Shades of Watsonville

Stories from Residents of Watsonville

Placida Alvarez de Carrillo and Interviewer Margarita Cortez on

Special Photo Collection

We all have them in our homes - family albums, shoe boxes and trunks filled with pictures both new and old of people and places we may no longer recognize. To preserve these photos - to document the lives of the people and events depicted in them is the goal of the Shades project.

Digitization of Photos - Now Online

The Shades of Watsonville photo collection was digitized in 2019 through California Revealed, a project of the California State Library. All of the photos supplied by our community members are viewable online

Grant Program

Early in 1999, the Watsonville Public Library received a grant from the California State Library for a program called Shades of California: Exploring Our History Through Family Photographs. This program, which we call Shades of Watsonville, provided for the copying and documentation of family photographs from preservation at both the State Library and in our own library collection.

Photo Day

This project consists of two parts. The first, a Photo Day, was held on August 1, 1999. On that day, community members brought photographs to the library for copying. A group of trained volunteers selected images for inclusion into the Shades of Watsonville archive.

Photo Exhibit

The second part of the project is the Shades Photo Exhibit. A representative fifty photographs have been selected from over 250 images copied on Photo Day. These pictures have been mounted and put on display at the library at various times.

The images in the Shades of Watsonville exhibit represent the cultural diversity and history of the wonderful place we live. We hope you will enjoy taking a look back into the history of the remarkable community of Watsonville.

Collection of Photos

Binders containing all 250 of the photos copied on Photo Day are available from this special collection for historical research purposes at the library. For more information, contact Carol Heitzig at 831-768-3409.

This project is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.