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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.

Los Angeles United Methodist Museum of Social Justice

The Museum of Social Justice is located in La Plaza United 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, medical clinic, 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 Methodist Church's social justice practices improved the lives of many of the immigrants living on and near the Plaza. Among other items, the photos feature the first integrated drinking fountain in Los Angeles and the founding of Goddwill Industries of Southern California.  

Southern California Genealogical Society

The SCGS Library holds nearly 40,000 volumes, with a relatively small portion of the material related to LA. We have published indices to cemetery records, vital (birth, death and marriage) records, and immigration and naturalization. We provide free access to some data on our website. The Society is in the midst of a project to recreate the 1890 Census for Los Angeles County. The census records were lost in a fire in Washington DC, and our project is an attempt to recreate this valuable historical and genealogical resource. The 1890 data base will include vital records (births, deaths, marriage); cemetery records; city directories for the communities in the county; immigration and naturalization records; military records; voting records (Great Register); educational records; educational, social and fraternal societies; personal family records; and the flagship data, an every-name index of the Los Angeles Times from January 1, 1890 through December 31 of that year. New sources, as they are uncovered, will be added to this rich resource.

USC California Social Welfare Archives

The California Social Welfare Archives (CSWA) was organized in 1979 to collect materials that portray the development of social welfare in Southern California. Our goal is to ensure that pertinent knowledge, information and documents of historical significance are acquired, preserved, and made accessible for contemporary researchers and policy makers and for future generations. The CSWA also conducts an active Oral History Program consisting of focused interviews with lay and professional social welfare leaders in southern California. This program especially seeks to identify persons from the early years. Approximately 100 oral history tapes or disks are in the collections. Donated funds support the transcription and editing of these tapes. The organization conducts its activities under the umbrella of the University of Southern California School of Social Work, which provides some support services. It functions in collaboration with the Doheny Memorial Library's Archival Research Center (ARC), and CSWA collection is used in the ARC's Specialized Libraries and Archival Collections' reading room in the Doheny Library. Major collections include: Family Service of Los Angeles / Family Welfare Association of Los Angeles records from 1930 - 1937; The Los Angeles County Community Relations Conference / Community Relations Conference of Southern California records from 1947 - 1991; the Los Angeles Roundtable for Children records 1982; All nations Church and Foundation records and papers 1925 - 1965; Board of Social work Examiners records 1949 - 1955; California Association for Health and Welfare papers 1933 - 1969; Los Angeles County Coordinating Councils records 1930 - 1948; Gladys H. Culp papers 1945 - 1968; El Nido Services papers 1933 - 1986; Jessie E. Dean papers 1916 - 1943; Los Angeles Area federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, Inc records 1961 - 1975; Rev. Dr. R.A. McKibben papers 1938 - 55; Metropolitan recreation and Youth Services Council papers 1944 - 72; Economic and Youth Opportunities Agency of Greater Los Angeles records 1963 - 1970; Neighborhood Adult Participation Project, Inc. records 1962 - 1978; California Association of School Social Workers papers 1927 - 1974; Board of Behavioral Science examiners records 1976 - 1982; Competence Certification Board records 1979 - 1982; Los Angeles Council of Social Agencies records 1926 - 1944; Special Service for Groups records 1948 - 1977; Anietta Tidball papers 1950 - 1956; Welfare Council of Metropolitan Los Angeles records 1945 -1954; Welfare Federation of the Los Angeles Area records 1925 - 1962; Southern California Building Funds records 1961 - 1992; Rancho Los Amigos records 1900 - 1990; Midnight Mission 1916 - ; and Carmen Combs papers 1923 - 1979.

