Cesar Chavez, 1973

Cesar Chavez, 1973

Bob Fitch photography archive

The Bob Fitch photography archive is the complete archive of activist photographer Bob Fitch of Watsonville, California.   Fitch is best known for his work that captured iconic images of major figures of movements for civil rights, peace and social justice, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Dorothy Day and for images of the everyday people who fought for change in these movements.  The archive contains over 200,000 images, primarily black and white photographs and negatives, spanning the period from 1965 to the present.

Fitch’s photographs have been featured in two Smithsonian traveling exhibits and are reproduced globally in print, film and electronic media.  Fitch’s photographs have appeared in numerous books over the past decades, from his documentation of the counter-culture community in San Francisco (Hippie Is Necessary, 1967) and his work chronicling the non-violent civil rights movement and leaders (My Eyes Have Seen, 1971), including publication of his iconic photographs of Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, Cesar Chavez, Pete Seeger, Dorothy Day, Stokely Carmichael, Fathers Daniel and Philip Berrigan, Ron Dellums, David Harris and Joan Baez, to more recent works such as Richard Steven Street’s Photographing Farmworkers in California  and the anthology This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement.

The link to the Bob Fitch photography archive: Movements for Change in the lefthand sidebar enables viewers to see galleries of images selected by Bob Fitch, as well as supporting materials (including a printed catalog from the 2014-15 exhibition of Fitch's work at Stanford's Green Library) and published works by Fitch.    Selecting the "Browse" feature enables viewers to see the galleries of images uploaded so far (galleries and images are also searchable in SearchWorks, the Stanford Library catalog).   When the archive transfer is complete it will be possible to view and download high quality image files of approximately 10,000 images in SearchWorks.  For personal display and non-profit organizations, download and reproduction will be free.  Commercial use will require commercial fees.   In the longer term, the Stanford Libraries will process and provide access to the larger archive of over 200,000 film and digital images.


Benjamin Lee Stone

Curator for American and British History
Associate Director, Department of Special Collections

Robert G Trujillo

Associate University Librarian and Director of Special Collections. Frances and Charles Field Curator of Special Collections