Santa Barbara, California earthquake of June 29, 1925


The Collection was created from photographic negatives shot in the days immediately following the Santa Barbara earthquake of June 29, 1925. These negatives came into the possession of Dr. Arthur G. Sylvester, Professor of Geology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. (UCSB) from 1965 - 2004, who made them available for digitization and assisted in cataloging. The Collection was digitized and cataloged with the help of the Educational Multimedia Visualization Center (EMVC) and the Alexandria Digital Library (ADL), both located at UCSB.


The Collection depicts earthquake damage suffered by buildings in downtown Santa Barbara, California, in the earthquake of 29 June 1025, typically with one photo shot per storefront.


The majority of the photographs were shot by an anonymous photographer a few days after the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. The negatives were confiscated and stored in a safe for 50 years in fear that they would ruin the reputation of the town. The negatives were given to Sylvester in the early 1980s, who then shot a series of follow-up photos of some of the same locations. Other photos are from miscellaneous Santa Barbara residents who donated their collections to Sylvester.


Thematic Contact: Dr. Arthur G. Sylvester:
Technical Contact: Alexandria Digital Library:
Licensing Contact: Alexandria Digital Library:


Metadata Terms of Use: Metadata is copyrighted by the UC Regents.2004. DLESE may modify, reformat and redistribute metadata to function within DLESE systems and services.

Resource Terms of Use: The Collection is derived from negatives gathered or shot by Dr. Sylvester. All items may be freely used for non-commercial purposes. Commercial users must contact the Alexandria Digital Library for license information.


Resource Quality Assurance: Slides are scanned at 600dpi and the derived image is visually inspected by EMVC staff at scan-time. Dr. Sylvester re-inspects the derived image at edit-time, and requests rescanning as needed.

Metadata Quality Assurance: Initial metadata records are created by EMVC staff, by transcribing slide-margin notes (primarily street address) and by adding geospatial coordinates via an online map-interface. Dr. Sylvester later reviews and augments this metadata as needed.


The Collection is hosted perpetually by the Alexandria Digital Library, a unit of the Davidson Library at UCSB.