Archives and Collections
The California Historical Society collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value in support of its mission to inspire and empower Californians to make the past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. In our North Baker Research Library, we hold some fifty thousand books and pamphlets, four thousand manuscript collections, half a million photographs, as well as ephemera, periodicals, posters, maps and more. For Los Angeles and the surrounding area we have 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 depicting the growth of the city and the transportation system. Besides these two important collections and other photographs, Southern California is represented chiefly by printed books and pamphlets, periodicals, and ephemera, including many early promotional pieces with gems such as the 1888-89 Southern California Tourists’ Guide-Book, and an 1885 pamphlet entitled The Great Interior Fruit Belt and Sanitarium of Southern California, San Bernardino County, and Valleys Tributary Thereto.