Archives Bazaar Program Announced

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The USC Libraries and L.A. as Subject are pleased to announce the program for thte 11th-annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, to be held Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in USC's Doheny Memorial Library.

Friends Lecture Hall (room 240)

9:00–9:50 a.m.

Researching L.A. 101

Have you ever wondered how to get started with your research on Los Angeles—or with research in general? This presentation, by Stephanie George of Chapman University and Lisa Crane of Claremont College, will give you a detailed overview of how and where to start, including basic research tips useful for anyone working with primary and secondary source material. Topics will include researching from home, visiting archives, the ins and outs of reading rooms, and more.

10:00–10:50 a.m.

L.A. as Subject Membership and Social Media: Survey and Practice 

Resident archivists Amelia Parks and Stella Castillo present their findings from a survey of the L.A. as Subject member community regarding current trends in social media usage as well as an analysis of the subsequent social media techniques workshop put on for L.A. as Subject members. 

11:00–12:00 noon

What’s In a Name? 

Some made their money in railroads. Others in oil or mining. But a shared love of culture and ingrained sense of philanthropy means Southern California contains a wealth of collections and organizations named after their benefactors, including the Huntington Library, Clark Library, Autry Museum of the American West, and Margaret Herrick Library. This lightning-round session will give attendees a glimpse into the lives of the individuals behind the names of some of the institutions in the area and the legacies they left behind.

1:00–1:50 p.m.

Governing Paradise

Sir Thomas More coined the term utopia 500 years ago to describe the ideal city. But what does it mean in the context of 21st-century urbanism, especially in a megacity like Los Angeles? This panel, moderated by architecture writer Geoff Manaugh, will look at what utopian governance might look like in today’s L.A. Participants include Santa Monica city manager Rick Cole, planning historian and USC Price School of Public Policy professor David Sloane, and Aurora Tang from the Center for Land Use Interpretation. This event is sponsored by USC’s Visions and Voices Arts and Humanities Initiative. (Part of a series of events marking the quincentennial of More's Utopia.)

2:00–2:50 p.m.

Documenting the Mundane

In this joint presentation between the California Historical Society and Tom Explores Los Angeles, CHS archivists Jaime Henderson and Marie Silva discuss their organization’s inaugural digital preservation and access project, which features 438 images of Los Angeles taken by Anton Wagner in 1932–1933 while researching the city for his dissertation. The pictures capture a wide range of Depression-era neighborhoods, industries, and socioeconomic experiences. Tom Carroll, host and creator of the webseries “Tom Explores Los Angeles,” has produced 26 episodes over the past three years, which highlight forgotten or neglected spaces in hopes of discovering what these locales can say about the city as a whole. Henderson, Silva, and Carroll will speak about their experiences documenting what some may think of as “mundane” places, but which often turn out to be more illuminating than the tourist hot spots.

3:00–3:50 p.m.

Uncovering the Hidden History of the St. Francis Dam Disaster

Historian and documentary filmmaker Jon Wilkman speaks about his new book, the result of more than twenty years of research. Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles explores the role water played in the growth of Southern California, and especially William Mulholland’s role in the purchase for the city of rights to the water in the Owens Valley. It also focuses on Mulholland’s greatest failure, the tragic collapse of the St. Francis Dam near midnight on March 12, 1928, which released a flood that took the lives of more than 400 people.

4:00–4:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Light and Sound

The California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) is growing an online research resource of historic Californiana called the California Light and Sound collection. To date, there are more than 5,300 recordings available online from 108 partner archives, libraries, and museums. The CAVPP will showcase Los Angeles gems from the CLS collection including footage from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive; USC Libraries Regional History Collection; Los Angeles Metro Library; Loyola Marymount University; LA County Natural History Museum; California Institute of Technology; Claremont Colleges; Pepperdine University; Orange County Archives; and Visual Communications. 

Intellectual Commons (room 233)

10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon

Personal Digital Archiving: Caring for Your “Digital Shoebox”


Today’s “digital shoebox” of family photos takes the form of USB drives and online Flickr albums. But how dependable are these tools? How does one keep these digital files useful and findable for the long-term? Mary Wahl, Digital Services Librarian at CSU Northridge, will share tips and strategies for personal digital archiving, such as identifying file types, weeding collections, using file-naming schemes, and choosing reliable storage options.

1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Preserving Memories: How to Care for Photographs and Scrapbooks from Archival Treasures to Family Heirlooms

This session will cover the identification and care of traditional photography as well as conservation tips for scrapbooks. Topics will include various film formats, print types, and guidelines for the best archival practices for long-term preservation of images. The scrapbooks section will focus on historic items and presenters will share advice about supplies, storage, care, handling, and display solutions. Presented by the Los Angeles Preservation Network, and featuring Jeff Thompson, Photo Archivist at Twentieth Century Fox and Dawn Jaros, Conservator at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Archivist for a Day


An informal drop-in workshop where attendees can learn the basics of physical preservation by working with various formats, including photographs, monographs, maps, and audio-visual materials. Participants will learn about suitable enclosures and environments for archival material, and find answers about specific preservation issues.

Academy for Polymathic Study (room 241)

9:00–10:00 a.m.

National History Day Overview: What Makes A Good History Day Project?

An overview of the National History Day (NHD) program and contest, including examples of projects and topics. Discussion will include the value teachers and students gain from archival research.

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Using Primary Sources for Student Research

This presentation will provide student researchers with the tools to locate, evaluate, request, and integrate primary sources into their history research. Discussion will include various online repositories and resources, as well as how to contact archival collections that do not have digitized material.

1:00–2:00 p.m.

Advancing Your Research Using Local SoCal Repositories

Student researchers are novice historians, looking for original materials on significant themes or relevant events, people, places, and stories. What better place to search than your own backyard? This session will feature “mini-talks” by several different local archives and will touch on the diverse topics and strengths found within their collections. Students attending will gain insight into choosing a local topic that can be tied to national themes.

2:30–3:30 p.m.

Engaging with National History Day and Student Researchers

Students engaged in the NHD competition are required to conduct research with primary source materials. This panel will include strategies for approaching and working with NHD students and teachers.