Museum

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Seaver Center for Western History Research

The Seaver Center for Western History Research collects, preserves, and makes available to the general public and to scholars historic records pertaining to the history and the exploration of the trans-Mississippi American West, with particular emphasis on Southern California and Los Angeles. Its historic records holdings include (but are not limited to) manuscript materials, books, serials, trade catalogs, pamphlets, broadsides, maps, posters, prints, photographs, and a historic site file listing information on some eight hundred fifty buildings in Southern California. The Seaver Center also acquires research materials that support History Division exhibits and research by History Division curators.

USC Fisher Museum of Art

The USC Fisher Museum of Art is the accredited art museum of the University of Southern California. Founded in 1939 by Elizabeth Holmes Fisher, the gallery has twenty-two hundred objects in its permanent collections. Included in these collections are eighteenth-century British portraits, seventeenth- through nineteenth-century Northern European paintings, and nineteenth-century American and French landscapes, as well as twentieth-century paintings, prints, sculpture, and decorative arts. The Fisher Gallery has exhibited art from around the world ranging from antiquities to old masters to works by contemporary artists. For each exhibition, the gallery organizes a symposium and various events. The gallery also offers group tours, hands-on workshops for children and adults, and performances.

The Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage

The Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage was opened in 2001 and is named after its lead donors, Ruth and Charles Gilb. The Museum is maintained and operated by the City of Arcadia and houses artifacts and artwork representative of local Arcadia history and culture. The Museum presents seven individual interpretive exhibit spaces with both permanent and temporary exhibits as well as three off-site exhibits at City Hall, City Council Chambers and the Community Center. The main, permanent, gallery presents a chronology of Arcadia's history beginning with the Gabrieliño/Tongva (Native Americans indigenous to Arcadia) and works its way through the early American period with the rancho of Santa Anita, the story of Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin and the beginning of the City of Arcadia. Also on display are artifacts and exhibits of Santa Anita Park, the Arcadia World War I Balloon School, the Santa Anita Japanese Assembly Center and Anita M. Baldwin. Two other permanent spaces are “Movie Magic: Arcadia in the Movies” and “Famous Arcadians.” Our Research Library houses temporary local history exhibits and displays of our archival collections. Research in our collections is by appointment only. In the Arcadia Veterans Local History Room the Museum presents a remembrance of Arcadians who have served in the military. This space houses the Arcadia Veterans Registry, where Veterans from all theatres are invited to add their personal information and photograph to the registry. In addition, the Museum houses the City’s Blue Star Registry and honors Operation Hometown Heroes. Our main temporary space rotates exhibits that share the many aspects of Arcadia's art and history. Past exhibits have included: “Tongva: Our Voice, Our History, Our People,” “Dreams and Delusions: The Surreal World of Dean Fleming,” “Only What We Could Carry: The Santa Anita Japanese Assembly Center,” “Traditional Silk and Silver Fashions of China's Minorities,” “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” and “Airships over Arcadia, WWI.” Temporary exhibits also include topics on community themes and an annual juried photography contest and exhibit. The Museum hosts educational family and adult programming in our Museum Education Center. On third Thursdays the Museum presents Lunchtime Talks with different speakers and topics each month from January through June and September through November. On selected months we present our Hands on Saturdays for Families program, which celebrates a variety of cultural themes bringing families together while educating and immersing in world cultures. Scout Days are presented throughout the year for local troops to come and earn their badges. We also offer educational school tours of the exhibits with an additional hands-on component. Lectures on local history are offered from an assortment of speakers and topics. Favorite lectures in the past have been on the Arcadia WWI Balloon School; Mount Lowe and Pancho Barnes’ connection to Arcadia; the life of Anita Baldwin; and the railroad system in Arcadia. Adult workshops have included working with genealogy, and the ongoing Preservation Series: The Personal Museum, when the Curator shares tips and knowledge about how to care for treasures in “personal museums” in each family home. There is also opportunity to share and record individual stories utilizing the Museum's oral history program: Write Your Own Reminiscence and a senior Those Were the Days Sing-a-Long. The Curator sets time aside each month for visitors to Ask the Curator about how to care for their family artifacts. Cultural programming is also a focal point in our programming. We have held demonstrations on skills such as flintknapping and have welcomed local Native Americans who share their culture of storytelling, native plants and basketweaving. The Museum opens in the evening, after hours, during the spring and summer for two special programs. Arcadia at the Movies delights guests as we watch and discuss movies that have been filmed in Arcadia. Our Spring Soirée offers an evening to relax under the stars with a significant local artist’s work, a wine and cheese reception and acoustic music. There is something for everyone at the Gilb Museum!

Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum’s collection spans two thousand years of Western and Asian art. It contains European and American art from before the Renaissance through the twentieth century, including works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Goya, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Pablo Picasso, among many others. The extensive South Asian sculpture collection illustrates the splendid sculptural traditions of the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia. The Museum’s archives include the former Pasadena Art Museum's archives of correspondence, exhibition brochures and catalogues as well as the Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection Archives which contains collector and art dealer Emmy (Galka) Scheyer’s correspondence with the artists she represented (primarily Kandinsky, Klee, Lyonel Feininger, and Alexej von Jawlensky) as well as with a few other artists, dealers, collectors, and friends during the years 1921 to 1945. Because the Blue Four Archive material is available on microfiche in the Archives of American Art, the Norton Simon Museum limits use of its archives to scholars requiring access to the originals.

