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Subject: Larry Booth, 82; Preserved San Diego's History in Photographs

January 20
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Date Posted: March 02, 2003 10:45:53 EDT

Larry Booth, 82, former curator of photographs for the San Diego Historical Society who built and preserved one of the best collections of local history photographs in the nation, died of cancer Jan. 20 at his home in San Diego.

Booth recognized the need for preserving historical photos in the 1950s as a photographer and photo historian for what later became known as Title Insurance & Trust Co.

He built his own duplication camera to preserve the company's fading or deteriorating historical images, as well as adding to the collection by acquiring pictures from retired commercial photographers and other sources.

When the collection was transferred to the San Diego Historical Society in the late 1970s, Booth became curator and his wife, Jane, who had been helping him, became photo archivist.

The couple retired in 1994 after collecting and preserving a collection that has grown to more than 2.5 million prints, negatives and glass plates that document the San Diego area from the 1870s.

The Austin, Texas-born Booth co-wrote, with Robert A. Weinstein, "Collection, Use and Care of Historical Photographs," a 1977 book that is considered the definitive work on the subject.

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