State & Federal Government

Yosemite National Park Archive

Several Los Angeles engineering and architectural firms were involved in the design of buildings, bridges, and other iconic features of Yosemite National Park. From 1923-1927, the National Park Service Landscape Division was located in the offices of the Underwood Building on Spring Street in LA. Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood and Landscape Engineer Daniel P. Hull collaborated on several national park projects including the construction of Yosemite's Ahwahnee Lodge. Los Angeles resident and architect Charles T. Gutleben developed designs for cables on Half Dome, and his company also was involved in other Yosemite projects including the construction of the Rangers Club, the Yosemite Museum, Le Conte Memorial Lodge, and many of the bridges in Yosemite Valley. The Yosemite Archives contains correspondence, plans, and drawings referring to many of these projects.

University of California, Irvine Libraries Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives houses the UC Irvine Libraries' collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs, and other rare and special materials. Major collections include the Critical Theory Archive, the Southeast Asian Archive, and the University Archives, as well as in-depth collections on Orange County and California history, dance and performing arts, 20th-century political pamphlets, artists' books, rare books, and small press books. UCI’s collection documents the history of Orange County from the mission period through the present, in 3,000 books and pamphlets and more than 100 historical and contemporary archival and manuscript collections. Strengths include the Irvine Ranch, City of Irvine, Irvine Company, San Juan Capistrano Mission, city histories, ranchos, the 19th-century actress Helena Modjeska, environmental issues, politics, Disneyland, LGBT issues, and surfing. Materials include photographs, family papers, letters, oral history interviews, maps, postcards, newspapers, government documents, and an enormous collection of local ephemera (such as flyers and brochures).

National Archives at Riverside

We are a unit of the National Archives and Records Administration. Our holdings consist of the historically significant materials created by Federal agencies in southern California, Arizona and the greater Las Vegas, Nevada area. Agencies represented include the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service. Our records document the complicated relationship between the Federal government and the people of southern California, including the role of the Navy and the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the evacuation of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during World War II; the struggle for civil rights such as the desegregation of California schools in the landmark case, Mendez v. Westminster. Our District Court records contain cases of sedition, prohibition violations, obscenity and the struggle for free speech. Our holdings of the Bureau of Indian Affairs not only record the culture and history of southern California's Mission Indians, but also the work of the Los Angeles Employment Assistance Office, which worked between 1947 and the 1970s to relocate Native Peoples from rural reservations to learn trades in the Los Angeles area. We have records that document the growth of Hollywood as an industry and the lives of the people who worked there including the naturalizations of many Golden Age actors such as Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and others. The records of the U.S. District Court also document the development of technology and intellectual property rights in the film industry. The settlement and growth of southern California is documented here. Our holdings document the management of public lands, including homesteading, ranching and mining. We have records created by the Federal government related to the growth of aerospace industry giants such as Lockheed, Douglas Aircraft and Hughes Aircraft. Included is information on the research and development of aircraft such as the H-4 flying boat (the Spruce Goose) and the Bell XS-1. Also represented are records related to labor relations during World War II. The records of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers document their work on flood control in the Los Angeles river system, including the iconic channelization of the LA River.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Archives documents the history of the recreation area dating back to before its beginnings in 1978 as a park unit of the National Park Service. Records include those from the Office of the Superintendent, Public Affairs, Planning Science and Resource Management, Permits Office, Interpretation & Education and Maintenance. The archives contain materials from individuals and organizations connected to the recreation area such as environmentalist Margot Feuer, Chumash Chief Charlie Cooke, scientist Margaret Stassforth, Los Angeles County division assistant fire chief Harvey Anderson, the Mountain Conservancy Foundation, and the Friends of Satwiwa. The collection also includes historical materials regarding federal park sites within the recreation area such as Paramount Ranch, Rancho Sierra Vista, Circle X Ranch, Solstice Canyon, Franklin Canyon and Peter Strauss Ranch.

Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation

The archives and collections of the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation are site-specific and relate to the history of the locale. In the archives are approximately three thousand photographs, two hundred maps and drawings, various account books and business records, oral interviews, and films. Primarily the archival holdings document the running of a large ranching enterprise by the Bixby family between 1878 and 1952. As of 1921, this enterprise was financed by profits from local oil strikes, and a total of thirty-three ranches in California, Arizona, and New Mexico came under the ownership or management of the Bixby family at one time or another during the next thirty years. Some of the interviews, accounts, and photographs in the archives illustrate the lives of ranch workers and their families and of tenant farmers during this period, and a comprehensive series of photographs records the evolution of Rancho Los Alamitos’s historic gardens. Because the history of the use and occupancy of the mesa by humans stretches back to a.d. 500, the archives contain a small amount of secondary material on the patterns of Native American settlement, the Rancho period, and early ranching in the area. Although the foundation is not a collecting organization, the site itself and the buildings and gardens are historic and over 95 percent of the collections are original to the site. The adobe ranch house was occupied by the Bixby family between 1878 and 1962. The furnishings and art selected by the family show the aesthetic influence of both the Victorian age and the Arts and Crafts movement, yet the dominant character of the house is its warmth as an unpretentious family residence.

University of California, Santa Barbara, University Art Museum, Architecture and Design Collection

UCSB professor David Gebhard (1927-1996) founded the Architecture and Design Collection in 1963. Today it is one of the largest architectural archives in North America with more than 1,000,000 drawings, as well as papers, photographs, scrapbooks, models, decorative objects, and furniture. The focus of the collection is the design and architecture of southern California from the late 19th through the early 21st century. More than 230 collections and archives make up the ADC, a portrait of design in the region through the work of well-known figures such as Irving Gill, John Byers, Roland Coate, Sr., George Washington Smith, Myron Hunt and Harold Chambers, Robert Stacy-Judd, R. M. Schindler, Lutah Maria Riggs, Thornton Abell, Gregory Ain, Julius R. Davidson, Palmer Sabin, Kem Weber, Whitney Smith and Wayne Williams, John Woolf, Edward Killingsworth, Rex Lotery, Maynard Lyndon, and Barton Myers, among others.

California State University, Long Beach, University Art Museum

The University Art Museum maintains both a permanent collection of twentieth-century works of art on paper and a collection of site-specific outdoor sculpture. The sculpture collection began in 1965 with an International Sculpture Symposium and continues to expand, making the Long Beach campus of only three large public sculpture sites in Southern California. The museum has archival material related to the International Sculpture Symposium and artist files related to the museum’s collections and exhibitions.

Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park

The Museum exhibits American Indian cultural materials, primarily focused on cultures of the Southwestern, Great Basin and Californian culture regions, which were connected by a major trade route from circa 4,000 BP. One of the largest collections is from the California coast and Channel Islands. Seven thousand artifacts are represented, ranging in age from 8-9,000 BP to ethnographic/historic times.

California State University, Northridge, Delmar T. Oviatt Library, Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives in the Oviatt Library is the home of CSUN's rare book and periodical collections, as well as its archival and manuscript collections. Archival and manuscript collections can consist of many different kinds of materials, including correspondence, diaries, maps, university records, organizational records, photographs, and audio or video recordings. The department is comprised of several areas within the Oviatt Library which were independently established between 1973 and 1996. Special Collections was established in 1973 to house the Library’s manuscripts, rare books, periodicals, maps, prints, and art. Special Collections holds over 35,000 cataloged items and 150 manuscript and archival collections which support the University's curriculum, as well as the research interests of faculty and students on campus. In addition to supporting curricular needs at California State University, Northridge, collecting is focused on several topical areas including American literature, California and the West, children's literature, the history of printing and publishing, human sexuality, music, 19th and 20th century Europe, radio and television scripts, religion, theater and motion pictures, and United States history. The Urban Archives was established in 1979 through the efforts of university faculty, concerned community organizations, and civic leaders. Its purpose is to collect historically significant records of voluntary associations, local political figures, prominent citizens, and civic leaders which have contributed to the growth of Los Angeles County, and influenced government and public thinking since the beginning of the late nineteenth century. The collections document urban development in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, education, journalism in Southern California, labor and guild history, minority and ethnic studies, politicians and political movements, social service and women in Los Angeles. The University Archives is the repository for the historical papers of California State University, Northridge's administration, Faculty Senate, schools and departments, and student activities on campus. The International Guitar Research Archives (IGRA) was founded in 1980, and now holds one of the world’s largest collections of guitar sheet music, especially works for solo guitar, ensemble pieces for multiple guitars, and ensemble pieces for guitar and other instruments. IGRA also holds accompanying resources documenting the lives and careers of numerous guitarists and professional associations, as well as other guitar-related materials. The Old China Hands Archives was established in 1996 to preserve and publicize the heritage of the many people from other countries and cultures who have resided and worked in China. The Archives holds a growing collection of materials generously donated by former Old China Hands, including correspondence, diaries, photographs, postcards, books, periodicals, newspapers, and other materials.