L.A. as Subject Honors Wally Shidler

USC Libraries

L.A. as Subject Honors Wally Shidler

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 used to take him Downtown to revel on the historic buildings that lined the streets. Wally’s long-time commitment to government and local groups is another testament to his dedication to the development and preservation of history. 

He is a nominated or appointed member of the Los Angeles Country Metropolitan Transportation Authority Gateway Cities Governance Council, METRO’s Citizen Advisory Committee, Board of Directors of the Walnut Park Mutual Water Company, and the Huntington Park Historic Preservation Commission. He was also a major contributor to the Arcadia Publication, Images of American, Huntington Park.

Still living in the house of his childhood, Wally maintains his collections of books, maps and ephemera with curiosity and ever present enthusiasm. As written in a 2006 Los Angeles Times article, Wally “delights in the everyday items other people discard, be it an outdated telephone directory or a PTA pamphlet. With these scavenged bits of ephemera, Shidler is creating a mosaic of his life’s passion: the history of Southern California.”

The Avery Clayton Spirit Award was established by the Executive Committee of LA as Subject in 2010 to honor the character and spirit of Avery Clayton (1947-2009), founder of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and a long time active member of LA as Subject. Avery was a beloved friend to all who knew him, and an honored colleague to all who worked with him. He was passionate, dedicated, and unceasingly enthusiastic with endless curiosity and unvarying generosity to friend and stranger alike.

When asked why he founded the Mayme A. Clayton Library to house his mother’s unique collection of African-Americana, Avery invariably responded “to bring it to the world”, words uniquely his that epitomize the mission of LA as Subject to identify, preserve, and disseminate the primary sources for the cultural, economic, ethnic, political, and social history of the Los Angeles region.

The Avery Clayton Spirit Award is given annually to an institution, organization, or individual that embodies Avery Clayton’s spirit of dedication, enthusiasm, energy, curiosity and generosity in working to identify, preserve, and make accessible the sources for the history of the Los Angeles region.

The recipient of this annual award is chosen through nomination and voting by the general LA as Subject membership. Any LA as Subject member may nominate any institution, organization or individual that embodies Avery’s spirit of dedication, enthusiasm, energy, curiosity, and generosity in working to identify, preserve, and share the history of the Los Angeles region.