Artistic Communities

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Library & Archive

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Library & Archive is the most comprehensive transit operator-owned library resource in the United States. As the only multimodal transportation library in Southern California, we serve employees, the public, governments and research institutions around the world. Our origins date back to the days of the Los Angeles Railway in 1890, but we were reintroduced to the public by the Southern California Rapid Transit District in 1971. Our collection contains approximately 250,000 items of significance to Los Angeles transportation history from 1873 to the present. This includes 45,000 books, reports, studies, conference proceedings, plans, maps, and drawings, 20,000 microfiche reports, more than 20,000 photographs and images, over 700 videos, several thousand ephemera, and a growing collection of publicly-accessible full-text digital documents. We collect, preserve,and provide access to archival materials from our predecessor transit agencies: Pacific Electric, Los Angeles Railway, Metropolitan Coach Lines, Los Angeles Transit Lines, Asbury Transit, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, Southern California Rapid Transit District, and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library

The Margaret Herrick Library collects a wide range of materials documenting film as both an art form and an industry. Its holdings include photographs, posters, books, periodicals, screenplays, oral histories, and extensive clippings files on people, films, and companies. The clippings files are organized under five headings: production, biography, general subject, festivals and awards, and Academy history. The general subject files contain clippings and photographs regarding aspects of Los Angeles such as homes, studios, motion picture theaters, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, Los Angeles as a location, museums, educational and cultural institutions, theme parks, and landmarks; labor disputes and the formation of industry-related unions and guilds are also extensively documented in the general subject files. The Academy history files provide coverage of that very Los Angeles-based activity—the Academy Awards. The library's Special Collections contain materials relating to the careers of numerous directors, producers, actors, and other craftspeople and their filmmaking work in Los Angeles. Dating from the early 1900s to the present, the materials in Special Collections include scripts in various drafts, personal and business correspondence, production memoranda, sketches, clippings, music scores, recordings, scrapbooks, artifacts, and photographs.

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research primarily documents and preserves the history of twentieth-century radicalism and social change through progressive movements in the greater Los Angeles area. The materials held by the library relate to the labor, peace, social justice, civil rights, women’s, gay and lesbian, and various other grassroots movements. While the library’s print holdings—numbering approximately thirty thousand books and three thousand periodical titles—range well beyond the subject of Los Angeles to socialism, Marxism, and the Cold War, its special collections focus on Los Angeles. These collections include twenty-five thousand pamphlets, fifteen hundred posters, two thousand photographs, one hundred documentary films, one hundred videos, thirty-five hundred audio tapes, organizational files for Los Angeles and national grassroots groups, and extensive subject files containing newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and reports. Among the library’s major archival collections are the papers of civil liberties defender Leo Gallagher, California Eagle editor and publisher Charlotta Bass, and Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research founders Emil and Tassia Freed, as well as papers from the Los Angeles chapter of the Civil Rights Congress, the Los Angeles Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, the Los Angeles International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and the Los Angeles Congress of Industrial Organizations. The archival collections on the Watts Rebellion of 1965, the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panthers, and Chicano activism are heavily used, as are the documentary films of the 1930s from the Film and Photo League and those of the 1960s from the Newsreel (SDS) collective. The library is committed to making its collections on the multicultural history of Los Angeles widely available and to working with other institutions and organizations to ensure that a broadly based historical record of the city’s people is preserved for future generations.

Craft and Folk Art Museum Edith R. Wyle Research Library Collection

The Edith R. Wyle Research Library of the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) was donated to the L.A. County Museum of Art Research Library in December 1997 during a period of consolidation for the Museum. (CAFAM reopened in April 1999 under the auspices of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.) The Edith R. Wyle Library's holdings reflect the exhibiting and collecting interests of the Craft and Folk Art Museum. It's holdings pertaining to traditional folk art, international contemporary craft and design, professional museum practice, cultural diversity, and cultural context are significant. It's particular strengths are in the areas of Mexican and Japanese folk art, masks and masking worldwide, and the history of folk art and craft collecting. Altogether the Wyle Research Library's holdings comprise approximately 5,500 books as well as exhibition catalogs, journals, newspaper clipping and pamphlet files, posters, biographical files on contemporary craft artists (including slides), and biographical files on self-taught artists. In 1994 the Bead Society of Los Angeles donated its library collection of about 200 books, catalogs, and ephemera on beads.

University of Southern California, Digital Library

The Digital Library of the University of Southern California (formerly known as the Digital Archive, formerly known as ISLA) is an ongoing project that is building a virtual library of digitized multidisciplinary materials much of which has a focus on the Los Angeles region. Its search and retrieval software will allows these materials to be accessed using the parameters of space, time, keyword, format, or collection. The Digital Library includes: Images selected from maps and historical newspapers in the Huntington Library’s collection, including color maps created by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1939, the Spanish-language newspaper El Clamor Publico (1855-1859), and the Los Angeles Star (1852-1863); photographs and maps from the Automobile Club of Southern California (1892-1963); photographs of artifacts from the archaeological collection (1880-1933) of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California; and from the University of Southern California’s collections, including the California Historical Society Collection (photographs of Los Angeles, 1860-1960), the Hearst Collection (news photographs from the Los Angeles Examiner, 1920-1961), the Whittington Collection (commercial and architectural photographs, 1924-1987), the East Asian Library (Korean-American documents, photographs, and oral histories), the Gamble House in Pasadena (architectural drawings, photographs and other documents relative to the Greene & Greene architects) (1888-1944); Texts such as manuscript documents pertaining to the activities of the Los Angeles Ayuntamiento and City Council (Los Angeles City Archives, Untitled Records Series, 1820s-1890s), newspaper clippings from the Los Angeles Examiner (1920-1961), and master’s theses and doctoral dissertations about Los Angeles written by students at the University of Southern California (1920s-1990s); Data from the historical federal censuses though 1990 and the WPA’s household survey of 1940. Because the Digital Library has arranged to digitize materials that are the intellectual property of various individuals and institutions, the downloading of some items may be subject to restrictions.

