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Archives and Collections
The California Historical Society’s mission is to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives.
For Los Angeles and the surrounding area, the collections include nearly 23,000 photographs from the Title Insurance and Trust Company (TICOR) and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (LAACC) housed and managed for CHS by the Regional History Center at the University of Southern California and viewable through the USC Digital Library (digitallibrary.usc.edu). Documenting development of the Los Angeles region from 1860 to 1960, the TICOR collection includes the work of many prominent local photographers, including C. C. Pierce. The LAACC collection includes promotional images in addition to those that depict the growth of the city and its transportation system.
Southern California is well represented in other photograph collections, including Anton Wagner’s photographs of Los Angeles, 1922-23; Adolph Petsch’s photographs of Pasadena and Southern California; photographs of the Los Angeles Fire Department, 1912-1915; and Nina Page’s panoramic photographs, taken in 1902 using a Kodak Panoram No. 4 camera, of Bonnie Brae Street, Los Angeles; Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles; Santa Monica; Terminal Island; and the Pasadena ostrich farm.
The California Historical Society can be searched in three ways: the CHS Online Catalog contains basic descriptive records for manuscripts and photographic collections; books and pamphlets; periodicals, posters, broadsides, maps, and newspapers; and other materials; the Digital Library contains digitized primary sources such as photographs, maps, and ephemera; and the Online Archive of California contains detailed guides to manuscript and photography collections; digital images; digitized oral histories.
To research materials in our collections, visit the Search the Collections page on our website here