The Jerry Lebeck Collection

The Jerry Lebeck Collection is now part of the California History Room of the Monterey Public Library, Monterey, California.

Jerry Lebeck was a commercial photographer and teacher who was raised on the Monterey Peninsula and lived there for the rest of his life.

After his death in March 2009, his widow Barbara Lebeck, called Al Weber asking for suggestions about what could be done with Jerry’s extensive body of photographs, made both as a student and professional photographer, dating from the 1950s to the 2000s. Al notified Dennis Copeland, historian for the City of Monterey and archivist of the California History Room, which has several extensive historical photographic collections that pertain to the Monterey Peninsula and Monterey County.

Dennis and FfPP board member Chase Weaver reviewed the Lebeck photographs at the family home and selected over 4,500 negatives, transparencies, prints, and contact sheets, about a third of the collection, for the History Room’s holdings. A deed of gift was approved in May 2009. Some of the collection, arranged through Dennis Copeland, was given to Monterey Peninsula College, where Jerry taught in the photography department. Dennis also arranged for a portion of the collection to be donated to the Pacific Grove Unified School District, where Jerry had attended elementary and secondary schools. He had been a student photographer for both the high school and college newspapers; and later as a professional, photographed sporting and other events for the schools.

Jerry Lebeck’s work also includes photographs of many Monterey Peninsula scenic locations and historical buildings, sporting events (especially the automobile races at Laguna Seca Race Course), cultural events, aerial photography over parts of Monterey County, real estate and golfing developments, portraits, nature studies (including extensive life phases of the Monarch butterfly), and recreational and outdoor activities (particularly related to his participation as a longstanding member of the Sierra Club).

All of the Lebeck photographs were re-housed in archival materials with the assistance of Chase Weaver and are now in the process of being cataloged.