Hollywood Bowl Museum

The Hollywood Bowl Museum is located on the grounds of the world-famous Hollywood Bowl. The museum’s exhibits and archival holdings document the history of the Hollywood Bowl. These holdings include programs, posters, books, films, videos, photographs, promotional materials, postcards, correspondence, and ephemera. The Hollywood Bowl Museum works closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives, which collects programs, recordings, ephemera, and institutional records pertaining to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The museum was established in 1984 through a partnership between the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

Skirball Cultural Center

The Skirball Cultural Center explores the linkage between American Jewish life and American democratic values through cultural programs and museum exhibitions for all ages and backgrounds. Designed by internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the Skirball comprises a museum, a discovery center, an educational resource center, classrooms and various meeting and social facilities. On permanent exhibition at the museum is “Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America,” which chronicles 4,000 years of the Jewish experience in the Old and New worlds. The visitor is guided from antiquity to arrival in the United States and integration into American life. Large-scale reproductions of an archaeological site at an ancient synagogue in Israel and the Statue of Liberty’s arm and torch are on display, along with historical and political objects and documents about Jews in American dating from colonial times to the present. The Skirball’s permanent collections, which hold more than 25,000 artifacts, include one of the five largest collections of Judaica in the world and the Project Americana Collection. The latter contains family and institutional memorabilia, and family photographs reflecting the experience of the Jewish community in the United States. Some of the material in the Project Americana Collection documents Jewish migration to Los Angeles from other parts of the country and abroad. The Skirball’s outstanding archaeological collection is housed in the Teri Bell Ziffren Discovery Center, which offers an insider’s tour of the archaeology world to explorers ages 5 and up - a tour that includes the opportunity to excavate the simulated remains of an ancient Israelite at the Outdoor Archaeology Dig.

Catalina Island Museum

The archaeological site material in the museum’s collections dates from approximately 8,000 thousand years ago to the early 1800s. This material includes artifacts from the  indigenous people known as the Tongva who were living on Catalina Island - which they called Pimu - when the Spanish arrived in 1542. Also in the collections are approximately two thousand items dating from the 1880s to the present which pertain to Catalina Island’s maritime history and local industries and to sport fishing, recreation, and tourism. Items include boat models, boat motors, fish mounts, fishing rods and reels, early paddleboards, swimsuits, postcards, and Catalina pottery and tiles. A small number of paintings and prints of historical interest are in the collections as well. The museum’s archives contain more than one hundred audiotaped oral history interviews with local residents, including many with members of the island’s Mexican American population, as well as several maps, various city and school records, a substantial ephemera collection documenting social and political activities on Catalina Island, and a very large number of photographs. Most of these holdings date to between the 1880s and the present.

Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum holds a wide variety of materials documenting the Japanese American experience from a Japanese American perspective. Built around broad historical eras and themes of Japanese American experience, the holdings are used to fulfill the museum’s mission "to promote understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience." The National Museum's general collection includes bibliographic materials, three-dimensional objects, fine art, photographs, oral history recordings, and moving images. The museum also maintains a public research library and archival collections.

University of California, Riverside, California Museum of Photography

Images of Los Angeles and its communities are preserved in the collections of the California Museum of Photography. In the immense archive of vintage stereographic negatives and prints known as the Keystone-Mast Collection are views taken between 1885 and 1960 of places, people, landmarks, industries, agriculture, and historical events in the Los Angeles region. The University Print Collection contains work by over one thousand contemporary and historical photographers. Its Los Angeles-related holdings include negatives from Ansel Adams’s Fiat Lux project which show the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the surrounding area in the 1960s; the archive of original negatives shot by photographer Will Connell in Los Angeles between the late 1920s and the early 1960s; Robert Cleveland’s photographs from the 1940s and 1950s of buildings and architecture in Los Angeles; studio photographs of children, families, entertainers, and burlesque performers taken between 1940 and 1976 at Raoul Gradvolh’s studios in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles; Kodak Cirkut camera images (10 x 39–60 in. panoramas) taken by William Amos Hanes during the early 1900s which record events and places in Los Angeles, including residential areas, sanitariums, industrial and recreational sites, and downtown; and Louis Jarvis’s photographs of leisure in Pasadena in the 1890s. The museum also has a modest collection of rare photographic books and albums dating to the early decades of the twentieth century.

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives

Founded in 1952, the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles is the oldest continuously-operating GLBT organization in the United States and the largest archive in the world dedicated to collecting and preserving GLBT humanities materials. Our collection comprises over 30,000 volumes of books and monographs; over 7,000 titles of GLBT periodicals; 5,000 linear feet of manuscript and photograph collections; 15,000 items of audiovisual and moving image materials; and over 100,000 items of other materials, including posters, banners, textiles and ephemera. In total, ONE’s collection contains over two million items. Collected for over 60 years by ONE and historian Jim Kepner, ONE’s materials span over a century and are international in scope. In 2010, the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives became a part of the University of Southern California Libraries, which provides operational support to ONE for preserving and improving access to its collections. The USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge with collections and services that encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students, and staff. Library collections include more than 4 million volumes, 5.8 million microforms, 3.1 million visual materials, 98,700 serial titles, and 48,500 linear feet of manuscripts and archives.