Arthur C. Pillsbury produced an enormous number of images in the course of his lifetime. His initial system for keeping track of negatives was impacted by what else was going on at the time. Pillsbury spent several summers, 1895 - 1897, photographing Yosemite and also had a significant number of images while in college and running his first photography studio in Palo Alto from 1893 - 1897. Only a few of these are identified, but these do include the photographs of the first Stanford Rush.
We know the Yosemite photos from those several summers were sold to Julius Theodore Boysen in 1898. The two had purchased a studio together and Pillsbury sold his photos to Boysen along with his share in what became the Boysen Studio. Early Yosemite photographers routinely traded photographs to ensure they had images which tourists would want to buy.
The Collection is organized in Catalogs, which are numeric. The numbers are chronological, aiding us in dating specific photos and for long periods for placing him on his travels.
However, Pillsbury himself had sub-catalogs, for instance the Y, or Yosemite group of images, and other event specific groups. Since the catalog, along with the negatives, disappeared in 1927 we have been rebuilding the collection with the assistance of collectors. Pillsbury made sales many times that of other Yosemite photographers and he was the largest producer of postcards on the West Coast for many years.
Once thought lost to fire, we now believe the collection was removed and the fire started to cover up the removal by individuals yet to be named.
Pillsbury Picture Company Catalog