a true gentleman, a kind, patient, and thoughtful man.


Note from Bruce Coons, SOHO Executive Director Many SOHO members have had longtime relationships with Larry. Larry's preservation of the historic images of San Diego has done more than any other single thing to preserve the heritage of San Diego and inspire the restoration and retention of our past for the future.

2003 - Volume 34, Issue 2

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