San Fernando Valley Historical Society
Historical collections from the various families that lived at Rancho El Encino.
Historical collections from the various families that lived at Rancho El Encino.
The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research primarily documents and preserves the history of twentieth-century radicalism and social change through progressive movements in the greater Los Angeles area. The materials held by the library relate to the labor, peace, social justice, civil rights, women’s, gay and lesbian, and various other grassroots movements. While the library’s print holdings—numbering approximately thirty thousand books and three thousand periodical titles—range well beyond the subject of Los Angeles to socialism, Marxism, and the Cold War, its special collections focus on Los Angeles. These collections include twenty-five thousand pamphlets, fifteen hundred posters, two thousand photographs, one hundred documentary films, one hundred videos, thirty-five hundred audio tapes, organizational files for Los Angeles and national grassroots groups, and extensive subject files containing newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and reports. Among the library’s major archival collections are the papers of civil liberties defender Leo Gallagher, California Eagle editor and publisher Charlotta Bass, and Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research founders Emil and Tassia Freed, as well as papers from the Los Angeles chapter of the Civil Rights Congress, the Los Angeles Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, the Los Angeles International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and the Los Angeles Congress of Industrial Organizations. The archival collections on the Watts Rebellion of 1965, the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panthers, and Chicano activism are heavily used, as are the documentary films of the 1930s from the Film and Photo League and those of the 1960s from the Newsreel (SDS) collective. The library is committed to making its collections on the multicultural history of Los Angeles widely available and to working with other institutions and organizations to ensure that a broadly based historical record of the city’s people is preserved for future generations.
The Edith R. Wyle Research Library of the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) was donated to the L.A. County Museum of Art Research Library in December 1997 during a period of consolidation for the Museum. (CAFAM reopened in April 1999 under the auspices of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.) The Edith R. Wyle Library's holdings reflect the exhibiting and collecting interests of the Craft and Folk Art Museum. It's holdings pertaining to traditional folk art, international contemporary craft and design, professional museum practice, cultural diversity, and cultural context are significant. It's particular strengths are in the areas of Mexican and Japanese folk art, masks and masking worldwide, and the history of folk art and craft collecting. Altogether the Wyle Research Library's holdings comprise approximately 5,500 books as well as exhibition catalogs, journals, newspaper clipping and pamphlet files, posters, biographical files on contemporary craft artists (including slides), and biographical files on self-taught artists. In 1994 the Bead Society of Los Angeles donated its library collection of about 200 books, catalogs, and ephemera on beads.
The Museum of Social Justice is located in La Plaza Methodist Church, on the site of the oldest section of Los Angeles. The Museum’s historical collection consists of documents, photographs, artifacts, and other materials created by La Plaza Methodist Church at the beginning of the twentieth century. The collection features over 2000 photographs that capture the work of the founders of the church, its community center, and the predominantly poor Mexican immigrant population the church was founded to serve. The documents provide a look into the poor living conditions that existed near the Plaza and how La Plaza Church's social justice practices improved the lives of many of the immigrants living on and near the Plaza.
The Collections within The Los Angeles Harbor Department Historical Archives document the development of The Los Angeles Harbor as well as the surrounding communities of San Pedro, Wilmington and Long Beach beginning in the late nineteenth century through today. The Archive maintains over 26,000 linear feet of materials including photographs, plans, drawings, books and assorted ephemera that have been generated during the course of official business and community outreach.
Our core rare book collections include California history, Mexicana, bullfighting, Pacific voyages, food and wine, costume, travel in North America, Europe and the Near East, history of the book and printing, ornithology and Native American culture and history.
Our special collections include the Casey Fashion Plate Collection, the Tom Owen Collection of Bookplate Art, Japanese woodblock prints, California prints, artists' books, travel posters, the Menu Collection, the Paul Fritzche Collection of Culinary Literature, the Cookery Ephemera Collection, fruit crate labels, the Gladys English Collection of American Children's Book Illustration, the Behymer Opera Collection, the Charles F. Lummis Autograph Collection (over 700 signatures, poems, notes and original art from 19th to early 20th century notable figures), George A. and Florence A. Dobinson Letters (mainly correspondences), Beaudry Candy Company Archive (company records in ledgers, notes and handwritten recipes), personal photographs of Walter Henry Rothwell (first director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic), minutes, correspondences and notes of the Southwest Society and the Southwest Museum, L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty scrap books, Orra Eugene Monnette papers and the Los Angeles Resistance Collection (documents the non-cooperation with the Vietnam War draft).
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.
Los Angeles was the western terminal of the trail, which served commerce and immigration between Santa Fe, NM, and Los Angeles. Much archival data about the OST resides at the Huntington Library, the Autry National Museum and other So Cal institutions.
Initiated in 2004 as a collaboration between the California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) John F. Kennedy Library and The Baseball Reliquary, the Project resulted in the creation of the first baseball exhibit, “Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues”. The inaugural exhibit was received an overwhelming public response, several awards and recognitions, including the Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize for Public Humanities (December, 2007). In 2007 the co-founder of the project at CSULA, Cesar Caballero, accepted a new position as University Librarian and Dean of the John M. Pfau Library at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). Based on the success and interest that was generated from the initial exhibit, Dean Caballero and Terry Cannon, the other Project co-founder and Executive Director of The Baseball Reliquary created a plan to expand the project. Toward this effort, the Project was re-launched in May 2009 as “The Latino Baseball Project: The Mexican-American Experience,” with an opening reception that attracted over 200 guests from the community, including a wealth of former baseball players and their families. In July 2009, we hosted a “Latino Baseball Reunion” that was also well attended and was a success in that numerous ball players and their families brought artifacts for scanning and cataloging. In July 2010, a second Reunion was convened with more artifacts being donated and significantly, a more diverse response from community participants, including students. All the events have been carefully planned and hosted in a manner that welcomes the general community to the campus, builds ‘ownership’ of the Project from the veterans, so that they are valued as key to the success of the endeavor, and fosters a greater interest from the at large public to take note and interest in the ongoing activities and impact of the Project.