Skip to main content

Don Meacham photograph collection, 1934-1985

Identifier: SPC-00012

Scope and Contents

Commercial and personal photographs taken by Santa Rosa-based photographer, Don Meacham, including examples published in commercial newsletters, brochures, catalogs, etc.


  • 1934-1985


Language of Materials

Materials of printed commercial examples and of handwritten notes are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is partially processed. Most of the photographs and printed examples of commercial works (series 1 and 1.2) are available online through link. Please contact the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library for access to originals; for contact info and current hours, see link

Conditions Governing Use

Collection does not circulate and may be photocopied or photographed by arrangement only.

Biographical / Historical

Don Meacham (May 30, 1916-Feb. 28, 2010) was born in Cowell, Contra Costa County in 1916. He lived most of his life in Sonoma County where he retired as freelance commercial photographer after 50 years in the profession. He worked as a photographer in the Navy during WWII; was the flagship photographer on the U.S.S. Augusta during the North African invasion; and was Chief Photographer of the Naval Air Station in Santa Rosa until the war ended. Meacham was a charter member and chairman of the Santa Rosa Civic Art Commission and was instrumental in establishing Arttrium, the county's first visual and performing arts festival.


5600 Sheets (Approximately 5600 sheets (96 linear feet) of photographic prints, printed on 8 in. by 8 in. or 8 in. by 10 in. paper from 2.5 in. x 2.5 in medium format negatives; in sleeves.) : photographic prints ; 8 in. x 10 in.

7 Boxes (Seven letter document boxes, containing approximately 350 envelopes, each holding 2-10 photographic proof prints and corresponding negatives (approximately 2000 images, total). Contact prints and proofs are in original paper envelopes.) : 7 letter document boxes (approximately 2000 photographic proof prints; photographic negatives) ; 12.5 in. x 5 in. x 10.25 in.

1 Boxes (1 box of commercial work examples (offprints, brochures, and excerpts)) : 1 letter document box (66 items) ; 12.5 in. x 2.5 in. x 10.25 in.

5200 Sheets (Approximately 5200 medium format photographic negatives in sleeves) : Approximately 5200 sheets ; 2.5 in. by 2.5 in.


This collection contains prints, negatives and published examples of commercial work illustrated by Santa Rosa Press Democrat and commercial photographer, Don Meacham. The majority of the collection is comprised by photographic negatives and prints produced throughout his career; one group of photographic materials is comprised of envelopes containing photographic negatives and corresponding proof prints. The commercial works that comprise the remainder of he collection are a set of pamphlets, folders, reports, etc. containing a variety of Meacham's photographs.

Arrangement of the collection

Organized into two series:

  1. Photographic negatives and prints, 1934-1985
  2. Examples of photographs included in commercially published pamphlets, folders, reports, 1965-1980

Arrangement of the collection Organized into two series:

  • Photographic negatives and prints, 1934-1985
  • Examples of photographs included in commercially published pamphlets, folders, reports, 1965-1980
  • Custodial History

    Don Meacham donated the photographs and negatives directly to the Sonoma County Library when he retired; he donated the commercial example print collection to the Sonoma County Historical Society, per the included (undated) note, for the purpose of filling in "some empty spaces in your ongoing search for history".

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    (Series 1) Gift: Don Meacham, Before 1996

    (Series 2) Gift: Sonoma County Historical Society, 2011?


    Don Meacham photograph collection, 1934-1985
    Processed by Sonoma County Library staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Geoffrey Skinner.
    Published Dec. 20, 2019
    Description rules
    Finding Aid Prepared Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (Dacs)
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Language of description note
    Finding aid written in:English

    Revision Statements

    • 18 June 2022: Revised by Geoffrey Skinner

    Repository Details

    Part of the Sonoma County Archives Repository

    725 3rd St.
    Santa Rosa CA 95404 United States