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Louis Baker Collection

 Collection
Identifier: P028
This collection is comprised of photographs taken by Louis Baker, a photographer for the Harvard Crimson, circa 1949. Subjects include reconstruction of the steeple of the First Parish Church, Phillips Books store in two locations, and aerial views of Harvard University. The images are largely 8x10, but there are several 4x5 and 5x7 prints as well, and all bear Louis Baker's credit line. Duplicate images in each series have been filed in separate folders. An additional image of the Harvard River Houses has been removed from this collection and is on file at the Commission.

Dates

  • ca. 1949

Language of Materials

Material in English.

Access

Collection is available for research under the CHC rules of use.

Copyright Notice

Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives.

Extent

1 linear foot (1 document box)

Overview

This collection is comprised of photographs taken by Louis Baker, a photographer for the Harvard Crimson, circa 1949. Subjects include reconstruction of the steeple of the First Parish Church, Phillips Books store in two locations, and aerial views of Harvard University. The images are largely 8x10, but there are several 4x5 and 5x7 prints as well, and all bear Louis Baker's credit line. Duplicate images in each series have been filed in separate folders. An additional image of the Harvard River Houses has been removed from this collection and is on file at the Commission.

Biographical Note

Louis Willard Baker was born on January 5, 1924 in Indianola, Iowa. He was a member of the Harvard College Class of 1946 and received his AB from Harvard in 1950. While at Harvard, Baker served as a photographer on the Crimson staff, and won 1st and 4th prize in the Harvard Photography Society's Semi-Annual Photography contest in 1949. After graduating from Harvard, he worked as an independent commercial photographer for Eastman Kodak for 30 years until retiring in 1981. Baker died on November 28, 1998 in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.

The Phillips Book Store opened in 1914 at 1288 Massachusetts Ave under the ownership of John S. Phillips. It was fondly known as the “College Book Shop” where students and residents could purchase secondhand books and ask for expertise on textbooks. John Phillips had the policy of having a massive stock sold at bargain prices to encourage high turnover rates. The Cambridge Tribune called Phillips a “wise and posted counsellor” who always kept up with newly available offerings. His nephew, Ellsworth R. Young, began working at the store in 1926 and later bought into the business in 1939. He gained experience by working for the NY Public Library and ALA’s Books for Europe program. Young took over the Phillips Book Store in 1944 and achieved additional professional success—he was elected president of the American Booksellers Association. Young married a fellow classmate from Simpson College in Iowa, Margery Bishop Young. The image of the woman reshelving books is likely Margery, since she worked as the assistant manager of the store. Like Young, she was born in Iowa. They moved to 41 Linnaean St, unit 42, in Cambridge. In 1949, Phillips Book Store moved to 1354 Mass. Ave., just down the street. The new location was in Little's Block, one of three buildings razed by Harvard University in 1964 to build Holyoke Center (now the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center).

Collection Arrangement

  1. Series I: First Parish Church (1949)
  2. Series II: Phillips Books, 1354 Massachusetts Avenue (1949)
  3. Series III: Phillips Books Store, 1288 Massachusetts Avenue (1949)
  4. Series IV: Harvard Aerial Views (undated)
  5. Series V: Harvard Coop (undated)
  6. Series VI: Felix's Shoe Repair (undated)

Physical Location

Collection is stored on-site

Provenance

The Louis Baker collection was donated to the Cambridge Historical Commission in June of 2010 by Nancy Baker of Concord, New Hampshire via her niece, Susie Leiper. Ms. Baker is Louis Baker's widow.

Related Resources:

Images from Series II: Phillips Books have been digitized and are accessible on the CHC Flickr page.

See also the Cambridge Historical Commission architectural inventory files for the addresses listed herein.

Processing Information

Processing and initial finding aid by Megan Schwenke, January 2013.

Updated by Emily Gonzalez, March 2020.

Updated by Brittany Fox, May 2020.

Encoded by: Brittany Fox, May 2020.
Title
Inventory of the Louis Baker Collection, 1949
Author
Processing by Megan Schwenke, January 2013. Finding aid updated by Emily Gonzalez, March 2020. Subsequent update by Brittany Fox, May 2020.
Description rules
Finding aid was prepared using DACS
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives Repository

Contact:
831 Massachusetts Avenue
2nd Floor
Cambridge Massachusetts 02139 US
617-349-4683