1848-1899

Center for Oral and Public History/California State University, Fullerton

Collections include 5,000+ oral histories in 250 projects, representing geographical, ethnic, political, religious, and social communities of selected Orange County, Los Angeles, Southern California, and Western US locales. Topics include community histories, environmental studies, including Sierra Club, Laguna Beach Greenbelt, Bolsa Chica, ethnic studies (African American, Native American, Mexican American, Japanese American, Judaica Studies, Vietnamese Americans), politics and government (Orange County politics, conservative women), society and culture (sulf culture, surf music, women with silicone breast implants, sports and society in Cold War Southern California, theater, baseball, women in long-term marriages, transformation of grocery stores, and new wave in Czechoslovakian film, 1990s UCI fertility clinic scandal, Mormon colonies in Mexico), just to name a few.

The Salvation Army Museum of the West

The Salvation Army Museum of the West houses materials of the Western Territory of the Salvation Army. The Southern California Division is headquartered in Los Angeles proper but services all of Southern California, including Salvation Army churches, Adult Rehabilitation Centers, shelters, and other programs run by The Salvation Army. The collection chronicles the developments and changes of The Salvation Army from its first arrival in Los Angeles in 1887 to present day.

Los Angeles Unified School District, Art and Artifact Collection/Archives

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) art and artifact collection has been amassed since the opening of the first district school in 1855. The collection began to be organized in 2001 when LAUSD received a grant to hire a part time collections curator and manager. The mission of the archives is to (1) engage and educate the Los Angeles Community, including students, families, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as independent historians, curators, librarians, archivists, and interested parties, about the history of the LAUSD and its role within the greater community (2) preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the LAUSD (3) encourage the school community to become involved in the dynamic process of contributing to the Collection in ways that reflect current environments and cultures. Objects and artworks are located at both schools and administrative sites. Major collections include: Photographs and negatives depicting people, places and events at district schools taken by the Audio Visual Section, Public Information Office and other district branches from the 1930s through 1980s Paintings, drawings and murals donated by graduating classes Rare book collections of California History, Carnegie Art History Collection and Dawson Collection (formerly located at George Washington High School) and the former LAUSD Kindergarten Memorial and Professional Libraries Contents of Venice High School’s museum of antiquities called the Latin Museum Works Progress Administration paintings, murals and sculpture Misc. curriculum materials from the 1890s to 1970s Various District administrative records such as Board Minutes, Annual Reports, Budgets and files on the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act Historic schoolhouse furniture, teaching devices and office equipment

Western Costume Company

Since 1912, Western Costume Company has supplied costumes for film, television, stage, and school productions. In 1915, this costume house established the first production research library. Today the library’s holdings document what people around the world have worn throughout the ages. The library’s archival holdings consist of costume sketches, historic costumes, and the Twentieth Century Fox costume still collection from the late 1930s -1970s.

USC University Archives

The University of Southern California (USC) University Archives is the repository for the records of enduring value officially made or received by the University of Southern California, and for other materials of historical value related to the functions of the University. The University Archives includes material documenting the history and growth of the University of Southern California.

University of Southern California, Boeckmann Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies

The Boeckmann Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies was founded in 1985 with a donation of an 80,000 volume book collection related mainly to the study of Spain, Portugal and Latin America. However, this first donation also included books and pamphlets related to Alta and Baja California, the U.S. Hispanic Southwest, the U.S.-Mexico border region, and a small collection of early 20th century books and pamphlets published in Spanish in Los Angeles. Since the mid-1990s the Boeckmann Center has consistently documented the presence of Hispanics in Southern California. This initiative included the creation of the Cuban California Archive (est. in 1997) which focuses on contributions of Cuban Americans and Cuban exiles to Los Angeles and Southern California. Highlights include materials donated by Cuban American composer Aurelio de la Vega, newsletters from the community group the Patronato Jose Marti, items from the Lorente Family including the archive of Carlos Sebastian Lorente's B.L Engineering firm, photographs and playbills of the Havanafama theater group, copies of the Directorio Cubano de Los Angeles and books by and about Cuban American writers in Southern California. The Hispanic Community Archive (est. in 2004) includes the personal and scholarly papers of Luis Andres Murillo and his collection of bilingual ephemera and pamphlets, published in Los Angeles, exemplifying contemporary Spanish language usage in the area. Other donations include a collection related to the Escuela Argentina de Los Angeles, from Dr. Samuel Marks, a donation by Los Angeles teacher and music historian Raymond Valencia Lopez of printed works created for early bilingual education instruction, in the Los Angeles school district. Another collection contains materials relating to the Chicano Movement, Cesar Chavez and journalist Ruben Salazar. Among the Spanish language community newspapers in the collection, published and/or distributed in Los Angeles are complete runs, on microfilm or in hardcopy, of La Voz Libre, 20 de Mayo, Bohemio News, De Norte a Sur, and Tango Reporter. The Chicano Studies Serial Collection on microfilm contains numerous serial titles published in Los Angeles and Southern California. The Boeckmann Reference collection provides information on Mexican Americans, Chicanos/Latinos and other Hispanics in Los Angeles, in addition to reference works related to Spain, Portugal and all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

University of California, Los Angeles, Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive

Established in 1969, the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) Library and Archive was the first library of its kind and is now the only freestanding Chicano studies library in the United States. It provides information resources, reference services, and bibliographic instruction for those seeking information on the Chicano experience. The library makes its holdings accessible to users from UCLA and from around the world. Although the CSRC was originally founded to ensure preservation and accessibility of the Chicano experience, it is now becoming the repository of choice for Latino donors in general. The collection includes over 16,000 monographs, approximately 300 serial titles, a large collection of theses and dissertations, over 40,000 digital objects - many of them accessible on the UCLA Digital Library, and a large collection of posters, a/v materials, and a growing collection of archival holdings totalling close to 2,000 linear feet of material. Please note that we are a non-circulating library. Most items may be scanned or photocopied onsite. If you wish to access one of our special collections, please contact us before you visit to make appropriate arrangements.

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.

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.

Design and Historic Preservation Section, City of Pasadena Planning & Community Development Dept.

Within the City of Pasadena, the Design and Historic Preservation Section reviews plans for construction and building alterations affecting historic properties, conducts historic building surveys, carries out environmental reviews in compliance with state and federal laws regarding the preservation of historic resources, designates properties as landmarks and landmark districts, and directs nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. It also provides staff support for the city’s Design Commission and Cultural Heritage Commission. The Design and Historic Preservation Section’s holdings include building permits, surveys, photographs, slides, articles, books, and other information about Pasadena’s homes, buildings, and architecture. In addition, the section maintains files that furnish historic information about local properties (arranged by address) and about architects and builders who have worked in Pasadena. It also keeps subject files that contain newspaper clippings and copies of other historical documents pertaining to Pasadena which are organized by themes such as parks, streets, and neighborhoods.