Picture This

Artifiacts in this featured collection are part of the OMCA's Picture This website. More about the context and history of each of these artifacts is available at Picture This

About Picture This: California's Perspectives on American History is a resource for teachers and students to learn about the experiences of diverse peoples of California by using primary source images from the Oakland Museum of California's collections. Organized into eleven time periods spanning from pre-1769 to the present, more than 300 photographs, drawings, posters, and prints tell stories from the perspectives of different ethnic groups. Historical contexts are provided to offer a framework of California's role in relation to American history.

The National Archives state that primary sources, "fascinate students because they are real and they are personal: history is humanized through them." Picture This invites students to examine the historical record, encouraging them to connect history with real people and explore how images tell stories and convey historical evidence about the human experience. History becomes more than just a series of facts, dates, and events.

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Valencia Astrolabe. Description: Replica of a mariner's astrolabe recovered off Valencia Island (Northern Coast of Ireland) from site of Spanish Armada Shipwreck. Condition: Tarnishing....

A Miner in his Cabin

Walton, Henry. A Miner at Rough and Ready, 1853; William D. Peck. Pen and ink and watercolor on paper. 11" x 13 1/4" framed 18" x 20" Title: "A Miner in his Cabin...

17th century

Painting. Description: Mexican Colonial painting of Santiago in battle; oil on wood; Saint James on grey horse. He is in armour with a red cloak, carrying white standard with red cross, and...


Document. Description: Notice of Assignment, Colorado River Relocation Center, Henry Yoshimoto, June 14, 1944.

From the History Information Station:

Object: Document. "Notice of...


Map. Steel engraving of Western Hemisphere, with description. In lower left hand corner is "America with those known parts in that unknowne worlde both people and manner of buildings....


Pitcher (jug). Description: One porcelain jug made by the Union Porcelain Works, Greenpoint, N.Y. 10" High Design in relief represents Uncle Sam evicting the Chinaman., The handle represents...


Cap with small leatherette bill, black faille sides and crown, white cotton cord across front held in place by one button on each end, brass name plate, "Pullman Porter," centered...


book. Description: "Relacion Historica de la vida y Apostolicas Tareas del Venerable Padre Fray Junipero Serra, y de las misiones que fundo en la California Septrentrional y neuvos...

c. 1875

Photograph, "Emperor Norton." Noted San Francisco figure. (On front of card) "Emperor Norton, Emperor of United States and Protector of Mexico".

c. 1905

Betsy Willcuts, July 2002

Bibliography: THE HEART OF OAKLAND, A Walking Guide to Lake Merritt by Leslie Flint, Sponsored by the Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association



Upper Toe and Puddle from Northeast Station


Upper Toe & Puddle from Southeast Station

c. 1940

Earthquake refugees.

c. 1880

"Daisy and Lena about six months after the missionaries came. Under love, and the power of the Gospel she had become a Christian, and had gone through the first reader."

ca. 1925

Photograph. Description: Photograph, of Chinese Boy Scouts in parade through Chinatown, n.d.

(Note that man by back of cart and one man by trough are African-American)

c. 1906

Photo Prints. Description: San Francisco earthquake and fire.

c. 1906

Photo Prints. Description: San Francisco earthquake and fire. Howard Str. burning.

c. 1906

Photo Prints. Description: San Francisco earthquake and fire.

c. 1910

"These Indian young people, Joseph, Andy, and Lizzie, were refused entrance to a local public school as children. Later, after attending school elsewhere, they returned and sang in a public...

"Indian dance at Mision San Jose"; original drawing by an unidentified artist, and engraved on copper; etched on copper - private press of T.C. Russell, San Francisco; (this copy print reproduced...

c. 1910
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