1848-1899

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.

California State University, Northridge, Delmar T. Oviatt Library, Map Collection

The Oviatt Library Map Collection contains approximately 400,000 cartographic resources, including historical and government maps, historical aerial photographs, large-format atlases, GIS data, historical gazetteers, and a reference collection. Our reading room contains a scholarly collection of atlases and books emphasizing geography, cartography, GIS, and San Fernando Valley history. Government document holdings include a comprehensive collection of maps from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Army Map Service (AMS), the National Park Service (NPS), as well as nautical and aeronautical charts.

Long Beach Collection, Long Beach Public Library

The Long Beach Collection preserves a variety of materials documenting the history of Long Beach. These include approximately one hundred audiotaped interviews, which were gathered in 1980 through an oral history project; over five thousand photographs of places and events in Long Beach; two hundred cubic feet of pamphlets and clippings arranged by broad subject categories; two hundred linear feet of cultural artifacts such as scrapbooks, directories, and time capsules; fifty maps of the City of Long Beach; one hundred videos produced by the City of Long Beach for the local cable channel; and two hundred linear feet of books and City of Long Beach documents. The library’s project to retrospectively index articles about the city’s history published in local newspapers between 1890 and 1965 is nearing completion; a database of the indexed materials may be accessed at the library.

Los Angeles Police Museum

This collection is limited to material from, and relative to, the history of the Los Angeles Police Department. The collection consists of retired and replica police vehicles, a retired helicopter and police motorcycles. Uniforms, equipment and artifacts dating to the beginning of the LAPD are also held within the collection. The non-public archive houses annual reports, photos and motion picture film. The majority of the holdings consist of material donated from private persons and sources and should not to be confused with the official holdings of the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles.

Santa Monica Public Library

The Santa Monica Public Library Image Archives contain historical photographs, postcards, and slides documenting the city's changing landscape and architecture as well as the commercial enterprises that shaped the development of the City of Santa Monica. The Archives include surrounding areas such as Pacific Palisades, Venice and Malibu among others. As early as 1875, Santa Monica's beaches attracted visitors from other areas, making tourism and transportation key local industries. The Archives include many images of resort hotels, bathhouses, amusement piers, the Long Wharf (intended Port of Los Angeles), Southern Pacific Railroad, and Douglas Aircraft, along with bearchgoers, shopkeepers, classes of schoolchildren, founding families, Spanish land grant holders, and other historically significant people. All of the Archives' images are available in digitized format on the web from the Library's digital collection site, Imagine Santa Monica, http://digital.smpl.org. The Library has the Santa Monica Outlook newspaper (1875- 1998) available on microfilm at the Main Library. Early years of the Outlook (1875-1920) are also available from the Imagine Santa Monica site. The Library's staff has selectively indexed and annotated articles published in the newspaper between 1950 and 1998. Since the demise of the Outlook, the Library's staff has indexed the local information published in the weekly "Our Times" section of the Los Angeles Times and is currently indexing the Santa Monica Mirror. Both are also available on microfilm. The newspaper indexes are available online from Imagine Santa Monica, http://digital.smpl.org.

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).

Los Angeles Public Library, Photograph Collections

The Los Angeles Public Library’s Photograph Collections comprise a number of major collections including: The Security Pacific National Bank Collection, donated to LAPL in 1981, consisting of over 150,000 photographs documenting the growth of Los Angeles and its many neighborhoods. The SPNB Collection also contains images from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce depicting business, industry, sports and agriculture in Los Angeles during its greatest growth spurt, 1920-1939. The Shades of L.A. archive contains images representing the full range of contemporary and historic ethnic and cultural diversity in the greater Los Angeles region. Copied from family albums in a project sponsored by Photo Friends, the photographs show daily life, work, social organizations, personal and holiday celebrations, and migration and immigration activities. Also archived are approximately twelve oral histories that were collected during the project and available through the LAPL website. http://www.lapl.org/catalog/shades/ The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner Photograph Collection consists of the newspaper’s morgue of 2.2 million photographs doumenting Southern California, the nation, and the world in the years from the 1920s to 1989. The Valley Times newspaper morgue spans from 1946-1972 and focuses on the post-war growth of the San Fernando Valley. The LAPL Photo Collection also has smaller collections of specific photographers including Ansel Adams, Herman Schultheis, Howard Kelly, Gary Leonard, Carol Westwood, C.C. Pierce, William Reagh, and Ralph Morris.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles Archival Center

The Archival Center that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles built at the San Fernando Mission and opened in 1980 is a measured response to the church's obligation to collect and preserve records associated with the human activities constituting California's Catholic heritage. The facility houses papers, documents, correspondence, and related materials generated since 1840 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and its antecedent jurisdictions. The Center's archives include numerous photographic collections and various image holdings that number in the hundreds of thousands. The center's library presently comprises about fifteen thousand books primarily on California history, American Catholic history, bibliography, archives, and archivism. Eleven digests of the center's archival documents have been published, and more than ten thousand of the library's books are classified and described in The Literary High Spots of Mission Hills, California (1998). Various objects from the center's holdings are on exhibit in the center's Historical Museum. It is the "hope and prayer" of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles "that the books, documents, manuscripts, and historical memorabilia housed at the Archival Center will become the means for as-yet-unborn generations to stand taller upon the shoulders of their predecessors."

Azusa Pacific University, Special Collections

The institution has Special Collections including: 1) Local history; 2) American religious history; and 3) history of the American west. Under Local History, the Azusa-Foothill Citrus Collection consists of manuscripts, legal and business papers, financial journals and ledgers, photographs and maps dating back to 1844. The Sayre MacNeil Collection contains family papers and correspondences, and the Roger Dalton Collection also contains personal papers. The Oral History Collection is comprised of 17 personal histories of East San Gabriel residents who witnessed the early growth and subsequent decline of Southern California’s citrus industry. Under American religious history, institution has Monsignor Francis J. Weber Collection on American Catholic Church History which consists of books and other printed materials by Msgr. Weber who served as Archivist to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1962. Under History of the American West, the George Fullerton Collection of Western Americana and California has significant collections on the early exploration of the American West, books of the California Gold Rush, county and city histories, and biographies.

Downey Historical Society

The Downey Historical Society is located at the Downey History Center in Apollo Park. For more than thirty years, the society's all-volunteer staff has been gathering and preserving records and artifacts from and about the southeastern part of Los Angeles County. The society's collection includes original photographs from 1870 to the present (copy negatives, duplicate prints, or 35-mm slides are available for various images of historic and current events), postcards, artifacts of Downey's past, and local realia. The books, pamphlets, and periodicals in the library focus on Downey, Los Angeles County, and California. Among the subjects addressed are Native Americans, missions, archaeology, architecture, photography, biography, ethnology, and necrology. The holdings on Governor John Gateley Downey and on the aerospace industry are particularly strong. There are also directories for Los Angeles County dating back to 1871 and, on microfilm, the federal censuses of Los Angeles County from 1850 to 1920 and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for the Los Angeles region. In the society's archive are a broken run of Downey newspapers from 1888 to 1917 and a complete run from 1918 to 1969. Also available are Downey school account books; insurance registers; pioneer water company records; burial and cemetery records from Downey Cemetery; Los Angeles County court dockets for the townships of Los Nietos, Downey, and Norwalk from 1873 to 1957; and Los Angeles County District Attorney's registers of arrests from 1883 to 1919.