The story of this collection of photographs started at a garage sale upon acquiring a metal index card box containing medium-format negatives. They belonged to Peggy Ferris, a journalist and a photographer who started her career in California and eventually journeyed to and settled in Hawaii. After her death in 1999, the negatives were inherited by her cousin, who some years later placed them in a garage sale in Honolulu.
The tin box was a treasure chest full of visually captivating images from a bygone era, unleashing a dormant stream of magical, fossilized memories. What might have been lost forever was thankfully captured on film by Ferris, a highly gifted yet unknown photographer with a tremendously keen eye.
Peggy & The Roadrunners, consisting of just twelve images, was published in 2012 to accompany the photography exhibit of the same name held at In4mation. See the details here: Peggy & The Roadrunners.
Peggy Ferris Photographs was published in 2018 to embody all images of the collection containing 96 images, which can be grouped into three categories: Historical scenes of California at various Santa Clara County locations as well as a few glimpses of Honolulu, portraits of a broad range of subjects including Ferris herself, and a set of particularly fascinating images that portray the members of Roadrunner Productions, a theater troupe formed by Stanford University graduates in 1940.
NOTE: The negatives have been gifted to the Stanford University Archives along with all intellectual rights. After January 1, 2025, the collection will only be available for educational and not-for-profit purposes.
What might have been lost forever was thankfully captured on film by Ferris,
a highly gifted yet unknown photographer with a tremendously keen eye.
With innocent splendor Ferris casts her imprimatur with the truthfulness of Vivian Maier and the majesty of Robert Frank.
— Peter Shaindlin
Peggy Ferris, née Beardsley, was born in West Virginia on May 29, 1918 and died in Honolulu on May 3, 1999 at age 80. She worked for the San Jose Mercury News and the Honolulu Advertiser, as well as a public relations employee for the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce and state Department of Transportation.
Reference: Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 15, 1999.