Santa Monica History Museum

The Santa Monica Historical Society was founded in 1975 as part of the city’s centennial celebration with the mission of collecting and preserving the history, art and culture of the Santa Monica Bay Area. In 1988, a Museum was established to house the Society’s growing collections of artifacts, documents, rare books, newspapers, textiles, artwork, and photographic images. Currently, the Museum’s Image Archives comprise over 500,000 photographs and negatives depicting the local history of Santa Monica, Ocean Park, Santa Monica Canyon, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Venice and Marina del Rey. The Outlook Newspaper Collection, one of the Museum’s primary holdings, consists of newspapers in hardcopy and on microfilm, extensive files by people and subject headings, and an estimated 400,000 photographs and negatives. Operating from 1875 at the time of the city’s founding until 1998 when the publication ceased its operations, the daily newspaper covered local, regional, state and national events. With an award-winning staff of professional photographers, the newspaper produced a significant archive of images that comprehensively portray the cultural, political and social life of the Santa Monica Bay Area communities. In addition, the archive contains images of major events taking place in the greater Los Angeles area, including cultural affairs, politics, features, sports, celebrities, presidential visits and conventions, the Los Angeles riots and earthquakes, fires and floods. The Museum also houses the collections of Outlook Newspaper photographers Bill Beebe, consisting of approximately 75,000 images from the 1930s to the 1960s, and Bob Smith, consisting of approximately 6,000 images from the 1960s to the 1990s. The Museum’s Image Archives also include publisher Diane Margolin’s City Scene images, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Collection and the Museum’s extensive collection of early Santa Monica photographs.

Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division

The City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division has a portable visual art collection produced by contemporary artists, including works by seventy-five Southern Californians. It also maintains a permanent collection of public art sculpture and urban design murals. These collections are intended to enrich the lives of the city’s residents and visitors; they also document the history of art in Santa Monica and illustrate the city’s role in the professional art world. "ArtSea," a comprehensive guide to the galleries, museums, clubs, bookstores, landmarks, and other cultural resources in the City of Santa Monica, is available from the Cultural Affairs Division.

All the Saints of the City of the Angels

Collection Description: An historical and poetic road trip through the cultural heritage of Los Angeles, via its hundred streets named for saints. Contending that the history of a place resides in its names, "All the Saints" seeks the points of convergence between the stories of the saints and the histories of the streets which bear their names. The results are rendered in painting and story. Thus far, over 100 paintings and dozens of essays have been collected into a major coffee table book (published by Heyday Books, 2008) and an exhibition at the Autry Museum (through September 2008); as well as a website, public installations, and adssorted merchandise.

Shelley Gazin

Cross-section of Urban population and events including portraits of Creative Professional, Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Political & Religious Leaders, Persian-Americans

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

The Library has a large collection of manuscripts, printed books and periodicals, photographs, maps and ephemera relating to Los Angeles. Topical areas of particular importance, with examples of archival collections, are: (1) politics, government, and legal history of Los Angeles (papers of Fletcher Bowron, John Anson Ford, Kenneth Hahn, Edmund Edelman, John Dustin Bicknell, Henry William O'Melveny; Marie Koenig collection documenting political conservatism; Los Angeles Area Court Records, 1850-1894); (2) economic development and business (papers of Henry Edwards Huntington, Abel Stearns, Benjamin Davis Wilson, James De Barth Shorb; records of the Banning Company, Newhall Ranch and Land Company); (3) ethnic groups (papers of You Chung Hong, Harold Bruce Forsythe, Loren Miller, Joseph Rickard/First Negro Classic Ballet); (4) architecture and urban planning (photographic and other architectural collections of Maynard L. Parker, B.D. Jackson, C.C. Pierce, Harold A. Parker, "Dick" Whittington Studio, Automobile Club of Southern California, William M. Clarke; Foss Designing and Building Co., Wallace Neff, Morgan, Walls & Clements and James Dolena Collections; Southern California Edison photographs and papers); (5) tourism and recreation (photographic collection of Henry Greenwood Peabody; papers and photographs of William Henry Thrall, Warren Lee Rogers; Automobile Club of Southern California Collection, Eugene Swarzwald Pictorial California and the Pacific Collection); (6) literature, arts, and journalism (papers of Christopher Isherwood, Charles Bukowski, Paul Conrad, Jack Smith, Al Martinez, Lynden Ellsworth Behymer; Mark Taper Forum collection of scripts; Pasadena Playhouse Archive; Los Angeles Times History Center collection); (7) women's history (papers of Caroline Maria Seymour Severance, Frances Nacke Noel/Job Harriman, Clara Bradley Burdette).