Historical Photo Collection

Historical Photo Collection

With a photograph collection of over 400,000 images, the Kern County Museum is one of the largest repositories of historic photographs in the State of California. These photographs document the history of the region from the 1860s to the present day. Some of the most requested photographs depict the Bakersfield Sound, Dust Bowl migrants to the area, street scenes, and iconic landmarks in Kern County.

The Museum also has a collection of images from renowned American landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins who was commissioned to photograph various scenes in Kern County during the 1880s. His photographs depict everything from early ranches, the Kern River, canals, residences, parades, and mining operations.

For further information about the historical photograph collection or to order digital copies of photographs, please contact Ashleigh at

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