Palos Verdes Local History Center

The Local History Collection for the Palos Verdes Library District focuses on the social and cultural history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula from 1920 to the present. This fairly extensive collection includes rare books, photographs, maps, blueprints, loose-leaf materials, scrapbooks, newspaper clip-pings, telephone books, and oral history interviews—all relating to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Visual Communications

Based in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles, VC was founded in 1970 by a group of pioneering independent filmmakers to record, collect, and preserve a visual record of Asian Pacific American cultural heritage. VC originally worked as a film collective, concentrating on honestly portraying accurate images of Asian Americans and meticulously capturing pivotal social movements. VC produced groundbreaking works about the Asian American experience, including: CHINATOWN 2-STEP, a documentary on the suburbanization of Chinese American community in Los Angeles and the role of the Chinatown Drum and Bugle Corps; MANONG, a film on the first generation Filipino American immigrants; and WATARIDORI, a documentary on early Japanese American immigrant pioneers. VC published three books, In Movement: A Pictorial History of Asian Pacific America, Little Tokyo: One Hundred Years in Pictures, and Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts. Productions were used for education and activism that addressed setting up ethnic studies programs on local campuses, city redevelopment issues, the redress campaign for Japanese Americans interned during World War II, and the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. VC’s own past in all media, narrative films, documentaries and educational projects are intertwined with the Asian Pacific American movements of the 1970s, and in itself represents a rich resource for researchers of the Asian Pacific American movements. The Archives’ purpose is to document the history of the organization by organizing, preserving, and creating access to a variety of media art and primary materials recording impactful political moments and depicting the Asian Pacific American heritage for staff use, as well as by scholars who are interested in Visual Communications’ role in the Asian American communities and history. The holdings include over 300,000 photographic images, 1,500 titles in the Media Resource Library, 100 films and videos produced by Visual Communications, and over 1,000 hours of oral histories of pan-Asian Pacific American content. As a valuable resource of Asian media art representations, The Archives is open to a wide variety of users, and we encourage the public, artists, filmmakers, students, faculty and others to pursue an intercultural understanding of the Asian American heritage. VC’s vision for the archives is to accurately reflect and represent the diversity of the American populace and to cement Asian Pacific American experiences in the historical record through the preservation, access, and dissemination of our materials, which provide historical context and insight of Asian Pacific American influence not only for Asian Pacific Americans, but also for all Americans. Please refer to our list of holdings for more information: http://fromthevcvault.wordpress.com/vc-archives-collections/

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy Film Archive

The Academy Film Archive is part of the Academy Foundation, the educational and cultural arm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Dedicated to the appreciation, study and preservation of our motion picture heritage, the Archive's activities include collection, preservation, documentation, exhibition and research access to films. The Academy announced its plan to collect motion pictures upon its founding in 1927 and made its first film acquisition two years later, in 1929. The Archive’s collection now includes over 140,000 items, covering some 70,000 individual titles. Many items within the Archive’s collection relate to the Los Angeles region, including: • Film and video documenting the history of the Academy and the Academy Foundation, including its public programs, lectures, symposia, and presentations. • Film, kinescope and videotape of Academy Awards ceremonies extending back to 1949, along with additional news material and special coverage of the awards show. • Films and film programs associated with the Student Academy Awards – a great number of which originate from Los Angeles film schools. Ongoing film festival collections, including the Latino International Film Festival and the PXL This! Pixelvision Film Festival Documentary film holdings include the collection of the International Documentary Association. Many of our documentary holdings feature subjects that are Los Angeles specific. Visual effects and technical achievements - through submissions for the Academy Awards process the Archive has acquired a substantial collection of visual effects reels, makeup and sound test reels, and film and video documentation of the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards. Many materials from this collection were produced and crafted in the Los Angeles region. Home movies and amateur films, particularly those related to the history of Hollywood, the motion picture industry, and the history of the Los Angeles region.

C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, Max and Lore Zeller Library

The Max and Lore Zeller Library provides a specialized collection (including rare books) of over 6,500 volumes on Jungian psychology and related subjects: sandplay therapy, general psychology, anthropology, mythology, religion, alchemy, art and symbolism. The extensive book collection, 800 audio CDs, videotapes and DVDs, and 16 journals are available to the analytic community and the general public through an affordable membership fee. Library membership provides onsite access to the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS). Drawing upon C.G. Jung’s work on the archetype and the collective unconscious, ARAS is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human history. The archive contains over 17,000 photographic images, each cross-indexed, and accompanied by scholarly commentary. The commentary includes a description of the image that serves to place it in its unique historical, cultural, and geographical setting. The ARAS commentaries honor both the universal patterns and specific cultural context associated with each image. The librarian is available to help steer readers toward their particular interests.

San Gabriel Mission Playhouse

We are a creating an archive of costumes, photos, newspaper articles, letters, and other ephemera to document the history of the Mission Play from 1911 to present, and the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse from 1927 - present. The archive will serve an important role in early California/Los Angeles history.