African Descent

Cal State LA Special Collections

California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) Special Collections and Archives supports the discovery, learning and engagement goals of the University by identifying, acquiring, preserving, and providing access to unique and rare materials of enduring value in support of the academic mission of the University, the educational and research needs of the Cal State LA academic community, scholars, and the research community at large

Special Collections and Archives collects unpublished and published materials relating to Cal State LA, local, regional, and state history.  Items may include but are not limited to unpublished works such as personal papers and manuscripts, institutional and university records, photographs, and ephemera. Published materials may include books, periodicals, newspapers, and posters.

The Cal State LA Library, Special Collections and Archives unit documents the history and culture of communities in Los Angeles. Areas of focus include publications in Los Angeles history, literature, the arts, and public official papers, and ethnic communities.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library

The Margaret Herrick Library collects a wide range of materials documenting film as both an art form and an industry. Its holdings include photographs, posters, books, periodicals, screenplays, oral histories, and extensive clippings files on people, films, and companies. The clippings files are organized under five headings: production, biography, general subject, festivals and awards, and Academy history. The general subject files contain clippings and photographs regarding aspects of Los Angeles such as homes, studios, motion picture theaters, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, Los Angeles as a location, educational and cultural institutions, theme parks, and landmarks; labor disputes and the formation of industry-related unions and guilds are also extensively documented in the general subject files. The Academy history files provide coverage of that very Los Angeles-based activity—the Academy Awards. The library's Special Collections contain materials relating to the careers of numerous directors, producers, actors, and other craftspeople and their filmmaking work in Los Angeles. Dating from the early 1900s to the present, the materials in Special Collections include scripts in various drafts, personal and business correspondence, production memoranda, sketches, clippings, music scores, recordings, scrapbooks, artifacts, and photographs.

USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education

The mission of USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education is to develop empathy, understanding and respect through the use of testimony. Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive contains 55,000 videotaped interviews with witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides that were conducted in 65 countries and in 43 languages over the period 1994-2018. The approximately 2,600 interviews that were gathered in Los Angeles relate to the experiences of Jewish Holocaust survivors who came to the city during and after World War II.

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

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.

University of Southern California, Digital Library

The Digital Library of the University of Southern California (formerly known as the Digital Archive, formerly known as ISLA) is an ongoing project that is building a virtual library of digitized multidisciplinary materials much of which has a focus on the Los Angeles region. Its search and retrieval software will allows these materials to be accessed using the parameters of space, time, keyword, format, or collection. The Digital Library includes: Images selected from maps and historical newspapers in the Huntington Library’s collection, including color maps created by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1939, the Spanish-language newspaper El Clamor Publico (1855-1859), and the Los Angeles Star (1852-1863); photographs and maps from the Automobile Club of Southern California (1892-1963); photographs of artifacts from the archaeological collection (1880-1933) of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California; and from the University of Southern California’s collections, including the California Historical Society Collection (photographs of Los Angeles, 1860-1960), the Hearst Collection (news photographs from the Los Angeles Examiner, 1920-1961), the Whittington Collection (commercial and architectural photographs, 1924-1987), the East Asian Library (Korean-American documents, photographs, and oral histories), the Gamble House in Pasadena (architectural drawings, photographs and other documents relative to the Greene & Greene architects) (1888-1944); Texts such as manuscript documents pertaining to the activities of the Los Angeles Ayuntamiento and City Council (Los Angeles City Archives, Untitled Records Series, 1820s-1890s), newspaper clippings from the Los Angeles Examiner (1920-1961), and master’s theses and doctoral dissertations about Los Angeles written by students at the University of Southern California (1920s-1990s); Data from the historical federal censuses though 1990 and the WPA’s household survey of 1940. Because the Digital Library has arranged to digitize materials that are the intellectual property of various individuals and institutions, the downloading of some items may be subject to restrictions.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy Film Archive

The Academy Film Archive is part of the Academy Foundation, the educational and cultural arm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Dedicated to the appreciation, study and preservation of our motion picture heritage, the Archive's activities include collection, preservation, documentation, exhibition and research access to films. The Academy announced its plan to collect motion pictures upon its founding in 1927 and made its first film acquisition two years later, in 1929. The Archive’s collection now includes over 140,000 items, covering some 70,000 individual titles. Many items within the Archive’s collection relate to the Los Angeles region, including: • Film and video documenting the history of the Academy and the Academy Foundation, including its public programs, lectures, symposia, and presentations. • Film, kinescope and videotape of Academy Awards ceremonies extending back to 1949, along with additional news material and special coverage of the awards show. • Films and film programs associated with the Student Academy Awards – a great number of which originate from Los Angeles film schools. Ongoing film festival collections, including the Latino International Film Festival and the PXL This! Pixelvision Film Festival Documentary film holdings include the collection of the International Documentary Association. Many of our documentary holdings feature subjects that are Los Angeles specific. Visual effects and technical achievements - through submissions for the Academy Awards process the Archive has acquired a substantial collection of visual effects reels, makeup and sound test reels, and film and video documentation of the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards. Many materials from this collection were produced and crafted in the Los Angeles region. Home movies and amateur films, particularly those related to the history of Hollywood, the motion picture industry, and the history of the Los Angeles region.

C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, Max and Lore Zeller Library

The Max and Lore Zeller Library provides a specialized collection (including rare books) of over 6,500 volumes on Jungian psychology and related subjects: sandplay therapy, general psychology, anthropology, mythology, religion, alchemy, art and symbolism. The extensive book collection, 800 audio CDs, videotapes and DVDs, and 16 journals are available to the analytic community and the general public through an affordable membership fee. Library membership provides onsite access to the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS). Drawing upon C.G. Jung’s work on the archetype and the collective unconscious, ARAS is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human history. The archive contains over 17,000 photographic images, each cross-indexed, and accompanied by scholarly commentary. The commentary includes a description of the image that serves to place it in its unique historical, cultural, and geographical setting. The ARAS commentaries honor both the universal patterns and specific cultural context associated with each image. The librarian is available to help steer readers toward their particular interests.

Go For Broke National Education Center

The Go For Broke National Education Center holds more than 1,150 life history interviews of Americans of Japanese ancestry who served in the United States Army in WWII. Many of the veterans interviewed were born and raised in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. Their videotaped interviews provide us with stories about the neighborhoods in which they lived and worked, the larger Japanese American Community in and around Los Angeles, both the Japanese and American cultures that shaped and molded their identity, values their parents taught them, a unique minority viewpoint of a pre-war and post-war Los Angeles, their experiences as soldiers in the U.S. Army in WWII and much more. Often the veterans contributed photographs and documents to complement their stories. The Go For Broke National Education Center would like to offer access to researchers, adding to the rich history of our city, our state and our country. Incorporated in 1989, Japanese American World War II veterans established the 100th/442nd/MIS WWII Memorial Foundation, now the Go For Broke National Education Center, to build the Go For Broke Monument. The Monument, the first of its kind on the mainland U.S., includes more than 16,000 names of Japanese American soldiers and officers who served overseas during World War II. It was unveiled in June 1999 and is located in downtown Los Angeles at Temple and Alameda streets. The Go For Broke National Education Center today focuses on providing a place and means by which all people can share their stories and recognize how the legacy of their lives contributes to the history of Los Angeles and the American ideals of freedom and equal opportunity for all. Go For Broke offers several programs to educate the public on this important time in history, including: A Tradition of Honor Teacher Training Program, Hanashi Oral History Program, Resource Center, Go For Broke Monument and other media projects. Go For Broke National Education Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Mojave Desert Archives

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.

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).