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Archives and Collections
The Mojave Desert Archives preserves the history of transcontinental travel to the Los Angeles region through the Mojave Desert of eastern California. Route 66, National Old Trails Road, the Mojave Wagon Road, the Santa Fe Railway (now BNSF), Union Pacific Railroad, and Interstate highways were and are major transit routes through the desert terminating in the Los Angeles basin. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Los Angeles area residents traveled through and returned to the Mojave Desert over these routes to deliver mail and supplies, engage in military campaigns, harvest natural resources, graze cattle, homestead, and run roadside businesses. Today, the Mojave serves as an important transit region for Angelenos seeking recreational opportunities in Las Vegas, on the Colorado River, or to simply enjoy the solitude and sublime beauty of our vast desert.