News

When Camels Came to Los Angeles

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content It was a spectacle no Angeleno had witnessed before: a caravan of fourteen Arabian camels ambling through the streets of Los Angeles. Arriving in town January 8, 1858, the humped and hoofed animals represented an ambitious U.S. government experiment to introduce the so-called “ship of the desert” to the arid lands of…
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From Worthless Land to Semi-Wild Paradise: The Origins of Elysian Park

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Like many of the city's earliest recreational tracts, Los Angeles carved Elysian Park out of municipal lands that defied development. A Jewish cemetery and a rock-quarrying enterprise were among the few early, documented uses of the land, but the area's deep ravines and steep hills rendered the park's original 550…
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8th-annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Los Angeles history comes alive at the 8th-annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar. Organized by L.A. as Subject and presented by the USC Libraries, the annual event celebrates the diversity of Southern California’s history. For scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and those simply interested in exploring the…
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L.A. as Subject Honors Wally Shidler

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content L.A. as Subject has honored private collector Wally Shidler with its 2013 Avery Clayton Spirit Award. Wally Shilder has been amassing his “Historical Collection of Southern California Ephemera” since he was a teenager.  He is a third generation Angeleno and his interest in history was piqued by his grandmother who…
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Kenn Bicknell Honored as "Mover and Shaker"

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Since 2002, Library Journal has recognized those who are changing libraries and the services they provide, “librarians and others in the library field who are doing extraordinary work to serve their users and to move libraries of all types and library services forward.”  Now in its 137th year of publication, Library…
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"Decade of Dissent" exhibit @ the Santa Monica Art Studios

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content “Decade of Dissent, Democracy in Action, 1965-1975″ opened with a lovely reception on Sunday, February 23rd at The Santa Monica Art Studios’ Arena 1 Gallery. Curated by Carol A. Wells, executive director and founder of The Center for the Study of Political Graphics, the exhibit of digitally reproduced protest posters…
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Who Took the First Photo of Los Angeles?

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Widely considered the earliest photograph of Los Angeles, the origin story of this image remains something of a mystery. Who took the photo, and when? Though the image and the historical record offer clues, they provide no definitive answers. What we do know is that some day in the late 1850s or early 1860s, a…
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How William Mulholland Made Water Flow Uphill

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content It’s likely that no public works project in Los Angeles’ history has inspired as much controversy as the Owens Valley aqueduct—controversy that has often overshadowed the engineering wizardry behind the project. Diverting the flow of the Owens River for 233 miles across the desert was difficult enough, but the…
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A Snowstorm in Los Angeles? It’s Happened.

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Angelenos dreaming of a White Christmas, take note: The scene above may be set in Hollywood, but it’s no special effects shot. The photo from the Los Angeles Public Library’s collections documents the result of a freak snowstorm that passed over Hollywood on Jan. 22, 1921, dusting the gabled rooftops of the Charlie…
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Sipping Black Gold from the Center of La Cienega Boulevard

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Petroleum provided the raw materials for the gasoline that powered Angelenos’ automobiles as well as the asphalt on which they drove, so in one sense the middle of La Cienega Boulevard was a fitting place for an oil derrick. But many failed to see the logic. For decades, photos of this bizarrely located well, which…
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What the LAPD Leaves Behind at Parker Center

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content From 1955 until 2009, when most staff moved to a new administrative building a block away, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Parker Center was as a proud symbol of police modernization and a focal point for controversy. Last week Chief Charlie Beck padlocked its front doors, and the aging building now stands vacant. …
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St. Vincent Medical Center celebrates 150th anniversary

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content Established in 1856, St. Vincent Medical Center is the oldest medical institution in Los Angeles and celebrated operating for 157 years on January 6, 2013. The hospital’s sisters have collected more than a century of hospital photos, medical records and artifacts to create a conservancy to share the hospital’s rich…
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The L.A. That Might Have Been

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content A spiraling, 1,290-foot tower built of magnesium. A rapid-transit system with hundreds of miles of subways and elevated tracks. A comprehensive network of parks, beaches, and open spaces linked by greenbelts and parkways. These are just a few unrealized visions for Los Angeles featured in an upcoming exhibition at the…
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TODAY: Free Talk on Literary Map of LA at the Los Feliz Public Library

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content J. Michael Walker, give an illustrated talk on my map, this Thursday, February 28, at 6:45pm, at the Los Feliz Public Library, as part of its tenth annual "Architecture & Beyond" series. J. Michael created a large-scale  (23' wide by 5' high) "Literary Map of LA " that was exhibited at the Hammer Museum, in Los…
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FINAL WEEK: "Becoming Persian" at the Fowler Museum

Sat, 06/04/2016
Content This installation highlights the work of local and award winning photographer Shelley Gazin and is featured in the "Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews" exhibit at the Fowler Museum. "Becoming Persian: Photographs & Text Threads Illuminating the Iranian-Jewish Community" is a photographic study by Gazin…
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